10 Natural Home Remedies for Colds

by Chrystal Johnson on March 30, 2011

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home-remedies-coldsTreating a 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.

Some experts believe that over-the-counter medications can be dangerous when given to children, especially if they are under the age of two, and 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).

Because there are numerous natural treatments that can be just as effective as treating the common cold, with the proper tools and remedies you could not only reduce the life span of a cold, you can also prevent your children from catching a cold in the future as well.

Here are ten natural home remedies that are known to be just as effective in treating the common cold:

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most effective natural remedies in treating a cold because it increases the production of white blood cells, and can also help prevent the multiplication of viruses while reducing mucus and inflammation in the nasal passageways.

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. Tea

As many mothers probably already know, the key to curing any type of cold 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 treating flus because it can help prevent dehydration as well.

Chamomile and green tea specifically can be extremely effective in treating a cold because like other teas they act as an antioxidant which can help remove any toxins in the body as well as bacterial infections.

3. Garlic

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. (If your child isn’t a fan of garlic soup you could even try dropping three to five drops of garlic oil into their food or drink).

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 Real salt into an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and stir until all of the salt is dissolved before gargling.

5. Pepper

If your child has a runny or stuffed up nose, eating pepper with a meal, gargling 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.

6. Ginger

Eating ginger raw or drinking ginger tea are both popular natural home remedies that are known to help treat the symptoms of a common cold. 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.

7. Honey

Because honey has been used as a cold fighter for years, it may not come as a surprise to some that honey can be effective in shortening the lifespan of a cold. Experts have found that buckwheat honey can help treat 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.

8. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is known to help ease the pain of a dry or sore throat, and it is praised by “naturalists” because of its effective healing properties. You can try boiling one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon in a glass of water, and then mixing it with some pepper powder and honey for extra effect. Or you can also give your child two to three drops of cinnamon oil by applying it to their food or drink.

9. Chicken soup

Chicken soup is packed full of nutrients and vitamins that are essential when treating 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.

10. Aromatherapy

Eucalyptus Essential Oil is commonly used in aromatherapy due to its antiseptic properties (it has been shown to kill bacteria). When inhaled, it also acts as an expectorant to loosen phlegm that typically accompanies the cold and flu. It is also used in pain relief, so it makes a great bath oil to relieve cold or flu body aches. The 100% Pure Eucalyptus Cold & Flu Relief Vapor Bath is an ideal natural cold and flu remedy. It comes in a 4 ounce amber glass bottle. A little goes a long way, so one bottle will last you for quite some time.

I also love using various essential oils to aid our bodies when we have a cold. It’s very important to use Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils only. Click here to read more about the essential oils I recommend.

What is your favorite natural home remedy for colds?

About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Judy B. March 30, 2011 at 11:02 am

I have a friend who is a PA and recommends a tea that is sold over the counter with Echinachea also. Thanks for the post. I will keep it as a reference!

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2 M January 10, 2013 at 5:53 am

For you home remedies for a cold

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3 Julie - Suburban Moms Media
Twitter: asuburbanmom
February 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

Ah ha! Pepper, I never thought of that one! We’ve been so sick this year I’m desperate for new tips and tricks to manage all the bugs our JK’er has come home with!
Julie – Suburban Moms Media recently posted..Sticky Popsicle Sticks!

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4 Vijaya March 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm

All the above said home medicine are great. Last winter I suffered Badly with cold and sinus infection almost 8 Times in six month.
When I did my blood check up observed Vitamin D Iron and B12 are low. Started with the treatment. But I am really scared of winter back again. Winter just started. My husband and son got two times cold but I am safe. I use now Surgical Disposable FACE MASK all time at home three in a day morning after noon and sttrictly one at night. Result is amazing. Little erritating in the beggining but great result and much better then having tablets.

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5 Vijaya March 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I use FACE MASK only when some has cold at home! Forgot to mention before;-)

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6 saranya June 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Such a informative and useful post for anyone…Salt water is the good choice to kill the germs and bacteria occurring on the throat…Thanks for the set of home remedies to reduces the cold naturally..
saranya recently posted..How Do You Cure A Sore Throat?

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7 Tina Garner September 21, 2014 at 10:18 am

I used to crushed garlic and put in a pot of hot water and simply smell the smoke that comes out it. It helps especially for clogged nose. Zarbees

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8 Mommyme October 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm

I am a mom of 2 kids who are suffering from the flu. I have been searching for natural remedies to help cure their sickness. These are really great remedies that I have tried on my kids and they really work. I also read an article today that also suggests some supplements and medicines that aid colds and flu.

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9 Julieane November 13, 2014 at 3:32 am

Hi Chrystal, Thanks for sharing these awesome natural home remedies for colds. I tried the garlic and it worked for me. Thanks!

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