The colds season is coming. Do you remember what are the best natural remedies to prevent and fight common cold and flue? What do we need to have in the house for emergencies? What is new on the market that can help heal faster?
Should we rely on old folk remedies or go to the doctor from the first signs?
1. Eat chicken soup or Roots soup
People say it’s chicken soup. But, come on, from what chicken? That white, translucent, full of hormones and antibiotics bird that we find in the stores?
If you have your own chicken that you’ve risen in your yard, if you get it from a very trustful source, like from your grandparents who live at the country, that’s a different thing.
Considering you have a chicken that actually saw sunlight and ate grass, grains and even little rocks, make yourself and your family and delicious soup, also with roots and vegetables. Eat it while is hot, and drink other 3 glasses of that broth during the day.
I consider Roots Soup to be as beneficial, if not even more. It should be a regular broth where we have boiled only roots: carrots, parsnips, parsley, celery, garlic and a small onion. No potatoes, no tomatoes, no other vegetables. Only some olive oil when we are eating it. Or drinking. Because it is best to be drunk, three times a day.
It is said, that it’s not only the minerals and vitamins in those roots, but in the energy they hold. The life energy necessary to the plant to grow, what gives it its sustainability.
We take that energy and feed our resources.
2. Drink tea
I have found a very good tea made of: meadow-sweet, marjoram, lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), thyme, anise, olive leaves and eucalyptus leaves.
If there is fever involved here is another great tea made of: willow, hyssop, basil, chamomile, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary.
We can drink them without sweeteners, because sweets must be avoided in this period (except for honey). Bitter teas will help the liver detoxify the organism.
Three or four cups of tea during the day should be enough.
Make sure you also drink lukewarm water. Yes, liquids should be in a larger quantity in this period, our body needs them to eliminate the toxins out and hydrate our cells properly.
3. Use essential oils.
We must take advantage of these great herbs in all possible ways.
Inhaling vapors of essential oils, using an aromatherapy lamp, also known as aroma lamp, oil burner or diffuser, represents a great safe way to introduce them in our body.
When we inhale through the nose, airborne molecules interact with the olfactory organs. From here, they arrive first to the brain and then to all respiratory system and the whole body. The brain is affected through a variety of receptor sites, one of them being the limbic system, also known as “emotional brain”, which is connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, stress levels, memory and hormone balance (according to Higley & Higley, 1998). This explains why odors trigger memories and emotions.
Also be very careful when buying the essential oils. Not everything that smells like lavender contains essential oils of lavender in it. If, for example, you find a store that sells all the bottles of essential oil with the same price, be sure they are not real. Essential oils are very difficult to make, some require more work then others, some herbs are more rare and dry, and so on. The prices should be accordingly.
And, just to be sure you are on the right way, you can also read a representative book on aromatherapy. Modern Essentials: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils 9th Edition
Steaming. It’s a very direct and potent method. Use a pot or a kettle and boil some water. Take off the fire. Add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil (they are quite enough). Keep your head above the steaming water and put a big towel over your head and pot, so that it forms a pyramid (or a tent) with it. The water will vaporize the oil. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply. Don’t use this method for children younger than 7 years old.
The best herbs for colds and flues are: basswood (aka linden, lime), plantain and pine buds. The use of eucalyptus essential oil in this way can feel helpful with upper respiratory and sinus infections.
• For children of 1 to 5 years old, the best essential oils to use in colds are:
1 drop of lavender + 1 drop of tea tree or 1 drop of lavender + 1 drop of myrtle, diluted in 10 ml olive oil.
• For children of 5 to 12 years old, the best essential oils to cure colds are:
1 drop of cajeput + 1 drop of lavender + 1 drop of tea tree or 1 drop of incense + 1 drop of mirth + 1 drop of chamomile, diluted in 10 ml of olive oil.
With these mixtures you can do a slight massage on the chest and neck.
Without the olive oil, the drops can be put in the water plate of your aromatherapy lamp.
