10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

Common cold, aromatherapy, choosewellbeing, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynes

10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

Everywhere you go there are coughs and colds around and it is hard to prevent catching them. Having a cold can make you feel really miserable. Here are 10 things you can do to help relieve and shorten the symptoms.

  1. Echinaceaecinacea, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesthis herb can be bought as a herbal supplement or as a tincture from your local health food shop and is said to help boost your immune system to help your body fight off infections. Studies are mixed with some studies say that it doesn’t help to actually prevent a cold but that it can shorten the symptoms by a few days so that has to be a good thing. Take it as soon as you feel the symptoms coming on and continue for a week to ten days. The tincture is said to be a little more potent that taking the tablet form. Go for quality – a cheap product won’t give you the results you want.
  2. Zinc – again studies are inconclusive with some showing that although taking a zinc supplement may not prevent a cold, it may help shorten the length of time and the severity of the symptoms.
  3. Vitamin Cvitamin c, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesThis is one of the most studied remedies and again studies show mixed results, but out of all remedies this has most support of its benefits. Research shows that it can reduce the time you suffer from cold symptoms but it won’t prevent you getting one.  You can buy vitamin C supplements alternatively increase your intake of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruit, sweet potatoes and kiwi.
  4. Chicken Soup – is it an Old Wives’ Tale? Possibly, but a very effective one! Chicken soup can help cold symptoms by easing your blocked nose. Recipe here. There is a compound in chicken soup called carnosine which helps the immune system. You need to take it regularly though so a constant supply would be required! MailOnline Article.
  5. Fluid – a warm drink relieves your blocked nose and soothes your throat and keeps you hydrated which is very important.  A cup of tea, black tea, green tea, honey and lemon, hot water, all important in keeping you hydrated.
  6. Hot Toddy – a teaspoon of honey, a small shot of whiskey, a squeeze of lemon in a cup of herbal tea helps to ease congestion, soothe your throat and help you sleep
  7. Garlicgarlic, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesgarlic has anti-bacterial properties and helps the immune system to fight infection. Taking a garlic supplement may help prevent colds when taken regularly. Better still use garlic regularly in your cooking together with onions and leeks which have similar properties.
  8. Steam – breathing in steam decongests and relieves your nasal passages.  See 10. below for ideas for steam inhalation using essential oils.
  9. GingerGinger, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesginger is a valuable consideration. The way to take it is to soak fresh ginger in some hot water, and drink the tincture. Alternatively include fresh ginger in your cooking. You can keep a root in the freezer and grate as you require it.
  10. Essential Oils – I would recommend keeping the following oils in your Aromatherapy First Aid Kit – Eucalyptus, Ginger, Thyme, Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon.   When you feel a cold coming on run a warm bath and add 2 drops of thyme, 2 drops of tea tree, 1 drop of eucalyptus, 3 drops of lemon and swish the oils around well before getting in the bath for a soak. Inhale deeply. For steam inhalation use 1 drop of thyme, 1 drop of tea tree, 1 drop lavender. Put hot water into a bowl, add the oils, and put your head just above the bowl with a towel over your head. Inhale deeply. All these oils can be bought from Neals Yard Remedies here.10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynes

When you have a cold, keep hydrated, take time to rest, remember that colds last around 7 to 10 days so it will soon be gone. If you are always catching colds then it may be that your immune system is lowered, perhaps you are stressed and not sleeping well, so it may be that you need to look at your lifestyle and diet.

(See also my previous blog about Aromatherapy First Aid Kits here.)

Thanks for reading 10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold.  If you like my blog please comment, like or share.


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Aromatherapy First Aid Kits

Conventional First Aid Kits

Hopefully we all have a first aid kit of some kind in the cupboard. I did my First Aid refresher course with St John’s Ambulance recently so I am feeling all inspired again to make sure my kit has the right stuff in it. (Good course – here is the link – if you get the chance, do it!)   Anyway, I decided to buy a complete new kit as my old one had things missing, and, quite frankly, was a bit of a mess.  What does yours look like?
Aromatherapy First Aid Kits

Aromatherapy First Aid KitsWhen I was on holiday recently, we went out for the day, when we arrived at our destination (an hour’s drive) I went to get my dog out of the car and looked for the dog lead. It was nowhere to be seen and then I remembered where I had left it, back at the apartment where we were staying. Not bright. I was not popular. Think……what can I use…….INSPIRATION – a large bandage from the first aid kit of the car. It was okay at first until she pulled a bit and the bandage stretched, and stretched, and I ended up with a 12 foot long lead and getting some very strange looks. I kept wrapping the excess around my hand until it looked like I had a nasty injury.  Anyway I thought I deserved Brownie points for ingenuity, but my point is, this is what happens to First Aid kits, well to mine anyway. And here is another story….

