The cold and flu home remedies and the health tools suggested below are all inexpensive to buy or make. All make you stronger by supporting the immune system with a little boost, a little special food, a little helping hand. At the same time, you strengthen your natural immune system response against disease.
Foods, herbs, and supplements that strengthen the immune system are called immune potentiating.
Use these home remedies whenever you’re sick or to protect you from getting sick. Combine them for increased power. Use them for colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, or any respiratory infection. For the flu, some need to be modified to allow for the inability to keep food or liquid in the stomach.
- First, do these steps
- Get warm: The reason winter colds are more common is because people get chilled, maybe just from cold feet or head. Children thrive on warmth. So do adults.
- Get water: If your water intake is low (less than an ounce per day for every two pounds you weigh) then you are making it hard for your body to get well.
- Get rest: Your immune system works much better when you are rested. If you can’t sleep, then spend more time in warm rest. Try opening the window a crack for fresh air while you sleep, instead of sealing yourself up inside a heated or air conditioned box. The air in your house can accumulate toxins as much as your body can. Fresh, clean air is healing.
- Do not wait until symptoms set in or get worse. Catch the disease as early as you can. By the time full blown symptoms occur, these remedies take longer to work.
- Avoid milk and dairy products whenever you have a cold or nasal issues. They cause your body to create more mucus, nasal congestion, and pressure, making it harder for your body to clean out the cold.
- Drink water like crazy Drink double or more of the water you normally need. Drink at least one ounce of water, broth, or tea daily for each two pounds of body weight. A person who weighs 128 pounds should then drink two quarts or liters daily. If you weigh 256, drink a gallon (128 oz) daily. Juice and liquid foods do not count. They are foods, not water. Chlorine free water is best, since chlorine is a toxin. If only tap water is available, use it, but make a plan to have chlorine free water to drink always.
- Bowel movements If you are not having at least daily bowel movements, you are accumulating toxins in your gut that are taxing to your immune system. Drink much more water to loosen bowels, especially in the morning. If necessary, consider a coffee enema for immediate relief–recipe is below:
- Add 2 tbsp organic coffee grounds to 1/2 quart of pure, de-chlorinated water
- Boil 10 minutes
- Do not strain out the coffee grounds.
- Add another 1/2 quart of cold water to cool the coffee and place this full quart/liter in an enema box with a tube that can drain the water into your rectum.
- Carefully insert the tube and take as much as you can before you must defecate. Note: use only organic, since you don’t want to introduce pesticide toxins into your gut when you are trying to get well.
- Vitamin D3 During the darker and colder months, we don’t get the amount of vitamin D-making sunshine our bodies need, and vitamin D is important in keeping disease like colds and influenza out of an otherwise healthy body. About 2,000 IU per day should suffice for an adult and 800 to 1,000 IU daily for kids. If you get a vitamin D blood test, the optimum healthy range is 50-70 ng/ml.
- Hot baths The heat in a bath helps the skin to push out toxins produced by the disease. Your immune system has to work hard to deal with these toxins. If you help your body detoxify, then the immune system can concentrate more on fighting the disease itself. Try putting epsom salts in the bath water too. This is an old time remedy that’s effective at easing cold and flu symptoms. It aids in drawing out the toxins through the skin (which is your body’s largest organ for elimination of toxins and waste). Epsom salts boost magnesium and sulfur in the body, both of which are supportive of the healing process. Add 2 to 3 cups of epsom salts to a full hot bath and soak for as long as you can tolerate. Also feel free to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to aid relaxation. But be careful with other essential oils, since these oils can be a potent medicine by themselves, able to make a bath relaxing or stimulating, soothing or uplifting, or de-congesting.
- Salt water gargle A major tool in making it easier for your body to stay clean and healthy. For colds and nasal problems more than for the flu. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard if there is not a lot of infected mucus in your head or throat, so it brings you to health faster.
- Potassium-rich Immune Broth Very easy to prepare. Uses potent mushrooms and other herbs to become a healing elixir. It’s as simple as it is powerful. It can knock out a new cold in a day and strengthen your immune system.
- Personal steamer You place your head over these small units and your sinuses are comfortably cleaned and restored by steam. The heat inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria. These can be purchased at most pharmacies. Use it every day as a preventative. If you have nasal congestion and think you are getting sick, use it 3 times daily and follow with Neti Pot (next item below) to wash out the sinuses.
- Neti Pot Cleans out your sinuses better than anything by using nasal irrigation. It requires you to use clean, non-chlorinated water. These can be purchased at most natural food stores such as Whole Foods or Whole Earth Center in Princeton, as well as online.
- SCOF Essential Oil Blend (Sinus Cold or Flu) Use a nasal inhaler that you can refill yourself. This essential oil combination has extremely powerful benefits. For cough and congestion, put 2 drops of SCOF in 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub on chest, neck and back. When sick with a cold or sinus problem, you may use a personal steamer with a drop of SCOF or eucalyptus oil once or twice daily. Rub SCOF in olive oil on your forearms every few hours or mix the SCOF with organic body lotion and spread it on this way. You may use the SCOF inhaler every few hours. How to make the SCOF nasal inhaler: Unscrew bottom plug. Take off the outer shell. Soak the interior wick with 1 ml (1/5 of a teaspoon) of SCOF. Put the shell back on top and seal with plug on bottom. Make one for each member of your family and label with their names so you don’t accidentally share germs. Call Kneading Wellness at 717-626-8182 or call us to see if we have SCOF in stock.
- Flew Away This is a combination of diaphoretic herbs that just works great. Contains extracts of yarrow, boneset, peppermint, elder flower, eucalyptus, and ginger. Diaphoretic means they induce perspiration by relaxing your capillaries and blood vessels. Sweating is one of the main ways your body removes damaging germs (microorganisms), and is a natural way for your body to move through a fever. Use heat to increase their effectiveness. For example, take a hot bath or sauna within a half hour of taking a dose. Hot teas and hot soups will help taken anytime while you are taking Flew Away. The earlier you take, it the better. I use it whenever I get the slightest hint that I might be getting ill, and when I am exposed, like if my son gets an illness. If just getting sick, take 2 caps every 3 hours. If you were exposed (i.e. someone in your home is ill), take one cap, 3X a day. As an everyday preventative, take one capsule 1-2X a day. You can reach Natura Health Products at 888-628-8720, go to their website naturahealthproducts.com or you can call us to see if we have it in stock.
- Throat and Gland Spray This is very effective sprayed onto the back of your throat to treat sore throat, colds, sometimes even earache. When sick with throat, sinus or cold problem: 3 sprays to back of throat every few hours.
- Astragalus root This is an herb that gives a whopping boost to your immune system. You can boil it into a tea, but we just put it into the Immune broth, where it is a key ingredient. Can be purchased locally at Whole Earth Center in Princeton or online from Mountain Rose Herbs at mountainroseherbs.com or call them at 800-879-3337.
- Kombu seaweed An incredibly nourishing vegetable that grows under the ocean. Also used in the broth. Available at natural food stores and online.
- Cinnabar Dandelion remedy This is an anthroposophic remedy that you can obtain from Uriel Pharmacy at shopuriel.com or call them at 262-642-2858. It works in a similar way to homeopathic remedies. When sick, take 10 pellets dissolved in your empty mouth every three hours. Don’t eat or drink for five minutes before or after.
- Practice gratitude Do something every day that brings you joy. What you hold in your heart you hold in your body, and your immune system rises or falls with it. Your mental-emotional experience is one of the most important cold and flu home remedies.
The best thing you can do for them is breastfeeding, especially if the mother is eating well.
Natural Remedies Compared to Drugs
Instead of using drugs (that do more than just fight germs), you should always try first to get over a disease by strengthening your immune system. For example, antibiotics actually weaken your immune system by killing off the essential, health promoting bacteria in your gut, which are a vital part of your immune system–so you are further debilitating your body. These live organisms must establish colonies on the lining of your intestines, which take time to regrow after taking antibiotics–even if you are eating cultured, probiotic foods and taking probiotic supplements.
Antibiotics don’t help at all if you have a virus. They only work against bacterial infections. Sometimes doctors don’t pay attention to this and give antibiotics all the time, in spite of the risk of harm from killing these essential organisms in your gut. Tylenol is a drug you absolutely should avoid, especially when sick. It suppresses the immune system because it reduces your body’s ability to get rid of toxins.
The First Day
At the start of a cold, drink four to eight quarts of water over three to five hours. You can guzzle it. Do this with your stomach empty, first thing in the morning. Eat nothing until you finish. Snacking on watery raw vegetables, like celery or cucumber, is also okay. In each quart, dissolve a hearty pinch of salt (up to 1/8 teaspoon). Lemon or lime juice can be added for flavor. You can also use herbal tea (with no sweetener or artificial sweetener) or the immune-strengthening broth. Remember to add the salt. Don’t force it. Don’t drink to the point of discomfort.
Experiment. You may be surprised how quickly you can drink all this. Some discover they can comfortably drink a quart in a few minutes, but this is not a race. If you went to bed with a full stomach, it may need 20 minutes to empty after you get up. Wait for the feeling of fullness to pass.
Gargling helps any cold, but if the cold includes a sore throat, this cure may not work. Gargle frequently to help the body eliminate the infection in your throat. Homemade salt water gargle does as much as the store brands. Use it at least every couple of hours.
Use filtered water whenever possible, from a good quality filter. In public water many small poisons are allowed that stress the body and can cause problems over time. Chlorine is added in small amounts to kill germs, but is also a poison for humans. You don’t need this extra stress on your body while it’s trying to get well. Most filters take out chlorine, but leaving it in an open pot or wide-neck jar for 24 hours removes it by evaporation. Water in plastic bottles also absorbs poisons from the plastic. It is crazy that only a few doctors are talking about this! As a rule, avoid water and food packaged in contact with plastic. Store cooked food in class jars or ceramics like Pyrex.
Remember the basics and continue practicing them to stay healthy.
- Keep warm–especially feet and head.
- Take a relaxing walk outdoors, perhaps for a mile, or whatever is comfortable. Moving your body without stress, breathing deeper, and getting fresh air can help a lot.
- Get the sleep you need.
- Eat vegetables.
- Salt water gargle.
- Taking vitamin C (3,000 to 5,000 mg daily) always helps.
- Do the other things that strengthen the immune system.
- Avoid sugar and sugary foods.
- Avoid sitting at computer screens.
- Avoid other things that weaken your immune system.
You may get loose stools from the remedy. Don’t worry–it will pass when you slow the water down. Also, loose stools are sometimes one way the body releases toxins to help you get better.
The Second Day (or after your symptoms disappear)
Drink well to satisfy your thirst on the second day. Your body is still cleaning itself out from the virus. Satisfy your thirst with water! It is your body telling you what it needs. Avoid confusing it with sugary food, drink or artificial sweeteners. You’ll probably need about one quart per 50 or 60 pounds body weight.
Continue to take good care of yourself for a few days more. You are still recovering. On the outside you may seem to be normal, but inside your body is still rebuilding and recovering. How much water do you need each day? Learn your full requirement for water each day. You may get sick a lot less.
If the cold has been around for a day or two and your sinuses have already filled up, the remedy may help but not work completely. If you get dizzy, use caution. Sit down and slow the water. If you find yourself wanting to push away the very taste of water, don’t drink. This might not be the common cold treatment for you. Consider seeing a doctor.
Keep in mind that your water output needs to equal your water input. You should be peeing almost the same amount as you drink. People with undiscovered kidney trouble might not. If this could be happening, stop the remedy and see a doctor.