9 Natural Remedies for Getting Rid of a Cold Quickly

Summer colds are the WORST. Not that having a cold at any time is enjoyable – but they seem to be even worse when it’s supposed to be a warm summer day that pairs perfectly with a walk outside or a glass of rose on a patio somewhere. 

Then again – I’m not sure I’d even call this a summer cold – considering that all Chicagoans (myself included) are out here staring past the rain and 60 degree weather looking for summer like…

Thankfully, 80 degree weather is coyly staring at us from around the corner, so I’m ready to be feeling better by the time it arrives.  

I started feeling that dry throat & stuffiness on Tuesday night, yesterday was a full blown cold and cough, and today (Thursday), I’m already starting to feel better.

Here are 7 ways I’m kicking this curb to the cold naturally and quickly. 

1.     A long steam shower with peppermint or eucalyptus oil. 

And when I saw long shower… I mean I was in there for 20 minutes this AM. 

I put a few good shakes of essential oil (I used peppermint but eucalyptus is also wonderful – as is the addition of lavender) in the front of the shower and rubbed a few drops on my chest and neck. I’m thankful that the home we bought had a steam shower already installed – BUT – you can visit a local gym for a good steam or even make your own at home. 

Turn your shower on as hot as it can go and let the room steam up. Just be careful not to touch the too-hot water, obviously. If you don’t want to let your hot water run for that long, you can also fill a sink with hot water, add a few drops of essential oil, and cover your head / the sink with a towel. Inhale through your nose to clear up nasal congestion, and take a few deep breaths with your mouth to clear up chest congestion.

2.     2 teaspoons of Elderberry Syrup, 4x a day.

This stuff is seriously liquid gold. It’s been used for centuries as a home remedy for cold & flu, and for good reason. It is SO good for boosting your immune system and helping you get over your cold faster. Plus, it tastes like the kind of medicine you never minded taking from your parents when you got sick as a kid. 

3.     Raw Manuka Honey

More liquid gold. Raw Manuka Honey not only boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, but it’s a natural anti-bacterial and soothes dry throats. Add a spoonful to your morning or nighttime tea.

4.     Turmeric + Ginger Shots

Add a one-inch piece of ginger and a thumb sized piece of turmeric to your juicer. Fresh is best – but if it’s not available to you, you can make a tea from turmeric powder and dried ginger. 

When taking turmeric, you should ALWAYS be adding in black pepper so that your body can absorb the curcumin – the ingredient in turmeric that fights inflammation & gives you a boost of antioxidants. 

If you’ve ever had one of these shots from your local juice shop, you might’ve noticed that it typically contains apple, lemon, or other juice – this is because turmeric and ginger on their own can be very strong. I like to add a little lemon juice and apple cider vinegar – and you can coconut water or whatever will help you take the shot a little easier. 

5.     Healing Broth

This healing broth is so soothing for dry throats and tight chests, and it’s filled with good-for-you healing nutrients. Plus, it’s a delicious way to get in the extra hydration that you need. On that note…

6.     Plenty of Water

You already know that plenty of water is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but your body especially needs it when you’re sick to help flush out the virus and any toxins – aka your cold. A good rule of thumb is 2 liters a day.

A great addition to water - especially when you feel like you’re getting sick - is chlorophyll. It creates an alkaline environment in your body that helps to kill bacteria and viruses. Nature’s Sunshine Chlorophyll is my favorite - it’s mild with a slight mint flavor.

7.     Peppermint Oil

I use this in the shower, but it’s also fantastic for clearing congestion outside of the shower. Put a drop on your tongue (make sure the kind you have is safe for ingestion), 2 drops in your hands, rub together and take a few good deep breaths. Rub the remaining oil on your throat and chest. If you have a cough, put a couple drops on the bottom of your feet. Sounds crazy – but it works!

8.     A Sinus Rinse

If you’ve never done a a sinus rinse before, it can seem a little intimidating. But, it truly works wonders in helping clear out your nasal passages while keeping them clean and hydrated. 

I’ve used both a Neti-Pot and the NeilMed Sinus Rinse, and I highly recommend the latter. It comes in a squeeze bottle which makes the process much easier and is much more comfortable. 

9.     A good night’s sleep 

Your body repairs itself while you sleep, so while getting a good night’s sleep is always a good idea (I blame my cold on a terrible night’s sleep Monday night) – it is imperative while you’re sick.

If you have trouble sleeping, try kava (my go-to when I feel restless – it’s also incredible for headaches and pain relief, amongst other benefits) or some soothing tea (like Chamomile, Nighty Night or Bedtime Tea with Lavender) and meditation before bed. (Have trouble meditating? Click here for tips on how to start guided meditation.) 

Do you have any other home remedies for colds? If so, drop a comment below - I’d love to hear them!