Cold & Flu Remedies


This time of the year we tend to see our old friends called respiratory ailments.  They aren't fun, definitely not welcome, and we'd do anything to avoid them.  Well since there are times when we just can't evade the nasty little viruses and such, here are some remedies that might make you feel just a bit better until your unwanted "guests" leave.


Remember though that natural remedies should not be used without consulting a trained medical professional.  You need to be aware of how anything you take interacts with any other medications, treatments, vitamins, etc.



Chicken Soup – Grandma was right.  Chicken soup can help clear the lungs, and it promotes perspiration, which can help rid the body of toxins.  Eat a hot bowl of this soup, and then wrap yourself under a heavy quilt for nap.  The hot soup soothes irritated throats and eases you to sleep.



Chicken & Herb Soup.


4 cups chicken stock

5 garlic cloves, minced

1-˝ teaspoons dried dill weed

1-˝ teaspoons dried parsley

1-˝ teaspoons dried thyme

˝ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1-cup noodles (optional)


Heat the chicken stock and garlic to boiling.  Add the dill weed, parsley, thyme and cayenne pepper.  Also add 1 cup or more of noodles, if desired.  Cook until the noodles are done.


This makes a healthful sup to enjoy anytime, but all ingredients, except for the noodles, contribute to boosting the immune system and getting rid of viruses and other germs.



Thyme Congestion Mist


1 Tablespoon dried thyme or eucalyptus

Boiling water


Put the dried thyme or eucalyptus in a heat resistant bowl.  Pour boiling water over the herb.  Tent a towel over your head and the bowl so that you can breathe in the vapors for 6 to 8 minutes.  This mist clears the head and stuffy noses.


Thyme is a good germ killer.  Eucalyptus is great for bronchial congestion and excess mucus.



Hyssop & Mullein Tincture for Coughs


Dried hyssop

Dried Mullein



**If you’re under the legal drinking age then you should not be using this tincture!**

Combine equal amounts of dried hyssop and mullein in a Mason jar.  Cover completely with Vodka.  Let the herbs steep in a sunny window for 2 weeks.  Strain.


For coughs, put 30 drops of this tincture in ˝ cup of water and drink.


You can drink up to 3 cups per day.  This tincture is helpful for soothing and relaxing the lungs and bronchial tubes.  It helps ease persistent coughing fits associated with viral infections.



Chest Cold Vinegar


1 Large onion (sliced)

1/2 Cup Dried Mullein Flowers

7 Cloves Garlic (crushed)

2 Tablespoons (Crushed or grated) Horseradish

2 Tablespoons Fresh Grated Ginger

2 Tablespoons Honey

Apple Cider Vinegar


Fill jar with layers of these ingredients until full. Then top with Apple Cider Vinegar Refrigerate and use after 24 hrs. Take 2-3 teaspoons of the juice 2-3 times daily. Keeps for 6 Weeks



I use this remedy for stuffy runny noses: Equal drops of eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint oils. Keep these in a small container and sniff as necessary to clear up the nose.



Also a steam tea of Wintergreen helps. All you do is heat the water and and cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam. Peppermint and thyme also work well. 1 T each.



Here's a good cough syrup without all of the side effects:


1 lemon

2 T glycerin

2 T honey


Heat the lemon by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Cut it in half and squeeze out the juice. Add the glycerin and honey. Take 1 tsp as needed.



Ginger Tea


1 inch or so fresh ginger root, sliced thin or grated

1/2 a fresh lemon, sliced (peel & all)

1 clove garlic, mashed

2 c water

Very generous spoonful honey


Place water, ginger, lemon, & garlic in saucepan; bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer gently for 20 min. Strain into mugs and add lots

of honey. The tea *will* get stronger if you let it sit! Most invigorating!


The garlic adds a bit of bitterness, but the honey masks that. This tea is very soothing to the throat and warms and opens the chest and nasal

passages. Plus there are all those vitamins and other good things! I now make this tea at the first sign of a cold, which helps me fight it off. I find it more effective than the commercial hot lemon remedies, and of course cheaper!


Contributed by Kim Goddard,



Old Fashioned Mustard Plaster


Helps relieve chest congestion due to colds.


