A Naturopath’s All-Natural Home Remedies for Cold and Flu Relief
As a Naturopath and Nutritionist, people often ask me…
“What do you do when you get sick?”
First, it’s important to understand that coming down with the ‘Common cold’ is not necessarily a sign of weakened immune system. There are SO many types of ‘viruses’ that the body only builds up a resistance if exposed to them.
70-80% of our Immune System is in our Gastrointestinal Tract
Reducing the chance of getting a cold or reducing the duration and severity if you have one, has a lot to do with having a healthy thriving Gut Microbiome
How do you do that??
With a wide variety of foods — FIBRE — that feed our beneficial flora, so they can ferment it and produce Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s) principally butyrate, that can support healthy immune function and improve resistance to infections such as the common cold. .
Even the healthiest person can catch a cold or flu
But it’s what you do when you get one that makes ALL the difference!!
You can opt for over the counter medications that promise to relieve pain and symptoms. But guess what… they won’t cure your cold. But what they can do is work against the health of your Gut Microbiome because the ingredients, when broken down, can result in enhanced toxicity  and can also cause inflammation of the small intestine, loss of microvilli structure and result in reduced nutrient absorption.
So what to do?? Go for natural ways to support your immune system to do it’s job and fight the virus.
Here are my go to’s…
☑️ Warm cups of Echinacea tea 🍵… as it’s known to enhance and modulate the Immune response. It’s also known as a sialagogue – promotes saliva – which is especially good to take any bacteria in the mouth to the stomach where it is killed by stomach acids. Buy loose leaf tea (not tea bags) and try and get Organic. NOTE: If you are allergic to plants from the daisy family you may react to Echinacea.
☑️ My Super Elixir …a powerful blend of anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant natural foods that help support the immune system. I take 2 heaped teaspoons daily and also start and end my day with a mix of Super Elixir mixed with warm water. Link to recipe below.
☑️ Voi Organic Hand Sanitiser 👩⚕️… As I am constantly blowing my nose, I spritz my hands including my mobile phone & computer keyboard regularly. I also spray it onto a handkerchief and use it as an effective nasal congestion reliever!! I keep this little gem in my handbag at ALL times
☑️ Voi Bimbi Organic Soothing Vapour Balm… For little babies 👶 and big babies 👱♀️like me I slather it on my feet, neck and chest and ‘in’ and ‘around’ my nose to help relieve congestion, a runny nose and a chesty cough.
☑️ Nibble on Sauerkraut 🥢 …. I make my own, but there are heaps of great brands out there. Make sure you choose and organic one that has been naturally fermented and has no additives. Studies show that Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) microorganisms present in Sauerkraut play a beneficial role in the function of a healthy immune system.
☑️ Big veggie soup 🥣… is my go to. I make a big pot of soup with leek, garlic, potato, pumpkin, carrot, celery, veggie stock and split peas, barley, kidney beans, cannellini beans and borlotti beans. These help feed my beneficial gut flora who then make Short Chain Fatty Acids to help me get better
☑️ When the sun is out ☀️ I ‘sun my bum’ to get a good 10-mins of Vitamin D which plays a huge role in innate and adaptive immunity.
☑️ I take an Immune Probiotic formula … that helps to maintain optimal gastrointestinal immunity via antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal action. The right formula can assist in activating immune cells and decreasing the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and increasing the expression of anti-inflammatory mediators – sounds fancy but it works!! Read more about Probiotics HERE
☑️ and last… but certainly by all means NOT the least… I make it a HUGE priority to Rest, Rest and then Rest😴… which includes pj’s all day, bouts of sleep, and rom coms 🎥
AND… IF… I feel symptoms are worsening – hacking cough, hard to sleep, heavy head… then I go to step 2 of my First Aid plan…
Depending on presenting symptoms I take a ‘herbal’ tonic with herbs such as Elecampane, Echinacea, Thyme, Andrographis, Pinellia, White Horehound, California poppy, Elder flower and Olive leaf. These are used traditionally in Chinese and Western Herbal Medicine to relieve symptoms associated with coughs and colds.
To get you started here is my SUPER ELIXIR recipe. Feel free to share this article so you can help those around you during the cold winter months. Nat xx
And if you need help to get your health back on track, because a ‘cold’ is the least of your worries… then come work with me HERE
EDIT: I started feeling sniffly and congested on Thursday night (18th) so went straight into action doing all of the above over the next couple of days. Here I am Sunday (21st) at 5pm TOTALLY symptom free and feeling great. The secret?? There is no secret – it’s about keeping as healthy as possible, day in and day out, and when you start to feel unwell make yourself your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY and look after yourself. Trust me it pays off feeling great every day!
REFERENCES What are the organs of the immune system? Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (2006).  Wilson, D., Nicholson, J. (2016) Gut Microbiome Interactions with Drug Metabolism, Efficacy and Toxicity.
Medical Disclaimer: Information provided is for information purposes only, it is NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Neither is it intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. Do not use the information provided here for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician/healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, or need urgent care, contact emergency services promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read here.