Cold & Flu Remedies

Cold and flu season is quickly approaching. I thought it might be a good idea to post any cold, flu, cough, stuffy nose (you get my point) remedies you have here. There are many different remedies out there and they are good for many different things. Different things work for different lets get them collected here.


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Comment by Amethyst Samia on February 12, 2015 at 7:22pm


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Place ingredients in a saucepan and mix thoroughly. Heat to a simmer and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. It will become dark and thick.

Line a baking tray with parchment or waxed paper and spoon the hot liquid onto the paper in small amounts to form the "drops" or sweets. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes and coat with confectioners sugar. Coat thoroughly. When cool place in a tin.

Can be used as a cough drop or as a cold or flu remedy. Can also be placed in a cup of hot water and sllowed to melt. Drink as a "tea".

Comment by Amethyst Samia on December 29, 2014 at 4:51am


Comment by Amethyst Samia on September 30, 2014 at 11:37am
Forgot to mention Moon Rain that witch hazel and astringents in general are actually moisturizing. I always thought they were drying but our dear Tea educated me on that. I miss her! An amazing creature she is!
Comment by Amethyst Samia on September 30, 2014 at 11:34am
Moon Rain thats great advice as always. Thank you. I didn't know that about Vitamin C. I've actually read of a cold/flu remedy called a Vitamin C "push" I think. Anyway it's mass doses of vitamin C every few hours for a bit. Not a mention of the blood thinning issue.

Didn't know that about St. John's Wort either. Thank you!
Comment by Moon Rain on September 25, 2014 at 11:56am


In a post below I recommended taking Vitamin C if you have a cold or flu or if you've been exposed to someone who has them. I was never taught this in pharmacology class at nursing school, but I just read today that Vitamin C acts as a blood thinner, so if you are already on a prescription blood thinner or take a daily aspirin, it is imperative that you discuss this with your health care provider. You should always communicate any vitamin, supplement, or herb that you're taking to your health care provider because although these may be "all-natural" it doesn't mean that they won't react negatively to your health situation or to the prescription meds you're taking. I think you all know about not taking St. John's Wort if you're on anti-depressants because it can cause Serotonin Toxicity and you will earn yourself some time in the hospital. I'm just using the St. John's Wort as an example, but you get the point.

Comment by Moon Rain on September 24, 2014 at 3:39pm

Amethyst, the hand sanitizer spray I make does not cause dry hands, due to the Vitamin E and aloe vera gel. Note that I've only made it with Witch Hazel and not Vodka, yet.

Also, I wholeheartedly agree with you that people who are ill should not go out in public and spread their germs around. Like you said, a person with a compromised immune system is very susceptible to getting sick and it is just pain rude, IMO. If they have to go to the doctor, they should wear a mask or ask for one from the receptionist. I used to work for an allergy doctor, and people would bring in flowers or wear heavy perfume. Some people just don't get it!

Comment by Amethyst Samia on September 24, 2014 at 3:05pm
Wonderful common sense info Stacy-of-Umpqua. Common sense is best. A lot of what you said was pounded into my brain as a kid. Paper towels to touch things in public restrooms...gargle salt water...don't touch anything...wash hands frequently...common sense is the best IMO.

One other common sense I might add is if you are working with other people and you get a cold or flu...STAY HOME. I'm a diabetic and a serious cold or flu can be very dangerous for me, as well as those with other immune compromising conditions such as heart conditions or cancer or anything. Folks would come in my office near dead. I would tell them to go home. "I can't afford to. I don't have any sick leave." I can't afford a major chest infection and 2 trips to the do. And 2 rounds of antibiotics and more than a week off either and that's what YOU are doing to me. Then they sneeze in my face. Very rough. The other thing I learned is when sick if I went to bed (or couch) immediately and rested, I got well much faster. Duh. *rant over*

I also have a recipe for hand sanitizer that I got online but haven't made because it has several EO's in it and they are so expensive. It's based on the thieves blend of stuff. Mythical or's a good mix. The one I have uses rosemary, cinnamon, eucalyptus & clove bud, and a larger amount of a citrus EO...lemon, wild orange or grapefruit. No alcohol either. Aloe Vera gel & water. I would also add tea tree to it. Vitamin E is great...expensive but great...and vodka? Never thought of that. That will extend the shelf life too. Is it drying at all?

I have an antiseptic spray recipe somewhere too...
Comment by Moon Rain on September 22, 2014 at 5:31am

Here is the recipe for the DIY hand santizer that I listed in one of my cold and flu posts. I give it a shake before I use it, then I do about 2-3 squirts in my hands and rub them together.

Homemade Natural Hand Sanitizer recipe:

5-10 drops lavender essential oil
30 drops tea tree essential oil - this is a 0.5% concentration
1 Tablespoon witch hazel extract or high-proof vodka
8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel
¼ teaspoon Vitamin E oil - a natural preservative to increase shelf life (It will also help soften hands!)

Add essential oils and Vitamin E oil to a small glass bowl or container and swirl to mix. Add witch hazel (or alcohol) to the oils and swirl again. Add this mixture to the aloe vera gel and mix well. Shake gently before each use. (Sanitizer should last several months with the addition of Vitamin E to the blend).

Comment by Moon Rain on September 22, 2014 at 4:21am

Part 2 of my Cold & Flu Discussion:

  • Tamiflu is a popular flu medication, one that I administered to my patients when I was a RN. Tamiflu has actually been banned in some countries due to its side effects.
  • Raw honey. Honey is antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral. This means that before you know the source of an illness (virus, fungus or bacteria) you can still begin to treat the problem. Sprinkle honey with powdered cinnamon & take a teaspoon 3 times per day as soon as you start to feel a little tickle in your throat. This can often prevent the illness from taking hold.Instead of reaching for the cough syrup, try a teaspoon of honey before bedtime to soothe your cough. Honey taken this way is also very soothing to sore, inflamed throats.
  • Green Tea is the perfect beverage for someone suffering from the flu. A cup of green tea that has been steeped for 3-5 minutes is loaded with immunity-boosting antioxidants. This helps your cells to fight off the germs which are making you sick. Remember to add that raw honey to your tea!
  • A gargle made from salt water can relieve a sore throat. As well, it can stop a budding infection in its tracks. Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with a cup of water and gargle.
  • Others have mentioned onions and garlic, so I won't repeat that.
  • If you are sick and it is necessary that you go grocery shopping or out in the public, please, please, please wear a mask and wash your hands thoroughly. No one wants to get infected by you, just as you wouldn't want to get infected by someone else.
  • My husband gets frequent sinus infections. I ALWAYS wash any bedding or blankets he has come in contact with during his infectious state. I also tell him, "Honey, I love you and I'm kissing you in my heart." So no kissing or hugging an infectious person! (some might disagree with that, but note in my first post how rarely I get sick)
Comment by Moon Rain on September 22, 2014 at 4:11am

Comment by Stacy-of-Umpqua 1 second ago Delete Comment

I get a cold once every 2-3 years and I haven't had the flu in over 18 years, and, no, I don't get flu vaccines, nor was I breast fed as an infant. The reason why I don't get flu vaccines is for another post. I worked at a hospital for 15 years, and the last three years I was a nurse. I had patients coughing and sneezing all in my face, and I think it actually boosted my immunity.

So,  the "treatments" I'm going to propose are common-sense ones that also include prevention tips:

