15 Natural Home Remedies for Colds
There are many home remedies for the common cold that can help support our immune system. Learn about the easy natural remedies we use in our home.
Managing the common cold can be extremely difficult, especially if you have small children. Your family could spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year on doctor’s visits and cold medications, but the fact of the matter is there is no scientific cure for a common cold and nothing a doctor can do to make it better.
Some experts believe that over-the-counter medications can be dangerous when given to children, especially if they are under the age of two. Some popular commercial medications like Tylenol contain acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage or failure if taken in high doses.
In fact, as of January 2008 the US Food and Drug Administration warned parents about the dangers of giving over-the-counter cold and cough medications to young children under the age of two.
Because there are numerous natural home remedies that can be just as effective when dealing with the common cold, with the proper tools and remedies you could not only potentially shorten the life span of a cold, you can also help support your child’s immune system so they stay well.
Natural Home Remedies for the Common Cold
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most effective natural home remedies for colds. You can take vitamin C in a pill form, but other foods that are surprisingly packed full of vitamin C include oranges, cauliflower, lemons, broccoli, strawberries, cabbage, peaches, kiwi, tomatoes, and parsley.
2. Hot Tea
As many mothers probably already know, the key to getting over any type of illness is to drink lots of fluid. Of course this can come in the form of water or juice, but tea is a hot liquid that can help prevent the drying of your child’s throat and nose.
Drinking tea is also another popular, natural home remedy for colds because it can help prevent dehydration as well. Chamomile and green tea specifically can be extremely effective in supporting the immune system during a cold because like other teas they act as an antioxidant, which can help detox the body.
I also keep Throat Coat tea on hand at all times. It is really great for soothing sore throats that come with the common cold. These are just a few of the many herbal teas to keep on hand!
Garlic contains antiseptic properties that could help protect the immune system against a common cold, and scientific studies have shown that the allocine contained in garlic can also act as a stimulator of white blood cells.
The oil in garlic also helps open up the respiratory passages, and if taken in soup form it can help flush out all the toxins in your child’s system and also bring down a fever as well.
Boil three to six cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water, and have your child drink the liquid in a soup form and drink it two to three times a day. Alternatively, you can also take garlic capsules if you don’t like the taste of garlic.
4. Salt water gargle
Forcing your child to gargle with warm salt water may be a daunting task, but it can actually help remove any bacteria from your child’s mouth and throat. Mix about ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon of sea salt into an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and stir until all of the salt is dissolved before gargling.
If your child has a runny or stuffed up nose, eating pepper with a meal, gargling black pepper in hot water, or even simply smelling pepper can help break apart any congestion in your child’s lungs or sinuses.
Pepper can help break up congestion effectively thanks to its capsaicin components which are known to thin mucus, and they are also effective in helping getting rid of the germs in the nasal passages as well.
Eating ginger raw or drinking ginger tea are both popular natural home remedies for colds. Take about ten grams of ginger and cut it up into small pieces before boiling it in a cup of water, and then have your child drink the mixture at least two times a day.
Because honey has been used as a cold fighter for years, it may not come as a surprise to some that raw honey can be effective in shortening the lifespan of a cold. Experts have found that buckwheat honey can help ease a cough because it coats and soothes an irritated throat, and other researchers have found that it can also help sick children sleep better at night as well.
However, if you have a child who is under the age of one, do not give them any honey as it could lead to botulism.
Cinnamon is known to help ease the pain of a dry or sore throat. You can try boiling one teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a glass of water, and then mixing it with some pepper powder and raw honey for extra effect. Or you can add a little extra cinnamon to your child’s food.
9. Chicken soup
It’s no wonder that chicken soup has been one of the most cherished home remedies for colds. Chicken soup is packed full of nutrients and vitamins that are essential when dealing with a common cold.
Scientific studies have shown that it can actually thin mucus secretions, and the carbohydrates from the broth and noodles can help maintain your child’s energy level as well.
I have a couple posts on making your own chicken broth from organic chicken bones to check out. You can make it frugally in the crockpot or the stovetop then can it.
Even if you’re eating and drinking all of the right things, and taking the right supplements, you’re not going to feel better without enough sleep. Make sure you sleep as much as you can when you’re feeling under the weather, and you’ll hopefully be feeling better in no time at all!
You can use an essential oil diffuser and diffuse calming scents. Or you can get our recipe for a room and linen spray for better sleep.
If you can get your hands on it Boiron makes a really great homeopathic cold remedy called ColdCalm. I find it works extremely well for supporting our bodies while they’re fighting colds. If you can’t find it locally, it’s available on Amazon. I try to keep it on hand!
12. Essential Oils
Essential oils can help support your body while it’s fighting the common cold. I love Plant Therapy’s Kid Safe Sets so you know the oils you’re choosing are safe for your kids. If you’re going to be using your essential oil diffuser, check out this Kid Safe Wellness Set.
13. Detox Bath
When you’re under the weather, it’s a good idea to take a detox bath. Using activated charcoal or bentonite clay in a bath is a great way to help draw toxins out through your skin. Get our Detox Bath Recipe for more details.
14. Sinus Relief Shower Steamers
When you’re feeling congested, getting even mild relief can feel amazing! I love using sinus relief shower steamers and following that up with some homemade vapor rub.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many uses for apple cider vinegar. You can make a drink by adding about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and a little honey to sweeten. This simple drink can help to thin mucous to help alleviate congestion. It’s also full of wonderful nutrients like Vitamin C and antioxidants.
As you can see, there are many effective home remedies for colds. I hope you discover a new remedy to help your family.