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Natural Remedies When You Suffer from Coughs and Colds


You can suffer from coughs and colds at just about any time of the year and not only in the colder, winter months.  But what can you do to help to treat them in a more natural way rather than resorting to those over-the-counter products from your local pharmacy?

Of course, with the symptoms of coughs and colds you should stay at home to avoid spreading to others especially if you have a fever, while getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids.

But what else can you do to help?

Vitamin C should always be your first natural remedy

Try to include plenty of citrus and other vitamin-C rich foods in your diet as a matter of course.  Such foods include: 

  • Vegetables: cabbage, chili peppers, green leafy vegetables including spinach, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, watercress, garlic and more.
  • Fruits: grapefruit, guava, kiwis, mango, oranges, orange juice, strawberries, watermelon, lemon, cherries, bilberries and most of the red fruits.

But at the very first sign of any sniffles, a cough or a sore throat, always reach for the vitamin C supplements and take a 1000 mg dose.  Then keep taking it every two or three hours until the symptoms disappear or you reach bowel intolerance (a sure sign that you should not take any more).  In many cases, your sniffles or other symptoms will just fade away. 

Honey and lemon 

These two are the classic combination in the fight against a sore throat with honey being a natural anti-inflammatory while lemon rind contains limonene which can help reduce phlegm production in the nasal cavity.

One suggestion for a winter health hack is blitzing honey, lemon/lime and ginger in roughly equal quantities and freezing in an ice cube tray ready to pop into a hot drink each morning. 


Gargling with with warm salty water

Dissolve half a teaspoon of natural salt in warm water, gargle and spit out.  Keep repeating. 


Raiding the spices in your pantry

  • Sage is the best herb for a sore throat.   Whether bought dry or picked fresh, chop up a teaspoon and infuse in hot water or leave overnight, strain and drink cold.
  • Another suggestion is to drink warm dairy milk or almond milk with a teaspoon of turmeric and honey.
  • Clove and thyme have antimicrobial properties to help kill off a virus.  Add to a cup of tea or use in cooking.  Use regularly when unwell but add another dose or two even when you are feeling better to finish off any remains of a virus still hanging around.
  • Use cardamom and coriander to help clear out any phlegm.

When those coughs and colds need some medical attention

Most coughs and colds can be successfully treated in the home but you should seek medical help in the following instances:

  • A persistent cough lasting over two weeks.
  • A very serious and painful cough.
  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing or
  • A swollen neck.


Chemistry Central Journal: “Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health.”

Sea salt vs. table salt. (2018).
 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sea-salt-vs-table-salt. (Accessed 4 June, 2021).