Sick season is here and it’s here in full force. Current vibes — let’s not get sick and/or do our best to get better ASAP. I was beyond impressed by how many of you said you were interested in learning more about natural remedies to incorporate during cold and flu season. The sickness this year has been one for the books, which is why I put this together after followers and readers requested it. If you’re one to watch in video form, check out this highlight over at @eats2know.
Before we get started, a quick disclosure — none of this information is meant to treat or diagnose. Please use information for educational purposes and consult your doctor for personal health questions.
I’ve put together a quick list of home remedies for cold and flu and even added a section where you (followers) shared your favorite natural remedies. Hope you enjoy, in health!
Your guide to natural remedies and tips to incorporate during sick season:
Home Remedies For Cold And Flu
1) WASH YOUR HANDS. Seriously. This is so simple and yet underrated in regards to our health during this season. Did you know that washing your hands (aim for 20 seconds) can save you from potentially getting a cold, flu, or virus? According to the Center for Disease for Control and Prevention (CDC), regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. My friends over at SOAPPLY (a NYC-based startup all natural soap company with an amazing cause that my friend Mera from college actually started) contributed some helpful content and a handwashing guide so that you can do your best at protecting yourself from falling ill during sick season. You can see it on their website, or watch the summary in our sickness highlight here.
2) IMMUNITY ASSOCIATED SUPPLEMENTS: multivitamin, antioxidants (hey, C), zinc, elderberry, and more can set your immune system up for success.
3) BONE BROTH: chicken soup to heal the soul and the body. Extra nutrients from the bones plus hot liquids for hydration and loosening mucus is the perfect cold fighting combo! Loaded with tons of nutrients because the bones soak for 24-48 hours, this stuff is the best and tastes just like regular broth but has healing vibes times woah. I love doctoring it up with all of the anti-inflammatory spices (ex: garlic, ginger, turmeric) and enjoy sipping on it on a cold day.
4) CONGESTED? Facial steam sets, neti pot (make sure water is sterile), humidifiers, and essential oils/natural chest rubs [ex: eucalyptus, peppermint, ] for air opening can be a game changer in helping alleviate a stuffy nose.
5) ESSENTIALS TO KEEP ON HAND: Ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory spices great for fighting off sickness and easing digestion. Put them in your favorite tea [add some honey for even more cold fighting properties], soup, or smoothie. Honey, lemons, and Fire Cider are also in my routine
6) NUTRIENTS FAST: I turn to smoothies loaded with the goods. Smoothies are easy on the throat and digestive system. Plus, antioxidant galore, this is a great way to get some nutrient-dense (aiming for variety and bright colored produce) fruits and veggies into your diet.
7) CLEAN EVERYTHING: Weights at the gym, your steering wheel, cell phone, door knobs, and more. I use Branch Basics (affiliate link and code “eats2know” gets you 10% off your first starter kit) and Now Foods essential oils (nature’s shield is everything right now)!
8) HYDRATION: We tend to underestimate the importance of being hydrated, especially during sick season or while sick. Keeping a reusable water bottle handy, fruit-infused water, incorporating hot water with lemon (even throwing some ginger in there), and having tea are great options. If hydration plus electrolytes are of interest, coconut water is a great addition to keep handy as a natural replacement for a sports drink like Gatorade.
9) SLEEP/TAKE IT EASY: We all know how important sleep is — it’s when our bodies are able to recover, and we can’t take that lightly during sick season. The power of sleep is real. If our bodies aren’t feeling too hot that means they’re talking to you. Rest days from exercise and sticking to a sleep routine to get in some restful sleep will do a body good here.
That’s my short and sweet list that has been a game changer for me during my fight against sickness. Now that you’ve taken a read, check out these cold fighting secrets from followers (some of you!) who wrote in below! If you have any to add in the comments, go for it:
*Kind reminder, these comments are not my own, please use at your own discretion.
- We do not wear shoes in our house and I diffuse essential oils to clean the air.
- On essential oils she diffuses: I love tea tree and lemon, or lavender and lemon and maybe some eucalyptus. I buy a defense blend on Thrive Market and that is a go to this time of year
- My go to cold and flu prevention tips are: Neti pot and saline spray to clear and moisten nose, Elderberry (I use a powder), stress reduction, sleep, exercise, air out the house, wipe down remotes, phones and door handles, wash hands, keep hands away from nose and mouth. If I do get sick, I love Genexa Cold Crush and Flu Fix. They are homeopathic products. Have really shortened the life of the sickness. I also like their Sleepology and Stress Relief.
- Love all these tips! Just made a huuuuge batch of homemade elderberry syrup AND beef and chicken broths for my freezer!
- Wiping down your phone and steering wheel on the reg!
- Elderberry always. Bone broth yes. Hot water mixed with lemon, honey and cinnamon is a must as well.
- First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to share all of these remedies and facilitate such a great thread with so much valuable information!! You are a gem! I haven’t actually had a full-blown cold in a really long time. However, the last couple of months I have felt like I’m constantly on the verge. ..so I am all about nourishment. When the sniffles or whatever else descends upon me, a quick pick me up =soup!!! Between the warm steam, aroma, and all those phytonutrients packed in there- I’m good to go. Today: butternut squash, carrot, and ginger (and the requisite onions and garlic, of course!)
- Yas to all of this! Getting more sleep and drinking LOTS of water.
- Yesss to washing hands!! Sanitizing a cell phone is important too! 😄
- we read one study that found cells can be 10X dirtier than most toilet seats …
- SLEEP. If you can take a day off, do it and sleep as much as humanly possible. This always speeds up my healing process by like 1000%
- No shoes in the house (because ew)! Hydration and sleep go a LONG way. I bring a water bottle with me everywhere because it keeps me accountable for getting my H2O. And cleaning everything always!
- ALL OF THE ABOVE, plus at the first sign of a scratchy throat or stuffy nose: Fill your bathtub with the hottest water you can stand. Add 2 cups of EPSOM SALT, 1 cup of baking soda, and 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Soak for at least 20 minutes.
- We make a turmeric tonic that has coconut water, ginger, turmeric, lemon, raw honey and sea salt. I have everyone drink it daily to boost immunity or several times a day if we get sick to lessen the sick time. Also love elderberry, bone broth and essential oils (oregano, frankincense and on guard).
- Neti pod, sleep, elderberry, and just not touching all the public dirty things (says the girl who is currently wearing gloves on the subway)
- Gosh I lost my comment! So as soon as I feel something coming on in my throat, a tingle, etc I start taking fresh chopped garlic with water. I do this 3-5 times a day. Then I also drink high quality bone brother 3 times a day. My fav is @osso_good_bones Made in small batches super gelatinous and super tasty. Usually this cuts the intensity of the cold/flu by 75% so I’m capable of doing normal things still. And after about 3-5 days I’m 100% back to normal. And most illnesses take a lot longer to bounce back from. I RARELY get sick due to this. I got sick a couple weeks ago but had some extra stress on my plate and honestly I don’t think I’d been sick in well over a year since then. Always use these tricks to take care of it! Hope it helps someone! ❤
- I’m allll about elderberry + zinc, turmeric, and @firecider. In sheer desperation, I’ll also eat a clove of raw garlic. But not usually, and I am pretty sure it doesn’t do anything except clear my congestion for a little bit.
- My go to is zinc and elderberry vitamins and thieves oil when I start feeling the onset of a cold. I also love hot tea (green and sleepy time are my go tos). I also drink warm water, apple cider vinegar, and local honey every night before bed
What are some home remedies for cold and flu that you swear by? I’m all about learning from one another. Feel free to leave a comment below, or message me on Instagram to share!