1 tbsp dry mustard

1/4 cup flour

Lukewarm water


Sift together mustard and flour in a bowl. Slowly add just enough water to make a paste. Spread the plaster on a piece of muslin big enough to

cover chest. Cover with another piece of muslin.


Make sure the skin is dry. Place the mustard plaster on the chest. Check frequently and discontinue if there is any kind of allergic reaction.

Remove when skin begins to turn red, usually after 10-20 minutes, and don't leave on any longer than 30 minutes at a time. Then rub the chest w/

petroleum jelly to keep the heat in. Treat twice daily until congestion clears up.


NOTE: For children, reduce amount of flour to 6 tbsp.



Simple Cough Syrup


3 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup honey

1/4 cup warm water


Combine lemon juice and honey in a bowl. Slowly stir in the water. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator - take 1-2 tbsp as needed for cough.


To soothe a sore throat, add 1 tbsp of mixture to a cup of comfrey root, chamomile or rosemary tea.



Cranberry Soup


1 cup cranberries

2 cups water

Honey to taste

1 tbsp potato starch


Heat cranberries and water together until cranberry skins open. Strain and add honey to taste. Bring mixture close to a boil, then remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix starch with 2 tbsp cold water. Slowly add this mixture to the cranberry juice - stir vigorously.


Return mixture to heat and bring to full boil, stirring until it thickens and becomes slightly transparent. Store in refrigerator in a covered

container. Serve w/ warm cream. Soothes colds, and is a good source of vitamins C and B.



Hyssop Cough Syrup


Licorice flavored, soothes sore throats.

2 tbsp dried hyssop (flower tops) or 1/3 cup fresh hyssop (chopped flowers)

1/4 cup water

1 cup honey

1 tsp aniseed


In a saucepan combine honey and water. Stir until the mixture is consistency of pancake syrup. Bring slowly to a boil (over a medium heat). Skim

off any scum that rises to the surface.


Use 1-2 tbsp water to moisten the dried hyssop. Crush the aniseed. Stir both into the honey. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove

from heat, uncover, and allow to cool. While the mixture is still a little warm, strain into a jar. When completely cooled, screw on the lid. Should

keep for 1 week.



Glycerin Lemon Cough Syrup


1 lemon

2 tbsp glycerin

2 tbsp honey


Heat the lemon by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Add the glycerin and honey. Take 1 tsp as




Marshmallow Cough Syrup


2 cups water

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup orange juice or juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp chopped dried marshmallow root


In a small saucepan, bring the marshmallow root and water to a boil. Rescue heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid into another

saucepan (should result in about 1 cup). Over a low heat, slowly stir in the sugar until it becomes thick and granules completely dissolve. (Stir in

more water if the mixture becomes too thick.) Remove from heat and stir in the orange juice. Transfer to a container and allow to cool before covering tightly.



Wild Cherry Cough Syrup


2 cups water

2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar (scant)

1 tsp wild cherry bark

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp chopped dried marshmallow root


Make a decoction of the cherry bark and marshmallow root. (Boil in water for about 4 minutes. Steep the mixture with the cover on the pot for a few minutes.) Slowly stir in the sugar and cream of tartar, simmer until the mixture becomes thick and sugar granules completely dissolve.

Transfer to a container and allow to cool before covering tightly.



Lemon Cayenne Throat Soother


Mix 1 tsp honey with 1 tsp lemon juice and dash of cayenne pepper. Take like cough syrup. This does not prevent cough, but does relieve throat

pain in two ways. First, the honey and lemon coat the throat. Second, the cayenne pepper brings blood cells needed to fight off infection to the throat area.


Contributed by Beth,



Herbal Remedies For Influenza

One herb in particular, Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), is specifically recommended for the treatment of flu. You can combine boneset with elder flower, licorice and peppermint. Prepare this mixture as a strong tea, and drink one cup every 2 or 3 hours for relief. Omit the peppermint if you take homeopathic remedies.


Liniment for Colds and Chest Tightness


Add 1 cup of finely chopped garlic to 1 cup of boiling lard. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours. Remove from heat and strain the garlic for the oil. Place in a container with a tight-fitting lid.