Cold and Flu Remedies

Viral infections are no fun!
No one wants them. 
But what cold and flu remedies are beneficial?

First, it helps to understand that the symptoms of viral infections are due to the immune response from fighting the virus rather than from the virus itself.  When the immune system attacks the virus, the immune system produces cytokines which cause various symptoms, such as runny nose, aches, pains, fatigue, fever, et.  These symptoms are the body's response to try to clear the infection.  So, we do not want to suppress these symptoms.  Instead, we want to support the immune system and to make the immune system stronger with appropriate cold and flu remedies.

Easy and Free

Easy and free things that we all can do are as follows:

  • rest as much as possible because fighting illness takes lots of work
  • drink plenty of water to help flush out the virus

Herbal Treatments

My favorite herbal treatments from Nature's Sunshine include:

  • Echinacea Purpurea capsules
  • Ultimate Echinacea liquid
  • Elderberry D3fense capsules
  • Zinc Tablets or Zinc Lozenges
  • Golden Salve

At the first onset of viral symptoms, I suggest taking 4 echinacea capsules immediately.  Also, I recommend adding 1 tsp of echinacea liquid to a bottle of water and drink a few sips every 5-15 minutes.  Then, take label amounts for the next week.

Also, I recommend adding elderberry capsules during the duration of the illness.  This product can also be taken throughout the winter to help prevent illness.

If you get really adventurous, you can even make your own echinacea tincture and elderberry syrup.  I prepare these cold and flu remedies prior to the onset of winter.

Zinc is an essential mineral for your immune system.  Most patients with chronic Lyme disease are already on zinc for this reason.  If you are not already taking zinc, adding it when you become sick can help to reduce the severity and duration of your illness.

If you blow your nose a lot, your nasal tissues can get quite red and irritated.  Golden salve can help to heal these delicate tissues.

Homeopathic Treatment

Oscillococcinum is perfect for flu IF it is taken right away when symptoms begin.  This homeopathic remedy by Boiron has been scientifically studied and has been shown to be quite effective in the treatment of seasonal influenza.  Just follow label instructions for three days.  You can find this product at health stores; I have even found it at my local grocery store.

Herbal Teas

I love to sip herbal teas.  Fortunately, it is rather easy to pick out herbal teas at the grocery store just by their names.  Sometimes, taking calming teas with chamomile can help with rest and sleep.  If you are experiencing breathing issues, try the respiratory teas. And various immunity teas can be sipped for variety.  Drinking teas helps increase water intake and the heat can help to clear congestion.

Essential Oils

And let's not forget the essential oils!  I prefer to use these potent oils topically rather than internally.  

My absolute favorite oil is peppermint because this one product can do so much!  Specifically, it can clear the sinuses, reduce headache, stop runny nose, improve nausea, reduce aches, etc.  Just rub in under the nose, near sinuses, on temples or forehead, around abdomen, over sore muscles.  If your skin is easily irritated, add the peppermint oil to an oil carrier.  Also, make sure to keep out of eyes. 

Other Cold and Flu Remedies

If the congestion is rather severe, neti pots with saline can come to the rescue.  Personally, I do not like the unpleasant sensation, but others find them quite helpful.

You can also fill your sink with hot water and cover your head with a towel over the sink and breathe the steam in deeply.  Just make sure not to burn your face!

Fresh squeezed oranges and lemons added to pure water is refreshing, alkalizing, and vitamin C boosting.

These cold and flu remedies only work if you use them. 
So, best to prepare early and have them on hand
so that you can start them as soon as the first symptom appears.

Let food

be thy medicine, 

and medicine 

be thy food.  




Your word

is a lamp

to my feet

and a light

to my path.

~Psalm 119:105



The secret of health

for both mind and body

is not to mourn for the past,

worry about the future,

or anticipate troubles,

but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

~Buddha (paraphrased)