11 Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Relief

home remedies for cold and flu

With winter fast approaching, the common cold and flu are becoming common topics of concern. While there’s no definitive cure for the common cold and flu, there are several home remedies that can help manage their symptoms and make the recovery process more bearable.

In this blog, we will delve into these 11 home remedies, exploring how they can provide relief from the common cold symptoms that often plague us during the colder months.

Difference Between Common Cold and Flu

Before diving into the various home remedies for cold and flu relief, let’s take a moment to understand the common cold and flu.

The common cold and the flu may share similar symptoms, but different viruses cause them. Understanding the difference between the two can help you better manage your symptoms and choose appropriate remedies.

The common cold is typically caused by rhinoviruses, which are highly contagious. These viruses can easily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or by touching contaminated surfaces.

So, if someone has a cold, coughs, or sneezes near you, or if you touch a surface with the virus on it and then touch your nose or mouth, you can easily become infected. The flu, on the other hand, is caused by influenza viruses.

These viruses are also highly contagious and spread through respiratory droplets. The flu is often more severe than the common cold and can lead to complications such as pneumonia. It is important to note that the flu can be prevented through vaccination, whereas no vaccine is available for the common cold.

Now that we have a better understanding of the difference between the common cold and the flu, let’s explore some home remedies that can help relieve their symptoms.

1. Ginger – No. 1 in the Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

Ginger, known for its potent natural healing properties, is one of the best home remedies for cold and flu. Its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory qualities make it highly effective in managing cold and flu symptoms.

Ginger is particularly beneficial for easing muscle pain, soothing sore throats, reducing nausea, and even alleviating headaches. Preparing ginger tea is straightforward: simmer slices of raw ginger in boiling water. This warm beverage hydrates soothes, and comforts, making it an integral part of flu remedies at home.

2. Honey Soothing Cold Home Remedy

Honey is a cornerstone in cold home remedies, celebrated for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It’s particularly effective as a natural cough suppressant and a remedy for soothing sore throats. Incorporating honey into warm tea with lemon creates a comforting and healing drink ideal for cold and flu symptoms.

Honey’s natural sweetness and healing properties make it a favorite in home remedies for cold and flu. However, caution is advised for infants under 12 months due to the risk of botulinum spores.

3. Garlic – Potent Antiviral Agent

Garlic is more than just a culinary ingredient; it’s a powerful component of home remedies for colds. Renowned for its antimicrobial and possibly antiviral properties, garlic is a formidable ally against cold and flu symptoms thanks to the allicin compound.

Regular garlic consumption can help reduce symptoms’ severity and may even prevent colds. Its strong flavor and health benefits make garlic a popular choice in home remedies for flu and colds, enhancing taste and health.

4. Chicken Soup For Dinner

Opting for chicken soup at dinner time is an excellent choice when you’re dealing with a cold or flu. Renowned as a classic in home remedies for cold and flu, this nutrient-rich soup supports the immune system and helps maintain hydration. Chicken soup isn’t a cure, but its benefits are significant.

It’s thought to influence the movement of neutrophils, white blood cells integral to the body’s immune response, by slowing them down for more effective action. Enriched with vegetables and chicken, this soup isn’t just nourishing.

It provides comfort during illness, making it a preferred dish in cold home remedies for a wholesome and soothing dinner experience.

5. Echinacea – a Rich Source of Flavonoids for Cold

Echinacea is rich in flavonoids and known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Echinacea stimulates the immune system, making it more efficient in fighting off cold and flu viruses.

Incorporating echinacea into your health regimen during cold and flu season can be beneficial. It’s commonly taken as a tincture or herbal tea. As a tea, it can be particularly soothing for sore throats and respiratory symptoms, making it a popular choice in cold home remedies.

Additionally, echinacea is often paired with other natural ingredients like honey or lemon to enhance its healing properties.

6. Boosting the Immune System with Vitamin C

Winter is the ideal time for incorporating vitamin C-rich foods into your diet. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant critical in supporting the immune system. Excellent dietary sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red peppers, and green leafy vegetables.

Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey may help reduce phlegm during illness. While vitamin C, whether through diet or supplements, is not a guaranteed preventive measure, some evidence suggests it can improve symptoms and slightly shorten the duration of a cold.

7. Probiotics for Immune Health

Probiotics are particularly important for a strong gut microbiome and have been linked to enhanced immune responses, reducing the likelihood of contracting upper respiratory infections.

Incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your diet is an effective strategy in home remedies for cold and flu. Yogurt with live cultures, for instance, provides a healthy dose of probiotics and supplies essential nutrients like protein and calcium, which are vital for overall health and recovery.

When choosing probiotic products, selecting those listing live bacteria on the label is important, ensuring the probiotics are active and beneficial.

Other fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are also rich in probiotics and can be easily integrated into daily meals. These foods support gut health and contribute to a stronger immune system, making them an excellent addition to cold home remedies.

8. Gargling with Salt Water

Gargling with salt water is a simple yet effective remedy that can help prevent upper respiratory infections and ease cold symptoms, particularly sore throat pain and nasal congestion.

The saltwater gargle can reduce and loosen mucus, which may contain bacteria and allergens. To use this remedy, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water, swish it around your mouth and throat, and spit it out.

9. Maintaining Optimal Humidity

Maintaining optimal humidity levels in your home is crucial, especially during the cold and flu season. It’s all about striking that perfect balance – not too dry or humid. When the air is too dry, it can aggravate respiratory symptoms and dry out your nasal passages, making you more susceptible to infections.

On the other hand, overly humid conditions can foster the growth of mold and dust mites. Aiming for a humidity level between 30-50% is often recommended. Using a humidifier can help achieve this, but remember to clean it regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

This practice is a key part of home remedies for cold and flu, as it helps create an environment that supports respiratory health and overall well-being.

10. Drinking Warm Liquids to Relieve Throat Pain

When it comes to soothing a sore throat, one of the simplest and most comforting remedies is sipping on warm liquids. The warmth can help alleviate the pain and irritation in your throat, providing much-needed relief.

So, what kind of warm liquids should you reach for? Well, there are plenty of options to choose from. Try classic herbal tea, such as chamomile or peppermint tea. These teas not only offer warmth but also have calming properties that can help relax your throat muscles.

Another excellent choice is warm water mixed with honey and lemon juice. Honey has antibacterial properties that can help soothe a sore throat, while lemon juice provides vitamin C and antioxidants.

You can also try warm broth or soup, providing hydration and nutrients. Staying hydrated with warm liquids can help keep your throat lubricated and ease discomfort.

11. Using Steam Inhalation for Nasal Congestion Relief

One tried and true method for finding relief from nasal congestion is using steam inhalation. This simple remedy can help clear your nasal passages and make breathing easier, especially when dealing with a cold or flu.

You only need to boil some water and pour it into a bowl. Then, lean a towel over your head and the bowl, creating a little tent to trap the steam. Breathe deeply through your nose in the warm, moist air for about 5-10 minutes.

The steam helps to loosen up mucus and congestion in your nasal passages, making it easier for you to breathe. You can add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint to the water for relief.

It’s important to be cautious when using steam inhalation, especially with children. Always supervise them closely and ensure they don’t get too close to the hot water or accidentally burn themselves.


While there is no cure for the common cold and flu, various home remedies can help alleviate their symptoms, making recovery more comfortable. Some remedies may also slightly reduce the duration of these illnesses.

To reduce the risk of getting a cold or flu, it’s essential to strengthen your immune system through a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. Following flu vaccination guidelines is also crucial for long-term protection.

Remember that if symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to seek medical advice promptly.

Home Remedies for Cold and Flu – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the fastest way to cure a cold or flu?

Home remedies for flu like honey, ginger, and garlic can alleviate symptoms. However, there’s no instant cure; the body needs time to fight off the virus.

What is the best drink for cold and flu?

The best drink for cold and flu is warm water mixed with honey and lemon. This soothing beverage helps in hydration and provides Vitamin C. Herbal teas and broths are also effective. Cold home remedies often include these warm, hydrating drinks.

How can I cure the flu fast at home?

To cure the flu fast at home, focus on rest, stay hydrated, and use flu remedies at home like honey and lemon tea, ginger, and garlic. Remember, quick recovery depends on your body’s immune response.

What is the best cold and flu remedy?

The best cold and flu remedy combines rest, hydration, and symptom management. Home remedies for colds like warm teas, honey, and steam inhalation, can relieve symptoms. Consult a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.

What are the 5 stages of cold?

The 5 stages of a cold are: 1) Incubation, where the virus enters the body; 2) Onset of symptoms like sore throat; 3) Peak symptoms including congestion and cough; 4) Improvement as symptoms lessen; 5) Recovery. Home remedies for colds can be used throughout these stages for relief.

Is ginger good for a cold?

Ginger is excellent for a cold; it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. Used in teas or consumed directly, it can soothe a sore throat and reduce congestion. Incorporating ginger into home remedies for colds can aid in quicker recovery.

Do lemons help fight colds?

Lemons help fight colds as they are high in Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. Adding lemon to warm water or tea is a common home remedy for colds, aiding in soothing a sore throat and reducing phlegm.

Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It is not a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Ingredient Fact does not claim responsibility for this information.

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