Treating the Common Cold–Naturally

In the past few years, I have really become interested in treating ailments with natural remedies. I definitely try to avoid medications when possible. That avenue is something I will only pursue as a last resort. Instead, I prefer to do a ton of research to see what is proven to work naturally.


A lot of my friends (myself included) have recently been affected by the common cold, so I thought I would focus on this particular ailment in my post. Hopefully some of these tips help! Remember, these are just suggestions, and not meant to take the place of any doctor’s recommendations.

  • For general cold symptoms, goldenseal and echinacea are the two “power herbs” to use. Take them separately though, as taking them together does not offer any more cold fighting power.
  • Goldenseal is loaded with berberine, which is a botanical antibiotic.  Below are three methods of incorporating goldenseal into your daily routine while ill.
    Goldenseal has become a sought after healing plant
    Goldenseal has become a sought after healing plant
    • Add a tsp of dried goldenseal to hot water and let steep for 10 minutes before straining. Drink 3 cups a day until healthy.
    • Take 1/2-1 tsp of goldenseal tincture twice a day.
    • Goldenseal capsules available at health food stores.
  • Echinacea stimulates the immune system to fight infections. It is effective for SHORT term use.
  • echinacea
  • Holistic practitioners also recommend GARLIC to help fight the common cold. They note that you should chew or swallow a whole clove every couple of hours. Be sure to use some breath freshener too—:/

Other Ideas:

  • If feeling congested, sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a cotton ball and take a few breaths of the mentholated oil. Or sprinkle it on your shower head. Another good idea is to use eucalyptus drops to make an excellent decongestant vapor:
    • Boil one quart of water and remove from heat. Add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oil, stir, and pour into a large pot. Place your face over the pot and cover your head with a towel to trap the steam as you breathe in the decongesting vapors.ess-oil-eucalyptus-1-400x400
  • Natural saline solutions help improve stuffy noses!
  • Drinking a lot of fluids stimulates the body’s ability to drain the lungs and sinuses. Have at least 8 glasses of water and herbal tea.
  • American ginseng stimulates the immune system and is purported to give the body the energy boost it needs to battle infections.
  • Cayenne pepper gets the body’s fluids flowing, which works to drain stuffy sinuses. Sprinkle some into hot water, cold water, or your soup.
  • Vitamin C—This vitamin should be taken once a cold sets in. It has not been shown to prevent colds, but it can reduce symptoms and their duration once afflicted. A “treatment” dose is 1,000 to 2,000 mg a day in two or four 500 mg doses.
  • Ginger tea works well too because ginger is known to boost immune system activity. To make a ginger tea, stir two teaspoons of grated ginger root into a cup of boiling water and allow mixture to steep. Add a tsp of honey for sweetness.

A word of caution regarding antihistamines: When a cold moves out of the sinuses and down into the chest, drink a lot of fluids and use a steam vaporizer. Don’t take antihistamines at this point because they may actually aggravate infections lower in the respiratory system.

Souce: Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments from the Editors of Bottom Line/Health, 2006


Hope these tips help, although I hope we don’t have to try any of them out for a while. Stay healthy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s