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10 Natural Cold Remedies

Fighting the common cold or flu? I have compiled 10 natural cold remedies.  They are powerful and will get you feeling better quickly. From things you can do daily to drinks that will make your immune system happy, these natural cold remedies are effective and super potent!

how to cure the common cold with natural remedies

It's that time of year…FLU SEASON!

Really I find that all winter is flu season, but it gets particularly bad when the weather starts to get cold and then again when it starts to get warm again. I'm not a doctor so I can't say definitively that the cause of winter colds is changing temperatures, but that's always when they seem to be at their worst.

One day it will be freezing, the next it feels like Spring and then once again it drops back down to freezing. Those fluctuations throw your body off track and can end up sending your system on overdrive and messing up your immune system. I've been feeling run down for the past week and am just now starting to get a clear head again.

When you feel a cold or flu coming on, a lot of people turn to the drugstore. Maybe you pick up some daytime/nighttime flu medicine or drink a packet of Emergen-C, and while those might help alleviate your symptoms, do we really need to take in all those chemicals to feel better? My short answer is no.

There are loads of natural cold remedies out there that are just as effective as what you would find at a drugstore. But I think depending on the severity of your symptoms, there can be a time and place for more traditional “medicine”. For the most part though, natural is the way to go. You'll not only feel better, but you won't be overloading your body with toxins!

Today I'm going to walk you through my five favorite natural cold and flu remedies, just in case you get hit one and want to keep your body toxic-free.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

This is a pretty obvious one, but hydration is key to building up your immune system again. I actually find it really hard to drink a lot of cold water when I'm feeling sick, so instead I usually opt for tea or hot water with lemon. I make sure to drink herbal teas and avoid caffeine (including green tea) because it is a diuretic and will actually cause dehydration. The more clean liquids you get into your body, the better you will feel.

2. Sleep & Rest

Noting will help you get over your cold faster than rest. If you're like me, resting can be hard. I always feel like I need to be doing something and even when I'm sick, I'll push myself to workout out, will stay up too late and won't give my body the proper rest it needs to heal. The result? I end up being sick for wayyy longer than necessary. When you're feeling under the weather, aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep. MINIMUM. If you can get 9, 10, 11 or even more, go for it. And don't be afraid to take a little nap. Naps are amazing and you'll probably end up finding that you have more energy and feel better later on in the day.

3. Sweat it out

Movement is a great way to get things moving, especially if you're feeling super congested. I recommend taking it on the more gentle side of things; a walk, slow jog or yoga class is a great way to get your body moving without overexerting yourself. Another benefit of sweating is that you're flushing out toxins, which could also help you feel better more quickly. The most important thing to remember with exercise is to listen to your body! If it feels like too much, then it probably is. Take things slow and work your way back up to your normal activity level gradually so your body doesn't get too overwhelmed or tired.

4. Take a steam shower

If you're feeling really congested in your chest or sinuses, a steam shower is a wonderful way to break things up. I turn my shower on and let it run for a minute or two with the bathroom door closed to add a bunch of steam before I get in. I also like to add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to add even more decongesting properties to the steam (not to mention it smells awesome). Try staying in the shower for at least 10 minutes or so to really get things unclogged. As soon as you get out of the shower, try to get that junk out. Either try clearing out your chest through coughing (and spitting the mucus down the sink) or blowing your nose with tissues. You want to take advantage while the mucus is runny to try and clear as much as possible!

5. Try a neti pot

Another fantastic tool to use for sinus congestion is a neti pot. Neti pots feel super weird when you first use them, but I have personally found really great success. I like to use a mixture of warm water and a little sea salt and then you use the neti pot to flush out your sinus cavity. I do about 1/2 a neti pot in one nostril and the other half in the other, which I have found to really help clear things out and break up the mucus. From there, make sure to blow your nose quite a few times to clear what you just loosened. This is a go-to for me, even in the middle of the night, because it's easy, they're super cheap and they really work!

6. Diffuse essential oils

You know how much I love my essential oils and it's when I'm feeling a cold or flu that I really love them. There are a few blends that I love diffusing when I feel sick; one for the day and one for the night. My daytime blend is usually lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and sometimes lemon. My nighttime blend is lavender (duh), R.C., stress away and sometimes Thieves. I really do find that if I diffuse oils consistently, it helps me get better more quickly. I do just want to mention that a few of these oil blends are exclusive to Young Living, so if you aren't already a member, you won't have access to those oils. If you are interested, I'm setting up a page soon that will detail out how you can sign up!

