When fighting a stubborn case of the flu or just trying to prevent a cold from making its way in, there a few herbal remedies found right in your pantry that you can try:
1. Garlic Tea
Garlic is a well-known immune system strengthener which shines as an antibacterial and antiviral herb for fighting colds, coughs, and the flu. One of the best ways to take advantage of the natural healing properties found in garlic, is by drinking fresh garlic tea. Sweetened with a little raw honey, its delicious and helps to heal many of those annoying symptoms that accompany the cold, cough, and flu.
Peel 2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic and lightly crush them with the side of a wide knife blade. Add them to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain the garlic and allow the tea to cool to drinking temperature. Add raw honey, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drink as much as desired.
2. Red Onion & Raw Honey Cough Syrup
Ok, don’t be put off by the thought of an onion cough syrup. This is actually a wonderful remedy for adults and kids suffering from a cough. It uses brown sugar, raw honey or stevia and red onions to make a soothing and tasty cough syrup.
Wash, peel, and slice the entire onion horizontally. Starting with the base of the onion, layer the slices in a bowl alternating with layers of brown sugar and honey. Stevia powder works well for this home remedy too, just keep in mind the Stevia will increase the sweetness. Continue adding layers of onion and sweeteners until the entire onion has been put back together in the bowl. Cover and allow the sweetened onion to remain in the bowl on your counter for about 12-15 hours or overnight. The next day, there will be about a cup or more of sweet syrup in the bowl. This now cough syrup contains a full range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the onion and the honey to help fight infection, sooth sore throats, and quiets coughs. Take a spoonful as needed. FYI…it has NO onion-y taste.
3. Raw Honey & Lemon for Sore Throats
Honey and Lemon Juice has to be one of the most popular go-to’s for sore throat relief. The soothing honey and cleansing lemon, help stop that annoying tickle that stimulates coughing. RAW Honey – with all its components including royal jelly, propolis, and bee pollen – is high in nutrients and enzymes which kill bacteria and viruses. The vitamin C and antioxidants found in fresh lemons boost the immune system, speeding healing. Together these two home remedies are a powerhouse for getting over a cold and sore throat.
Mix the juice of 1/2 the lemon with 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey and sip throughout the day as needed.
4. Antiviral Chicken Soup
“Chicken Soup is Good for the Soul”
….and when you have come down with the case of “the sickies”!
It’s not just a saying, Chicken Soup really has the power to knock out a cold or flu and even quickens the healing process. Back in the 12th century, the Jewish physician Maimonides recommended consuming chicken soup for fighting off colds and the flu. The high levels of antioxidant properties and nutrients found in organic vegetables and chicken are something to take advantage of. Although non-organic chicken soup may relieve some cold symptoms, it also supplies the body with pesticides, growth hormones, herbicide and antibiotics that are NOT recommended for well being and healing. Organic is the best option, when possible, especially for warding of viruses and bacteria.
5. Mullein Tea for Coughs & Congestion
Mullein tea is well-known for relieving chest congestion from coughs, colds and the flu. It acts as an expectorant, loosening trapped mucous and soothing sore throats.
Fill a tea ball or strainer with dried mullein herb and steeping in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey and drink as needed to relieve symptoms.
Sources for this article include:
University of Maryland Medical Center: Cough
Linus Pauling Institute: Garlic and Organosulfur Compounds
Office of Health Promotion University of Utah: Cold, Flu and Sore Throat
HolisticOnline.com: Herbal Medicine for Flu