7 winter cold and flu remedies

Nikki Parkinson Health 32 Comments

I have no time or tolerance for my being sick.

It annoys me that I’m not operating on all cylinders.

I should re-phrase that because, thanks to a dodgy thyroid, I don’t really operate on all cylinders every day anyway.

But throw a cold or flu lurgy situation into the mix and I become very impatient with myself.

I don’t want to wallow in it. I just want it to be over with the most minimal amount of pain and inconvenience as possible.

The thing is, you’re mostly dealing with a virus here. Short of any secondary infections that might eventuate, this is not a healing process that can be helped with antibiotics or other drugs.

Now, this is the point in this post that I will make it very clear that I’m not a doctor or health professional.

What I’m writing about below are home (or over-the-counter) remedies that help my family and I deal with cold virus symptoms – to lessen those symptoms and to sometimes speed up the getting better process.

When it comes to taking anything new – even vitamins – it’s a very good idea to talk to your health professional/s first, especially if you already take other medications and supplements.

With all the actions below, I’m essentially trying to give my body and immune system a helping hand in the lurgy battle. I don’t necessarily avoid drugs or pain relief, I just call on the below to give me a better shot at getting better.

Let’s get stuck in, shall we?

7 winter cold and flu remedies

7 winter cold and flu remedies

1. Essential oils: I love using essential oils in just about every part of my life. The Twenty8 collection of synergy blends are incredible – they’re 100% pure organic and the blends are just exquisite. The Twenty8 Immune Boost synergy blend (pictured below) is always in my home remedy kit. It’s a nurturing blend of eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, cedarwood and pine. As soon as one member of the family so much as sniffles, I have this blend vapourising in every room. When travelling, I make up a spritz containing Immune Boost and spray it around me on the plane to ward off potential nasties. Yes, I’m THAT person.

Cold and flu remedies: Twenty8 Immune Boost Synergy Blend, Dr Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution

2. Bath soaks: The whole achey body thing is not fun. I love a good bath at the best of times but if you’re a little under the weather then a good soak in epsom salt will help ease the aches. The particular soaking solution (pictured above) I’ve been using and loving is Dr Teal’s Detoxify and Energize with ginger and clay soaking solution. Get your body in it.

3. Vitamins and supplements: Every time I hear a segment on the news being all Negative Nancy about the supposed help that vitamins and supplements can give our bodies, I switch off. These three below are all things we have on hand whenever the first sign of a lurgy makes itself known. Everyone in our house goes on the Olive Leaf Extract and a dose of vitamin C suitable to their age. Me, I go high strength Vitamin C. Way back in the day when I was super sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, my GP gave me this hot tip. The magnesium powder helps me with muscle aches.

Cold and flu remedies: Comvita Olive Leaf Extract, Ethical Nutrients Mega Magnesium powder, Blackmores Bio C 1000mg

4. Manuka honey: While I may have photographed the Manuka honey with the tea below, I don’t use this particular honey in my hot lemon drinks. Firstly, it’s not cheap and, secondly, it won’t be effective if heated because the live enzymes in the honey are destroyed. What those live enzymes help with is killing bacteria – particularly soothing on a sore throat. Manuka honey is considered nature’s antibiotic.

Cold and flu remedies: honey, lemon and ginger tea; Manuka honey

5. Lemon and ginger tea: Everyone has a bit of a recipe to concoct a soothing lemon tea. I love to add honey, slices of ginger and fresh lemon juice in a teapot of boiling water. At night time a wee drop of Scotch may also fall into the pot. Oops.

6. Onions: Ok, I left the no-brainer remedy until last. The humble onion is my secret weapon when it comes to getting through a cold or flu with some good sleeps under my belt. My girlfriend Kim Morrison, the creator of the Twenty8 range I talked about above, put me on to this remedy about seven years ago. You simply cut up an onion and leave it beside the bed of the afflicted while they sleep overnight. It relieves congestion and they will breathe easier. Sometimes if I feel something coming on, an onion by the bed that night may stop it in its tracks. I haven’t got science to back me up on this occurrence but what do you have to lose? It’s just an onion. Oh, it may smell like old Chinese takeaway in your room the next day. Not a problem if you’re the one with the cold as you won’t smell anything!

Cold and Flu remedy: cut an onion in half and place beside your bed at night to help ease congestion and fight bacteria

7. Rest: I’m guilty of not applying this remedy often enough. Sometimes one day in bed that will be sufficient to give your body a chance to recuperate and recharge. Just do it – without guilt.