During a visit to a large supermarket chain at the weekend, (I won’t mention which one), I was standing in the queue waiting for my turn when I noticed a member of staff running along the shop behind the tills and I was sure she was shouting ‘I need a First Aider‘, but my friend thought she was shouting ‘I need a Key Holder‘.  Anyway a good 5 minutes later a woman passed us, holding her arm, she had her hand wrapped in a supermarket carrier bag, she was crying, and her hand was dripping with blood. No one was helping her, everyone just staredat her, so I went to see if I could help.   Turns out that the member of staff was a cleaner who was indeed shouting for a First Aider, but the only First Aider was serving on the checkout, and the injured woman was still waiting. A young male member of staff then came over and looked totally flummoxed as to what to do, so I sent him off to get the First Aid kit. He returned after a few minutes with this tiny and tatty First Aid kit, which had nothing useful in it, but it did have one very large size dressing, and about six pairs of disposable gloves.  I dressed her hand and she was okay after a while the bleeding stopped and she went off to the hospital for stitches. Take my advice don’t have an accident in a certain supermarket. Anyway back to my point – First Aid kits – make sure they are refilled and you have everything you should have in them. What is that I hear you ask?

  • A leaflet giving general First Aid guidance.
  • Individually wrapped sterile plasters (assorted sizes). (Some people are allergic to plasters so hypoallergenic maybe)
  • Sterile eye pads.
  • Individually wrapped triangular bandages.
  • Safety pins.
  • Large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings.
  • Medium sizes sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings
  • Disposable gloves (beware latex allergies)

The above is the advice from www.hse.gov.uk and is applicable to workplaces.

Aromatherapy First Aid Kits.

However, if you are at home obviously you can put in your First Aid kit whatever you find useful and being an Aromatherapist these are some things that I find invaluable in my personal First Aid kit. Always make sure the oils you buy are pure essential oils and not fragrant oils. I have added some links to pure oils further on. Keep them in a cool dark place. They keep for ages (but citrus oils can go off after six months or so).

Tea Tree – antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-fungal so this is a supreme oil. It can be applied undiluted – minor cuts and abrasions, put a few drops onto a cotton wool pad and dab gently on the area. I wouldn’t advise a cotton wool ball where the cotton wool might stick. A few drops of this oil in a foot bath for athletes foot, or in the bath. Use for acne and spots, just dab on gently.  I have added a link here to an Neals Yard organic essential oil.
Tea Tree, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing



Lavender – antibiotic and antiseptic properties, plus it smells nice. Great for minor burns and sunburn.   For small burns, eg to the hand, run the hand under cold water for five minutes first. Apply a drop of undiluted lavender oil on to the burn – repeat every few minutes. For larger areas and for mild sunburn you can mix up a spray with a hand sprayer, fill with cold water add 3 to 4 drops of lavender and shake, then spritz the area with a fine mist. Dab it directly onto insect stings and bites (if it’s a bee-sting, remove the sting first). It’s a lovely calming oil, so a drop on a pillow to aid sleep and induce calmness. A drop on the temples for headaches.  Here is a link to Lavender Neals Yard organic essential oil.

Lavender, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing



Roman Chamomile – superb for children, soothing and calming, super to add a drop or two into a warm bath. A gentle clockwise massage on the tummy using a small amount of carrier oil (such as sweet almond) with a drop of this oil helps with tummy ache. 5 ml carrier 1 drop oil. Here is a link to NYR organic Roman Chamomile essential oil.

Roman Chamomile,Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing




Eucalyptus – decongestant and antiseptic – immediately when we smell eucalyptus we think of cold and flu remedies – I like to add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale when I have a cold, it soothes and clears the sinuses. Or put a few drops on your pillow, or on a hankerchief.    Here is a link to NYR organic Eucalyptus essential oil.  (Do people use hankerchiefs anymore? My dad always had some with his initials on.)

eucalyptus, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing



I have limited myself to 4 oils for the First Aid kit – I could go on! All of these oils can also be used in an oil burner of course.  I have one of the oil burners that you plug in, but that is a bit expensive.  Otherwise you can use the ones that have a night light candle and a drop of water in the top.  Check out the range by NYR here.  Use cool (not hot) water otherwise the oils will evaporate too quickly. The idea is that the candle gently heats the water and then you will get the benefit from the oil. I have recommended these essential oils as I use them myself and know them to be a good quality and pure essential oil.

Any questions? Suggestions? Just contact me I will be pleased to hear from you.

Thanks for reading,


PS: Apparently they still do hankerchiefs with initials!! Who knew!
Aromatherapy First Aid Kits