According to National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine2 there are home remedies that you may use to ease cold or the flu symptoms.
Usually, the body’s immune system is sufficient to help you recover from cold virus naturally. Therefore, you will recover fully from common cold within seven days after seeing the symptoms without any effort. But if you use these flu remedies, you will hasten your recovery.
The symptoms of cold Flu often appear between two to three days of exposure to this group of viruses. But you should keep a healthy diet to assist the body prevent colds.
What is the difference between a cold and flu?
According to the Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC), the common cold and flu (Influenza) are contagious respiratory diseases caused by different viruses.
The common cold is caused by various viruses, while the Influenza virus only causes flu. Flu and cold symptoms are similar, and it’s hard to tell the one you are suffering from without proper medical tests.
How long does the flu last?
One study by the Harvard medical school reported in 2020 that cold flu can last for 5 -7 days from the day of first symptoms. However, the duration may vary based on the individual’s immune system strength and intervention on the condition.
Some may take longer or shorter depending on age, environment, underlying illnesses, and severity of the exposure.
The symptoms of Cold and Flu include: –
- Mild headache
- Watery eyes
- Congestion in the chest and nasal cavity
- Sore throat
- Frequent sneezing
- Body aches and fatigue
- Running nose
Here are seven home remedies that will help you treat cold Flu within 2-3 days. Moreover, you can also work to keep your immune function heathy and other alternative medicines that may ease your nasal passages to reduce nasal congestion.
You should know that there are no antiviral medications which can directly fight common cold viruses. These flu remedies can be incorporated together or used singly based on availability.
1. Garlic and Onion Drink for cold and flu viruses
Clinical trials show that garlic and Onion are antibacterial and antiviral. So making a drink of the two will help you kill the viruses in the body that causes the cold and flu. Onions also contain phytochemicals that can cure several sinus infections.
The allicin component in fresh garlic help in fighting many viral diseases in the body. Its the reason why garlic can also be used to treat coughs.
In making this drink, don’t boil the two ingredients. Instead, boil water, chop four raw garlic cloves, one sizable red bulb onion, and add water and cover.
After some minutes, when the water is warm, you can drink it, sieve, and then drink the water thrice a day. If you hate the smell of fresh garlic you may purchase garlic supplements over the counter or from health food stores. Although there have been rising complaints that they may cause body odor and bad breath.
2. Ginger and Lemon Drink for common cold and the flu
Ginger root is one of the traditional medicine for flu viruses. It was used traditionally by the Chinese to treat colds and coughs. Ginger has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties according to a placebo controlled study, which makes it effective as flu remedy.
The root is chewed raw or made in the concoction, preparing like you made the Garlic and Onion drink. Due to its bitterness, you may add Honey to sweeten it.
In the same drink, add Lemon, with the ascorbic acid ( vitamin C) in it. The incidence of catching a cold will be hindered. The viruses also will not be able to thrive in the condition of the mixture.
If you can access Lime fruit, then it’s far better. Lime is alkaline and will help balance the body pH, thus hindering the thriving tendency of viruses. Use this drink often even when not in flu season to help you prevent colds.
More research are needed on the effectiveness of garlic and other home remedies on combating cold.
3. Treating cold flu using eucalyptus steam Infusion
Peer reviewed studies show that eucalyptus has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to curb human viruses.
You can do this using the leaves or with the commercially made Eucalyptus oil. What if I can’t get Eucalyptus essential oil? It’s fine. God, in His mercy, has allowed this tree to grow almost in every part of the world.
All you need is a metal kettle or a pot that is covered. Boil water in the kettle and then Add the eucalyptus leaves into the water and inhale the steam from the mixture. This remedy will relieve nasal congestion and keep the nasal passages clean and open.
Do this for 15 minutes and then stop. This natural remedy will help in thinning the mucus that is along your upper respiratory tract.
The steam will also raise the temperature of your thoracic cavity, thus ease congestion.
4. Homemade Cold and flu Syrup
With your Honey and your eucalyptus essential oil, you can make yourself a cold syrup. This is more advisable for toddlers and expectant mothers. First, you heat a reasonable amount of Honey, then for every teaspoon of the Honey, you add 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil, then drink.
Honey contains antioxidants and antibacterial effects that work well with microbial attacks in the system. In a study by Cohen et al, the researchers found that children between the age of 1 year to 5 years had improved sleep and stopped coughing when they took 1.5 teaspoon of honey.
This syrup will clear up the mucus in your Upper respiratory tract organs and ease nasal congestion. Do not give honey to children younger than one year to prevent infant botulism. But its always safe for older children above the age of 1 year.
