Most of us know the signs when it comes to coping with colds and flu, and try to get through it. We have a lot of natural treatments for the cold and flu and this infection, but most people don’t know or don’t use them.
And much of the commercially effective products have vanished from the store shelves. I used superb echinacea and zinc throat lozenges, for example, that worked like a charm. I can’t find any more of them. I may buy lozenges of echinacea or lozenges of zinc but not the combination.
Prepare Now for Cold and Flu Season
Once the flu season began, it ‘s important to have your medications in stock, packed, and ready for use when an outbreak occurs.
Preventing Illnesses, Cold, and Flu
Boost your Immune System
Boosting your immune system will avoid illness, even when members of your household are ill. When you get sick, the immune system may start headlong, and the disease might be less serious. When you start taking herbs before the flu season begins to improve your immune system, you’ll have a big head start in beating the virus.
There are many herbs which boost the immune system. If an illness goes around and during the flu season, take these: Echinacea, Astragalus Root, Ashwagandha, Elderberry, Ginger , Garlic, Cinnamon, and Turmeric. These herbs and spices can be taken in tea, either as a cold remedy (see recipes below), or as an addition. I always take vitamin C and D to improve the immune system.
Disinfect Skin and Surfaces
Doctors are keen that washing your hand is your best defense against catching a cold. What they don’t normally say is that you need to be serious about washing your hands. Wash for 20 seconds with soap, then rub the hands together. Twenty seconds is the equivalent of singing Happy Birthday. Time Baby Shark or some other popular song to serenade washing your kids’ hands.
Bleach water is in widespread used to disinfect surfaces. One-quarter cup of bleach, freshly made in a gallon of water, is enough. I like using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide though. Each alone is a decent disinfectant, but they are dynamite against bacteria and viruses when you use them together. I put spray nozzles on each bottle, spray one onto the surface, then spray the other. If necessary leave it to dry naturally. Use this combination on all surfaces that are touched often. Both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are safe for children and pets.
Treat Infection with Antibiotic and Antiviral Herbs
Treat the Symptoms
To keep the patient comfortable, manage the symptoms. It could include inhaling steam and drinking chamomile tea for symptoms of general cold, and clearing the nasal passages. Eucalyptus is perfect for clearing a stuffy nose, too. Put it in boiling water and breathe in the steam, or rub a small ointment of eucalyptus under your nose and on your chest to clear the congestion.
Tea with honey and lemon is good for sore throats. Echinacea and zinc prevent inflammation and help soothe the throat.
Keep Taking the Herbs
You may feel totally healed but your body still needs time to fully heal. Continue to take your herbs for another week or two to avoid relapse and build strength in your body.
My Cold and Flu Remedy Recipes:
Cold and Flu Vinegar
This vinegar is also good taken daily to reduce inflammation.
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped fine
- Two heads garlic, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger root, grated
- 1/4 cup fresh turmeric root, grated
- 1/8 cup fresh horseradish root, grated
- 1/8 cup fresh thyme, chopped
- One fresh cayenne pepper, more or less to taste tolerance
- 1-quart raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- Place all herbs in a clean, sterilized quart jar with a tightly fitted lid. Using unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to fill the pot. Both plants are to be entirely coated by the vinegar.
- Seal the jar tightly and place it, in a warm place, like a sunny window.
- Steep the herbs and vinegar for four weeks, shaking the jar daily.
- Strain or put the herbs in, and eat them with the vinegar.
- During cold and flu season, eat a tablespoon daily.
Cold and Flu Tea
I use this tea as a base for other herbs when needed for specific symptoms.
- 3-4 slices fresh ginger with the skin
- One tea bag, herbal, green, or black tea; Chamomile is also good
- Cayenne powder to taste, as hot as you can stand it
- Honey to taste
- Bring the fresh ginger to a boil in 1 to 2 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the ginger slices.
- Steep the teabag in the ginger water for 5 to 8 minutes, or to your liking.
- Add the cayenne powder as hot as can be tolerated. Cayenne induces sweating. You can leave it out if fever is not present.
- Add honey to taste. Drink 3 to 4 times daily.
Related: Personal Hygiene First Aid
Cold and Sore Throat Honey
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1/8 cup powdered echinacea
- 1/8 cup powdered elderberry
- Place the honey and herbs into a dry, sterile jar.
- Place the jar into the top of a double boiler and heat gently.
- Simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not let the honey boil or burn.
- Stir the honey, remove from the heat and cool.
- When completely cooled, seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place.
- Use immediately or let the herbs steep in the honey before using it.
- Give ½ to 1 teaspoon every two hours, as needed.
*Do not give honey to babies or young children.
Herbal Steam Inhalation
- 4 cups of water
- The herbal combination of your choice, see below
- Large towel
- In a large glass or ceramic bowl, add a handful of your herbs and pour in the boiling water.
- Place your face over the bowl and throw the towel over your head. Caution: hold your head far enough away to avoid burning your face.
- Inhale the steam for 10 minutes or more.
*Herbs can also be used in a steam vaporizer or boiled in water, strained, and used in a cold vaporizer.
*You can also use essential oils for steam inhalation.
- Eucalyptus and Sage
- Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, and Peppermint
- Ginger, Orange peel, and mint
There are several more powerful herbs which I didn’t list here. I’ve tried using plants readily available everywhere. If you have a favorite herb for treating cold and flu, please let us know in the comments below. It’s about being mindful during the cold and flu season so you don’t have to suffer.