Cold season is upon us, so this is a good time to share some natural remedies for colds and cough. It is important to understand that there really isn’t any way to actually get rid of a cold virus. The best you can do is help the body fight the virus and give the sick person some comfort by suppressing the symptoms. That can be done with over-the-counter medications, but there are also natural cold and cough remedies that can be quite effective.
One thing that really bugs me is when I’m out and about with my kids and I hear a person say, “Geez! Take that kid to the doctor!” in response to a child coughing. People, listen. A cold is caused by a virus. There is nothing a doctor can do or prescribe to kill a cold virus.
I actually tried explaining this to another mom once and her response was, “Yes they can! They can prescribe antibiotics.” Um, no. That’s not how antibiotics work. Antibiotics kill bacteria. If you have a bacterial infection, then yes, antibiotics will kill the infection. But a cold is not a bacterial infection. Virus and bacteria are two completely different things. But some people can’t be convinced. The mom just pursed her lips, shook her head, and looked away as if I was a lost cause.
I’m thankful my kids’ pediatrician isn’t one of those doctors who pulls out the prescription pad every time we walk through the door. That is where people get the idea that medication is needed to fix everything. In fact, our ped has even confirmed for us that there is no medication that can cure a cold or kill a cold virus.
But there are ways to help fight the virus and to offer relief. So let’s talk about those.
The best thing to do to help your body fight the virus is to boost your immune system. Some immune system boosters can be used continually throughout cold and flu season and others are best to use when you feel a sickness coming on.
Natural Cold and Cough Remedies
The other thing you can do is suppress symptoms. Here are some ways to help you feel better while you fight of a cold or cough.
Honey and Cinnamon
Raw honey is a powerful food. You’ll see it in several of these remedies. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It also helps to soothe sore throat that can come with a harsh cough. Cinnamon helps to relieve congestion and has anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, they make a delicious and effective cold remedy. Mix 1 teaspoon honey and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and take up to 3 times daily for 3 to 5 days.
Honey Lemon Elixir
Along with the benefits of honey, lemon will add vitamin C for boosting your immune system. Mix 1/2 tablespoon honey with 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Either take the elixir straight, or mix with warm water to your desired strength (more water = weaker flavor).
Hot Tea with Lemon and Honey
Same ideas as above, but with the added benefits of your favorite tea. Echinacea is a good one for boosting your immune system.
Honey Lemon Ginger Infusion
This is one you’ll want to make as soon as you feel a cold coming on because it takes a few days to infuse. It adds the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and immunity boosting power of ginger to the mix. Fill an 8 ounce mason jar with wedges of lemon. I cut the wedges in half so they fit better. Grate a thumb-size piece of ginger root and add to the jar. Fill the jar with honey. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for a few days. Take a tablespoon straight, or mix with warm water.
Last week, my newsletter subscribers read about how eucalyptus and peppermint oils helped my husband when he was out of commission due to a nasty bug. I like using essential oils in a diffuser (I use this one and this one), but you can also use them topically. Just make sure they are properly diluted. That’s very important!
Some essential oils that are great for treating cold and cough symptoms include eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, lavender, sweet orange, fir needle, cinnamon leaf, cypress, rosemary, and clove. Some oils are safe for kids and some are not. Be sure you know which are safe before using! I get mine here.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Yep. Good ol’ chicken noodle soup. Homemade is best, and even better if you can make the broth yourself (which is SUPER easy, by the way). This comfort food will help you to stay hydrated while relieving congestion. Chicken soup also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
These are remedies that I’ve personally tried. I’ve also heard of using apple cider vinegar for cold relief, but I’ve never tried it myself. I’m sure there are many others that I’ve not even heard of. What are your favorite natural cold and cough remedies? Which remedies have you tried that DIDN’T work? Share with us in the comments!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, herbalist, or professional healer of any variety. I am just a mom who uses what she knows to work from experience and from learning from others. Please learn the proper and healthy way to use any of these natural remedies, and always talk to your doctor about any changes to your diet and before taking any supplements.
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If you’re looking for more natural remedies, you might like my Natural Remedies Pinterest board!
Images via Pixabay.com