I remember the days when I used to get sick with either a nasty flu or cold at least three times throughout the fall and winter season.
How was I living my life back then?
Smoking ½ pack of cigarettes a day, eating Big Macs and other fast food chains, not being suuuuper athletic, and definitely not focusing on nourishing myself with nutrient dense food.
Now that I’ve adopted a plant-based focused (but not strict and not vegan) dietary lifestyle, I’ve seen incredible improvements in my immune system and my capabilities to fight a cold in it’s tracks during those immediate signs of a tickle in my throat and a slightly stuffy nose.
Besides my new and improved diet, my now over 3 year smoke free life, and a slew of additional lifestyle shifts since those gold ole days, I’ve incorporated countless botanical and herbal remedies into my daily routine to support my immunity and general health even more!
I’m excited to share my favorite holistic remedies (herbal and pantry items you can find in your kitchen) that I use to help fight and stop a cold in it’s tracks, and would love for you to share your favorite remedies as well in the comments below.
- Oil Of Oregano – Oil of oregano taken as a tincture is one of my favorite holistic remedies for fighting a cold.This oil is packed with so many nutritional compounds that help protect our immune system as it acts as an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-allergenic. Another way that you can use oil of oregano is to add a few drops to a pot of steaming water to use as a respiratory vaporizer.
- Raw Honey – The keyword here is *raw*! Raw honey also has antiviral, and antimicrobial properties that makes it a wonderful natural ingredient to help lower inflammation when you feel a cough coming on. I like to mix raw honey in with my chamomile tea and also with warm water and lemon to really give me digestive support and to infuse my body with cold-fighting nourishment.
- Echinacea – This plant helps suppress symptoms from the common cold and flu. I like taking echinacea supplements when I already feel a cold coming on as studies show that it reduces the lifespan of a contracted cold. Echinacea is also known to have pain relieving properties as well, especially when it comes to experiencing a sore throat.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract – Many people use grapefruit seed extract as they believe it acts like nature’s antibiotic. If I ever experience a sinus headache or any type of sinus issues I add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract with a few ounces of distilled water, and use it as a natural remedy for a nasal flush.
- Elderberry – I’ve written about the benefits of elderberry and it’s cold fighting capabilities in the past, how I use it, and even a supplement recommendation. It’s a wonderful flower that has strong botanical cold fighting compounds as it is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s another great plant that can help with sinus pressure and issues especially during allergy season!
- Astralagus – This is a wonderful Chinese medicinal herb that has been used for centuries and often times in conjunction with additional herbs. Many times naturopaths and wellness gurus use it for help with respiratory discomfort. It also acts as an adaptogen helping the body respond to stress. Typically I like to use astralagus as a tincture sublingually for a more immediate absorption.
- Lemon – One of the first things I do besides taking an echinacea tincture when I feel a cold coming on is to also stock up on a bunch of lemons. Lemon juice is very high in Vitamin C and is believed to minimize the impact of cold symptoms. I love heating up water, adding honey and lemon, and if on hand elderberry syrup and make a immune boosting concoction.
To be clear: I am not a physician or claim to be a physician. This information is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any illness. Please talk to your physician if you have any concerns with your well being, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not take any new herb or supplement without consulting your doctor first.
Have you tried any of these herbal and natural remedies? Share your favorite with us in the comments!