Home Remedies for Colds

Our Favorite Natural Cold Remedies

February 11, 2021
Hot Tea and Honey

These home remedies for colds will help your bodies through the healing process. Tell us which natural cold remedies have worked for you!

There is no “cure” for a cold, but there are certainly cold remedies that can help you feel better. Besides getting LOTS of rest, here are age-old remedies to provide the relief you need:

Home Remedies for Cold Relief

Sip warm liquids. 

Not only do warm liquids soothe the body and soul, but also they might loosen congestion by increasing mucus flow and prevent dehydration. 

  • This is why chicken soup has long been a home remedy. Yes, it works! We recommend Granny’s Best Chicken Soup which also contains garlic.
  • Clear broth, hot tea with honey, warm apple juice, and/or warm water with lemon and honey also do the trick.
  • Rose hip tea is full of vitamin C and can help prevent colds in advance—before cold symptoms start. Read more about ways to avoid the cold in the first place.

Get to the root of the problem!

Speaking of garlic, many roots as well as plants in the onion family have medicinal properties.

  • Historically, the layers of the onion were believed to draw contagious diseases from the patient; onions were often hung in sickrooms. Today, we know that onions have antibacterial qualities, so it seems that our forefathers weren’t too far off.
  • Cut up fresh garlic cloves and add them to chicken soup or other foods, or swallow small chunks of raw garlic like pills.
  • Like garlic and onion, horseradish generates lots of heat to help offset colds. According to one farmer we know, a daily horseradish sandwich is the best cold remedy out there!
  • For chills, take fresh ginger root.
  • For a chest cold or bronchitis, try this remedy, submitted by one of our readers: Boil a whole onion, and afterward (once it’s cooled), drink the water. You can add a little butter and salt if the taste is unbearable!

Coughs and sore lips? Try honey.

  • Honey may help coughs (in adults and children who are older than age 1). Try adding honey to your tea. See more advice on cough remedies.
  • To treat sore lips, go to bed with honey on them.

Have a cold with a sore throat?

  • Get relief with a simple saltwater gargle—¼ to ½ teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. See more advice on sore throat remedies.

Stuffy and congested?

  • Add moisture to the air. A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Some readers say it helps to eat loads of hot and spicy foods like chili to clear the sinuses.
  • If super stuffy, put several saline drops into one nostril, then gently suction that nostril with a bulb syringe. To do this, squeeze the bulb, gently place the syringe tip in the nostril about ¼ to ½ inch (about 6 to 12 millimeters), and slowly release the bulb. 

Cracked or sore lips?

  • Besides putting honey on your lips, you could also massage cracked lips with a dab of earwax (yes, your own!).

Finally, a reminder: rest your body! Getting lots of sleep is probably the top remedy and it requires no special ingredients!

Now see all the ways to prevent the common cold and flu—or, keep from getting it again!

My dad was an auto mechanic

My dad was an auto mechanic who worked outside a lot while I was growing up (in Rhode Island). I remember that when my mom packed his lunch, she'd often add raw garlic cloves and/or a raw onion. This must have worked because I don't remember him ever getting a cold. He caught more colds once he retired than he'd ever had while he was working.

My mother used to make a

My mother used to make a cough syrup from slicing an onion (usually a white onion), sprinkling slices with sugar, sealing in an airtight container, and allowing the onion to "sweat" for a couple of hours on the counter. The "juice" didn't taste bad and it really helped with the coughs.

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing this topic to us.

First time I've posted here,

First time I've posted here, wanted to share a natural remedy which works for chest congestion, also helps sinuses. Used it on my children over 50 yrs. ago, it was used on myself as a child by my grandmother. Onions! Chop 2 or 3 cups any type onion, boil gently and briefly in small amount of water, drain water ( save water for use in soups later). Let cooked onions cool slightly, put them in a cotton cloth or towel and apply the poultice to the chest area. It can be used all night or for a few hours, reheat if needed. This relieves congestion in lungs and sinuses. Hope this helps. Perhaps some readers have tried this, it provides relief and doesn't bother the skin.
( But don't use if allergic to onions )

I didn't intend to post

I didn't intend to post twice. My apologies. Am new at this! Stay well, healthy and we are one day closer to Spring...

My mother used to do this for

My mother used to do this for me as a child.. It helped so much with chest colds. I'm 35, and doing it for myself right now. I just chop an onion up, fry it in a pan till it's hot, carefully put the onions in a long sock, tie the sock at the end and apply to chest area.. Helps so much!! :)

During this long winter many

During this long winter many in our area have gotten sick, sinus 'cold' then congestion in lungs. I'm making an old-fashioned poultice I used to use this home-remedy on my children 50 yrs. ago. It works. Maybe some have heard of and/or tried it. Chop about 3 cups onions, any type, boil in small amount of water just until tender, less than 5 mins. Drain water ( water can be used in soups later) cool onions slightly, put in a cotton cloth, then put onions and all over chest/lung area. The poultice helps with congestion, the smell helps relieve stuffy sinuses. Not sure how it works scientifically, but it truly works, you can sleep with the poultice on your chest. It can be reheated if need be. Hope this helps.

