7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds

By Ashley Marcin on 30 January 2015 1 comment

My husband is a high school English teacher. My daughter is in her first year of preschool. Sickness is a way of life for us with so much exposure to germs. In fact, we just got over a full month of passing around two nasty cold viruses. (See also: 12 Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain)

Here are some helpful cold remedies that won't send you running to the store, as you likely have most of the ingredients sitting around in your kitchen cabinets. The best part? They're all drug-free!

1. Miso Broth

From upset stomach to coughs and colds, this delicious miso soup doubles as a cure and healthy meal option. Miso is made from fermented soy and rice, and it's full of good-for-you living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. My husband skips the veggies and simply warms a few cups of water on the stove. He then dissolves a tablespoon or two of miso in it and sips all day long.

2. Veggie Broth

You don't need to go out and buy miso if you don't have it already. Instead, try this healing veggie broth that combines the goodness of garlic, ginger, lemon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. And water for hydration, of course. Simmer on the stove and strain before drinking. The cayenne pepper acts like an expectorant and helps get all the gunk out of your system.

3. Garlic Snack

I love how garlic tastes minced in olive oil. But did you know garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties? In other words, it's great for fighting cold and flu viruses. You can munch on a whole clove to get the benefits. For those of you with sensitive stomachs, try mincing garlic and letting sit with some olive oil and honey before eating on a cracker.

4. Vapor Rub

Or try mixing together some DIY vapor balm — much like the popular ones on the market — using olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils (peppermint and eucalyptus). This balm is wonderful for easing chest congestion and discomfort. The benefit here is knowing exactly what you're rubbing into yourself. You can also make different strengths to suit all your family members by adding more or less essential oils.

5. Salt Gargle

Most of us know about the mighty salt gargle to relieve scratchy, sore throats and wash away germs. But are you doing it correctly? Combine ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt with one warmed cup of pure water. Chlorinated tap water will irritate your throat, so skip that in favor of something filtered. Or you can dechlorinate water by leaving it out in the open for 24 hours.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

My family has long used unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a cold cure. It's pretty darned effective at thinning mucus and clearing out sinuses. Dilute two to four tablespoons of ACV into one cup of warm filtered water (same reason to avoid tap water, as explained above) and add raw honey for taste if you like. Drink up four to six times a day to help kill bacteria and soothe your sore throat. (See also: 12 Awesome Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar)

7. Honey Coat

Honey is an effective, natural cough suppressant. So, skip the pricey cough drops and syrups and use this mixture of honey and lemon instead. Combine a half cup of honey with half a lemon, two cups of water, and some fresh or dried thyme leaves. Store this homemade syrup in your refrigerator for around a month.

What are your flu season go-to home remedies? Please share a dose in comments!

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Guest's picture

The salt gargle, honey, and broth are my go to remedies. The others I haven't tried.

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