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What do you do when a cold or the flu (or Covid-19) comes to your home?

Natural remedies for cold and flu
What do you do for the flu?

This post was written when Covid-19 was not a threat. I have updated some of the information in this post to reflect general immune boosting principals, which apply to all viruses, including Covid-19.

Cold and Flu season is coming to the end for this year, but where we live, many people are still suffering from lingering viral illnesses. Whether you call it a simple cold, a bad virus, or the actual Flu, treatment is similar—you need to focus on rest, boosting your immune system, and avoiding further illness from secondary infections.

If you want to deal with your cold or flu using natural remedies, like we do, then you have many options. Most of the time, by catching your illness in its earliest stages, in fact, some simple treatments will be all you need to have you back on the road to health.

woman resting in bed with cold or flu
Take care of yourself if you want to beat a cold!

I will share what our family uses when a cold, virus, or flu comes to our homestead. I will only share the simple remedies that work very well for us. When it comes to dealing with a cold, you are faced with so many options, but what we all really want is something that will work!

Disclaimer:  although I am a nurse, I do not claim to have the ability to treat, diagnose, or otherwise oversee your health. I will share simple tips that everyone can try, but you are expected to look at your situation and act accordingly. If simple remedies are used, they will help much of the time, but if at any point you are becoming worse, please go see a health provider who can assess your individual case.

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase items I have linked, I will receive a small compensation, but you don’t pay any more! Win-win!

COVID-19 Specific Common Sense Preventative Care


The following list is written by a friend of ours who is a physician. This is the information that he freely shares with his patients, regarding COVID-19. I find that most of it is simple for all!

First Line of Defense

I like to think of your first line of defense against any illness, whether it be the common cold, flu, or whatever you are prone to, as the common sense things we all know to do. These can be summed up with the following acronym:  NEWSTART


If you have a sickness coming on, go with the most excellent food possible.  Eat the rainbow of fresh fruits and veggies, and focus on raw foods. Fresh juices, either veggie or fruit, are an excellent choice, as they will give your digestive system an easy time.  Just eat a great diet, free of sugars, excess fats, and minimal processed foods. 

fresh fruits and vegetables are natural remedies for cold and flu
Eat the Rainbow!


When you’re feeling sick, many times you don’t feel like running a marathon, but a walk in the fresh air can be so helpful.  Try to take several bits of whatever exercise you can handle.  Outside is best.

Walking outside can help sickness like cold and flu
A walk outdoors can help when you’re sick


Water inside and outside of the body! 

Drink plenty, and more than usual.  If you are feverish, you may easily become dehydrated, so try to drink as much water as possible.  Whether you are drinking juices or not, pure water is necessary to help flush out toxins.   

Drink water as natural remedy for cold and flu
Pure water always refreshes!

Water outside the body, will be mentioned below, but baths and showers are very helpful when you are sick.


I won’t go into all of the benefits of Vitamin D, which is just one benefit you can get from sunshine.  Vitamin D is necessary for the proper functioning of your immune system.  Sunshine improves your mood, also.  If possible, get out into the sun for at least twenty minutes every day, but make sure to cover up so you don’t get chilled!

 sunshine as natural remedy for cold and flu
A Sun bath can improve your mood and give you valuable Vitamin D


This just means leaving off anything that could compromise your health in any way.  This includes sugar, caffeine, and drugs like tobacco.

coffee and cigarettes suppress immune system
Leave off all drugs and stimulants to help your body heal


Fresh air is what you need!  Make sure to ensure good air circulation through your house by opening the windows and doors to air things out.  We like to crack a window to keep fresh air moving.  Especially where you sleep–make sure you aren’t breathing in stale air, but keep the draft directly away from you.

Fresh air as a natural remedy for cold and flu
Getting out in the open air with a friend can help motivate you


Our busy lifestyles keep us on the run all the time! Go to bed, and this may be enough to kick a cold at the outset! 

Rest is a natural remedy for cold and the flu
Taking care of yourself by getting rest is key to kicking a cold or the flu.


Make sure you don’t forget where your help comes from.  Often, illness brings our need to the forefront, and we see that we need help.  That’s OK!  God wants to bless you–talk to Him about it!  If you’re too sick to read His promises, you can play scripture songs softly that will bring a healing balm to your soul.

Trust in God, boy reading Bible
Trusting God will give you peace to face whatever comes your way

Many times I find that when I feel a cold or flu coming on, I can recognize one or more of the above areas that I’ve neglected.  For me, it’s usually the sleep area. Our bodies can only take so much abuse!

After the simple remedies listed above, what else can you do?

choices with natural remedies
What is the best choice for your health?

Here are the natural remedies we use for the Cold and Flu:

Hot/Cold Shower 

hydrotherapy is a natural remedy for cold and the flu
Hydrotherapy is an excellent aid in sicknesses

This is a wonderful way to give your body an immune boost, and it will not cost you a dime in supplements! If you don’t know what a hot/cold shower is, it is merely a shower, or hydrotherapy treatment, where you use hot water for 3 minutes, then change to cold for 30 seconds, and do this pattern 3-4 more times for a total of 12-15 minutes. Here are a few of the benefits, including an immune boost, and helping to detoxBenefits of Hot/Cold Shower We find that doing 1-2 of these a day when sick/getting sick can help tremendously!  You may feel like you don’t have the energy, but it will usually give you a lift.  Only do as hot and cold as you can stand according to how bad you feel, but the more contrast the temperatures, the more benefits you will feel. 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C as a natural remedy for cold and flu
Vitamin C can come from fresh fruits and juices as well as supplements

The type that we have found to really kick a cold/flu virus fast is the Lipospheric Vitamin C. We get ours on amazon. We stir the packet into a little juice or water, and take 2-3 packs 2-3 times/day to kick a cold. If we catch it right away, normally, a cold will not continue. This vitamin C is pricey, but we have really found that it’s worth it. This last winter, while five of us have lived in our RV, none of us has developed anything more than a few sniffles. We’ve been using this at the outset to ward off cold and flu viruses. For us, it has worked very well!

