29 Pine Brae Drive, Skillman NJ 08558
609-474-HEAL (609-474-4325)     Fax: 609-644-4400

Natural cold and flu home remedies

  • Use herbs, nutrition, essential oils, and good common sense to beat or prevent a disease

  • Naturally support and strengthen your body's immune system.

The cold and flu home remedies below and the health tools suggested (fourteen of 'em) are all inexpensive to buy or make. All make you stronger by supporting the immune system with a little boost, a little special food, a little helping hand. At the same time, you strengthen your natural immune system response against disease.

Foods, herbs, and supplements that strengthen the immune system are called immune potentiating.

Use these home remedies whenever you're sick or to protect you from getting sick. Combine them for increased power.

Use them for colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, or any respitory infection. For the flu, some need to be modified to allow for the inability to keep food or liquid in the stomach.

Sections below:

Other pages to check out
    1. The basic steps for immune health
  1. Things that weaken your immune system.

First Steps:

  1. Do the three first steps:  
      • Get warm
        The reason winter colds are more common is because people get chilled, maybe just from cold feet or head. Children thrive on warmth. So do adults.

      • Get water
        If your water intake is low (less than an ounce per day
        for every two pounds you weigh)
        then you are making it hard for your body to get well.

      • Get rest
        Your immune system works much better when you are rested. If you can't sleep, then spend more time in warm rest.

        Try opening the window a crack for fresh air while you sleep, instead of sealing yourself up inside a heated or air conditioned box. The air in your house can accumulate toxins as much as your body can. Fresh clean air is healing.

  2. DO NOT WAIT until symptoms set in or get worse. Catch the disease as early as you can. By the time full blown symptoms occur, these remedies take longer to work.

  3. Avoid milk and dairy products whenever you have a cold or nasal issues.

    They cause your body to create more mucus, nasal congestion, and pressure, making it harder for your body to clean out the cold.

The List of Remedies:

  1. Drink water like crazy
    Drink double or more of the water you normally need.

    When healthy drink at least one ounce of water, broth, or tea daily for each two pounds of body weight.  A person who weighs 128 pounds should then drink two quarts or liters daily. If you weigh 256, drink a gallon (128 oz) daily.

    Juice and liquid foods do not count. they are foods, not water.

    Chlorine free water is best, since chlorine is a toxin, If only tap water is available, use it, but make a plan to have chlorine free water to drink always..

    The water remedy for a cold:
    My husband tells the story of going to work at UPS sick with a cold. (UPS made it very difficult to call in sick.) He emptied a gallon jug of water three times during his five hour shift while doing hard physical work unloading and loading UPS trucks for the day's deliveries, He chugged water as often as he could, as much as he could stand taking it from from the warehouse water fountain (chlorinated, of course), and sprinted to the bathroom often. 

    By the time he left work at 9 am, after almost six hours, he felt amazingly well. The cold had broken. He kept drinking the rest of the day, though not as intensely, and tapered off a couple of hours before bed, so his sleep would not be disturbed by needing to urinate.. The next day he was fine, the cold flushed away. This became his "water remedy for the common cold and whatever ails you". To this day he still uses it whenever he feels a cold coming on.

    The body can do amazing things.

    Remember: liquids like milk, juice, and soup do not count in this figure. They contain food, and are therefore considered, you guessed it, food.

  2. Bowel movements
    If you are not having at least daily bowel movements, you are accumulating toxins in your gut that are taxing to your immune system, Drink much more water to loosen bowels, especially in the morning. (See #1 above.) If necessary, consider a coffee enema for immediate relief. Recipe is below.

    • Add two Tbs organic coffee grounds to
    • Half a quart or liter of pure, dechlorinated water
    • Boil ten munutes
    • Do not strain out the coffee grounds.
    • Add another half quart or half liter of cold water to cool the coffee, and place this full quart/liter in an enema box with a tube that can drain the water into your rectum. 
    • Carefully insert the tube and take as much as you can before you must defecate.

      (Note: use only organic, since you don't want to introduce pesticide toxins into your gut when you are trying to get well.)
  3. Vitamin D3
    During the darker and colder months we don't get the amount of vitamin D-making sunshine our bodies need,and vitamin D is important in keeping disease like colds and influenza out of an otherwise healthy body.

    How much?
    About 2000 IU per day should suffice for an adult, and 800 to 1000 IU daily for kids.

    If you get a vitamin D blood test, the optimum healthy range is 50-70 ng/ml.

  4. Hot baths
    The heat in a bath helps the skin to push out toxins produced by the disease. Your immune system has to work hard to deal with these toxins. If you help your body detoxify, then the immune system can concentrate more on fighting the disease itself. 

    Try putting epsom salts in the bath water too. This is an old time remedy that's effective at easing cold and flu symptoms. It aids in drawing out  the toxins through the skin (which is your body's largest organ for elimination of toxins and waste). Epsom salts add magnesium and sulfur, both of which are supportive of the healing process.  

    • Add two to three cups of epsom salts to a full hot bath.
    • Soak long.

    Also feel free to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to aid relaxing . But be careful with other essential oils, since these oils can be a potent medicine by themselves, able to make a bath relaxing or stimulating, soothing or uplifting, or decongesting.
  5. Salt water gargle
    A major tool in making it easier for your body to stay clean and healthy. For colds and nasal problems more than for flu. Your body has to work less hard if there is not a lot of infected mucus in your head or throat, so it brings you to health faster.

    Check out our web page on salt water gargle.

  6. Potassium-rich Immune Broth.
    (Click the title for the recipe.) Very easy to prepare. Uses potent mushrooms and other herbs to become a healing elixer. A mainstay for me and my family during the winter.

  7. A personal steamer
    You place your head over these small units and your sinuses are comfortably cleaned and restored by steam. The heat inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria. These can be purchased at most pharmacies.

    Use it every day as a preventative.

    If you have nasal congestion and think you are getting sick, use it 3 times daily and follow with Neti Pot (next item below) to wash out the sinuses.

  8. A Neti Pot
    Cleans out your sinuses better than anything, by using nasal irrigation. These can be purchased at most natural food stores such as Whole Foods or Whole Earth Center in Princeton, as well as on-line.

    Note: requires you use clean, non-chlorinated water.

  9. SCOF Essential Oil Blend (Sinus Cold or Flu) 
    Use a nasal inhaler that you can refill yourself. 
    Five dollars from Kneading Wellness, 717-626-8182.

    This essential oil combination has extremely powerful benefits.

    For cough and congestion, put 2 drops of SCOF in 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub on chest, neck and back.

    When sick with a cold or sinus problem:
    Use personal steamer with a drop of SCOF or eucalyptus oil once or twice daily.

    Rub SCOF in olive oil on your forearms every few hours.  Or mix the SCOF with organic body lotion and spread it on this way.

    Or use the SCOF inhaler every few hours. 
    How to make the SCOF nasal inhaler:
    Unscrew bottom plug. Take off the outer shell. Soak the interior wick with 1 ml (1/5 of a teaspoon) of SCOF. Put the shell back on top and seal with plug on bottom. Make one for each member of your family and label with their names so you don't accidentally share germs.

  10. Flew Away
    Natura Health Products 
    (We also stock it in our office.)

    Flew Away is a combination of diaphoretic herbs that just works great. (Contains extracts of yarrow, boneset, peppermint, elder flower, eucalyptus, and ginger.) Diaphoretic means they induce perspiration by relaxing your capillaries and blood vessels. Sweating is one of the main ways your body removes damaging germs (microorganisms), and is a natural way for your body to move through a fever.

    Use heat to increase their effectiveness. For example, take a hot bath or sauna within a half hour of taking a dose. Hot teas and hot soups will help taken anytime while you are taking Flew Away.

    The earlier you take, it the better. I use it whenever I get the slightest hint that I might be getting ill, and  when I am exposed, like if my son or husband get an illness.

    • If just getting sick: 2 caps every 3 hours.

    • Exposed?  Someone ill in your home?
      Take one, 3X a day.

    • As an everyday preventative,
      take 1 capsule once to twice daily

  11. Throat and Gland Spray
    from Natura Health Products  naturahealthproducts.com 
    (We also stock it in our office.)

    very effective sprayed onto the back of your throat to treat sore throat, colds, sometimes even earache.

    When sick with throat, sinus or cold problem:
    3 sprays to back of throat every few hours.

  12. Astragalus root
    This is an herb that gives a whopping boost to your immune system. You can boil it into a tea, but we just put it into the Immune broth (next item down), where it is a key ingredient

    Can be purchased locally at Whole Earth Center in Princeton as well as on-line from Mountain Rose Herbs at mountainroseherbs.com or (800) 879-3337.

  13. Kombu seaweed.
    An incredibly nourishing vegetable that grows under the ocean. Also used in the broth. Available at natural food stores and on-line.

  14. Cinnabar Dandelion remedy
    This is an anthroposophic remedy that you can obtain from Uriel Pharmacy at urielpharmacy.com or (262) 642-2858. It works in a similiar way to homeopathic remedies.

    When sick: 10 pellets dissolved in your empty mouth every three hours. Don't eat or drink for five minutes before or after.

  15. Practice gratitude. Do something every day that brings you joy. What you hold in your heart you hold in your body, and your immune system rises or falls with it. Your mental-emotional experience is one of the most important cold and flu home remedies.

  16. For babies:
    the best thing you can do for them is breastfeeding, especially if the mother is eating well.

Natural Remedies Compared to Drugs:

Instead of using drugs (that do more than just fight germs), you should always try first to get over a disease by strengthening your immune system,

For example, antibiotics actually weaken your immune system by killing off the essential, health promoting bacteria in your gut, which are a vital part of your immune system, so you are further debilitating your body. These live organisms must establish colonies on the lining of your intestines, which take time to regrow after taking antibiotics - even if you are eating cultured, probiotic foods and taking probiotic supplements.

Click here for an excellent, free ebook on how to make probiotic cultured and fermented foods yourself.

Antibiotics don't help at all if you have a virus. They only work against bacterial infections. Sometimes doctors don't pay attention to this and give antibiotics all the time, in spite of the risk of harm from killing these essential organisms in your gut.

Tylenol is a drug you absolutely should avoid, especially when sick. It supresses the immune system because it reduces your body's ability to get rid of toxins.

A healing drink

A healthy immune system brings energy and a sense of vitality to a person.