7. Eat more greens

I know I've talked about the healing properties of greens, but I need to reiterate it again here. Greens are seriously powerful! When you're fighting a cold and flu, I recommend increasing the number of greens you normally consume by at least 2x. The easiest way to do this is to drink them in a juice or smoothie. I try to have at least one green smoothie or juice whenever I'm feeling under the weather and while the impacts might be immediate, I know it's strengthening my system and helping me get back in tip-top shape.

8. Raw honey

Honey is an incredible ingredient. I don't think everyone even knows how powerful and healing it truly is, but the important thing to note is that you need to make sure you're eating raw honey to get all the benefits. Honey is a natural antimicrobial meaning it fights and kills bacteria. In fact, did you know that honey is one of the only natural ingredients that doesn't go bad? Bacteria can't grow because of the antibacterial properties – it's amazing! So while I know honey is a sugar and lots of folks will argue you shouldn't eat too much of it, I am not shy about using honey in everything when I'm feeling under the weather. Stir it into tea. Make an apple cider vinegar shot. Put it in oatmeal. Eat it with a spoon. (kidding…kind of)

9. Woodstock Herbal Products C+F Seasonal Support

This little tincture is amazing. I learned about it when I went into my local health food store and spoke to the people in the supplement department. I was looking for echinacea because I was feeling terrible, but he recommended that I try this tincture instead and gave me a small sample. I used it twice per day and after one day my symptoms were gone. Now, I swear by it and take it with me when I travel. Whenever I feel even the tiniest inkling of a cold, this stuff nips it in the bud.

10. Make a homemade tonic!

My last and final recommendation is to try one of my delicious cold-busting tonics! I rotate through these drinks when I'm both sick or I feel like something is coming. They're a cinch to make, they're great of immunity, are soothing and comforting and I think taste amazing!

Lemon Ginger Echinacea Tea

soothing lemon ginger echinacea tea to cure the cold

Such an easy recipe, but one of my absolute favorites! It's great for a sore throat, it's an amazing morning elixir (awesome for digestion) and has some antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties from the honey and echinacea.

To make this Lemon Ginger Echinacea Tea you will need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 – 2 droppers of echinacea tincture
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 2 cups hot water

Juice the lemon into a mug and add in ginger, echinacea and honey. Top with hot water and stir to combine. Let steep for at least 5 minutes to get a wonderful ginger flavored tea!


Easy Turmeric Latte

how to make a golden milk latte

Turmeric lattes (or golden milk/mylk) are amazing for fighting inflammation. When our body is sick, a lot of the time we respond by getting inflamed somewhere, whether that's our lungs, sinuses, etc. Inflammation can be kept at bay by eating anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin which is what helps fight inflammation in the body, but it's important to remember that the curcumin is activated by black pepper, so in order to reap all the benefits of turmeric, you need to add a bit of black pepper to whatever you're making!

For this Turmeric Latte you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon golden milk powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (optional)
  • Monk fruit to sweeten (optional)
  • 2 cups hot water

Add all the latte ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add to a mug and enjoy immediately!

* if you don't want to buy the mix, I would use: 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon maple syrup/honey and a crack of black pepper


Immune Boosting Mushroom Hot Chocolate

how to make vegan hot chocolate using medicinal mushrooms

This is by far my favorite tonic because…CHOCOLATE! Any excuse I can make to drink hot chocolate, I am there! And this mushroom hot chocolate is an amazing, superfood drink that has so many immune-boosting ingredients. The star of the show here is a blend of medicinal mushrooms, which are incredibly potent and supercharge your immune system. I use a blend of Chaga, Reishi and Cordyceps, but you could really use whatever you like. (the company I like is Root & Bones and you can use the code “simplyquinoa” to get 15% off!) 

If medicinal mushrooms scare you, don't let it! I promise this hot chocolate tastes exactly like real hot chocolate only it's way healthier and does wonders for your body. Once you try it, I think you're going to be hooked!

For the Mushroom Hot Chocolate you will need:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chaga
  • 1 teaspoon Reishi
  • 1 teaspoon Cordyceps
  • Monk Fruit Extract to sweeten
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 2 cups hot water

Add all the latte ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add to a mug and enjoy immediately!

And that's pretty much it!

Granted, I feel like I could go on and on about this topic, but I had to narrow down my list, so these are my absolute top 10 natural cold remedies. If you're looking for even more ideas, here are a few posts you might want to check out:

If you're feeling sick, I hope you feel better! And my final recommendation…find a good book, a cozy blanket and snuggle up on the couch (preferably with your fave human or furry friend) and relax.

xo Alyssa