Update: we now use the Liposomal Vitamin C Capsules, because we take them frequently, and find that the capsules are more economical. Keep some on hand at all times, and take several whenever you feel any hint of sickness coming on!

Note that Vitamin C is water-soluble and must be taken frequently, as it is washed out by your kidneys.

If you cannot afford the Lipospheric Vitamin C, or choose not to use it for another reason, there are many types of Vitamin C. You want to take a lot, and take it often!


Now we catch a cold…

Cat sleeping
Say it’s not true–we get sick now?

As things sometimes go, while I have been writing this post, two of us, myself and my oldest son, came down with a Spring cold or virus, which has been going around our church. We began right away on the Lipospheric Vitamin C. I took it for two days, and my son took it for three. I only really had one day of tiredness/headachy feelings, and then was back to normal. My son waited, then began the C, and he has had the sniffles and a headache, but has not developed into a full-blown sickness. He’s the one of our family who always gets hit the hardest. In our church, when people have been getting this last round of sickness, it has lingered on for around two weeks, so we are happy to have largely kicked it at the onset.

Back to our recommendations–more natural remedies for cold and flu!


Garlic and allicin as natural remedy for the immune system
Garlic is a powerful natural healing agent. AlliMed and AlliMax use concentrated allicin from garlic to make great natural antibiotic and antiviral.

This is the natural medicine approach to antibiotics.  It’s made from allicin, the active ingredient in garlic. But it’s way more garlic than you could ever consume! It is strong, and it has helped us through many infections that have gone past the beginning stages.  As with most other natural remedies, this works best if you catch your cold or flu virus at the beginning, but it is also very good at combating actual infections.  We usually keep a bottle of the liquid around. Get the Allimax here

Learn more about Allimed/Allimax here. The video is 5 minutes. We normally use 20 drops 3-4 times a day, and even a 1/2 tsp 3-4 times a day for a bad infection.

If you happen to live locally to the general Knoxville, Newport, Greeneville, Gatlinburg, TN area, it’s worth a drive to get yours at the Mustard Seed in Newport, TN. Walt Cross, the owner, imports the liquid AlliMed from its source in the UK, so it is always fresh! Here is their Facebook page

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Immune Syrup as natural remedy for cold and flu
Make you own elderberry syrup or purchase it ready-made

This is the herbal/natural alternative to Tamiflu or Relenza, which are antivirals to help stop the virus from continuing to replicate. There have been several impressive studies suggesting that Sambucol, or the extract of elderberries, is effective against Flu. Here is one.

I like to make my own (here’s my recipe!), but you can certainly buy it pre-made. We purchase it when it’s cold and flu season, if I don’t have any on hand.  

You can get ready-made syrup at just about any health food store, or order it online. There are so many brands, but personally, I like to look for no sugar or fructose added, and no alcohol or preservatives. Here’s one on amazon that meets that requirement.

  • Elder Syrup available at amazon.com Just look around and see what components are important to you and your family.

Rocket Fuel

Rocket fuel as natural remedy for cold and fluMake your own Rocket Fuel![/caption]

If you’ve never heard of Rocket Fuel before, you need to try it if any cold or flu comes your way!  Just a note, that if you drink this concoction, which is highly effective, you may not be the most popular guy or gal in town, because of your smell!  Natural garlic has that effect.  

I will link to this recipe, and then place the recipe in my recipe tab, to make it easier to find next time!

The recipe for Rocket Fuel takes simple, inexpensive ingredients.  anyone can whip it up in a flash!  You want to make yourself a quart, then slowly sip it throughout the day.  SLOWLY, because the garlic can be a bit strong, and you don’t want your stomach to revolt.  

Here is the Recipe for Rocket Fuel 

rocket fuel as natural remedy for cold and fluBlast off with your rocket fuel![/caption]

Nettle Tea

Stinging Nettle Tea is another great remedy. It is good for cold and flu symptoms, and particularly useful for seasonal allergies. I also find that Stinging Nettle helps to clear the head, nose, and throat of congestion, so it’s is helpful for sinusitis.

For more information about Stinging Nettle, read here.

Essential oils

I know some prefer not to use essential oils internally, and that’s your preference. I do use select high quality oils for boosting my immunity, and have had no ill effects. I will not go into every oil for every need, but for warding off illness, I take 1-2 drops of or Rocky Mountain Oil’s Immune Strength /Sacred Immune Strength, or DoTerra’s OnGuard. For me, the RMO is excellent quality and is a bit easier on the pocketbook. Note that you will want to flush the drops down with water, as they are very strong. As soon as I feel any twinge of sickness, a drop or two usually helps to head it off.

So there you have it!

These are our go-to natural remedies for cold and flu!

Let me know how they work for you!

Stay well!

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