Below I share some non-typical natural cold remedies, as they don’t involve cold and flu tablets or panadol!
My philosophy is first do no harm. Long-term medication use can have some side effects which may impact our long-term health and wellbeing. I try to opt for natural remedies in the first instance before resorting to medications.
Some Vitamin C research reports a reduced duration and severity of cold symptoms, indicating that it may play some role in respiratory defence mechanisms. Eating a variety of Vitamin C-rich foods, such as capsicum, guava, citrus fruits, strawberries and leafy greens, is important particularly during those winter months.
However, sometimes food is just not enough, particularly if we are deficient to begin with and then get hit with a nasty cold. In that instance, you could try these.
A word of warning: be wary of Vitamin C supplements that contain ascorbic acid, which is not the same as Vitamin C. Laboratory made isolated ascorbic acid can never have the intelligence of nature based Vitamin C and is missing co-enzymes, bioflavonoids and co factors which allow the body to absorb the Vitamin C.
Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C
These little sachets of Vitamin C is Lypo-Spheric, which means that it is well over 90% bio-available, so that your body can easily absorb and make use of it.
Research has shown that blood serum levels of Vitamin C using Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C are the same as when Vitamin C is given intravenously, meaning that the body has absorbed this into the blood stream.
And it doesn’t taste too bad either!
I get mine from our local organic grocer, Kew Organics.
Camu Camu* is a natural superfood that is super high in Vitamin C and very easily digestible, increasing the availability. It’s a powder made from the myrciaria dubia berry, which has a slight citrus flavour.
Compared to oranges, which have 50mg per 100gm of whole fruit, Camu Camu has approximately 23,000 mg per 100 gm of whole fruit, which is why you only need half a teaspoon!
It’s a whole food that contains other nutrients, including bioflavonoids, amino acids, serine, valine and leucine plus the three B vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, all in their natural form as nature intended, bound with other micro and macro nutrients.
I mix half a teaspoon in with some organic unsweetened natural yoghurt and half a passionfruit. It’s delicious!
Camu Camu Jelly Cubes
I saw this little doozy on the Changing Habits Facebook page, so I can’t take the credit.
Mix the Camu Camu* with a good quality, grass fed gelatin to make little jelly cubes. You can even add a little rice malt syrup or raw honey to slightly sweeten it.
- Dissolve and mix 1 tablespoon Camu Camu in 1 cup of slightly warm, filtered water (don’t use HOT water – it will damage the Camu Camu).
- Add 2-3 heaped tablespoons of the Great Lakes gelatin and stir to dissolve.
- Cover and place in fridge to set.
- Cut up into little cubes and serve with fruit.
Magnesium and Zinc
Today many Australians are deficient in these two critical minerals. You can read more about this in my article about mineral deficiencies here.
Magnesium is used in regulating over 300 enzymes and reactions in the body. However, it may be difficult for some to absorb when taken orally, especially for those with poor gut health. This is why topical magnesium oil or magnesium baths are a great solution.
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and as such, has an amazing ability to absorb, filter toxins, and deliver nutrients to the body. It is also a visible sign of the health of the body as a whole.
I rub magnesium oil into my legs and leave on for about 20 minutes to absorb. It can leave a salty/sticky residue, so it’s okay to wash off after those 20 minutes. Magnesium flakes are also great to pour into a bath, or even a foot bath. And then just relax!
In addition to magnesium, zinc has the wonderful ability to strengthen the immune system, which can reduce the severity and shorten the duration of the cold. It is more easily absorbed through digestion than magnesium, so you can take orally. Look for a quality one that has high bio-availability, such as chelate, oratate and gluconate.
This one probably goes without saying, and isn’t that “alternative” but can be easily forgotten. If the body is running a fever (which means it is fighting the illness!) the best support you can give is to stay well hydrated on water and herbal teas. I love drinking lemongrass and ginger while I’m fighting a cold. It’s refreshing and really warming!
Apple Cider Vinegar Throat Rinse
This throat rinse will alkalise your body, helping to kill viruses and bad bacteria whilst giving you a dose of good bacteria at the same time.
Now just warning you, it does taste awful, but if you are sick enough, you probably won’t taste much of it anyway!
Mix a tablespoon in a glass of water and have a good gargle, and spit out. If there is any left in the glass, drink up, as it’s good for your stomach too! Repeat every couple of hours until you start to feel better.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of essential oils. I use them in a variety of ways on a daily basis. You can read more about them in my two part-series here EO101P1 and here EO101P2.
I personally use the Twenty8* range, which is both organic and therapeutic grade.
- Peppermint*: Relieves headaches caused by congestion
- Eucalyptus*: Decongestant; soothes respiratory problems
- Oregano: Proven antibacterial; fights sinus infections
- Immune Boost*: contains eucalyptus, lavender, cedarwood, pine, and tea tree
- Diffuser: I just have this running all day when I’m home sick.
- Hand inhaler: place several drops into your palm, rub your hands together, and then cup your hands over your mouth and nose and breathe.
- Shower/bath: place a few drops into a steamy bath and soak up, or place a few drops in a face washer and place on bottom of shower floor.
- Skin: mix with a carrier oil and apply directly onto your skin.
Do you have any favourite remedies for a cold? Feel free to share below!
* I am a proud affiliate of the Changing Habits range of organic and naturally sourced products, and the Twenty8 range of Essential Oils.