Home Recipes and Remedies for Coughs, Colds and the Flu

The flu is like a thief in the night. It comes without warning and sometimes the only thing you can do is to try to manage it with the supplies on hand as it’s unlikely the first thing you’ll want to do is run out to the drug store.

Give these home remedies for the flu a try so the symptoms will become more bearable and will go away as quickly as possible.

Glass of water with lemon, oranges and a thermometer
Has the flu got you down? Give one of these natural remedies a try.

It’s always an unpleasant experience to be sick. But, no matter how much you try to stay healthy all throughout the year, there will always be a time when your immune system is weak and will be unable to fight off viruses and bacteria that make you sick.

At any rate, sickness such as the cold, cough or flu is just one way of telling us that we have to slow down and take a few days to rest. And while you are at it, here are some natural home remedies for the common cold, cough, and flu to help you.

Home Remedies for Colds

Colds build up slowly. It may start with your nose becoming stuffy or a sticky feeling in your throat. It will be tough to thwart the incoming cold. While you wait for it to run it’s course, prepare some home remedies for colds to treat the symptoms.

  1. To break up the congestion, drink plenty of liquids. The liquids will keep your throat moist and lessen the discomfort. If the regular dosage is 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, you will benefit from doubling that if you can.
  2. Boil water and inhale the steam to ease your clogged nose. Be careful not to bring your face too close to the boiling water as it might burn your nose.
  3. Instead of sniffing back the mucus, blow your nose often but gently. Blowing too hard will create pressure in your nasal cavity forcing mucus to enter your ear passages.
  4. Use a salt-water recipe to break nasal congestion. Mix 3 teaspoons of iodized salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. Keep in an air-tight container
  5. Add a teaspoon of this mixture to 8 oz. of boiled water
  6. You can use a bulb syringe to gently squirt the solution into both nostrils.
  7. Essential oils such as rosemary and peppermint oil are also quite good at clearing the nasal passageway. See our article on making your own homemade essential oil inhalant for detailed instructions.
woman drinking a cup of tea in a comfy sweater
Plenty of liquids and rest will help ease the common cold

Home Remedies for Coughs

A continuous dry cough is not only irritating but also very uncomfortable especially at night when you want to sleep. The perfect home remedy for a cough is one that will allow you to sleep comfortably at night because rest is much needed for recovery.

Here are a few good natural remedies for a cough:

1. Honey

Drink 1 tablespoon of honey 3 times a day to control your coughing. If your cough is bothering your sleep, take one tablespoon before bedtime. Kids can take a teaspoon of honey.

honey dripping into a teaspoon
As the old saying goes – “A teaspoon of honey makes the medicine go down!”

2. Licorice Root Tea

Boil 8 oz. of water and mix in 2 tablespoons of dried licorice root. Drink a cup of this mixture 2 times a day.

3. Tea Tree Oil Steam

Boil a bowl of water then add 3 drops of tea tree oil and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil. Stir to release the vapor. Lean over and use a towel to cover your head like a tent, trapping the steam. Perform deep inhalations for 10 minutes. You can do this procedure 3 times a day.

4. Pepper and Honey

Mix 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon of honey in boiling water. Stir to disperse the pepper flakes and melt the honey. Drink 3 glasses of this mixture 3 times a day to loosen the mucus.

Home Remedies for the Flu

If your cold or cough is accompanied by a severe headache and pain in the joints then, it means that you just caught the flu. You will probably be stuck to the bed, and you will have to ask someone to prepare some of these home remedies for the flu for you.

1. Clementine Creamsicle Smoothie

Cool, colorful and packed with vitamins, this clementine smoothie will ease your sore throat.

  • Peel and freeze a small avocado, 3 peeled and broken clementines, and 1 large peeled and sliced banana.
  • When frozen, throw it in a blender with 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, a teaspoon of almond extract, and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.
  • Serve with a big straw.
a bowl of clementines
The vitamin C in oranges and clementines boosts the immune system.

2. Asian Noodle Soup

Soup is a favorite comfort food that always helps us feel better.

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger and 2 cloves diced garlic and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add a thinly sliced jalapeno, 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, and 3 sliced green onions.
  4. Cook soba noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  5. Strain broth into a bowl and pour back into the pot.
  6. Add 3 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 sliced carrot, 1 sliced red pepper, and 7 oz. Cubed extra-firm tofu.
  7. Add the soba noodles. Serve alongside sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and sriracha.
bowl of asian noodle soup
Find the full recipe on Coffee and Quinoa

3. Kimchi Fried Rice

This fried rice dish is warm and wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 1 cubed carrot, a finely cubed green pepper, and spring 3 finely chopped onions and saute.
  • When brown, add 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon crushed ginger, and 50 gm. Firm tofu or a handful of minced pork.
  • Once fragrant, add 200 gm. cooked rice and stir.
  • Add 75 gm. Vegetarian kimchi and a handful of bean sprouts.
  • Then, add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, gluten-free tamari, and white pepper to taste.

Fry the eggs and place them on top of the rice.

fried kimchi rice with an egg on top
Find the full recipe on Budget Bytes

4. Tumeric Milk

Heat 2 cups of fresh whole milk along with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 3 whole black peppercorns, 3 cracked cardamom pods, an inch roughly chopped ginger and a pinch of saffron.

Visit WebMD’s Cold and Flu section for even more natural flu remedies, natural cough and cold remedies that really work.

Final Thoughts

At the first sign of flu, stay in bed and call on the assistance of a loved one to whip up some home remedies for you. When flu sets in, rest is always in order. So, it’s your time to be a baby and you get some pampering until you are on the mend.

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