For colds and flu at our house, we start with the simplest remedies possible. Some of our simple home remedies include gargling with salt water for sore throats, replacing toothbrushes, going to bed a few hours earlier, switching to a liquid diet, hot baths with Epsom salts and wearing extra sweaters to stay warm. When it's hard to keep anything down, we use spoonfuls of salty liquids like chicken broth, to help retain fluids. These may be all that's needed for symptoms go away.
But for respiratory symptoms that linger, we recommend adding kid-friendly elderberry syrup and a product called Sambucol. Elderberries have been used traditionally for colds, cough, and flu. Recent research has shown that these berries work by targeting the underlying infection, making this delicious syrup effective against viruses and potential superbugs. Keep a bottle on the kitchen shelf for use during flu season. In the springtime, use it up like soda pop by adding a spoonful to a glass of fizzy water.
Another excellent remedy that's spicy and made in your kitchen is great for sore throats and coughs.
Sore Throat, Cough and Cold Recipe
1 Tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon raw honey (or Manuka honey)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup raw cider vinegar
Blend for 1 minute. Strain into a jar, save the solids to add spicy flavor to soup broth. Use the liquid as medicine: take 1 Tablespoon hourly for the first 4 hours, then decrease to every 3 hours the rest of the day. The frequency can be adjusted, so if you feel your sore throat and cough returning, take another dose. The following days, decrease this home remedy until it's no longer needed.
These home remedies can help, but there are times that you'll need more than this. Please see your doctor if you have a high fever, are dehydrated, and when simple remedies aren't enough.