Simple, Soothing Cold and Flu Remedies

by Guest Author on · 10 comments


With all the festivities and outdoor play during the wintertime, we can become run down and more susceptible to catching a cold or flu. External germs can enter our body via our skin, mouth or nose. Staying warm and wearing a scarf while enjoying all that outdoor winter fun are really helpful ways to block these external germs from finding an entry point in our immune armor.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, wind is the spearhead of 100 diseases. Wind frequently changes and varies in intensity. When our bodies cannot respond to these changes, whether they are environmentally induced or from mental, emotional or physical stresses, our bodies become overwhelmed and our immunity is then compromised. This is when a gap appears in that immune armor, and a cold or flu can enter our body.

Cold symptoms consist of head congestion and headache, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, restlessness and an achy body, while flu symptoms have body aches along with intermittent fever and chills, sore throat, coughing, not much appetite and an upset stomach. When you feel under the weather, try to get plenty of bed rest, avoid mucus producing foods such as dairy products and sugary or oily foods, drink soothing herbal teas along with warm vegetable soups, and avoid sudden temperature changes in your environment.

If you do catch a cold or flu, here are some simple, soothing remedies:

Chilly body or scratchy throat:

  • Slice 2-3 pieces of fresh ginger root (about the size of your thumb). According to Chinese medicine, fresh ginger can cause sweating and push away the chill and scratchy throat feeling.
  • Add one bunch of chopped green onions (scallions) and two cups of water.
  • Bring water to a boil. Add ingredients then cover and steep for 10 minutes. Drink the liquid. Bundle up in bed and let your body chase away the cold symptoms.

Sore throat or dry cough:

  • Core a pear and add a little honey with a pinch of cinnamon. According to Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon helps the lungs decongest the chest.
  • Wrap in aluminum foil and bake in the oven until soft. Eat the soothing mixture.

Go-Away-Cold-or-Flu Joy Juice:

  • Juice of one lemon.
  • One teaspoon of fresh crushed garlic.
  • One teaspoon of fresh chopped ginger.
  • One pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Place ingredients in a large mug or cup. Pour boiling water over the ingredients and steep for 10 minutes. Strain if desired. Add honey to taste and drink before going to sleep.

Keep immunologically armored with good food and rest, and keep well-bundled when playing outdoors. But if you do happen to catch a cold or flu, try one of these time-tested remedies to help nurse yourself back to optimal health. And while you're drinking your ginger root tea, or eating your honeyed pear, or sipping your Go-Away-Cold Joy Juice, curl up with the Vitality Fusion Second Edition and discover some new ways of maintaining and increasing your overall wellness.

About the Author: Susan Shane, L.Ac., is creator of Exaircise, a cross-cultural fitness program based on the primacy of breathing in global health traditions. Her book, Vitality Fusion, a Comparative, Interactive Survey of Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine, illuminates ancient and modern modalities to help readers create a customized path to optimal health. For more information, visit

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammie December 20, 2013 at 4:56 am

I use fresh ginger root for my itchy throat.
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Lance Ekum December 21, 2013 at 7:43 am

Thanks for sharing, Tammie!!


Audra Krell December 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

Lovely soothing tips that will surely make for a better winter. I’m excited to try the pear recipe!
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Lance Ekum December 21, 2013 at 7:41 am

Hi Audra!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!! I hope you have a wonderful and healthy holiday season!!! Loved seeing the pictures of the production you were in – from FB!!


Sebastian December 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

I’ve used the ginger too as well!
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Lance Ekum December 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

Very cool, Sebastian – always to good to hear what others are using!


J.D. Meier December 24, 2013 at 2:12 am

Ginger always works wonders.

And tastes great, too 😉

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Lance Ekum December 24, 2013 at 7:41 am

Great to hear from you, J.D.!!

Works wonders AND tastes great – that’s a pretty awesome combination!!


Jane January 14, 2014 at 5:08 am

I adore ginger, but I didn’t know it could be a good remedy. I like this website! Thanks a lot)


Elle January 16, 2014 at 12:51 am

Susan, I wish I had come across your article earlier. I just got over the flu last week and the tips for the sore throat and dry cough would have been so helpful.

I think the go-away-cold juice would be a good one to take once I start noticing symptoms.

I love putting cayenne pepper in foods, but have never tried it in a drink. When I am sick, I will try just about anything.

Thanks for sharing your remedies and I hope you have a happy and healthy new year.
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