6 Natural Remedies to Fight off a Cold


It’s that time of year again when the sniffles are threatening us with their arrival and the scratchy throats, tickling coughs and the runny nose are never too far off. That’s why I’ve put together this blog post on 6 Natural Remedies to Fight off a Cold.

Being sick is never fun. And whilst it’s true that sometimes you just have to let viruses run their course, there are proven natural cold remedies that can help you feel better. At the very least, they can help alleviate some of those bothersome cold and flu symptoms.

Whilst there’s no instant miracle cure, take these remedies as a preventative measure against getting sick as well as at the first sign of a cold will help you feel better fast.

And so, without further ado, here are my 6 Natural Remedies to fight off a Cold.

olive leaf extract to fight off a cold

No. 1 – Olive Leaf Extract

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the health benefits of olive oil, but another part of the olive tree that is less known about is the olive leaf.
Olive leaves provide incredible health benefits, including amazing immune system support. 

These humble leaves offer antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activities. This makes olive leaf extract incredibly effective for battling microorganisms like fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
Thanks to these antiviral properties, olive leaf extract is able to help fight off the common cold and even battle viruses that are known to cause respiratory infections and the flu.

Try Comvita Olive Leaf Extract to help you this winter. 

oregano oil to fight off a cold

No. 2 – Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is absolutely fantastic to fight off a cold, flu, virus, or infection. That’s thanks to its antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties.

Taken on the first sign of any symptom, this potent remedy will help knock anything unpleasant on the head that is trying to invade your system. Plus, it’s very potent so only a small amount is needed.
It can be taken either straight from the bottle (via a dropper), added to a teaspoon of raw honey or added to water.

Should you already be suffering from these symptoms, a couple of drops taken at intervals throughout the day should help shorten the duration and ease the symptoms.

I recommend North American herb and spice oregano oil P73.

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No. 3 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries for all sorts of ailments. Equally, it’s used for its health-boosting benefits, ranging from:

  • improving digestion
  • alleviating blocked sinuses
  • reducing blood sugar levels
  • aiding the lymphatic system to clear out toxins
  • providing relief from bloating, reflux and heartburn
  • eliminating body odour

Apple cider vinegar is made from crushed apples that are then fermented. During the fermentation process, the sugar in the apples turns into organic acids. This creates a range of enzymes, minerals, pectin, and probiotics known as “the mother.”
You’ll notice the “mother” by the visible cloudy strings floating in the bottle. The “mother” is only found in organic, raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s. It’s essential if you want the health benefits from your ACV.

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar helps to break down mucus. If you’re suffering from a blocked stuffy nose or a sore throat, ACV is your go-to.
If you’re looking for something to fight off a cold that doesn’t set your wallet back, you’ve found it.
Gargling with equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water is another great remedy for a sore throat, plus the acidity will help to kill any germs.

apple cider vinegar to fight off a cold

How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar

To ease yourself into it, start with 1 teaspoon of ACV in one cup of warm water.
Feel free to add a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lemon there too.
Over time you can build up to 1 or 2 tablespoons of ACV – but use caution – too much apple cider vinegar can cause irritation.

Other ways to spice it up include adding different flavours from fruits, spices, sweeteners and so on.

Apple Cider Cold Buster

  • pineapple juice1/4 cup
  • apple cider vinegar1 tablespoon
  • raw honey1 teaspoon
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne

Flu Fighter

  • A glass of warm or hot water
  • apple cider vinegar1 tablespoon
  • lemon juice1 tablespoon
  • ground ginger½ teaspoon
  • cinnamon1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

Want to knock it up a bit? Try Fire Cider.

No. 4 – Fire Cider

Fire Cider is a popular herbal folk remedy made from a combination of apple cider vinegar that has been infused with herbs. These often include garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, horseradish, and hot peppers. 

Fire Cider is one of the more pleasant and easy ways to boost your health and immune system. Plus it also helps to stimulate digestion and improve your circulation.

Simply take a tablespoon each morning in the winter to help ward off any viruses going around. Alternatively, take 1 to 2 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold, and then repeat every 3 to 4 hours until symptoms subside. 

So how do you make it? Well – first of all, it involves patience as it takes an entire month to be ready, but trust me, it’s worth it!

For a recipe to give you an idea of what to use, check out my blog HERE, but feel free to change it up as much as you like.

herbal syrups to fight off a cold

No. 5 – Herbal Syrups

1. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is a wonderful herbal concoction to keep in your fridge during the wintertime, and especially the cold and flu season.
It’s a fantastic preventative, but sometimes there’s no avoiding those nasty bugs that are lurking around.

Should you find yourself feeling the first symptoms approaching, as soon as you do, infuse your body with elderberry syrup. If it doesn’t halt it in its track, it can at least shorten the duration of your cold/flu by 3-4 days.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own Elderberry Syrup.
Otherwise, we have you covered with Pukka Herbs Elderberry syrup. This syrup contains elderberry, manuka honey, trikatu and thyme, along with the other herbs. These all help alleviate the symptoms of coughs, colds and flu.
The herbs in this syrup have a great history of us in helping to support the respiratory system and seasonal health. It’s suitable for adults and children from 2 and up.

2. Lemon Honey Thyme Syrup

Lemon Honey Thyme Cough Syrup is a great home remedy for colds. Thyme is an aromatic, warming herb that aids in relieving chest congestion, coughs and indigestion. Thyme has a strengthening effect on the thymus gland which helps to boost immune function. It’s a fantastic herb to fight off a cold. I love it!

Raw honey has antibacterial properties and can help reduce inflammation in the throat. Honey is very soothing for a sore, scratchy throat. Equally, it helps to calm a tickling cough too. Honey can also be used as a cough suppressant.
Check out a recipe for it here: Lemon Honey Thyme Syrup. 

probiotics to help fight off a cold

No. 6 – Friendly Bacteria

Did you know that roughly 70- 80% of your immune system is located in your gut?
With that in mind, it’s good to make sure you’ve got plenty of good bacteria in your gut. As a result, you’ll help ensure you’re better equipped to deal with any bad bacteria heading your way, especially at this time of year.

Friendly bacteria are beneficial bacteria that can help support and strengthen the immune system, on top of supporting your digestive health. By helping to regulate the bacteria in your gut, these friendly bacteria help to keep your intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs. As a result, they aid in the prevention of catching any cold or flu bug going around – wahey!

And if you are unlucky enough to be struck down by something, these friendly bacteria can help shorten the length and severity of your cold or flu when taken regularly.

How to take them

Friendly bacteria-rich foods and drinks are not only insanely good for your gut, but they also taste fantastic! Foods that contain naturally occurring probiotics include:

  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • kombucha tea
  • water kefir
  • miso
  • tempeh
  • cultured dairy such as milk kefir and natural yoghurt. For more info on the benefits of fermentation, see my previous blog here. And for more in-depth knowledge about the above-mentioned foods, see this blog.

Friendly bacteria supplements are another option. We stock Optibac, and Udo’s Super 8, plus many more.
These will give you guaranteed amounts of certain strains and strengths to fit your needs.

A final note

There’s no time like the present to take preventative measures against getting sick. Therefore I encourage you to stock up your fridge and pantry with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, keep yourself hydrated and whip yourself up a herbal remedy or two 🙂

And that’s it for my 6 Natural Remedies to Fight off a Cold.

Have a read over my blog post 8 Natural Tips to Halt Your Cold in its Tracks for some more tips and tricks on how to fight off a cold.

Emily Nöth

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*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention

Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication