7 Natural Flu & Cold Remedies To Get You Through the Winter Season

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Need home remedies for cold symptoms? These natural flu and cold remedies will help!

woman drinking tea

Catch a cold? We have home remedy suggestions!

You should always consult your doctor when you’re feeling unwell, but there are natural cold remedies you can benefit from when trying to soothe a cold.

From allergies to changes in colder weather, we’re in the midst of the winter flu season, and since being sick is the absolute worst, we are sharing five easy ways to soothe those awful cold symptoms naturally.

Here are 7 natural cold remedies to help you ease your symptoms:

1. Gargling salt water will help combat sore throats.

woman holding glass of water - how to get rid of a cold fast - cold remedies

Looking for a way to soothe your throat? Try gargling salt water; simply add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to a glass of water and gargle the whole glass. According to Mayoclinic.org, salt water will temporarily relieve any sore or scratchy throat, however, it’s not recommended for young children under the age of 6 as they may have a harder time properly gargling.

2. Try a humidifier to combat dried-out sinuses.

Ausanat 3.5L Top Fill Cool Mist Quiet Humidifier

According to John Hopkins Medical, studies show that cold air holds less moisture than warm air. If you’re suffering from a dry nose, whether it be from allergies or something else, this could worsen your nasal passages causing sore throats.

Humidifiers are a great way to release water vapor into the air to release moisture and keep your sinuses clear and far from dryness!

3. Make some chicken noodle soup!

finished pot of lemon chicken orzo soup

I can’t think of anything more comforting than a bowl of chicken noodle soup, but the benefits go beyond pure enjoyment! According to WebMD and OnHealth.com, studies show that chicken noodle soup is soothing, hydrating, and full of amino acids that will help your congestion.

holding large pan with chicken noodle soup

It’s also anti-inflammatory, which will help with any inflammation your body may be experiencing. Adding some spicy ingredients like ginger, garlic, and turmeric would also be beneficial. Delicious and nutritious! 😋

Eat keto? We’ve got a keto chicken noodle soup recipe for you over here!

4. Indulge in some honey, tea, and apple cider vinegar!

herbal tea - how to get rid of a cold with natural flu remedies and natural cold remedies

Similar to soup, hot beverages like tea avoid dehydration and help relieve congestion. According to Medical News Today, tea, honey, and lemon are one of the simplest ways to subside your cold!

Some natural flu remedies and cold treatments include chamomile tea which can boost your immune system, marshmallow root tea which reduces inflammation of mucus membranes, and licorice root tea which acts as an expectorant and helps reduce coughing. If you’re a fan of green tea, that’s another antioxidant powerhouse that is readily available and may help your stubborn cough!

Speaking of tea, try our homemade Starbucks-inspired medicine ball tea recipe.

apple cider vinegar and honey tea drink natural cold remedies

If you’re looking for an extra boost, Healthline suggests that apple cider vinegar may be what you’re looking for. It’s a natural antibacterial agent that’s filled with vitamins that can even be used to make homemade cough syrup (1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of natural raw honey). Be sure to run this by your doctor, though, as apple cider vinegar isn’t always compatible with everyone and their symptoms.

coconut oil and honey with lemon

Did you know Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory? Combine 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, and the juice of 1 lemon. Microwave for just 20 seconds to melt – it’s yummy and very soothing. I really liked the taste of this one especially if you can’t handle vinegar in the recipe above.

5. Eat foods that contain zinc or take a supplement.

nature made zinc tablet bottles - natural flu remedies - natural cold remedies

Want to know how to get rid of a cold? According to Dr. Moday, M.D. of MindBodyGreen.com, zinc is one of the most studied supplements that treat colds. Zinc helps stop viruses from replicating in our body and strengthens our immune system.

Tons of food we already love contain zinc, such as lean red meat, oysters, crab, lentils, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds, but zinc pill-form supplements can be taken with food.

spooning up roasted pumpkin seeds

EveryDayHealth.com mentions how zinc has tons of other benefits that go beyond the common cold, too, such as childhood growth, clearing up acne, and managing blood pressure. Here’s a helpful list of foods that naturally contain zinc and how much each age group is recommended to indulge in. When it comes to natural flu remedies and cold treatments, zinc always makes the list!

6. One of the best natural cold remedies is elderberry syrup.

elderberry syrup - natural cold remedies - natural flu remedies

One of the most popular cold remedies is elderberry syrup. Studies have shown that it can reduce cold symptoms and even shorten the duration of your cold. This tasty syrup can be bought at your local pharmacy but you can also make this syrup. See how one reader saved over $120 dollars by making her own!

7. If you like natural flu remedies, try some turmeric. 

spilled bottle of Balance ONE Turmeric

Turmeric is one ingredient to keep in the medicine cabinet or pantry. This flavorful orange spice contains curcumin which has anti-viral properties. Studies have shown that curcumin can combat the oxidative stress that is involved when you get the flu. When taking turmeric, it helps to add some black pepper as it contains a compound called piperine that helps you absorb curcumin more efficiently.

