Natural Cold Treatments - 10 Ways to Treat Your Cold Naturally and Save Money

Kleenex by Micah Taylor I tend to be a person who prefers to use natural cold treatments.

Not only does it save money, but I prefer to honor my body’s ability to heal itself and I would rather aid healing rather than force a cure onto myself with chemicals.

I woke up on Friday morning with a painful sore throat which turned into a nasty head cold by the end of the day. I don’t get sick very often and I rarely visit the doctor when I am sick, even though I have been diagnosed with asthma. I have had one cold in the last eight years of having the diagnosis of asthma where my asthma was affected so badly that I was in need of a doctor. Today is day four of my cold and I’m feeling better. Not totally myself, but I don’t think I’ll be dealing with this cold for the typical ten days.

  1. Gargle with salt water. The very first thing I do when I get a sore throat is gargle with strong warm salt water. By strong, I mean 1 teaspoon of salt to 1/2 cup of water. About fifteen years ago I was told by one of my first online friends if I would gargle with strong salt water I would be able to avoid getting tonsillitis. Up to that time I had had tonsillitis probably every year of my life since I was a teenager. Once I started to gargle with salt water at the first sign of a sore throat I have not had even one tonsillitis infection. It is my first line of defense when fighting a cold. You may also consider adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar, and or a pinch of cayenne. If you use the cayenne, you may need to use a straw to get the mixture into your mouth to gargle. Gargle in your bathroom so that you confine those germs to the bathroom.
  2. Stop eating sugar and all its sister forms. I have actually been off sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, and all types of sugar since last December, but even when I did eat sugar I would stop having it as soon as I thought I was sick. Sugar hinders your immune system function and makes it harder on your body to do its magnificent work of healing itself. I also would avoid juice unless it is freshly juiced. If you feel you must drink juice, at very least dilute it so it isn’t so sweet. I also avoid artificial sweeteners of all kinds.
  3. Eat chicken soup. Chicken soup is very healing to the digestive system and it is very easy to digest. It is also very soothing to eat when I am sick. I like to get a big pot cooking and then I can have it for a couple of meals every day. This recipe of mine links to how to make stock or soup from turkey, but you can do the same with chicken.
  4. Eat raw garlic. I consider raw garlic to be a very important food in my get well soon health toolkit. I try to have one or two (or more) cloves daily when I’m sick. One of my favorite ways to get my raw garlic is in homemade soup. Another way to get in a goodly amount of raw garlic is to mix it with butter and spread it on a slice of bread.
  5. Drink water to thirst. I have tried in the past to drink those eight ounces of water daily, but I could never accomplish it. I don’t have time to spent that much time in the ladies room, thank you very much. Having done some research on it, I don’t go along with the push to drink eight glasses of water a day. However when I’m sick, I do find that I drink more water, so I go with it.
  6. Take extra Vitamin C. I’m currently on a protocol where I am increasing my Vitamin C every weekend to find my tolerance level for it to help my adrenals to heal. I am currently taking 12,000mgs daily in powdered form. Don’t try to take this much Vitamin C unless you are well accustomed to it.
  7. Take the herb Echinacea. I have taken this herb in tincture form (Zand Echinacea Extract) for years on the advice of the lady who I bought my mobile home from many years ago. She told me she took it at the first sign of a cold and hadn’t been sick in years. Echinacea should not be taken all the time, but only at the beginning of a cold as it has the effect of boosting the immune system. I will also take it while I have a cold, but it is less effective. The important thing to know is you shouldn’t take it all the time.
  8. Take the amino acid L-Lysine: L-Lysine helps the mucous membranes to heal and anything to do with my mouth or throat I begin taking L-Lysine. Sore throat, chapped lips or cold sores – I’ll take L-Lysine.
  9. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep as much as you possibly can, and preferably at night in total darkness. I’m reading Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival and it is amazing how important sleeping in total darkness is for our health and well being. This is the time to take one of those sick days and just stay cozied up in bed for most of the day, napping as you feel tired, and then stay in bed all night.
  10. Take detox baths. I am not one to take baths, much preferring the time savings of a shower. However, when I’m sick, I always make it part of my routine to take a nice hot bath. I will usually add Epsom salts, or baking soda. Both are said to help to draw toxins out of the body.

When I’m sick, I try to do natural things to aid my body in healing, instead of making things harder. For example, I rarely take aspirin, Tylenol or a pain killer because I feel my body then has to work even harder to process those chemicals. And I rarely consult with my physician when I’m sick, because I don’t want to have to worry about being asked to take antibiotics. I haven’t taken antibiotics in years and I hope to be able to avoid them for the rest of my life. At the very least they are not required for a mere cold, which is always a virus and viruses are not affected by antibiotics.

I save money by not going to the doctor, where I’d have to pay a co-pay of twenty dollars, pay for a prescription of some kind, or buying any over-the-counter medications. All of the things I use, I typically keep on hand.

Do you have any natural tips or ways of treating a cold? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear of your natural cold treatment tips.

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25 comments to Natural Cold Treatments – 10 Ways to Treat Your Cold Naturally and Save Money

  • Neti Pot! In fact, I’ve stopped waiting to start to feel sick. I work in an elementary school, where there is no shortage of germs, and I frequent the gym which is not exactly known for being sterile, so whenever there is something “going around” (so all winter plus other random times), I use the Neti Pot every day when I get home from work. It has been fabulous!

