Can I just put out there what everyone already knows? Being sick with a cough or cold (or the dreaded flu) totally sucks, but especially when you're a mom. Oh, your entire body aches, your head feels like it's going to explode, and you're hacking up a lung? Yeah, well someone needs their butt wiped, which apparently takes precedence over everything else including the fact that you feel like you're dying.
Well, what if I told you that there are some kick-ass natural remedies for colds and coughs that work within minutes PLUS are way cheaper than dropping $20 on some over-the-counter cold medicine or cough syrup (that doesn't even work and you can't use on children anyways!).
I mean, yeah, in a perfect world we wouldn't be getting sick in the first place because we'd be eating whole foods, resting as much as our body was telling us to, and not drinking that rewarding glass of wine every night. But that's not real life! Well there's a natural remedy for preventing colds and coughs before they even start, but that's a whole other blog post.
Here's are my tried-and-true, tested on my family natural remedies for colds and coughs (including my 5-year-old who is usually patient zero for most of our sicknesses):
1. Certified Pure Tested Grade®
It's been 3 years since I started my health journey using doTERRA's 100% Certified Pure Tested Grade® essential oils, and I can't fathom getting through an illness in our house without them.
When it comes to colds and coughs, essential oils are my (not so) secret weapon.
Even Health Canada recognizes that essential oils are effective for the seemingly inevitable yearly cold or cough that leaves you a sneezing mess during the day and up all night even though you're exhausted.
The following doTERRA 100% Certified Pure Tested Grade® essential oils are approved for colds and coughs:
- Clary Sage
- Tea Tree
I share my favourite recipe below for using essential oils paired with another natural remedy for that endless tickle in your throat (great for soothing kids and adults alike!).
Out of the list of oils above, I personally use 3-5 drops of cardamom in an essential oil diffuser to help relieve coughs, along with a 10 mL roller bottle (a diluted mixture of essential oils and safe carrier oil that you can roll directly onto your skin with no mess) with 10 drops each of lemon, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils diluted to the top of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil to soothe and relieve cold symptoms. Apply to the bottoms of your feet or to your chest every few hours.
Click here to read more about why essential oils are thebomb.com, and to get your free checklist "31 Easy Ways to use Essential Oils Everyday". This will give you a glimpse of how I use my oils for colds and coughs, along with a few other annoying health issues that pop up throughout our days (like headaches or digestive issues).
2. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is absolutely vital for a healthy immune system that can fight off colds and coughs. According to the Harvard School of Public Health (and they have no idea what they're talking about *sarcasm intended*), an estimated 1 BILLION people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D, which increases their odds of getting cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
There are some who estimate at least 70% of Canadians are not just slightly, but very deficient in Vitamin D.
If you live north of the line connecting San Francisco to Philadelphia, the suns’ rays are not strong enough between October to April for your skin to even make vitamin D. Plus, if you’re not exposing your skin to strong enough suns’ rays for at least 15 minutes around mid-day even if you live south of that, then you’re not producing enough.
It can be dangerous to recommend a dosage that’s right for you without knowing more information, but you can go to your regular MD, integrative MD or Naturopathic Doctor to get your blood levels tested to start taking the appropriate dosage for you ASAP.
Nowadays you can find liquid vitamin D3 supplements that are easy to take (i.e. your kids might actually stick with it) and are already in a base of fat for optimum absorption (vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is why it’s possible to overdose on it at very high levels).
At the very least, it's recommended that adults take 1,000 IU per day, and children 400 IU per day. Be careful to check the Vitamin D levels in any other multivitamins or supplements, as you might already be at a sufficient intake.
3. Homemade Chicken Bone Broth/Stock
You know those bones you throw out when you roast a chicken? SAVE THEM and make some precious liquid gold which is full of minerals, electrolytes, and easy to digest and assimilate (i.e. easy for your body to use) proteins.
The gelatin in a chicken broth made with the bones is incredibly soothing for the digestive system. Plus, you can make it for free in less than 5 minutes with your trusty crockpot. Make soup, sauces, or even drink it straight. It doesn't matter how you get it into your system, it'll be just as soothing and nourishing for your cold or flu ravaged body.
4. Honey Lemon Ginger
We've all had that nagging cough or tickle in your throat that makes you feel like you're gagging. I've had it happen to me in the middle of teaching an essential oils class, which makes for a very graceful exit into the adjoining kitchen while trying not to dry heave.
Coughs can be the most annoying part of having a cold because they won't let you settle. Just when you feel like you might get a good nights' sleep and kick your cold for good, you wake up every 20 minutes with a tickle in your throat. If your kids' have a cough, well, good luck with getting any sort of sound sleep at all.
This Cough Soother recipe is incredibly effective and flexible. You can take it straight up like a traditional cough syrup or mix it into some hot water for a soothing tea that will also calm your stomach.
You could also add the same essential oils to some bone broth to punch up the flavour (which you probably can't taste anyways because your nose is stuffed up!). Can't hurt, right?
Pin me below 👇🏻 so you can find this recipe when you need it!
HONEY LEMON GINGER
It's super important that you know to make this remedy with only doTERRA 100% Certified Pure Tested Grade® essential oils that are safe to take internally. If you use another brand of essential oils at home, please check the bottle to see if they're safe to take by mouth. If they say "do not take internally", then follow those directions! If you're interested in purchasing essential oils that are safe to take internally and use in this recipe, then click here.
1 tsp raw honey, preferably local
1 drop 100% Certified Pure Tested Grade® ginger essential oil
1 drop 100% Certified Pure Tested Grade® lemon essential oil
- Add honey to a large spoon.
- Add the essential oils to the honey.
- To use as a tea, add the honey and oil mixture to a mug of hot water. Drink slowly once tea has cooled.
- To use in place of a traditional cough syrup, take the mixture by mouth at full strength (not to be used by children younger than 1).
Notes: You can make a big batch of this and leave it out at room temperature or in your fridge. Just add in the ratio of one drop each of essential oils per teaspoon of honey. Store in a cool, dry place like you would any other medication.
By Ashley Srokosz, RHN
t's all about being prepared. If you do get sick, know that you have tools you can use in a snap already in your house.
Have the essential oils in your house NOW (they don't expire for 5 years, so they have a longer expiration date than regular pharmaceuticals), have some broth frozen so you can quickly thaw it and make it into soup, and make sure you have some lemons in the fridge and ginger at all times (it can last for months).
I wanna know: what are your secret natural remedies for colds and flus?