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Remedies for Colds and Influenza

When the nose drips, and the body shakes, and the head feels like it is about to explode, this is one great time to search for relief. While home remedies will not cure a cold or influenza, they do help to make them more bearable.

Honey and lemon

This remedy is great for either a cold or the flu. Put one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of lemon in a cup and add eight ounces of boiling water. Allow it to cool enough so that you will not get burned when you drink it. Take as often as desired.

Another way of making honey and lemon is to combine the juice of one lemon with equal amounts of honey. Mix thoroughly. Sip throughout the day.

Honey and vinegar

This remedy is very similar to the honey and lemon remedy. Put one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of vinegar in a cup. Add eight ounces of boiling water. Allow to cool to a comfortable temperature. Drink as often as desired. This works great to relieve a sore throat.

Ginger candy

Ginger candy is available in some health food stores. It is an ideal remedy for those who like a little spice in their life. It is made with sugar and eight percent ginger and is coated with a little bit of tapioca starch to keep the candy from sticking to the wrapper. This delicious remedy can be used to relieve a sore throat, drain the sinuses, and relieve pressure in the ears. Sucking on candy or chewing gum may also help to relieve pressure in the ears.

Take a warm bath

If you are starting to get a fever, and you still have the chills, take a warm bath. This helps to keep the fever from getting too high. If your fever is already high, and your chills have already stopped, try taking a lukewarm bath.

Sweat it out

Try this remedy for influenza. Drink some hot tea or some warm soup. Go to bed and cover up with lots of blankets so that you break out in a good sweat. You should soon begin to feel better.

Heat and ice

Place a warm compress on the chest to relieve the tightness of a cold in the chest. A hot water bottle or a heated rice bag or corn bag works well.

Try using an ice pack on the chest if it is sore from coughing and sneezing but there is no chest congestion.

Suck on ice

If your throat is sore, you can drink warm, soothing liquids. If warm liquids seem to irritate the throat even more, try sucking on ice instead.

Fenugreek tea

Fenugreek tea is a soothing remedy for both a cold and the flu. Add one cup of boiling water to one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds or powdered fenugreek. Let cool a little. Add honey to taste and drink slowly. This remedy can be taken several times a day.


This is one of the best tasting cold and flu remedies. Cut a grapefruit in half. Sprinkle sugar over the grapefruit half. Bake in the oven until the sugar turns brown. Enjoy!

Lemon ginger drink

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a two-cup bottle. Add an equal amount of honey. Take five or six medium sized pieces of candied ginger and break them up into tiny pieces and add them to the honey and lemon. Pour seltzer water over this mixture and let it stand for at least two or three hours. After the mixture has had time to set, fill the bottle with more seltzer water or simply add plain water if you do not like the fizzy taste.

Vitamin C

During the worst part of the cold or flu, a good remedy is 1,000 mg of Vitamin C every hour. Some bioflavonoids should be taken with this at least once a day. This dose should not be taken for more than two or three days. Also, this remedy should not be taken by people with kidney problems. Never stop this remedy suddenly. Cut down the dosage a bit each day for a few days and gradually wean off the Vitamin C.

Echinacea and Goldenseal

These are great remedies to use together for a cold or the flu. There is some controversy over whether or not these herbs actually help. But they are worth a try. If you are allergic to daisies or sunflowers, you may be allergic to Echinacea as well. Also, do not take Echinacea if you are pregnant. Use Goldenseal with caution if you have blood sugar problems. These remedies should be taken according to the instructions on the bottle. You might also check with a worker at a health food store to learn more about how to use them.

Stay hydrated

It is easy to get dehydrated with a cold or the flu, because sweating and running a fever take a lot of fluid and electrolytes from the body. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids such as soups, hot water with a bouillon cube added to it, diluted fruit juices, fresh vegetable juice or vegetable broth, or an electrolyte replacement drink.


Finally, be sure to get enough rest. This is probably the most important remedy, as rest is necessary to help the body recover from any illness, and colds and the flu are no exception. If you feel tired, take a nap. It is nothing to feel guilty about. The body needs rest so that it can use its energy for getting well.