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Heather, awesome! I did use my neti pot as well! I boil a couple of quarts of water so that I can use it as needed. This is a great natural way to treat a cold. I also use my neti pot when my allergies are kicked up, like when I’ve been working outside and it is really dusty. I meant to also add in my post that I take echinachea whenever I’ve been around someone sick for any length of time. Thanks for adding this tip!

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    Car Negotiation Coach Reply:

    Mrs. A, I’m gonna second the Neti Pot. My allergies are so bad I use one almost every night in the fall and man what a difference it makes. I used to catch several colds every year and now I’m down to one or zero.

    Never heard that about sugar…may need to start cutting it out.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Car Negotiation Coach, I’m glad the neti pot has worked so well for you, that’s fantastic! I have used it in the past for allergies like hay fever as well and it has always helped. Look into the sugar thing… it’s really not good for us at any time and I have known that since I was a child but I strayed off the path a couple of times in my adulthood. I am back on the straight and narrow though. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  • FB

    I am okay with eating raw garlic as long as it’s mashed and pureed into hummus 🙂

    Great tips up there. It’s what I do when I get sick, or feel bad, as well. I avoid all the bad stuff and stick to raw to simple foods.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com, oh yeah. Garlic is yummy in hummus!! Thanks for the great suggestion!

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  • I didn’t know about the sugars and how that affected you. I’ll have to remember that next time I get sick. Thanks for the tips!

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Money Beagle, yes, it really helps to cut out sugar when sick. If you’re really addicted it can be difficult, but I feel certain it helps to avoid it so I make myself. Luckily right now I have been avoiding sugar for the last ten months so it isn’t too difficult.

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  • These are some really great tips. I gargle salt water also when I start to get a sore throat, but it was not as concentrated as you suggest. I will try that next time, but I hope that is far away from now.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Everyday Tips, the lady who gave me that recommendation said you could even kill off strep throat germs! It’s overwhelmingly salty but I feel like it works!

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  • LOVE this post! Totally think cold/cough over the counter stuff is a waste of dough. Have you ever tried oil of oregano? it’s a (hideous tasting) natural antibiotic which is really great.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Tightwad, I definitely agree. The really weird thing is the only time I’d ever resorted to using a cold medicine – it was one of those that you put the powder into hot water? I ended up getting sicker than I’d been in my whole life. I came down with pneumonia and was bedridden for an entire month! My son with Down Syndrome ended up in the hospital for ten days with the same thing. So I’ve been ever more against taking over the counter medications. Ah yes, Oil of Oregano. My MIL uses that. You are right, it is HIDEOUS tasting. LOL!! I do have some caplets in the cupboard and spotted them while taking everything else but couldn’t bring myself to put one more thing into my stomach. Thankfully my stomach seems to be made of cast iron. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  • I found the netti pot to do nothing if you are ALREADY sick but is fantastic if you just feel it coming on.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Evan, you’re right, I have found this to be true most of the time. Especially if your sinuses are clogged and swollen the salt water cannot make its way through. I do find that sometimes it will help to loosen up the infection and get it moving out, so I do usually make a point to try using it a couple of times while sick and taking care to wash it well after using so I don’t end up re-infecting myself the next time I use it. Thanks for your comment!

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  • I just drink a ton of orange juice, which is pretty much my method of getting more vitamin C. But I wanted to add that another way to get raw garlic is to make bruschetta. Yum!

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Jackie, mmmm, orange juice. Sounds yummy. Do you have a favorite bruschetta recipe?

    [Reply]

    Jackie Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability, not really a recipe — I just mix up the garlic, tomato, basil, olive oil & balsamic vinegar and plop it on the bread to taste.

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  • Another great remedy is Wellness Formula. It works great and has a lot of herbs and stuff in it!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Mrs. Money, I am not sure I’ve heard of Wellness Formula, I will have to look it up!

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  • I’ve used the Extreme C powder and that usually keeps the germs at bay the moment I feel I’m getting sick. I’ve also tried Echinacea and Zinc tablets. I’ve heard about Airborne – supposedly its a natural cold remedy, have you tried that? Hope you feel better soon!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Little House, I don’t think I’ve heard of Extreme C powder. I am using a powdered Vitamin C with rosehips which is said to be pure, although apparently it may be derived from corn, which I’m avoiding like the plague (GMOs and all that). Now Airborne… my younger son has taken it, I will not due to the artificial sweeteners it contains. Annoyingly, when viewing the ingredient list at the site, they only mention the vitamins, not the additional ingredients. And I was able to find a nutrition label but the image is too small for me to read it and they don’t give an option to zoom in. Grrr. According to wikipedia; however, the additional ingredients are sorbitol (artificial sweeteners), citric acid (almost certainly derived from GMO corn), sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, orange flavor, mineral oil, acesulfame potassium (artificial sweeteners), and sucralose (artificial sweeteners). So while it contains a lot of natural ingredients, it also contains some artificial ones that I do not ingest. I have heard that the Echinachea and Zinc tablets are good. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Thanks for the tip about sugars! I had no idea!

    Reading the comments, I’ve never heard of neti (netti) pot? I’ll have to check it out since I do have allergies…

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