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Natural Flu Remedies

Updated on September 29, 2008
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Colds and flu affect nearly everyone sometime during flu season. Even if you have gotten a flu shot you may still get the flu or one of the many other viruses that causes similar symptoms.  There is always confusion whether a person is suffering from a cold or the flu.  Here are the symptoms of the flu:

  • Sudden onset
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscles aches
  • Headache
  • Joint aches
  • Extreme fatigue

Some of the viruses that are confused with the flu are"

  • RSV
  • COlds
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinusitis

You can ease the symptoms of the flu with herbs and natural remedies while you build your immune system.

Leave the Fever Alone

A fever is the body's way of making bacteria and viruses die.  They cannot live in too hot or too cold of an environment.  One of the body's promary defenses against illness is a fever.

But many people take a fever reducer at he first sign of elevated temperature.  This is not good. As long as the temperature is below 103 you should allow it to remain.

Just drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.

Echinacea Goldenseal

Echinacea and Goldenseal are the super-heroes of the herbal world when it comes to viruses or bacteria. 

These herbs are most potent in combination in a tincture.  Adults should begin taking 300 mgs of Echinacea Goldenseal every two hours at the first sign of a cold or flu.  After three days this should be reduced to 300 mgs three times a day for ten days.  Do not take this combination for more than two weeks without a one week break.

If you are on prescription medications talk to your pharmacist about any possible interactions.


Mom always said "Don't forget to take your vitamins!" and that is true. It is especially important when your are ill because the body uses vital nutrients fighting disease.

When you have the flu take the following vitamins:

  • 15,000 IU vitamin A
  • Natural Beta Carotene 15,000 IU per day
  • 20,000 mg of vitamin C in divided doses. If you have a tendency toward heartburn get the buffered type.
  • 15mg zinc lozenge every two hours, dissolved in the mouth

Other Herbs and Natural Medications

  • Colloidal silver, 500 ppm. This was the antibiotic/antiviral of choice until World War I and it is very effective against all kinds of bugs. Take as directed on the label.
  • Garlic should be taken at a rate of two capsules, three times a day.
  • Cayenne pepper will keep the mucus thinned out and help with congestion. Eat chips and salsa, hot peppers, a really spicy curry or anything with hot peppers in it.
  • Elderberry extract

Preventing the Flu

Lifestyle Changes

  • Do not use dairy products when you have a cold or flu. It increases the mucus and causes it to be thicker.
  • Take some time off work. Yes you can.
  • get plenty of sleep. 8 hours minimum at night and naps during the day.
  • Hot chicken soup. Yes really. Add some garlic and hot sauce to make it even more potent.
  • Do not take iron supplements while you have a fever.
  • Rest, rest, rest.
  • Stay away from sugar.

Cough Syrup Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon Slippery Elm Bark powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup raw honey

Mix well.  Let cool.  Take 1 to 2 teaspoons every three hours.  Store in the refrigerator.

Natural medications help to strengthen your immune system while they are making you more comfortable. 

For the best over all health do not go running to chemical medications at the first sign of discomfort.  Herbal medications have worked for centuries and they work just as well today.


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    • profile image

      Barbie 8 years ago

      Great page, natural flu remedies are the way to go. I got a flu vaccine shot about 8 years ago and ended up worse then if I had just gotten the flu. Took me all winter that year to feel normal again. I'll never get a vaccine again. I'm always looking for natural remedies and preventatives to try. Thanks.

    • Sophia Heresford profile image

      Sophia Heresford 8 years ago from Ohio

      Another great hub! I am stocking up on natural remedies since I have asthma.


    • profile image 9 years ago

      The old grandmas remedy, chicken soup ! and rest, rest, rest.

      Washing hands, avoiding crowds and the ER as much as possible.

      most importantly is a good nutrition LOts of vegies and fruit.

    • nancydodds1 profile image

      nancydodds1 9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Really flu viruses stay infectious for about one week for our body temperature. You have shared very useful tips. I will definitely cough syrup recipe. Thanks for sharing

      Find my hub on Herbal Remedies useful too

    • LouiseKnittel profile image

      LouiseKnittel 9 years ago from Ohio

      Love the fact that you have a home made cough syrup!

    • Lynett profile image

      Lynett 9 years ago from USA

      I can't wait to give some of these a try. When I was sick last winter I went to the doctor (for the first time in several years), and he prescribed honey, chicken noodle soup, and sleep:)