Having a compromised immune system is a pain.
Especially when you get sick with something that other people can kick in a few days with pretty minimal symptoms – and then you get it and BAM – you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.
That’s why I am always prepared with all my natural remedies for when colds and sinus infections strike.
A quick note that I am not a medical professional. You should always seek out and take the advice of your trusted medical team and follow all protocols for your autoimmune disease. These natural remedies should easily augment your normal program to give your body the extra support it needs to get better. Some of these are affiliate links and I’ll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Why Natural Home Remedies?
When our bodies are creating too much inflammation and that is causing health issues, such as autoimmune disorders, it becomes even more important to reduce the toxic burden on our bodies.
By reducing chemicals in products, we can reduce how much our bodies have to filter through to find the good stuff. This hopefully translates to our bodies being able to get better faster.
I do try to choose non-toxic, organic products whenever possible. It’s a trial and error sort of thing, so I only share the products that I really feel are effective and helpful, with no adverse side effects.
Let’s check out the most effective natural or organic home remedies for flu and cold:
1. The Humidifier:
Behold! The mighty humidifier!
There are a couple types of humidifers – hot steam and cold steam. For two main reasons, you’ll probably want the cold steam humidifier.
First, no humidifier is truly leak-proof. Super hot water is just a safety hazard.
Second, the purpose of the steam is to keep moisture in the air to ease symptoms exacerbated by dry air.
The steam helps to moisturize dry sinuses, which can release tension in the air ways and ease coughing and congestion.
Personally, if I’m experiencing inflammation, cooler products and air feel better than hot. So, I gravitate towards cold air humidifiers.
In fact, I run one every night, even when I’m not sick, because I feel it has such a positive effect on my Sjogren’s Syndrome dry eye symptoms.
There are so many humidifiers on the market, but after years of trying different ones, our favorite is this super affordable cool mist humidifier.
Quick Tip: Remember to regularly check your humidifier for mold or mildew growth. If you see any, descale according to the instructions.
2. Vapor Chest Rub with Essential Oils
Another old faithful. There are quite a few great, natural options that use beeswax instead of petroleum and essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances.
You can even make your own and here’s a highly rated recipe for a homemade chest rub by Wellness Mama.
For the rest of us who ain’t got time for that, the Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub is great.
3. Oilogic Stuffy Nose & Cough Essential Oil Roll-On
I just grabbed this Oilogic Nose & Cough Essential Oil Roller one desperate day when the kids were sick and I was out of the stuff I usually use. Then, I used this on myself when I was sick and it’s just very comforting.
Now, I always have some on hand. You just roll this a couple of times on the back of your neck – and voila! The essential oils do their work.
The way I see it – if it’s not really helping, it’s certainly not hurting.
4. Essential Oils & Diffusers
Once you’re on the essential oils train – you don’t really get off. You start seeing all the benefits to using these safe, natural oils sourced from nature, and before you know it, you’re like: AM GODDESS. AM MOTHER. AM ONE WITH EARTH.
Honestly, though, these things work. At a minimum, they are relaxing, and sometimes, even that is an improvement when you’re sick in bed.
I’ve had some issues with diffusers leaking, having annoying lights you can’t turn off, making noise, or just being ugly. The one I have been happiest with is this one. But, there are so many great options out there.
For essential oils, some people feel very passionately about their particular brand. Personally, I have a few that I source from depending on what I am looking for and what my budget is in that moment.
Here are the brands I personally use and trust:
- Rocky Mountain Oils: Really the gold standard of high quality EOs
- DoTerra: Typically you buy through a distributor, similar to Monat or Maskara Beauty. I’ve used these and liked them.
- Plant Therapy: Highly rated. Great reviews.
- NOW Foods: I actually got to work with NOW on some projects as a freelance writer and was so impressed with their commitment to making high quality products available to everyone at an affordable price.
5. Green Coldbuster Smoothie
When my sinuses start producing green things, I start drinking green things. More so than usual.
Green smoothies are loaded with all sorts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant that powerhouse the body.
I either drop by a local smoothie shop for something green and mean, or I mix up this recipe by Oh, Sweet Basil, which is chock full of anti-inflammatory ingredients.
6. Gummies or Syrup
Elderberry is amazing for building immunity. Some people swear by it all winter and take it every day as a preventative measure.
There are some recipes out there to make your own with dried elderberry, like this one.
I did go through a phase where I thought I was going to make my own elderberry syrup by boiling down dried elderberries.
Let’s all take a commercial break while we laugh together about that.
Now, I buy it. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It works. Done. Book it.
Or, you can cut to the chase (that’s how I like it) by buying these elderberry gummies.
Yup, they’re even safe for kids.
*Update: I’ve recently started using Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies as well, which I talk about in my post on the 6 benefits of using apple cider vinegar.*
7. Zarbee’s Naturals Cough Syrup + Immune with Dark Honey and Elderberry
Many natural cough syrups use Elderberry syrup, too, so you get the bonus of a natural cough suppressant, health benefits of dark honey and the immune fighting elderberry.
Sure, this is designed for kids – but that just tells you how safe and gentle it is.
We are learning more and more about gut health these days. And for good reason. Turns out, our gut flora controls a whole lot about our overall health. That’s why we want to replenish the good gut bacteria – even for our little ones.
This is even more important during flu season. You can even use probiotics to fight any yeast overgrowth, like diaper rash. I actually wrote a post about how a pediatrician recommended this to me as a way to battle a diaper rash.
Here’s the probiotic I take almost every day and here is the probiotics I like to give my kids.
9. Turmeric Supplement
Hands down one of the most effective natural remedies and/or supplements for fighting free radicals and inflammation in the body.
There are some diets that cook a great deal with turmeric. That’s another way to get it in your body. I don’t care for the taste, so the only way I will eat it is in one of these recipes for turmeric tea, aka golden milk latte.
For supplementation, I like this brand:
Gaia Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength
Hundreds of great reviews, because Gaia knows their stuff. They are absolutely a great, affordable brand for any supplement.
10. Chamomile & Lavender Tea w Honey
Easily one of my favorite tea recipes of all time.
I drink tea almost every night to help fight insomnia. I share my insomnia-fighting tea recipe in this post.
I also love to drink Chamomile and Lavender tea with a splash of raw honey when my throat hurts and I’m feeling under the weather.
This tea is very comforting and is also made safely, unlike a lot of tea that is sprayed with pesticides and bagged in tea bags that leach even more chemicals into the tea. #Gross #NoThanks
There you have it, friends – 10 effective, natural remedies to fight the good fight against cold and coughs this season.
Don’t forget that a lot of these can work for your little ones, too. Were any of you like me, and were super bummed when you found out that the “moms don’t get sick” thing was a sham?
Do you have a favorite natural cold or flu remedy? Please share it in the comments below!
If you love posts like this, you might also like these ones:
- 6 Beauty & Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (and 3 Risks!)
- 10 Health Supplements that Fight Inflammation
- 5 Natural Remedies to Help with Insomnia
- 10 Must-Have Dry Eye Remedies
To our health,