5. Hydrotherapy, especially hot footbath oldest home remedy for cold flu
Hot footbath is one of the oldest home remedies for several illnesses in many cultures. It helps reduce severe symptoms of cold flu viruses.
Hydrotherapy will activate the body’s immunity and invigorate the white blood cells to help fight the virus and treat symptoms faster.
A hot footbath will deal with fever, and the body will be heated up, releasing toxins through sweat.
When you have cold Flu, the amount of oxygen intake reduces because of difficulty in breathing.
As a result, your whole body will be weak and circulation slower.
A hot foot bath will help improve the rate of circulation, and the heat in the body will help open your air passages clogged with mucous and open up congested nasal passages. This treatment calls for endurance but it does an invaluable service to your body.
6. Salt glow With Himalayans Rock salt for Flu viruses
This natural remedy must be incorporated with other treatments above. It will help you to get rid of the sore throat sensation.
Salt glow will help your throat area and nasal cavity be warmed, thinning the lining of mucus that makes you feel uncomfortable.
How do you go about it? It’s easy. You take a glass of warm water, then add two teaspoons of Himalayan rock salt. Then you gargle the solution for three minutes, doing five reps. For children below the age of 10 years 1/2 teaspoon of salt is enough.
After doing this practice, drink warm water. Water will help you in many ways.
- To rehydrate your body caused by fever
- It is a component of the lymphatic system and thus strengthen the immune function
- Water also helps in flushing the body
7. Prepare Full Concoction Drink
This is the best home remedy I would prefer you give to make every time you contract Flu. It contains several essential vitamins including Vitamin C to help you ease cold symptoms. Of all the flu remedies its most effective and packed with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to relieve cold symptoms.
It will help you get rid of the symptoms quickest as most of the above components are included. Why is it different then? Simply because of the ingredients that are added to make one glass of this wonderful drink.
It is termed Russian penicillin and has been in use for many years. It relieves scratchy throat faster like honey tea.
How do you prepare it concoction for treating cold flu? –
What you need
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic grated
- Thumb size of ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne paper
- One red bulb onion of medium size
- 1 Lemon squeezed juice
- A glass of billing water
Add all the ingredients in the boiling water and then cover to cool.
Make sure the content cools while it’s tightly covered. Next, sieve and add the lemon juice and drink. Take the drink two times daily till the symptoms are gone. Audience insights prove for the effectiveness of this home remedy for cold flu.
You may also prepare natural antibiotic to cure cold flu
Natural Penicillin (very strong)
1 Grapefruit Peel and all
8 Cloves of raw garlic
1 medium onion
6 cups of water
Cut all fruit, Garlic, and onions put them in a pot with 6 cups of boiling water. Sieve and drink ½ a glass every hour for the whole day. This drink contain several antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Its also rich in vitamin C and and flavonoids.
How do you get rid of a cold overnight?
Get sufficient sleep
A 2010 study found that poor sleep causes poorer immune functions and increased susceptibility to cold flu and other viruses. Deprivation of sleep reduces the activity of natural killer cells. Sufficient sleep will help your body fight the viruses reducing cold and flu symptoms overnight.
Sip some warm drinks
Medical research to determine the belief that hot drinks can soothe cold symptoms in 2008 affirmed the folklore that hot drinks are a beneficial treatment for most symptoms.
They studied the placebo effect and physiological effects of warm drinks on salivation and airway secretions. Therefore, warm drinks can help clear the airways and ease breathing when you have a common cold.
Add some moisture to your bedroom
According to Medline Plus, dry air can irritate your nose and throat inflamed by cold viruses to worsen your symptoms. Using humidifiers in your bedroom will clear the airways, get rid of a stuffy nose, and break up the mucus to ease coughing it out.
Do away with stuffiness in your room
A stuffy room will make it more difficult to breathe effectively. You may consider cleaning the room or keeping the windows open for free circulation of air. The nasal blockage during common cold makes it difficult to breathe; therefore, ensure you allow free air circulation in the room for ease of breathing.
Get rid of sore throat
According to several systematic reviews, sore throat is one of the symptoms of a common cold. It makes you feel uneasy, and it irritates you. You may use hot drinks or honey to cure sore throat, which will ease your breathing and open your airways.
What is the fastest home remedy for flu?
One randomized controlled trial found that individuals who exercise sauna bathing have fewer common cold episodes. Steam bath, which is like sauna bathing, is characterized by sudden exposure of the body to high temperatures and has the same effects on individuals with cold flu symptoms. The heat will cause ease on the airways and melt the mucus causing difficulty in breathing.
