10 Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Symptoms

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10 Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Symptoms
Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
KayaWell Expert

Common cold and flu are respiratory diseases caused by viruses entering your body. Cold is caused by a group of viruses like rhinoviruses, parainfluenza, and seasonal coronaviruses, whereas flu is commonly caused by a single virus called influenza. Since both of them have similar symptoms, it becomes difficult to spot any differences on the basis of symptoms alone. 

Besides over-the-counter medications, there are several home remedies for flu and cold symptoms that have proven highly effective. Although these remedies do not guarantee curing cold or flu, they relieve symptoms, boosting the recovery process. If you’ve been experiencing cold and flu symptoms for a long time and are looking for the best natural or home remedies that you can try, you have landed on the right page. This article features the top 10 natural remedies for cold and flu symptoms. Let’s dive in! 

Common Symptoms of Cold and Flu 

Some common symptoms of cold and flu are: 

  • Fever or chills

  • Cough, runny or stuffy nose

  • Sore throat

  • Headaches

  • Muscle or body aches 

  • Fatigue.

  • Watery eyes

  • Itchiness

  • Redness

  • Congestion

  • Sinus pressure 

  • Chest pressure

Usually, cold peaks within 2 to 3 days and lasts about 7 to 10 days in adults and teenagers. In younger children, cold typically lasts for 10 to 14 days. In such a situation, trying home remedies for cold and flu is suggested. 

10 Natural Remedies for Flu and Cold Symptoms 

1. Drink Water and Fluids

If you’re experiencing symptoms of flu, drinking water and fluids becomes even more important as it keeps your mouth, throat and nose moist and flushes all toxins present in the body. To stay hydrated, consume coconut water, plain water, sports drinks, fresh juice, herbal tea, broth, soup and raw fruits and vegetables. 

2. Get Plenty of Rest

When you have cold and flu symptoms, resting is the best way to relieve your symptoms. Sleeping improves your overall health and boosts the immune system, which fights the flu virus and allows the body to recover faster. For some days, cancel your routine work and take maximum rest to get back on track. Ensure you sleep for a minimum of 8-9 hours at night and 1-2 hours during afternoon. 

3. Drink Warm Broth

Drinking warm broth made up of chicken and fish bones is an excellent way to get relief and stay hydrated from within. It loses all the build-up in the nose and sinus congestion. Since broth is rich in nutrients, minerals and proteins, it is an excellent way to get strength back and replenish all lost nutrients in the body. You can prepare it at home or have a ready-made broth that is low in salt. If you are cooking at home, freeze some part of it for future use. 

4. Up Your Zinc Intake

Zinc is one of the building components in the body, especially for your immune system, as it produces germ-fighting white blood cells or WBCs. According to several researches, the consumption of zinc is one of the most popular home remedies for colds and flu. You can rely on food like red meat, chickpeas, shellfish, lentils, nuts, beans and others as they are high in zinc. You can also take multivitamins and zinc supplements during the flu season to shield yourself. 

5. Rinse With Salt Water

Also known as salt water gargle, warm water and salt rinse is another popular and advantageous way to provide relief to your sore throat. It clears the mucous present in the nose and throat and provides a soothing sensation. All you need to do is heat half a glass of water and let it cool down to room temperature. Add a tiny amount of salt and mix it. Put some water and gargle for 10 to 30 seconds before spitting. Repeat this process 3-4 times to see the effects. 

6. Drink Herbal Tea

Most herbal teas contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, which are great for fighting flu and cold-causing bacteria in the body. Most popular herbs include green or black tea, fresh garlic, fresh or dried ginger, turmeric, ginger paste and cloves. Additionally, drinking it hot provides a soothing effect to your throat. You can also pour some honey into it for added advantages and taste. 

7. Apply Essential Oils

Certain types of essential oils act as natural remedies for flu and cold symptoms as they protect against bacteria and viruses. According to a study, tea tree oils work the best to fight the cold and flu; however, they should be used within 2 hours of the infection to see immediate effects. Mix 3-4 drops of tea tree oil in your hand wash or lotion. You can also add other essential oils like peppermint, thyme, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon, geranium and oregano oil. Consider using these directly or by mixing with olive and almond oil

8. Inhale Steam

Breathing hot steam is an old, popular technique to soothe your sinuses, throat and nose. This therapy includes using water vapors to loosen a stuffy and swollen nose. It also soothes your irritated and dry nose and chest tightness. Ensure you inhale steam only by testing the temperature to avoid burnout. 

9. Eat a Bland Diet

Want to know how to get rid of cold fast? Eating bland food in small amounts is recommended. Stomach flu can cause cramps, nausea and diarrhea; thus, bland or spiceless food eases symptoms. Include food like soup and broth, bananas, toast, crackers, cooked cereals, boiled potatoes and electrolyte-rich drinks into your diet.  

10. Use a Humidifier 

Since flu spreads faster and survives longer in indoor and dry areas, this allows the virus to stay for a longer time. Using a humidifier increases the humidity level in your office or home, which reduces the chances of cold and flu viruses. 

Wrapping Up

Most people suffer from cold and flu at least once in their lifetime and experience potential symptoms. To avoid these symptoms, there are several natural remedies that you can try to relieve all symptoms. To avoid the development of cold and flu symptoms again, work towards strengthening your immune system.


Q1. List some food items to avoid during stomach flu 

Some of the most common food items to avoid during stomach flu are cheese, spicy foods, caffeine, meats, milk, fried foods, fatty foods and alcohol. By avoiding these food items, you can ease flu symptoms. Try out different natural remedies for flu to ease symptoms. 

Q2. List common symptoms of flu 

Some of the most common symptoms of the flu include: 

  • Pain areas: Muscle pain

  • Whole body: dehydration, chills, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, flushing, body aches, or sweating

  • Nasal: runny nose, congestion or sneezing

  • Also common: head congestion, headache, nausea, chest pressure, sore throat, shortness of breath or swollen lymph nodes

Q3. Are there any flu complications? If yes, what are these?

Yes, flu can result in both minor and major complications like pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, encephalitis (brain infection) and ear infection. It can also cause viral infection in the throat, ears and lungs. 

Q4. Can you cure a cold in one day? 

No, there is no permanent cure for a cold; however, it generally passes within 3 to 7 days by taking home remedies for cold and flu or counter medications. 

Q5. What are the common reasons for colds and flu and how to get rid of cold fast? 

A group of viruses like influenza, parainfluenza, rhinoviruses and seasonal coronaviruses causes cold and flu. As a person comes in contact with these viruses, it results in cold or flu. Trying out different home remedies helps.