Remember the gifts the 4 Mags brought to little Jesus? Myrtle and incense have incredible therapeutic benefits, and they were very useful to a newborn.
4. Eat honey. And combinations.
Honey really is medicine. It was since the beginnings of times, there is no religion in the world that doesn’t mention honey as remedy. Read Cold remedies with honey for some great recipes of remedies that help a lot. They help you recover more quickly.
I personally have tried honey and cinnamon with really good results. We took it from the beginning, 1 teaspoon for my child and 1 spoon for me, 4 times a day. The cold got scared and went away the second day. I’d like to believe this wasn’t just luck.
5. Drink. Tea, roots soup, fruit juice and water.
It is important to stay hydrated. Hydration is very important for transporting carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients and oxygen to the cells. The cells then produce energy for the body to function. Furthermore, hydration will enable the right cellular chemical function and facilitate the disposal of waste products of metabolism.
This doesn’t mean that every liquid we ingest will hydrate us. Drinking only beer will not help much. Avoid sweet drinks, soft drinks and fizzy drinks. Also, drinking 2 l of water, at once, will not help at all.
Remember the two best ways of hydrating our cells:
• Juicy fruits will hydrate the cells very easily. So use a good juicer and drink some carrots, apples, oranges, lemons, celery root, beet, in any combination you like. One glass a day should be enough. Buy yourself a good juicer, and by good I mean a masticating style juicer (like in the picture here), that will protect all the healthy enzymes.
• The water should be warm to break the surface tension (the strength between the water molecules) of the water. This is the reason Chinese drink so much warm or hot tea. It will also heat the whole body and help it fight the virus.
The alkaline water is the best, if you have a filter. There are also some products that increase the absorption of water into the cells: Hydracel (helps improve the alkalinity (pH) of water) or Microhydrin (a powerful antioxidant that supplies your body building blocks to help create energy, enhance endurance and speed recovery. Microhydrin can give you the life energy not provided by our modern diets). But, I have to admit, they are good, but they are quite expensive.
Read more on Masticating or centrifugal juicer?
Don’t force yourself to drink more than you can. The idea is not to drink 4 l of liquids instead of 2 l, but to replace the usual glass of coke, or soft drink with soup, or tea.
6. Keep it warm.
Add another sweater on you, or another blanket. Even if you sweat in there, stay like that, you are supposed to sweat and eliminate toxins from your body. Of course you can do this only if there is no fever. If fever is already installed, then stay with fewer clothes than usual on you.
The Chinese say that when you have a cold, you have an excess of Yin in your body. In order to balance the elements you should provide the body with more Yang. This means heat. Keep your body warm and this gives it more power to balance the Yin.
But beyond all science and old wisdom, if we simply listen to our body, we will know what it needs.
7. Add another pillow or raise the bed from head side.
When staying in an horizontal position, the mucus will just stay there and congest your nose. If your head and neck are at an almost 30% slope, then the mucus will be drained and there will be opened ways for you to breath.
You can put some bricks or thick books under the legs, at the head of the bed, or a rolled blanket under the mattress.
8. Blow the nose correctly and do nasal irrigation
The nose should stay clean, not exaggerated because we can irritate and dry the mucosa, and do more harm. Adults and children who can blow their noses, should blow one nostril at a time, and not with too much power. If the blow is too powerful we risk infecting the ears, as they are all connected.
Adults can also use a nasal irrigator to clear their noses. It will help relieving symptoms of sinusitis or rhinitis. Again, don’t over do it and risk drying the nasal membranes. Use salt water for this. In the picture there is a good irrigator, if you cannot do it yourself.
With babies that cannot blow their little noses, we can use saline drops or a baby nasal aspirator. Amazon sells them. They do a good job and help desperate mothers a lot! 🙂 (I’ve been there!)
Remember to see a doctor if you feel the situation is out of your control. He will help you with a good advice and he will provide the best help in emergencies.