Try Carmex lip balm. It

Try Carmex lip balm. It really works well. Simple and effective. Haven't had one outbreak since using it. Read about it in my blog.

Elderberry syrup is sold in

Elderberry syrup is sold in most bigger drug stores, & Walmart & Kmart & the like, one of the more common brands is Sambucol.

Is it organic

Is it organic

Elderberry syrup and jelly

Elderberry syrup and jelly are the best thing for Flu (all types) this has held up to medical trials. I typically take 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup or jelly every 4-6 hours at the first sign of a cold or flu.
Elderberry Juice MUST be cooked before using and strained, as the seeds and juice have a cyanide compound in them. Heat deactivates this.

so is there some place I can

so is there some place I can buy this or do I need to go looking for it somewhere?

You can buy elderberry syrup

You can buy elderberry syrup at CVS or Rite Aide, or you can make your own! Contact your local apothecary and/ or use this recipe:
1 C Elderberries
4 medium slices betrayals
6-8 pieces of Fo-Ti
1/2 ounce dried Rosehips
1/4 ounce nettles
1-2 cups honey
Bring 6-7 cups of pure water to a boil and add everything but the nettles and honey. Stir, cover and simmer for 45 min. Add the nettles and simmer for 15 min more. Off the heat, mash the berries, strain, add honey to taste while still warm. Taken daily as a supplement will keep the winter cold season at bay.

If he felt a cold sore coming

If he felt a cold sore coming on, my Dad would drink a glass of elderberry wine. Often, the sore would not develop.

Also, a glass of warm

Also, a glass of warm elderberry wine taken before going to bed helps relieve a cough.

Here is a recipe for cough

Here is a recipe for cough medicine that anyone will enjoy.
1 cup of concord grapes
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
a dash of cayenne pepper
Put it all in a blender or food processor (grape seeds and all) and blend well. Drink it down and it will calm that nagging cough. It doesn't have any ingredients that would be harmful so you can take it whenever you need it and it tastes good too.

Aloe vera juice will help

Aloe vera juice will help cold sores as the virus can't grow in its presence. It works usually within 1 day. Drink about 1/4 cup.

My grandmother used to tell

My grandmother used to tell us:
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away;
An onion a day keeps everyone away!"
If no one comes near, they can't give you a cold!

Rub vicks on your feet and

Rub vicks on your feet and wear a pair of socks to bed will help with a cough and you will sleep well!

Cold sores: Does anyone know

Cold sores: Does anyone know how to treat?

Aloe Vera Gel, applied every

Aloe Vera Gel, applied every waking hour or whenever the pain returns (whichever is soonest) will get rid of a cold sore in about 48 hours and you will probably never have another one in the same spot. I used that remedy on cold sores, which used to be a recurring problem for me, and after several years they were gone completely. I haven't had any for over 20 years.

What kind/brand of Aloe Vera

What kind/brand of Aloe Vera gel do you recommend?

Take L-Lysine 500mg twice a

Take L-Lysine 500mg twice a day until gone. Take once a day thereafter to avoid outbreaks.

earwax or tea tree oil.

earwax or tea tree oil.

I get a lot of cold sores and

I get a lot of cold sores and the best remedy I have found is to put an icecube on it when you first feel it coming on. leave it on till its good and frozen, maybe 10 to 15 minutes 2 to 3 times throughout the day.Works for me everytime.

Cold sores are caused by the

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. When you get a sore it is because you have unbalance the amino acid Lysine in your body. Too much Argenine amino causes it. To quickly rebalance the Lysine, eat a Flounder fillet, cooked as you like. One fillet, about 8 ounces, equals to 5500mg of Lysine. It helps the body recover quickly and then take a Lysine supplements everyday to avoid future issues. Also, you can use ginger root, or tea tree oil as a topical to cool the sore and prevent its spread.

As soon as you feel that cold

As soon as you feel that cold sore coming on take about 10 sun chlorella tablets. Then take as directed on package. I take them almost everyday as they are good for you and keep cold sores away!!! Had them all the time when I was young.You can also buy the Yaeyama Chlorella I find at Fruitful Yield much cheaper and works the same.

I used tea tree oil

I used tea tree oil

If I don't have any

If I don't have any medication like Abreve I dab straight rubbing alcohol on cold sore. When it starts tingling I dab it like 5x a day. Even beer works.

For cold sores: I know this

For cold sores: I know this sounds unusual but EARWAX is an excellent remedy. Preferably your own. Dab earwax on the soar 3-4 times daily. The most natural healing agent for a cold soar!