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5 All-Natural Cold Remedies That I Swear By

Updated on November 24, 2017

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor,nor do I claim to be one. I'm only sharing remedies that worked for me, results may vary. Use common sense; if you are allergic to any of the ingredients I have listed, don't attempt to use them! Obviously, if you have a severe cold and need medical attention, call a doctor!

I'm not totally against modern medicine, but giving the choice of several questionable chemicals in cough syrup or pills vs all natural alternatives that work just as well or better, I'm going to go all naturale, baby.

These are tried and true recipes I have been using for years.


1. Onion and Brown Sugar

This recipe will create an all-natural cold syrup, and surprisingly, my kids like the taste. Take one fresh onion, cut it into rings, and put in a Tupperware container. Cover the onions with 2 heaping tbsps of dark brown sugar. Put a lid on the container and let sit overnight and voila! You'll have a syrup in the morning. Strain off the onion rings and bottle the syrup. Take 2 tsp every hour until symptoms are relieved (I usually just give them 2 tsps before bed and this works very well).

Who doesn't have these two ingredients at home? This is easy, cheap, effective, and SAFE. The only side-effects I know of are bad breath or sugar high. Onion is a popular natural remedy for colds because of its natural antiseptic properties.

2. Honey

(DO NOT GIVE HONEY TO CHILDREN UNDER 12 MONTHS, DUE TO THE RISK OF BOTULISM). I read somewhere that a tablespoon of honey is just as effective as over-the-counter cough syrup. Mixed with chamomile tea, it's also a great throat soother. Furthermore, people say if you take a few teaspoons of local honey a day, this will lessen your seasonal allergies. Honey is a super food, and all-natural!

3. Eucalyptus Steam Treatment

When my daughers are having nighttime coughing fits or trouble breathing, I immediately apply this remedy. It's very simple; boil a kettle of water, put it in a heat resistant bowl. Add about 10 drops of pure eucalyptus oil. I have them take a few deep inhales of the vapors, and then I place the bowl by their bedside so they can breathe in the vapors while they sleep. Works like a charm. You can also put a few drops in your shower (not bath, because it may irritate sensitive areas, if you know what I mean!)

4, Hot and Sour Soup

I don't have a recipe for hot and sour soup, but I'm sure you have a Chinese restaurant in your area. (UPDATE: I now DO have a recipe for hot and sour soup!) I struggled with a painful sinus infection for about a week, and then I ordered a quart of hot and sour soup from my local take-out place. The next day, I was totally, 100% cured. Seriously! I suppose any spicy chicken broth based soup could be substituted, but this is one that worked for me.

How does spicy food help clear congestion? Well, in a nutshell, they help keep your mucus thin and your nose running, getting rid of that slimy junk faster. Pairing that spice with a hot clear liquid is double the benefit.

Here are some more foods that may help you get through your cold and congestion quicker.

Recipe for Elderberry Syrup

  • 1 cup dried organic elderberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cup raw honey

Heat elderberries, water, and spices to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool COMPLETELY; heating the honey will kill the healing properties. Strain the elderberries liquid into a bowl and discard the elderberries. Thoroughly mix in the honey. Bottle in a clean, sterile container and store in the refrigerator.

Dosage (when sick): 1 tsp for child, 1 tbsp for adult every 2-3 hours.

To help prevent colds/flu, take 1 tsp for child and 1 tbsp for adult daily.

5. Elderberry Syrup

Many people swear by the healing powers of this little dark berry. The best way to have your dose of elderberries is to heat them down and mix with raw honey. Unlike most nasty tasting medicines, this syrup is yummy enough for kids all of ages.


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    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks Jimsmillions! Hope you all feel better soon.

    • jimsmillions profile image


      7 years ago from Bristol south west england

      Great advice we all have colds at the moment!

      Thanks for sharing

      Voted up, useful and interesting. Socially shared and pinned on Pinterest.

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I never heard of onion and brown sugar before. I'll have to add it to my list the next time I get a cold.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Innersmiff and Katrinasui: You're welcome!

    • katrinasui profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub. I liked your tips:)

    • innersmiff profile image

      James Smith 

      7 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the tip about local honey. My allergies go crazy in the summer!


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