The best natural remedies for colds – part 2
The best natural remedies for colds – part 3
The best natural remedies for colds – part 4
Cold remedies with honey
Black radish – the black magic!
Garlic, friend or foe?
Honey and coffee for persistent post infectious cough
Does honey help cough
Lemon garlic honey for colds and immunity
Picture credits and references:
“tea” picture source zirconicusso via freedigitalphotos.net;
“oil burner” source nuchylee, via freedigitalphotos.net;
Aromatherapy by Denise Whichello Brown;
15 thoughts on “The best natural remedies for colds – part 1”
I’m 18 years old, I will be turning 19 in 2 weeks. I was put on accutane when I was 13 after my dermatologist couldn’t find anything else to help me. I was on it for 8 months and it worked but after 2 months of being off accutane I started breaking out again. I went back to the dermatologist and she suggested to put me on accutane again at a higher dose so i tried it again after 3 months on it my skin was so dry it hurt to touch my face or even lay on my pillow so I quit it. Once I quit accutane my acne returned and it was severe. My dermatologist put me back on accutane at the lower dose and I was on it for 6 months. It helped for about a year and then my acne started to come back again but very slowly and mild. It stayed that way for about 3 yrs and then my acne started getting worse and worse. My acne is so severe right now I’m tempted to go back to the dermatologist but I’m afraid she will want to start me on according again but I will decline. That drug ruined my skin and did not help long term. My skin is still sensitive to the touch and regularly burns if I do not moisturize continuously. I have just come across your site and I really hope that your tips can help me help my skin!
You can try products containing Kanuka honey or Medical grade honey. They do wonders.
What a great site.So much info and such detail too.My family and I all use honey when we have colds as feel it soothes and helps sore throats a lot.Great work….looking forwards to future posts. Thanks Laura
I am not sure if you heard of this before, but lemongrass essential oil works very well (for me) when I have a cold. There’s also a tea preparation for it and this aroma is very very calming for me.
No, I didn’t know about lemongrass. We don’t have it in my country, and Google says it is widely used in Asian cooking, in perfumery and medicine. But maybe I could find the essential oil, who knows?
Anyway, it is good that you have found something natural that works for you. This is all that matters.
Thank you for your feedback.
Good information Laura! I started using honey on a regular basis last year, but was advised by my doctor to not go crazy with it. I just use it on hot cereals and in yogurt. The next time I get a cold, I’ll try your remedy!
We should not go crazy with anything. Moderation should be the key in everything. but using honey on hot cereals is a really bad advice. The heat destroys important enzymes in honey, that’s why it should be taken only with food at maximum our body temperature. It is also the temperature in the hive.
And as for doctors. At med school they learn to help people only with the use of synthetic drugs. Their composition is very well known, and so are the effects, side-effects, contraindications and so on. It is not the same with honey (and herbs). Its composition hasn’t yet been completely discovered. And they surely don’t learn at school to disregard synthetic drugs in favor of old folk remedies. But this doesn’t make them not worthy of trust. They are an old alternative.
Nevertheless, you should follow whatever has gained your trust, your belief has a lot to do with healing.
At least this is what I’ve learnt so far.
If I get a cold, I just keep myself warm and sweat…
And drink warm drinks too.
I like your advices, really natural ways to cure a cold.
Hi Sylvia, I find these two things essentials in healing. Keeping warm and sweat a lot. Nordic Europeans go to wet sauna and sweat there all the toxins in their body.
Hi, Laura. I learnt a lot from your post here. Sure, those tips are helpful but we still need to rest enough for our body to do its job. Thanks! 🙂
Hi Nieve, I’m glad I could be of help. Rest will come in part 2 of this topic.
Great article Laura, just thing for winter coming along! 🙂
Hi Kathy, winter is coming indeed. We should remember how to prevent getting a cold. 🙂
Terrific post Laura! A very interesting topic and website! Your site is so well organized! I love natural solutions to health and wellness!
Thank you, Donnie. Natural solutions are always here to save us. If only we knew them all! 🙂