Simple, All-Natural Cold and Flu Soothers

cold and flu soothersWe have been very fortunate so far this year in the illness department. *knock on wood*

We haven’t had any colds or flu to speak of, but when I was in the E.R. yesterday morning with a kidney stone attack, I asked the nurse treating me what kinds of things they had been seeing lately in the E.R.

While the number one thing they have been seeing recently is snowmobile accidents (we live in an area surrounded by recreational activities)…the second most common ailment was upper respiratory infections.

This year Americans will spend more than $3.6 billion on over-the-counter cold, cough and throat remedies, even though there’s growing evidence that many are ineffective and even risky for children.

But did you know that some of the BEST treatments hardly cost anything at all?

I thought today I would share with you a few of my favorite simple, inexpensive and all-natural cold and flu soothers:

lemon honey tea

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup

Lemon juice has citric acid and bioflavonoids that boost immunity and fight infection and is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Honey is a natural immune system booster, loaded with anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties, and has been proven to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep. (Due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning, never give honey to a child younger than age 1.)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (use a locally produced raw honey, if possible.)
  • 2 Tablespoon Hot Water

Mix together and drink.

The hot water soothes and reduces swelling, while breaking up congestion in your throat. The lemons’ acidity will cut through mucus, kill bacteria, and provides an extra shot of Vitamin C. The honey coats your throat and sweetens up all that acid that’s working in the lemon.

 coconut oil

Simple Homemade Chest Rub

Ingredients

To melt the coconut oil: put in a glass bowl or jar and then into the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon oils (add more if you want) and shake well. Allow it re-solidify (at room temp or faster in the fridge) for easier use.

Rub on chest just like you would Vicks Vapor rub. The peppermint provides a cool, tingling, sensation, while the eucalyptus and lemon help open up airways and loosen coughs.

 

homemade shower discs

Homemade Shower Discs

Place a disc on your shower floor and as the water slowly dissolves it, the essential oil vapors combine with the steam to relieve cold symptoms.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/3 cup water (enough to make paste)
  • Essential oils (eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a mini-muffin tin with foil liners. Mix the baking soda and water together to form a thick paste. Pour into cupcake tin. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Top with one drop each of Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils.

 

Garlic ointment

Garlic Oil Ointment Treatment (GOOT)

GOOT is a natural antibiotic, antifungal and antimicrobial ointment safe for children and even infants. Apply every couple of hours on the feet of children, infants and adults to fight infections. Rub on chest for chest colds, or rub into nostrils for sinus infections. Dab on a cotton swab and place in the ear for infections.

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Apply this salve to the soles of your feet when you start to feel a cold coming on. Put thick socks on your feet and go to sleep. By the morning you’ll be feeling better! Be sure to keep a special pair of socks dedicated to this treatment or else you’ll risk everything smelling of garlic. Store in air-tight container and use as needed for up to two weeks.

 

face steaming

Thyme Facial Steam Bath

Thyme has long been known as an expectorant, which makes coughs more productive (that is, it helps clear out your lungs faster so you feel better sooner).

  • Toss either a handful of dried thyme or a few drops of thyme essential oil into a bowl of hot water and lean over the bowl.
  • Cover both your head and the bowl with a towel.
  • Inhale the steam to help loosen mucus in your chest.

 

 

cayenne tea

Cayenne “Tea” Sore Throat Remedy

Technically not a tea, but it is made with warm water and it’s an effective sore throat remedy. Cayenne pepper aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. Once mucus begins to leave the body, generally relief from cold and flu symptoms follows.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup warm Water (warm enough to dissolve the honey)
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Stir together until dissolved. Drink it quickly or gargle with it if you are brave. You may decrease the amount of cayenne for younger children.

 

neti pot

Neti Pot

A neti pot looks like a genie’s lamp that can perform some sinus-clearing magic. Fill it with warm saltwater (use noniodized salt). Then stand over a sink, tilt your head to one side, and slowly pour the liquid through one nostril and allow it to stream out the other — along with a lot of gunk that’s causing congestion.

 

honey and cinnamon

Honey and Cinnamon Cold Remedy

Both honey & cinnamon have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.

Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon honey (organic raw honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Take this amount every few hours as soon as you feel a cold or other illness coming on. Spoon it into hot drinks, mix it into your oatmeal, or dip fruit into it. Treat the whole family with this simple yummy remedy at the first sign of a sniffle.

 

drink fluids

Other Natural Treatments

  • Don’t forget to get enough sleep and drink your fluids when you’re feeling ill. Good lifestyle habits are proven to reduce your risk of getting sick.
  • Eat healthy foods. Get regular exercise. Learn to manage stress. Those are among the best natural ways to prevent colds and flu.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough. Make sure to cough into your sleeve instead of your hand. You’ll reduce the odds of passing your germs on to someone else.
  • Washing your hands remains one of the best ways of protecting yourself from cold and flu germs.
  • And last but not least……don’t forget to get a FLU SHOT! An annual flu vaccine is recommended for most children and adults. It’s highly effective and contrary to what you may have heard, the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. It CAN, however, save you and your family a lot of misery.

 

What’s your go-to defense when you or someone in your family is getting sick?

 


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Comments

  1. Abby says

    Ok Jillee I’m giving the goot a try tonight, hopeful it will help me kick this weird bug, GI/Headache/evening nausea/dizziness.

  2. Annette McKinney says

    We have learned of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. Wonderful recipe on bottle for gargling or drinking for sore throats, tummy troubles, aches & pains.etc The drink is very palletable honey, vinegar & water. The honey is a healing gift from above both externally & internally. The apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic, anitceptic and the most concentrated source of potassium. Literally hundreds of uses are blessing of this natural product.

    • Pam says

      Would you mind sharing your recipe? Are the honey, vinegar & water all equal amounts? I sure would appreciate your response. I really do need several ideas for treating symptoms of a cold. This was a great post for me today. Thanks!

      • Susan says

        Tablespoon of ACV, glass of water and honey to taste. I like it a little bit tart. My mom used to drink it iced during the day, it’s good hot also.

      • Deborah says

        We have been using this for years, my dad learned of it when I was a child 56 years ago. I definitely recommend using Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, very benenfical with the “mother” still active in the bottle.
        Can be made up and stored in fridge too be used daily. We drink apx. 4 ouces daily chilled, but would be fine if gently heated. Also make sure you use RAW-unprocessed honey, as all store bought has been heated which destroys the bacterial benefits contained in raw honey. Ask around, you may be able to buy directly from a local source or check out local health food stores or “farmer markets” of local growers.

        For a Gallon- combine 1/2 Gallon- combine Quart Pint
        1 gallon water 1/2 gallon water 32 oz. of water 16 oz. water
        1 cup ACV 4 oz. ACV 2oz. ACV 1 oz. ACV
        2 cups raw honey 1 cup raw honey 40z. raw honey 2 oz. raw honey

        Or if you prefer to mix as needed, you can blend a cup at a time~

        8oz. water *ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar
        1/2 oz. ACV
        1 oz. raw honey

      • Deborah says

        okay format didn’t work, here it is again ~ sorry

        Gallon – blend
        gallon of water
        1 cup ACV
        2 cups raw honey

        1/2 gallon – blend
        64 oz. water
        4 oz. ACV
        1 cup raw honey

        Quart – blend
        32 oz. water
        2 oz. ACV
        4 oz. raw honey

        Pint – blend
        16 oz. water
        1 oz. ACV
        2 oz. raw honey

  3. SD Mom says

    I make an elderberry syrup with honey, ginger and cinnamon that really boosts the immune system. We each drink a spoonful everyday during a cold or flu outbreak. If any of us feel a cold or flu coming on, we increase the dosage to 2 spoonfuls everyday. It really cuts down the length of the illness.

    • LeCheech says

      Me too. I’ve tried it a few times and it has made me HORRIBLY ILL. This also happens in my daughter. Thanks but no thanks.

    • Alisha says

      Yeah not a fan of putting dead viruses, or chemicals into my body if I don’t have to.

      Every year everyone I know that gets the flu shot, gets the flu. I’ve not had a flu in years. I plan to keep it that way.

