Home Remedies for Flu Symptoms

Published: 02/03/2020

Having a cold and experiencing flu-like symptoms can be a really awful time. So if you want to try and avoid catching a deadly cold this winter, or already have one and want to get rid of the symptoms as soon as possible, then keep reading to find out some cost-efficient home remedies.

Elderberry Syrup


One evening make a batch of Elderberry Syrup and then ensure to take it daily throughout the colder months. Owner of Renew Botanicals, Shelley Birnbaum, says that her husband and herself do this every winter to prevent a cold from occurring or to reduce the flu like symptoms, and it works like magic! She was even kind enough to provide us with the perfect recipe: Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup dried elderberries,
  • 1 cinnamon stick,
  • tsp -1 tbs ginger root,
  • 1 cup raw local honey (you can add more or less depending on your taste)
  • brandy optional

How to make:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a pot, except honey, add 3 cups water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Smash the berries and strain.
  5. Add 1 cup Raw honey and brandy.
  6. Refrigerate. Will last 2-3 months.

Take 1 tbs daily to ward off illness or a tbs every 2-3 hours if you are sick. For children use half the dose. Note: Please use only raw honey and add the honey after cooking...heat will destroy the important enzymes in the honey. I would also recommend not replacing the honey with any other sweetener as honey has it's own healing properties.

Epsom Salt

magnesium_sulfate Soaking in Epsom Salt can help the body to rest, recover, detoxify and increase the white-blood cell count. This naturally-occurring mineral will ease muscle aches and help you get a good night's rest, so you can recover faster. Some doctors say it will even speed healing by detoxifying your body and increasing your white blood cell count. You can get Epsom Salt - actually magnesium sulfate - for just a few pounds at your local pharmacy or supermarket. Then simply pour a cup of it into a warm bath and let it dissolve into the water. Then hop inside, relax and let it soothe all those aches and pains that winter brings! To learn more about Epsom Salt visit

Ginger Tea

tea-599227_960_720 Drink fresh ginger and lemon tea (add local honey to taste) to support your digestion, reduce your body’s reactions to allergens and help to prevent a cold from happening or to reduce the symptoms. It's really easy to make, all you need to do is add 4-5 slices of ginger in boiling water, then simmer for 20 minutes, add lemon juice and honey to taste. Easy but effective! Integrative Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Practitioner, Tansy Briggs, says the reason this works is because it literally ‘vents’ the virus - making you slightly sweat to push the virus out. It also strengthens the digestion and thus the immune system. If you're interested in the benefits of ginger then we recently produced a post just discussing the benefits of it. You can check it out here.

Hot Toddy


Many people swear by this classic drink. It combines a boost of vitamin C from the lemon, soothing honey, and whisky which numbs a scratchy throat. Lemon, honey and alcohol are all anti-bacterial, too. The recipe is deliciously simple. Ingredients:

  • shot of whisky (Jack Daniel's Honey is particularly tasty in this!)
  • teaspoon of honey
  • lemon slice
  • half a cinnamon stick
  • cloves, lemon juice (to taste)

How to make:

  • Put the whisky, honey, cinnamon, cloves in a mug and top up with freshly boiled water.
  • Add the lemon slice and enough lemon to balance the honey.

Some people use equal amounts of whisky and water for a smaller, stronger drink (about 1/3 of a mug of each). But if you're feeling really ill, don't overdo the alcohol and always drink responsibly!


garlic-635375_960_720 Garlic is a strong antimicrobial and can be minced and sauteed to enhance Italian, Spanish, Indian, and many other forms of ethnic cooking, or minced and added raw to salsa. It's something most of us will add to our favourtie meals anyway but try adding a little extra around the colder months. A popular remedy involving garlic is Fire Cider. You can buy this but it could save you money to make from home. Dr. Gustavo Ferrer, pulmonologist and author of Cough Cures, provided us with a fantastic recipe for making Fire Cider: Fire Cider is a traditional recipe with many variations. It tastes much better than it sounds! The idea of horseradish turns a lot of people off, but that’s what really opens up your sinuses. Ingredients:

  • 1 part fresh horseradish root
  • 1 part onions
  • 1 part garlic
  • 1/2 part fresh ginger Cayenne to taste (just a few grains will do).
  • Honey to taste Apple cider vinegar
  • Optional ingredients: turmeric, echinacea, cinnamon, etc.

How to make:

  1. Chop fresh garlic, onions, and horseradish into small pieces and grate fresh ginger.
  2. The amounts don’t have to be precise and will vary according to your particular taste. If unsure, start with equal amounts of the first three ingredients and roughly half part ginger the first time you make this; you can always adjust the flavors in future batches.
  3. Chop enough of the first four ingredients to fill a quart jar approximately half full.
  4. Put in wide mouth quart jar and cover with apple cider vinegar to about two to three inches above the herbs.
  5. You want raw unpasteurized vinegar with “mother of vinegar” lurking murkily in the bottom, readily available in health food stores.
  6. Add cayenne to taste, just a small amount or it will be too hot!
  7. Let sit in a warm place for two to four weeks (the longer is sits, the stronger the results).
  8. Best to shake every day to help extract the medicinal properties from the herbs.
  9. Before using, strain and discard spent herbs.
  10. Add honey to taste.
  11. Warm the honey first so it mixes in well.
  12. Honey not only tempers the spicy flavor, it adds its own medicinal properties.
  13. Your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet. Re-bottle and enjoy!

Essential Oils

boswellia-sacra-1590063_960_720 Essential Oil Therapy has been known to lessen the duration of the flu virus because there are oils which are anti-viral, which conventional doctors do not use. If you have stagnant, dry mucus, or a dry cough: Place 35 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil in 4oz Hemp Seed Carrier Oil. If you have runny mucus, or a wet cough: Place 35 drops Frankincense Essential Oil in 4 oz Hemp Seed Carrier Oil. Shake several times. Spread the formula over throat, neck, chest, and upper back, 3 times a day. For a stronger effect, you can then place a hot water bottle over the chest, as heat makes the oils absorb faster. (Always place a cotton cloth or clothing, between your skin and the hot water bottle, to prevent burning the skin.)


turmeric-943629_960_720 Turmeric is rich in oils which help to protect your body against getting a cold. Mituri Pradip Sharma, from Nim-Véda Australia says. 'All you have to do is combine one teaspoon in a warm glass of milk and drink twice daily. For those of us who have a bit of a sweet tooth, try mixing some organic honey to the concoction.


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