Turmeric has been used in natural remedies across the world for many years and Hip2Save readers love to use it too. One of our readers, Kacey, likes to use turmeric to treat her cold and she even provided us a helpful recipe!

“Few slices of ginger or turmeric, two sticks of cinnamon, and 5-8 pcs of dried jujube half a gallon of filtered water and bring to boil for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the stove and cover the pot and let it sit for 30 minutes. Re-heat and enjoy with hint of lemon or honey. Ginger or Turmeric heats up the body from the inside, cinnamon lowers the inflammation, and jujube helps the body to rid off the toxins in the body while it gives sweetness. Koreans use this remedy most often to give their immune system a natural boost during the winter.” – Kacey, Hip2Save reader

bowl with minestrone soup - natural flu remedies

We hope you stay as happy, healthy, and positive as possible during this cold season!

Do you have any other ways to relieve cold symptoms naturally? Let us know in the comments!

We have more health and fitness tips and deals this way!

About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.

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Comments 22

  1. Lisa

    Great ideas! Keep in mind that it’s possible to overdose on zinc if you take it every day. I am unsure of the upper limit, but it’s worth looking it up. I really like zinc lozenges to fight off the beginning of a cold. I also like elderberry syrup. I combine those with massive amounts of hot tea😊

    It is so important to keep D3 levels up. Most people need high doses. That’s another thing to look into.

    • Karen

      Hmm. Definitely check with your Dr, which I think most people know to do rather than reading forums. I’ve taken Zinc for quite a few years, at the recommendation of my Dr, with no signs of overdose 😀

      • Lisa

        Yes, zinc is so important and I take it for my thyroid. At one point, I had all the math figured out to know how much I would need each week. ( In addition to my multi vitamin) Now it’s just on paper so I know how to fill my vitamins each week. Amounts certainly matter, so definitely check
        with a doctor.

  2. Lisa

    Sugar is an absolute killer to the immune system. Keto and Trim Healthy Mama treats can keep us from feeling deprived😊

    • breanna-2

      Oh! Yes sugar is awful!! As is processed foods. Eating Whole Foods is so much better for your immune system.

  3. dee

    Quercitin, NAC, Zinc, D and C

    • Becca

      Yes yes yes to all of these!👍🏻

  4. tipaye

    Great post—thank you!

  5. Kacey Chang

    Few slices of ginger or turmeric, two sticks of cinnamon, and 5-8 pcs of dried jujube half a gallon of filtered water and bring to boil for 10-15 minutes. turn off the stove and cover the pot and let it sit for 30 minutes. Re-heat and enjoy with hint of lemon or honey. Ginger or Turmeric heats up the body from the inside, cinnamon lowers the inflammation, and jujube helps the body to rid off the toxin in the body while it gives sweetness. Koreans use this remedy most often to give immune system a natural boost during the winter.

    • Lisa

      Where do you get jujube?

      My daughter has a cold, and I’m hiding Quercetin in her sugar free hot chocolate 😂

      • Jen

        Check your local Asian market – they’re also called dried red dates. They’re usually packaged in a sealed bag by the dried goods section! I boil them in water with goji berries, dried lychee and honey. So good.

      • Kacey Chang

        For children who has sore throat, 1-2 Asian Big yellow Pear (in Asian market/ size of baseball) cut off the top and take the core out, 2 jujube (red dried dates/clean well under water), two slice of ginger ( turmeric might be too spicey strong for children), 1 tablespoon of honey. put into slow cooker and 1 cup of filtered water or mineral water and set for 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the heat of slow cooker) After its done, remove all jujube and ginger. You can squeeze a little of lemon or add more honey to suit your taste. And enjoy the pear like an apple sauce and any left over water, drink it as tea.

  6. Pat Goff

    My mother gave us hot toddy’s as teenagers. I still have one once in a while if I get feeling poorly.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      My dad swears by those too! 🙌💞Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. Pat Goff

    Honey is awesome for colds too.

    • Judy

      Yes! definitely great just to take daily (1 teaspoon daily), if you can get your hands on local raw honey, even better.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes! I totally agree! I like to have honey for colds as well!

  8. Kathleen

    Honey Fermented Garlic is amazing when you’re sick!

  9. Maggie

    Crush a clove of garlic and crumble dried mushrooms (reishi, etc.) into a mug. Pour boiling water over it. Let it cool to “just warm,” then add a tsp. of fresh miso paste. I’ve fought off many a cold sipping this. If you don’t mind spicy, add a little cayenne with the boiling water.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the helpful tip, Maggie! 🙌💖

  10. Patricia Goff

    chamomile tea is really good for you. It is just as good for burns as for your insides. My mother had 3rd degree burns from a motorcycle and she soaked her legs in chamomile tea and has no scars at all. It is also given to babies in Germany for colic. She gave it to me and I gave it to my daughter (the hospital sent us home with some along with other goodies).

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow! Good to know how helpful chamomile tea has been! Thanks for sharing with us, Patricia! 💖🙌

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