      Other advice is AWESOME!

      • CTY says

        Reactions to the flu shot can also be caused by both active & inert ingredients. If you have specific known allergies research some before making your decision. Bottom line, know your body so assess your risk factors. By risk factors I mean risk of getting the flu shot vs risks of not getting the shot. Also do you have a secondary medical condition that can be dangerous with/without the shot.

      • Susan says

        Middle son has a heart defect and pacemaker.He gets a flu shot and pneumonia shot every year. No one else in the family does.

    • Shylla says

      If you have problems with the flu shot, like getting horribly sick. Then you may be allergic to it, you also may be allergic to other vaccines. I am allergic to something in the flu shot & was very ill (should have been in the hospital sick) until the medicine made its way out of my body. I am also allergic to the medicine that they give you for the flu (TAMAFLU). So I have to be extra careful during flu season, kinda hard since I’m a teache in a public school. But I manage. So I look forward to using the tips to help me make it through another flu season!!

  4. Amy says

    Thank you for the tips. My family has been ill from one thing or another since the week before thanksgiving. I will be trying all of the recipes on all 6 of us ASAP. Thank you so so much.

  5. April says

    I will definitely keep these remedies bookmarked for future use . You’re right on the flu shot tip . This is the first year that I haven’t had one and I’ve been sick twice already . I usually never get sick . Thanks again!

    • says

      The flu shot doesn’t help with any other viruses, and if you had the actual flu, you would know. It will not help decrease the number of viruses/colds etc that you get. So having reasonable expectations would be commendable.

      Also, it sounds like you probably need to 1) stop eating sugar; 2) stop eating processed foods; 3) put good nutrition into your body. Then, you wouldn’t get sick. It is a simple solution without putting even more toxins into your body via means of flu shots.

      • ButteryMuffyn says

        Rebecca, I’m sorry to say, you sound very pompous. I am a (usually) very healthy vegetarian, I eat no processed foods and minimal sugar and as I type am suffering the worst cold I have ever had and getting my ass kicked by my asthma too. It’s individual choice to get a flu shot (I haven’t) so for you to say I shouldn’t be sick is total rubbish.

      • Cynthia says

        Where do you get off telling people that they need to eat better to stay healthy? You know NOTHING about April and her eating habits. You know nothing about any of us and our eating habits versus how often we’re sick. You have no right and no place to be giving someone advice based on such a vague comment.
        And just so you know…most cold viruses are spread through HUMAN CONTACT…having virtually nothing to do with how or what you eat. Yes, there are some natural immune boosters out there that I’m sure we could all incorporate into our diets to TRY and keep the cold bug away…but sometimes it just wins. That is why there is no CURE for the common cold. All you can do is soothe your symptoms and try to feel better as you ride it out.
        And, also, maybe you should research how viruses mutate, constantly, to avoid being killed off. Read The Great Influenza, about how perfectly healthy people in the prime of their lives, dropped dead before ever showing any sign of the flu, because the virus mutated so rapidly.
        Maybe, before you give anyone else any advice, you need to a) know a little more about what you’re saying, and b) know a little more about the person you’re giving advice to.

  6. says

    My mom a few years ago found out about the Neti pot and got her one and it had made such a huge difference with sickness and allergies that she suggested I get one too. I have had one ever since. I am convinced it is the best thing for sickness and allergies and you get better quicker because you’re getting rid of the stuff that will make it more difficult for your body to heal itself. My mom and I suffer from asthma and it is the greatest thing when we are sick.

  7. Peggy says

    You need to be sure to use boiled, and slightly cooled, or distilled water in a neti pot. Using tap water can be be unsafe.

    • says

      That is right, I was about to post that very thing, and be sure to use enough salt, if you don’t have enough it will burn, I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but believe me, I’m speaking from experience.

      You can also add other things to the water, xylitol is a great one, it does not support bacterial growth.

      Wretha

Trackbacks

  1. […] Favorite Flu Fix-It: We are big fans of home remedies for illness and are always willing to try new things to stay healthy. When you’re spending the day with 22 7 year olds, it’s much needed. Here are some great all-natural cold & flu soother. […]