It’s over to you now. What are your tried and true cold and flu remedies? And do you have one for man flu?

Comments 32

  1. I always have homemade chicken stock in the freezer (I know that’s not for everyone but I am home a lot) and I try and have at least one cup a if day when I have a cold. Throw some noodles in and it’s easy to eat. I have read that the real genius about homemade chicken soup is the gelatin that comes from cooking with the bones will line your sore throat. And also, sipping on hot soup and drinks throughout the day will keep your sinus warm and help drain it. Last year when I had a cold, I started using my insulated travel cup to keep warm green tea with lemon and honey on hand all day and through the night as well. I juiced a kilo of lemons as soon as the cold started and then I felt I was prepared for making all that tea! When a hacking dry cough wakes you up in the middle of the night and there is a warm tea by your bed, you will understand. These small comforts get me through.

  2. I discovered olive leaf extract this year ! Where have I been ? And it’s worked a treat on two of the family so far!

  3. hearing you load and clear hun! I thought you were writing about me!;)
    I hate being unwell! because I do the utmost to preserve this body and soul! … I am so intolerant to my own health issues! …
    yes rant!!! better out than in I guess!
    this year I’ve been a little under the weather and it makes for
    ‘not happy jan!’ situations!
    anyhoo! a recipe for cold cure … a Vietnamese friend shared with me!
    measurements are spurious!
    it’s a brew!
    fresh or tsp ground ginger, tsp coriander powder, tsp turmeric,
    pinch chilli, pinch of ground cloves, lemon grass, 1 lemon squeezed and leave in pot, clove of crushed garlic
    pour on boiling water, steep and sip!
    sometimes I add miso and make into a broth
    add honey if wanted!
    eucalyptus spray for nose
    get well! love m:)X

  4. AND PS – I read an article where a Doctor said the first thing you should do at the sign of a cold/flu/infection is GET A NEW TOOTHBRUSH!! Bc the old/existing one is full of the germs so a new one will help….I do this and I am sure it helps!

  5. I get chest infections (suseptible after bout of pneumonia) and I find that awful medicine of Senega and Ammonia help moves the “gunk” (sorry!!) from my chest quite quickly. You have to ride out the infection but the S & A provides a bit of relief.

    A hot toddy with liquor is good too – port and lemon also work to move the gunk from the lungs.

    Finally, I also find that regular sinus rinsing helps me avoid the bouts of sinusitis (which always lead to infection) or make it a bit more comfortable

    1. Lol Andrea my old neighbour put me onto Senega & Ammonia, her name for it was Pensioners Poison. And I am a convert, it’s the best for gunky lungs.

    2. Lol Andrea my old neighbour put me onto Senega & Ammonia, her name for it was Pensioners Poison. And I am a convert, it’s the best for gunky lungs.

  6. The good old onion trick! It’s always a favourite here, along with the Vicks on the feet (sometimes it’s those old remedies that seem to work the best!)

    I loathe cold and flu season so much. Definitely going to give the Immune Boost blend a whirl. Do you have a burner thingy you recommend?

  7. I have a question about your vaporising, Nikki. Do you use something 21st century (electronic perhaps?) or do you have something more organic and hippy like?

    1. Both Johanne! There is more mood with the old “burners” but I do like the newish ones for less concern about safety. I’ve even got a little In Essence one that plugs via USB into my computer!!

  8. Great tips Nikki. I’m with you on the vitamins – vitamin C, echinacea, horseradish, zinc and garlic will be forced, I mean, gently recommended to the afflicted ones in my household. I also firmly believe if, at the very first throat tickle, you gargle several times a day with antibacterial mouthwash, it is possible to stop the germs from multiplying. I have nipped many a cold in the bud by doing this. xx

  9. I don’t get colds very often Nikki even though I have a dodgy immune system but take high strength vitamin C daily and magnesium at night,could be true or luck I’m not sure!
    My husband has been getting cold after cold I put it down to doing a lot of travel on planes lately and put him on a men’s vitamin blend,I’ve tried the cut onion on him,he said it didn’t help but he didn’t cough as much,I really didn’t like the smell of our room the next day! I love essential oils as well I must get some immune boosting ones,great post Nikki thank you Xx

  10. I have a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar every day and if I feel a lurgy coming on I triple the dose! Mixed with some pineapple juice, you can’t taste it!

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