Treat your cough
Most cough remedies can treat several symptoms of cold flu. To cure a dry cough, you will soothe a sore throat and open the airways for normal breathing. Cough remedies are also antiviral; therefore, treating cough will cure your flu.
Take care of body aches and fever
Body aches and fever are often symptoms of a flu virus attack. Several antibiotics that relieve aches and fever may help ease your cold flu symptoms. Body aches make you
How do you treat a cold and flu naturally?
You should keep your body hydrated at the onset of common cold symptoms. Drink lots of water to help lubricate your throat mucous membrane. Water alone cannot treat flu, but it may help ease several common cold symptoms. It will help flush from your system the cold or flu virus.
Taking vitamin C
There is no scientific evidence of the direct effects of Vitamin C on flu viruses. Still, several health professionals recommend it for individuals who have caught cold flu though it may improve flu symptoms. According to the Cochrane Database Syst Rev health line media, vitamin c may help prevent the common cold.
The reason why vitamin C is recommended is its effects on boosting body immunity. So that through a robust immune system, the body can fight viruses.
High doses of Vitamin C may result in digestive disturbances like nausea and diarrhea.
Using essential oils can help reduce fever and headaches. Essential oils like eucalyptus, thyme, and many more have antibacterial and antiviral properties that may help fight viruses. The oils also help clear the mucous in your air passages. You can also reduce congestion in the air passways through this home remedy for cold flu.
Honey and hot tea
Herbal teas may help soothe a sore throat and melt the mucus in the throat and nasal cavity to ease coughing. When you add honey to these teas, you will increase their effectiveness in dealing with common cold and flu viruses. Honey has antibacterial properties and may also ease the mucous membrane of the throat to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Eat healthy foods
Health foods mean a balanced diet made up of varieties that have vitamins, flavonoids, and minerals that will help strengthen the immune system and fight bacteria and viruses in the body. You may eat lots of fruits, leafy greens, and whole grains.
Rinsing with saline water
This method is also called nasal irrigation. You use boiled tap water-cooled to bearable temperatures to do nose rinsing. By flushing the nasal passageways with this saline solution, you may prevent nasal congestion and offer relief to people with allergies.
Do not use contaminated tap water for this exercise; ensure you put several saline drops into one nostril, then do the same to the other one at a time.
What cures flu quickly?
You may choose from several flu remedies, but the most effective for quick relief are here.
It’s advisable to get sufficient rest in the flu season. By resting, you allow your body to devote its energies to fighting pathogens in your system. When you are fatigued, your immune system becomes weak. Check on your sleep quality which is crucial for solid body immunity.
A hot foot bath will improve blood circulation in the body, which allows the white blood cells concentrated in the palm of the feet to move in the bloodstream to fight viruses. The increased body temperature due to a hot footbath also eases fevers and flu symptoms.
These mixtures of herbs have strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. Hot liquids also help reduce congestion.
How to deal with cold and flu symptoms in infants
Warm sponge wash
Sponge baths may help reduce fever in infants. It would be best if you had other treatment measures as infants are very delicate regarding health matters; seek advice from a healthcare professional.
You can use tissue paper to squeeze out mucous from the nose. Do not overdo this exercise and throw away the paper after every use, then do the same to the other nostril.
Keep them warm
Ensure you cover the child adequately so that they may be warm.
Give lots of fluids
Ensure you breastfeed the baby properly when your child has a common cold. Please give him a lot of drinks to keep him hydrated. Ensure you give the child juices rich in vitamin C and flavonoids.
Prepare a simple cough syrup
Using honey mixed with eucalyptus oil, you may make an excellent homemade syrup for your child to help relieve flu virus symptoms. Honey is very effective for the nocturnal cough with a common cold and scratchy throat. Ensure you give this remedy to children older than one year.
A 2013 study found that vapor rub can improve sleep quality in infants with nocturnal coughs and flu. The research further affirmed that after the second night, several symptoms were gone.
Another way of vapor rub is to apply a hot face towel on your nose with one nostril closed, and then you do the same to the other.
How to cure flu fast at home
Foods rich in Zinc
According to the national center for complementary and integrative health, Zinc may help treat colds and flu symptoms. Zinc is also essential for your immunity.
It helps the body form white blood cells, which help fight germs. You may opt to take Zinc supplements from health food stores or eat foods rich in Zinc like nuts, chickpeas, and many others.
In some instances, you can use zinc lozenges to reduce the cold period.
Do not overuse zinc supplements as they contain cadmium, increasing the risk of kidney failure and copper deficiency, and other side effects at high doses.
