Natural home remedies for coughs, colds, influenza and sore throats


Viruses that cause winter ailments are many and varied but they all tend to survive well in cold weather - hence people catch more colds in winter than summer

Influenza is quite different to the common cold and it is more serious. If you have influenza you will doubtless have a raised temperature, alternating with the chills. You will most likely have aches and pains in various parts of your body and be quite lethargic.

Whether you have a cold or the flu you must endeavour to soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide in order to stop re-infecting yourself with the same old germs. Read more hints and tips below................

Coughs, colds, influenza and sore throats - tips and hints

The best way of coping with winter ailments is to improve your immune system so you catch fewer bugs to start with.

If you do catch them then your body will fight off the germs quicker with a good immune system. Working on improving your immunity is something you should be doing all year long - not just starting a regimen when the first cold weather arrives.

The strength of our immune system defines who gets sick and who doesn't, given the same circumstances.


To boost your immune system you can:

Get your lifestyle in balance and reduce stress.

Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep prevents the body from repairing itself.

Drink lemon juice, mixed into hot and cold drinks, used as part of a salad dressing etc.

Take apple cider vinegar (about a dessert spoon mixed with a teaspoon of honey in a mug of hot water).

Drink more water.

Take sugar out of your diet wherever possible.

Eat raw fruits and vegies as these contain anti oxidants that protect our cells.

Take Echinacea. Studies in Germany have proved it reduces the number and severity of cold and flu bouts. It stimulates the body to produce more white blood cells which then fight viruses better.

Drink several glasses of green tea each day. It can be drunk hot or cold.

Eat plenty of garlic.


Sore throat remedies:

Sip a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of honey and a squeezed lemon in it.

In a mug place 1 teaspoon honey, 1 dessert spoon apple cider vinegar, a small shake of cayenne pepper and top it up with hot water. The amount of cayenne pepper is negotiable but the more the better. After you have finished the drink rinse your mouth to remove any remaining vinegar.

Sip a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of honey, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger and a squeezed orange in it.

Either chew on licorice lollies or make licorice tea suing one teaspoon of licorice root steeped in one cup of boiling water. Do not use this remedy is you have high blood pressure.

Sage tea drunk 3 times per day. Add a few leaves to a cup of boiling water. Stand for a few minutes.

Gargle with aloe Vera juice twice a day.

Sip on thyme tea made by steeping one teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme leaves in one cup of hot water.

Make chamomile tea by brewing two teaspoons of chamomile blossoms in one cup of boiling water. Let sit for a couple of minutes and strain. Repeat this twice more during the day.


Cough remedies:

Break open a garlic clove and breath it in the garlic fumes..

Mix a tablespoon of finely chopped garlic with 1/4 cup of runny honey and a light shake of cayenne pepper and let it sit for half an hour. Take half -teaspoonfuls as necessary until cough subsides.

Thyme oil can be dropped onto a hanky and inhaled or place a few drops in a bowl and add boiling water. Hold your head over the hot thyme water and inhale.

Thyme tea can be drunk (see sore throat remedies) and it will relax the lungs and help reduce coughing.

Avoid dairy foods, meat and fried foods as these promote mucous production which will make you cough more.

Add 1/2 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and ground ginger to 2 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey. Mix with 4 tablespoons water. Sip very small amounts as needed.

Raise the head of your bed and your sinuses and nasal passages will drain better and you will cough less.

Jasmine oil used in a burner or on a handkerchief will help when inhaled.


Cold and flu remedies:

Boil 2 crushed garlic cloves with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1/2 cup of water. Sip.

Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger to one cup of hot water. Sip.

Add 1 heaped teaspoon grated fresh ginger to a cup of boiled water. Stand for a few minutes. Drink this several times daily. If you have no fresh ginger you can use up to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger instead.

At the very start of a cold mix together a cup of scalded milk, 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger, and 2 teaspoons of honey.

Sage tea breaks up congestion and brings down fever. Add a few leaves to boiling water. Drink 3 x daily

Apple juice and dark grape juice are helpful remedies. Drink both juices at room temperature.

Take zinc lozenges. They boost the immune system as soon as they are taken.

In a thermos pour 1 litre of boiling water, the juice of two lemons, 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 teaspoons grated ginger. Let it stand for 20 minutes. Strain and drink as needed.

Gargle with salt water

Peel and chop an onion. Cook in water and drink the resultant brew.


Blocked nose remedies:

Eat a spicy meal. It will loosen congestion

Into a large bowl place 1 litre of boiling water and a couple of drops of either basil oil, pine oil or tea tree oil. Hold your head over the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Breathe in the steam. This will ease congestion.

Take a small amount of massage oil and mix it with a couple of drops of either basil oil, pine oil or tea tree oil. Rub this mixture onto the chest.

Heat 500 mls. of apple cider vinegar in a heat proof bowl until it is boiling. Hold your head over the steaming bowl. If you find the vinegar is too strong you can dilute is by adding boiling water. Covering your head and the bowl with a towel makes this remedy more effective.

Place two drops of either peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil on a cotton ball. Hold near your nose until you can breathe easier.

Breathe salt water up into your nose. This can sting a little but is worth the effort.


Learn about other health issues and their natural remedies: