17 Natural Remedies for Fast Cold & Flu Relief

By Diane April 24, 2020 11:05

17 Natural Remedies for Fast Cold & Flu Relief

First, let me say that I am not a doctor. I am a writer and researcher with a background in chemistry and biochemistry. I read the research and make my own conclusions and so should you.

I’ve included links to many of the studies here, but you will usually only find abstracts, a summary. If you wish to read the entire study, you can usually read it for free, if you have access to a student account or a research library. Many libraries carry actual copies of the study publications, but they are most likely closed now.

Related: 10 Survival Books Every Prepper Should Read

I see the fight as a four-stage approach with these components:

  • Cultivate a healthy body through lifestyle. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise. You want your body ready to fight any virus that comes along.
  • Avoid exposure. You have likely already learned the rules of social distancing and hand washing. Avoiding exposure is a high priority in avoiding the illness.
  • Strengthen your immune system to allow it to fight off the virus when you are exposed.
  • Treat the symptoms and underlying disease, should you become ill.

Strengthen Your Immune System

The Natural Remedies Thought to Help People with Covid-19Our best individual weapon in fighting is a healthy body and a strong immune system.

Unless you practice extreme social distancing, you will likely come into contact with infected people.

A healthy immune system can quickly ward off the infection. Follow these tips for strengthening your immune system:

  • Reduce your alcohol intake – Alcohol suppresses the immune system and disrupts your sleep.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Get regular exercise, but don’t overdo it. Excessive exercise can compromise the immune system.
  • Take magnesium to counter stress, help relax your muscles, and enhance your sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods high, in vitamins and minerals. Aim to increase your intake of vitamins A, C, and zinc. Nourish your gut with probiotic and prebiotic foods. Watch your sugar intake.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Get out in the sunshine for 30 minutes or more a day. Sunshine is the best way to increase your vitamin D levels.

Herbs That Boost Your Immune System:


Astragalus also has antiviral properties and is known to strengthen the immune system. It is a common remedy used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat upper respiratory diseases.

Stinging Nettle

The Natural Remedies Thought to Help People with Covid-19Stinging nettle, Urticae dioicae, is also a strong antiviral with effectiveness against HIV and other viruses.

It stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of T-lymphocytes.

It is thought that stinging nettle helps in reducing cytokines and may be an effective weapon in treating the “cytokine storm” that causes lung damage.

Stinging nettle can be taken as a supplement, or by drinking stinging nettle tea.

Related: How to Cook Spring Nettles


Quercetin is a polyphenol, naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It stimulates the immune system, inhibits virus action in the body, and can be useful in inhibiting allergic responses.

It blocks the viral infection of healthy cells and inhibits virus reproduction in infected cells for HIV, herpes, and other viruses. It also boosts the activity of the immune system in repelling the virus.


The Natural Remedies Thought to Help People with Covid-19Andrographis is another herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammation and infections.

Known as “Indian echinacea,” Andrographis is an antiviral widely used to treat the cold and the flu.

It acts as a booster for the immune system and as a preventative for viral infections.

Research published in 2017 shows that Andrographis is beneficial in treating symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infections.

Related: 6 Powerful Natural Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Relief Agents for When SHTF

Vitamin Supplements to Consider

I’m a big proponent of getting your vitamins through your food sources and I rarely recommend vitamin supplementation, however it is important that you get all the required vitamins necessary at this time.

We know vitamin deficiency can make you vulnerable to lowered immunity and an unhealthy body in general. Now is a good time to make sure you are getting all your recommended vitamins and minerals and consider extra doses of the most important ones.

The ones listed here are known to be important to the immune system but you should consider your intake of all the essential vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C may help boost the immune system and prevent infections, including those caused by viruses. Vitamin C also has been shown to help you heal faster from colds and viruses.

It boosts the activity of phagocytes that help eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses from the body. It also promotes the growth and spread of lymphocytes, which carry proteins that attack harmful particles in the blood.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for the immune system. Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, it has been shown to help reduce the risk of infections by colds and flu viruses. A high percentage of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and that number may be climbing as we stay indoors more during this pandemic.

You can increase your vitamin D levels by spending more time outdoors with your skin uncovered (and no sunscreen). Thirty minutes a day is usually sufficient. If you choose to take a supplement, a vitamin D3 form offers the best protection.

Vitamin A

For those with vitamin A deficiency, supplementation with Vitamin A can be important in helping support the body’s ability to fight infections, especially respiratory infections..


Supplementation with zinc can help reduce the frequency of infections and reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu, when taken immediately after onset.

Currently, zinc is being given with hydroxychloroquine to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.


Selenium is another key nutrient for good immune functions. It boosts the body’s activity against bacteria, viruses, and cancer. It helps protect the body against flu viruses.. Selenium is found in many foods. The richest source is Brazil nuts.


Garlic is rich in compounds that boost immunity. Both fresh and aged garlic increase the immune function in preventing viral infections and reduces the severity of upper respiratory viruses.

Thieves Essential Oil

Essential oil blends, known as Thieves Oil or Robbers Oil, contain a mixture of antibacterial and antiviral oils that are shown to help prevent infection.

I am using one of these blends in an infuser to disinfect my home (I also use a steam cleaner.). We also add a few drops to our hand sanitizer. The use of essential oils is controversial with viruses, so do your own research on these.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments

The Natural Remedies Thought to Help People with Covid-19Several of the herbs listed above are used in traditional Chinese medicine in the prevention of viruses.

In addition, the ones listed below are being used, but there is no recognized evidence to their efficacy.

Do your research and speak to your medical advisor about these treatments:

  • Glycyrrhizin found in liquorice roots is used to inhibit the replication of the virus and is being used to treat SARS.
  • Chaga Mushrooms reduce inflammation and fight harmful bacteria and viruses.. Chaga is believed to reduce the cytokine response which causes the lung damage.
  • Baicalein, extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese Skulcap), another Chinese herb.
  • Gingseng stem-leaf saponins can enhance the antibody responses for some viruses and infectious bronchitis.

Additional Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbal Treatments for

Here is a list of additional vitamins, minerals and herbak treatments: vitamin B-Complex, colloidal silver, Mullein tincture, Usnea and Reishi Mushrooms, Camphora-1M, Arsenicum-album, Bryonia-alba and Oscillococcinum.

Quinine, Tonic Water

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are synthetic chemicals based on a natural compound, quinine. Quinine is extracted from the bark of several species of Cinchona trees.

According to historical accounts, the tree was used to treat malaria and other types of fever for centuries, before the Europeans discovered it. The powdered bark of the tree was the first effective treatment for malaria.

The Natural Remedies Thought to Help People with Covid-19Quinine is the source of the bitter flavor in tonic water. The drink was used to prevent malaria by military officers as late as WWII.

I know of the use of quinine because my father-in-law, a naval officer in WWII, drank it daily believing it would prevent malaria..

If you are not sure which of these herbals to use, remember you are not limited to only one. We take all the recommended vitamins and minerals, plus several of the herbs. And I have purchased others now while they are still in stock, in case someone in my household becomes infected, or if new research shows that one is more effective.

Please do your own research and consider your own medical condition before making a decision this important. I wish you all health and safety during these trying times.

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By Diane April 24, 2020 11:05
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  1. Pryce April 24, 11:20

    Let me know when these are proven so I don’t waste my time or risk my families health on unproven pseudoscience.

    Reply to this comment
    • Elaine April 24, 15:24

      You just take your time and wait for Bill Gates to concoct a good ole vaccine for you! I’m sure he has one with your name on it!

      Reply to this comment
      • Jos April 25, 13:36

        When I was little, my beloved grandma would put clean spider web on our bleeding cuts and scrapes, which seemed to stop the bleeding, but as a skeptic adult, I was certain her remedy was just “unproven pseudoscience”, too. In recent years, though, I’ve read in scientific references, that spider web actually contains a very effective coagulant. How pleased I was to learn I’d been mistaken in doubting Grandma!

        The certainties here are that some viruses can prove fatal, that a healthy immune system can help avoid contracting a disease (and to help fight it once contracted), and that we are faced with risk in everything we choose to do or not do.

        Please let all of us know if whatever you choose works, or doesn’t, to maybe help those who survive us. If it will help others, may I be proven wrong over and over again.

        Reply to this comment
    • Lisa April 24, 16:33

      If that’s your attitude, don’t bother with this site, My experience with western medicine is not trusting. I have found and used others therapies not listed here. For me they work. But my bod is sensitive, I almost died from a 1% negative side effect in my early years.
      Yes, I think I had covid.. was turned away from the ER. See?? I’m not trusting, 3 weeks, no taste, not sense of smell, & high lethergy. Expect I’ll test positive for the antibodies. I will continue doing what I’m doing.
      Have a good day..

      Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl April 24, 17:48

      Why are you even here on this website if you are unwilling to entertain new ideas or gain some old wisdom? And your response shows a laziness. I learned that you don’t ask ask these generous people to do your homework for you.
      Do you have a background in chemistry or biochemistry? This woman knows more about this stuff than you ever could. She did the research and had the background to properly understand and evaluate what she read.

      Reply to this comment
    • M April 24, 18:43

      Then, just do not take any of these suggested. Your choice. Our choice.

      Reply to this comment
    • JayJay April 24, 23:47

      I have these in a closet on a shelf OR I’m already taking these.
      Magnesium for gall stones; quercetin for gall stones; garlic, I cook with; zinc with calcium.

      Reply to this comment
    • vocalpatriot April 25, 14:02

      It is highly recommended that you do your own research…and consider what you find here to be an introduction…if you don’t, and someone claims to prove some medicine, and you give it to your family…then you’ve wasted your time and taken the risk you claimed you want to avoid.

      Reply to this comment
  2. KDC April 24, 15:59

    I take Zinc, D3, liposimol C, Selrnium, olive leaf extract, licorice root, which stops any virus. (Licorice root may raise blood pressure, though) all of which stop viruses, cancers, colds, etc. from replicating. What I did purchase recently is Food grade hydrogen peroxide and a hand held Mesh Miracle Portable Nebulizer. If you have lung issues you inhale the vapors and it’ll cure any congestion or viruses. You can get the water/peroxide measures online.

    Reply to this comment
    • Elaine April 24, 16:52

      You take K2 with your Vit D right? So many times people don’t tell people that if you take the D you also need to take the K with it. I forget why. I have so many things to remember, it is hard enough to remember that they go together, let alone why! I used to take only D (3 of course), until I heard from a couple doctors I really respect that it is necessary to include the K2 with it (I take the combo with both 4 and 7 –for some reason the K is complicated)! The other things you take I havwe heard about all being good, with the exception of also taking some say Chaga and some say Cordyceps (I got both, but am only taking the Cordyceps right now, since the only chaga I have is tea, and I don’t like teas)! And if you get sick, the Chinese Skullcap is supposed to be vital! OH!!! I had high blood pressure for years, and refused to take the meds. I did a 29 day water only fast 2.5 years ago, and have not had high blood pressure (or high blood sugar, before it was 160ish) ever since! Water fasting is fantastic if you can do it! You have to be really careful coming off them though if you do a long one, and really build back up to eating (no longer eat grains or pastas or sugar). It has also taken away a lot of pain and inflammation I used to have daily!

      Reply to this comment
      • Grammyprepper April 25, 02:22

        Elaine, the K2 allows your body to more readily uptake and utilize the D3.

        Reply to this comment
        • Mikaprepper April 25, 13:10


          Reply to this comment
        • Iceman April 28, 18:39

          Thank you for the K2 info. I have been taking D3 for awhile and when tested for it I was surprised to find I was LOW on D. I take Mag and Zinc along with Elderberry ( thanks to you guys:-) And C. Feel great and feel it is protective. BTW VERY nice people on this site. Always helpful and educating. Thankful to be here.

          Reply to this comment
    • City Chick April 24, 22:20

      Watch out with that real licorice! There is a warning from the FDA that the consumption of real licorice candy can result in heart palpitations especially in folks over 60! Happened to me last Halloween with black licorice candy manufactured in Australia on sale in my local big box store. Licorice candy manufactured here in the US doesn’t use real licorice, but the candy from other countries still does.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Jf April 24, 17:18

    IV vitamin C use has many studies and you can see them on “orthomolecular.org” and “doctoryourself.com” if you will take the time.

    Reply to this comment
  4. left coast chuck April 24, 18:45

    How much is a “glass” is that an 8 oz glass? Is it a 10 oz glass? Specificity, please.

    Is it Schweppes tonic water? Canada Dry” Is it the Safeway house brand? Is the amount of quinine in all three brands the same?

    The devil is in the details and inquiring minds want to know the details.

    What is a “background” in chemistry and biochemistry? Is it a bachelor’s degree? Masters? Phd? or one semester of Chem 101? I, too, have a “background” in chemistry. One semester of inorganic chem and one semester of organic chem where I luckily attained the end of the semester before being invited to switch to English Lit.

    I would most certainly agree that one should read discernment and reach one’s own conclusions after careful consideration.

    Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl April 26, 06:02

      Hi, LCC,
      Detailed as always. This is unscientific, but I have found Schweppes with two fingers of Beefeater to be the most bracing. Plus a squirt of lemon juice for Vit C.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Beezeboy April 25, 01:29

    The 5 star book review of Plague (by Mikovitz) on Amazon.com, written by Russell Dobkins (found useful by 678 folks), who also has a background in biochemistry, says 1000 mg of L-Lysine, 3 times a day, halts virus replication. I take red algae extract, which has mannose binding lectins, to interact with viruses by attaching to the sugars they use to sneak into cells.

    Reply to this comment
  6. vocalpatriot April 25, 13:58

    Being somewhat of a skeptic, I tend to be wary of terms like the one used in your title: “..remedies thought to..”. Not very scientific. But science has shown itself to be a willing puppet in recent times, hasn’t it. lol
    As it turns out..a significant degree of the covid-19 information has also been shown to be (un) intentional misdirection or bold faced lies. whatever..This crisi has exposed my weak spots, and given me pause for reflection..so here I am gathering more information to arrange for further study…I recommend Everyone do the same. Glad to say I had enough stock (toilet paper, etc) but if this had been worse…That would have been depleted..time to restock, and go to the next level.

    Reply to this comment
  7. IvyMike April 27, 00:53

    1st thing, the lung damage from Covid19 is not caused by a cytokine storm. The virus destroys lung tissue and the debris accumulates in the small structures where oxygen enters the bloodstream, plugging those structures up so oxygen can’t move from the lungs into the bloodstream. This is why a ventilator is the wrong therapy, it tries to force oxygen into the blocked tissue and destroys it with too much pressure. As is often the case Western style medicine kills through ignorance. Overproduction of cytokines could contribute to the damage of other organs, but this has not been shown to date.
    Most of us learned about the part of the immune system that sends antibodies and lymphocytes into the bloodstream to fight pathogens (think Raquel Welch in a skin tight wet suit being enveloped by phagocytes in Fantastic Voyage) but scientists doing the intense research into HIV have discovered there are equally important immune responses taking place at the cellular level, compounds released by individual cells fighting the entry of Corona into their nucleus. It is likely that the antibody response to Corona is not the important immune response that allows most people to successfully fight off the virus, the important immune response is at the cellular level and it will take microbiologists years to figure it out.
    In the same way nobody knows how all these natural treatments work because they could be stimulating immune responses at the cellular level. To say a compound kills a virus in a petri dish so it is an effective antiviral is the same lack of scientific knowledge that got Trump into trouble with CNN.
    My experience is that standardized Echinacea has protected me from colds caused by older Corona viruses for the past 20 years and would probably be effective against the one causing the Covidia, but I don’t want to find out so I’m staying down on the farm indefinitely, which is where I want to be anyway.
    There will never be any science to support claims for natural remedies, but it is a rich part of life to explore. I did read about a recent study that compared patients self treating with a herbal remedy to patients who were treated by a Curandera or equivalent Shaman with the same herb. Treatment by a Shaman was found to be more effective, the study authors thought this was probably a result of the compassion the gifted healer works with. We need a lot more compassion.

    Reply to this comment
    • Elaine April 27, 01:58

      I was just a little kid when I saw that movie, but I have never forgotten it! Many are the times I have thought back to that when thinking of my white blood cells devouring something! So I guess I wasn’t the only one it made an impression on (Raquel impressed me, can’t even imagine how she would have impressed a dude kid!)

      I have actually proven the efficacy of many herbs first hand. Many of them have worked for me. Also have had many homeopathic remedies work for me.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Joshua Martins April 27, 16:49

    Very interesting article. We have all been affected. I have now decided to go all-in on my health. Positives to take is that there are plenty of resources online like this website to find helpful tips to boost your immune system. Would you recommend to boost your immune system with smoothies as claimed on this website https://dietamber.com/why-this-certified-health-coach-is-the-low-carb-smoothie-king/

    I would love to know your input

    Reply to this comment
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