Get an herbal jump on cold & flu season
Herbal cold remedy recipes have been used for hundreds of years and they are effective and safe. Our grandparents often turned to herbs and spices to ward off common ailments, and these time-tested remedies have proven to be safe and effective.
(If you have a health condition or are already using medication or other treatments, consult your doctor before use.)
Start these easy herbal remedies now, before your family needs them. Some take minutes to make, some take days, and all these herbal remedies are great to have on hand when you start to feel cold or flu symptoms coming on.
1. Honey Onion Syrup for Coughs –
Syrup is a traditional way to make herbal preparations more tasty for children and adults. The sweet flavor of a syrup helps to make the medicine go down, so to speak. This is a simple herbal remedy for a sore, scratchy throat using the ingredients of honey and onion. It might sound like a strange combination, but we promise, it’s tasty! Find the directions here. You can make this remedy in a matter of hours.
Why this works: The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection (source). Onions belong to the Allium family and are antibacterial and antifungal, so they can help ward off colds and treat colds with sinus congestion that shifts from side to side in the head.
2. Spicy Vinegar –
This pungent – but oh so good – remedy (called Fire Cider by some) has been around for many years. It’s made with five simple ingredients that can be found at any grocery store. Use it at the first sign of a cold or flu. Spicy vinegar will knock it right out of you! This recipe is my first line of defense every winter. Use organic ingredients if possible and look at this post for mixing directions. Spicy Vinegar takes 30 days to “cook” so get started now!
INGREDIENTS: 1 medium onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 3-4 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger, 3-4 tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish, organic apple cider vinegar, honey and cayenne powder.
Why this works: All these ingredients have antiseptic properties and are great for relieving sinus congestion and head colds.
3. Cold Fighting Tea –
Make your own herbal tea and store it as a dried blend for winter. Mix together equal amounts of Elderflower (Sambucus nigra), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Store in a covered container. Be warned – this is not an especially tasty tea. It fights colds but needs a flavor boost. You can combat that by adding lemon, cayenne, and honey (which are also good for colds) to your tea cup.
TO USE: put 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of mixed herbs in a cup, steeping for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and add 1 tsp honey and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Use at the first sign of a cold to relieve the intensity and discomfort.
Why this works: This tea will promote perspiration to reduce temperature and is useful for reducing nasal inflammation.
4. Grated Ginger & Lemon Drops –
This one is a simple remedy to put together ahead of time so be sure to gather the ingredients before you need them. This soothing tea uses a fresh ginger root and fresh lemons (organic if possible). Nothing beats ginger lemon tea when you’re sick and nothing is worse than knowing you’re sick and not having your ginger and lemon!
To Make: Grate about a teaspoon of the fresh ginger into ice cube trays. Cut and squeeze fresh lemon into each cube. Add a bit of lemon zest and fill the cube the rest of the way with water. Once it is completely frozen, transfer the cubes to a large plastic bag and return it to the freezer.
TO USE: When you feel a scratchy throat coming on just add a frozen cube to a cup and pour hot water over your ginger lemon drops. You can add honey for extra soothing, antibacterial, benefits.
5. Gather the ingredients for a Detox Bath –
This recipe will help clear your system of impurities. It helps with achy joints and muscles and who doesn’t like a bath…
In a large non-aluminum bowl mix together 1 cup sea salt, 1 cup Epsom salt, 1 cup baking soda and 7.5 tablespoons of ground ginger. Keep this mixture covered, in a glass container until you are ready to take a bath.
TO USE: Shake the container to mix the ingredients and measure out one cup of dry materials into a hot bath. ADD 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Soak for 40 minutes (or longer if you can get away with it!) Makes 3 baths.
These five simple DIY recipes for cold remedies are terrific to have around just in case they are needed. The ingredients are easy to come by and not too expensive. What are your favorite recipes? Share ideas for other herbal cold remedies in the comment section below.