5 Natural remedies to treat the common cold

The common cold is a viral infection of the nose and upper respiratory tract. Even though it’s usually harmless, it can cause discomfort in the form of a runny nose, sore throat, fever and body aches.

Most people recover fully from the common cold after a few days. But taking natural remedies can help reduce the duration and severity of the viral infection.

Here are five safe, natural remedies for the common cold:

1. Elderberry

Elderberries are the fruits of the elderberry shrub. They’re rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Thanks to these antioxidants, as well as the fruits’ natural antiviral properties, elderberries can help treat colds, the flu, hay fever and sinus infections.

Eat foods you enjoy. Instead of worrying about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” eat, choose foods you find satisfying. Deprivation, both physical from not eating enough and psychological from restricting foods or food groups, leads to overeating, binging and usually eating more of the foods you’re trying to restrict.

If taken every two to four hours at the onset of cold symptoms, elderberry can shorten the duration of a cold by one to four days.

Elderberry can also reduce swelling and pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

There are several elderberry supplement options and preparations on the market, such as capsules, teas, juices and syrups.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a leafy plant whose roots or rhizomes are used as a spice or healing aid. Depending on the variety, the inside of the root may be yellow, red or white. Ginger is known for its pungent odor and mildly spicy flavor.

In addition to its ability to add flavor to food, ginger also has antiviral properties that assist the body in healing. It’s also safe for pregnant or nursing women, unlike conventional medicines. Additionally, ginger can relieve sore throat, headaches and fever.

Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. Continued lack of sleep can affect your immune system and make you less able to fend off colds and the flu. So, it’s important go get a good night’s sleep.

Ginger is available fresh, dried and powdered. Fresh ginger slices can be steeped to make a soothing cup of tea, while powdered ginger can be stirred into honey for relieving cough and sore throat.

3. Slippery elm

Slippery elm is a tree native to the central and eastern United States. The tree is known for its slimy inner bark, which Native Americans used to treat fever and sore throat.

Mixing slippery elm bark with water creates a sticky substance called mucilage, which coats and soothes a sore throat. Slippery elm is also great for coughs and symptoms caused by other respiratory conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis. (: Investigating the efficacy of honey for treating bronchial asthma.)

Mindful living. You've probably heard the old adage that life's too short to stuff a mushroom. But perhaps you should consider the opposite: that life's simply too short NOT to focus on the simple tasks. By slowing down and concentrating on basic things, you'll clear your mind of everything that worries you. Really concentrate on sensations and experiences again: observe the rough texture of a strawberry's skin as you touch it, and taste the sweet-sour juice as you bite into the fruit; when your partner strokes your hand, pay careful attention to the sensation on your skin; and learn to really focus on simple tasks while doing them, whether it's flowering plants or ironing your clothes.

4. Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root comes from the marshmallow plant, a flowering plant native to Europe and certain parts of Asia and Africa. In folk medicine, marshmallow root is used to relieve coughs and sore throat. The root’s soothing effects come from the mucilage that is produced when the root is combined with water. 5. Peppermint Peppermint is a natural decongestant and fever reducer because of a compound called menthol. Menthol gives peppermint its characteristic minty flavor and odor. To relieve congestion, sip peppermint tea. You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a diffuser. Run the diffuser and inhale slowly through your nose.

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Herb-infused honey for the common cold

Try this herb-infused honey to quickly relieve symptoms of the common cold.


  • Fresh or dried herbs
  • Raw honey
  • Filtered water


  1. Fill a glass jar with fresh or dried herbs.
  2. Pour simmering water over the herbs. Secure the lid and steep until the water cools. Strain.
  3. Heat the tea over low heat until warm.
  4. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of raw honey for every one cup of tea. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a sterile jar and store in the refrigerator.


  • If treating a sore throat, add 2 tablespoons of ginger and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the mixture.
  • If boosting immunity, add 1/2 tablespoon each of garlic, cinnamon and echinacea to the mixture.
  • If promoting relaxation, use 2 tablespoons each of chamomile, lemon balm and lavender to make the tea.
  • Children under the age of one shouldn’t be fed raw honey.

Fragrant ageing. Stay away from perfumed or flavoured suntan lotions which smell of coconut oil or orange if you want your skin to stay young. These lotions contain psoralen, which speeds up the ageing process. Rather use a fake-tan lotion. Avoid sun beds, which are as bad as the sun itself.

The common cold can be easily prevented and treated by using safe, natural remedies.

Learn more about natural remedies for other health problems at Remedies.news.

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