Vitamin D supplements
A 2009 randomized controlled trial study found that vitamin D can help reduce contracting an upper respiratory tract infection in healthy adults. There is still limited research in this area to affirm the effectiveness of vitamin D for colds and flu.
Several herbs have antiviral properties that may help fight some germs in the body. Herbal tea made from plants like ginger, black tea, fresh garlic, cloves, and turmeric has antiviral and antibacterial properties that may help relieve symptoms.
Several essential oils have been scientifically proven to have bacterial and antiviral properties that may help treat the common cold and ease flu symptoms.
- Tea tree oil is known to fight infections and reduce fevers.
- Eucalyptus essential oil can fight viruses and reduce fever.
- Eugenol is an antiviral and antifungal essential oil that can clean the air and reduce flu symptoms.
- Chamomile can relieve cold symptoms
- Lavender oil may help relieve headaches, fatigue, and even depression
- Peppermint essential oil may reduce nocturnal cough, throat infections, and common cold symptoms
- Thyme oil contains antibacterial properties that may help fight respiratory infections
Dry air increases the spread and survival rates of cold viruses. By using humidifiers in the house to curb dry air, you may relieve the severity of cold symptoms.
Sleep with an extra pillow
To ease your nasal congestion, you may sleep with your head elevated slightly above the rest of your body. Sleep with an extra pillow under your head to help drain sinuses and ease congestion.
Old-fashioned flu remedies
- Take a steamy shower
- Backing soda for nasal irrigation using a bulb syringe
How to cure a cold and cough in one day with flu remedies
- Steam inhalation
- Homemade cough syrup
Home remedies for cold and sneezing
These are simple tricks that may help alleviate symptoms of flu. These include:
- Blow your stuffy nose correctly
- Use salt water to treat a stuffy nose
- Stay warm
- Put salve under the nose to curb a runny nose
What should I eat to get rid of a cold?
The following foods will help supply sufficient vitamin C in the system and other vital components to help your body fight cold or flu virus. Moreover, they form part of the flu remedies that will help hasten your recovery. They should be part of your diet to help you prevent colds.
- Leafy green vegetables and other fruits are packed with anti inflammatory properties
- Broth and probiotics ( healthy live bacteria)are good for several upper respiratory tract infections
- Blueberries which have high levels of vitamin C
- Spice up food with garlic
- Omega-3 foods
- Red bell peppers for a stronger immune system
What can I drink for the flu?
- Coconut water
- Orange juice (a good source of vitamin C)
- Water to stay hydrated
- Ginger tea
Common herbs that may help with a common cold
North American ginseng
There are limited medically reviewed scientific studies on the effectiveness of ginseng herb on cold flu, but it’s reported to reduce the symptoms and hasten recovery from cold flu.
A 2021 medically reviewed study found that North American ginseng can reduce the susceptibility to catching a cold.
Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine to prevent colds and flu. It also helps improve the body’s immune function.
A medical center study found that taking echinacea will increase body production of white blood cells to help fight germs.
Things to avoid when having common cold or flu
- Too much alcohol in any form will worsen your condition and weaken your immune system further.
- Avoid added sugar and processed foods because they may weaken your immunity.
- Avoid exposure to dust and cold; ensure proper clothing that covers your extremities.
How to prevent catching a cold
- Wash your hand with running water and soap
- Do not share a towel or other items with someone having a cold
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, especially after contact with anybody having a cold
- Keep a healthy body through fitness and exercise.
- If you live with individuals with flu symptoms, you can use flu remedies to prepare your immunity for a possible attack.
When to call for a doctor
It would be best to try flu remedies for cold flu at home fast. But you need to seek medical advice from a health care professional if you have the following symptoms:
- Severe symptoms and persistent vomiting
- Chest and abdominal pain
- Still feel sick even after the cold symptoms are gone
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling dizzy
- Your symptoms worsen, or you realize no improvement after seven days of treatment at home, even after using alternative medicine.
- Other health conditions related to upper respiratory tract infections
The common cold remedies above will help with any of the flu virus. With your healthy regular exercise and good dietetics, you can stem the storm of any Cold viruses.
The information shared in this post include advices from wellness professionals, medically reviewed Healthline media websites and peer reviewed journals providing authoritative experiences on how best you can handle cold and the flu at home.
The home remedies for cold flu here should not supersede your own conviction and advice from your healthcare provider. Follow on Healthline media websites which have very important health information that will help keep you in healthy conditions.
If the symptoms persist seek medical advice diagnosis or treatment from healthcare provider.