  • If you feel unusually tired, respect your body's cues & get the needed rest. If it proceeds for more than a couple of days, though, I would see your doctor about it. It could just be a cold or the flu, but it could be low thyroid, heart issues, or all sorts of things.
  • When you wash your hands in a public rest room, grab a clean paper towel to open the door with, & try to get that paper towel in the garbage can (if it will reach). Otherwise, you've just washed your hands for nothing because some folks don't wash their hands, or they do it just for show and aren't very thorough.
  • When I've been exposed to a sick person, I take echinacia & Vitamin C supplements. Vit. C is water soluble, meaning you urinate it out, but with anything, it is possible to over do. Check w/ your doctor. You can also purchase echinacia tea.
  • Pack anti-bacterial spray or gel with you. I made my own spray from a recipe I found online. As soon as I can find the recipe, I will post it. I remember that it has aloe vera oil in it as well as witch hazel. No alcohol. I use my spray after I've recycled my soft drink cans, used a store's shopping cart, touched someone else's door knob, etc.
  • I keep elderberry extract on hand for the flu (because who wants to go shopping for it when you're sick?) Elderberry syrup or extract can be mixed with hot water to make a tea. It can also be added to sparkling water and served cold for a refreshing drink that will soothe a scratchy throat.
  • The best method to clear your sinus passages is in a hot shower! Just blow away and don't be timid. It will all wash down the drain.
  • In between showers, use a neti pot. Note that you should use distilled water because in some parts of the country, the drinking water has parasites that have caused deaths when people used the tap water for their neti pots. Now why they can drink the same water and be okay baffles me.
  • You don't need anti-biotics if you have a cold. A cold is viral illness, so therefore anti-biotics are inappropriate. At this time, there is no anti-viral Rx for colds.
Comment by Amethyst Samia on November 23, 2013 at 8:14pm

posted by Angela Nightjar

Comment by Amethyst Samia on November 20, 2013 at 3:13pm
Comment by Angela Nightjar on Sunday
Amethyst I got a recipe for "onion syrup" so long ago I can't remember where or from who. Might have been when I was at my cousin's in Bath, Maine or maybe when I lived in Pennsylvania Dutch country. You chop up big sweet yellow onions fine and put them in a heavy pot on low heat. Add water and simmer until the water is gone and then add more water and keep cooking it down until the onions are pretty much liquid. It should turn a golden brown but not get real dark or burn and it should get thick. Then you a little honey if you need to sweeten it. I discovered a tiny pat of butter added right before all the first water was gone carmelized the onions and made the syrup sweeter by itself but, heck, any excuse for honey.
My nickname was Ellie Mae, too, for always dragging in critters and varmints. Still doing it, too.

Comment by Amethyst Samia on November 7, 2013 at 5:54am


Comment by Amethyst Samia on November 7, 2013 at 5:46am



Comment by Amethyst Samia on October 19, 2013 at 7:21am
I see my typing is still bad'. Anything that starts off with pepper means peppercorns! Sorry!
Comment by Amethyst Samia on October 19, 2013 at 7:19am


Note that the black pepper added in this blend is black PEPPERCORNS. an entire tablespoon of pepper or a sounds like a lot but what do I know! Sounds yummy!

Comment by Amethyst Samia on October 19, 2013 at 6:07am


Comment by Amethyst Samia on October 19, 2013 at 5:53am

Love Rosemary! I'm dying to make this!


Comment by Amethyst Samia on October 18, 2013 at 1:19am
Comment by Michel Montvert 11 hours ago
Hi Amethyst, hope you're doing well.
I like your idea, and have a few garden-witch cold-flu remedies I might contribute.
As the colder fronts move in, some like me are subject to bad sinus headaches due to barometric changes. Tea of fresh oregano is the herb I've found to most quickly counter this. Feverfew over a period confers relief from migraines, but oregano begins to relieve congestion and pain as soon as its vapors reach the nasal passages.
Comment by Amethyst Samia on October 17, 2013 at 9:30am
I have a friend who swears by this one. It's a little hardcore for most, but I say it's worth a try!

Chew one raw clove of garlic, followed by eating one raw hot pepper of any sort. Jalapeño or any variety of that type. (I wonder if eating ground cayenne pepper would have the same effect?)

He says the garlic does all the wonderful things that garlic does and the hot pepper causes sweating of course, which can help with a fever. The peppers also contain capsaicin (I know I probably spelled that wrong) that helps with pain from fever if you have one. It also opens the sinuses and helps you breathe!

Yummy! Said no one ever. *cackles & snorts*. Hope this helps!

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