Thursday, December 13, 2012

Common Cold Remedies

I sick.  I a big baby when I sick.  Compiling a list of remedies with natural ingredients available to me locally.

Rest and Fluids
Plenty of rest lets the body heal.  Keeping hydrated keeps the mucous thinner and less sticky.

Vitamin D- sunshine and mushrooms.

Vitamin C - essential nutrient,  antioxidant. 

  • rosehip
  • black currant
  • parsley
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • elderberry
  • papaya
  • strawberries
  • orange
  • kale
 Zinc- essential mineral involved in the production of certain immune cells.
  • meat
  • liver
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • oysters
  • baked beans
  • cashews
  • raisin bran
  • chickpeas
Vitamin E- powerful antioxidant crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • wheat germ oil
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • hazelnuts
  • peanut butter
Carotenoids- antioxidant,  a class of pigments found naturally in a number of plants. When consumed, carotenoids are converted into vitamin A (a nutrient that helps regulate the immune system).
  • carrots
  • kale
  • apricots
  • papaya
  • mango
Omega-3 fatty acids- essential fatty acid known to suppress inflammation and keep the immune system in check.
  • oily fish
  • flaxseed
  • walnuts
Other Foods
  • garlic- antibacterial and antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic properties
  • probiotics (yogurt, fermented foods)
  • Peppermint
  • Oranges
  • lemons
  • grapefruit
  • Elderberry- folk remedy for colds, sinus infections and the flu, found to fight off viruses. Tea/syrop/juice.
  • parsley
  • celery
  • cauliflower
  • spicy foods, particularly cayenne peppers and ginger, help increase circulation, which will warm you up if you have the chills
Hot Liquids- may help loosen mucus, kill germs in the mouth.
  • soup
  • tea
  • green tea- antioxidants
  • Chamomile tea- anti-inflammatory agents, natural anti-histamine, anti-oxidant
  • Lime/honey tea
  • Herbal tea- 1 tsp each of elderberry, yarrow root, mint and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Herbal tea- 2 tablespoons dried echinacea root,1 teaspoon dried eyebright leaf and flowers, ½ teaspoon dried boneset leaf and flowers,1 teaspoon dried lemongrass,1 teaspoon dried lemon balm leaves,½ teaspoon dried sage leaves,1 teaspoon dried peppermint leaves
  • Pine Needle Tea- expectorant (thins mucus secretions), decongestant, and can be used as an antiseptic wash when cooled
Sore Throat Remedies
  • Gargle with salt water
  • Echinacea or goldenseal – effectively enhances your immune system
  • Raspberry or blackberry leaves– gargle solution of the leaves, relieves discomfort
  • slippery elm
  • Cayenne pepper – include in your gargling mixture to stop your throat’s throbbing pain

 Cough Remedies
  • honey
  • marshmallow
  • mullein- weed that contains compounds said to act as demulcents (substances that relieve irritation or inflammation in the throat) and expectorants (agents for loosening mucus and making it easier to cough up)
  • red clover
  • colt's foot
  • sage
Post-Nasal Drip Remedies
  • Nasal Irrigation- salt-water rinse to clear the nasal passages 
  • Ginger- helps relieve congestion- tea:  4 cups water, 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, honey and lemon slice.  Tea2:  chop and boil ginger 20 minutes, then add orange peel.
 Runny Nose Remedies
  • slow breathing- increase oxygen in the blood
  • spicy foods- temporarily increasing nasal discharge so that your body can flush out the blockage and toxins
  • mustard oil- Heat a little of the oil until it's barely warm. Use a dropper to put just a drop in one nostril. Give the oil a minute or two to absorb, then put oil in the other nostril. Because the oil is so strongly scented, it makes it a little hard to breath, so only so do one nostril at a time.
  • thyme-crush it as finely as possible, gently inhale. Oil of thyme- a drop in each nostril.  Thyme tincture- 3-5 drops under the tongue.
  • Tumeric- soak dry, ground turmeric in linseed oil, hold over heat source until it starts smoldering, inhale smoke through your nose.
  •  Oil of oregano- antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory properties.  Mix 2-3 drops of oil with juice and drink it daily until the symptoms subside.
  •  Elencampane (infused in tea) drying up mucous lining
  •  Sage- tinctures/elixirs/teas.  By mouth-one pinch crushed sage mixed into a little raw honey.

 Nasal Congestion Remedies
  • Boil a glass of water and dilute two tablespoons of salt. Breathe the steam to clear nasal congestion and remove the mucus.
 Ear Ache Remedies
  • Vitamin E oil capsule- warm the capsule in hot water, open and drip into ear.
  • Chamomile- warm it in the fire then wrap in a cloth so you can lay your painful ear against it.
  • Ginger- infused oil. Drop equal amounts into each ear. Use a cotton ball to plug each ear.
Chest Congestion Remedies
  • chest rub- Pour 2 ounces almond or olive oil into a small bowl or cup, add 20 drops of essential oil – choose eucalyptus, hyssop, thyme, peppermint,  basil, or rosemary.


  1. excellent list Wendy - thanks for sharing! i hope that you are feeling better soon...nothing worse than being sick!

    your friend,

  2. Get well soon, My Dear. By the looks of the new Picture, you better stay inside too. Burrrrrr! BTW That is a wonderfully Beautiful winter picture. Nice job

    1. Thanks. It is passing for me, slowly. 2 boys still sick. One still holding it off...

      Thank you.

  3. That is a beautiful picture, like the ones on postcards! If I were out in that weather, I would be ill. Hope you are better.

    Horse radish sauce sure cleared out my head. I will never be without it again.

    1. Thanks. The weather hasn't actually been too bad- a few days at -20°C, but mostly just below freezing.

      I'll have to tell Husband that one- he likes horesradish sauce.

  4. Hope you get plenty of rest. Get well soon.