Homemade cold and flu remedies


As restrictions ease and we start to go back out into the community and see one another again, we are going to start to expose ourselves to a whole range of viruses again, not just COVID19. The common cold can make us feel tired and miserable.


Below are some helpful tips and remedies that may help to reduce the severity of your cold symptoms naturally without having to resort to pharmaceutical cold and flu medications.  These medications can often make you feel better by suppressing your symptoms and allowing you to ‘soldier on’ but can allow you to do more than you actually can, thus prolonging your recovery time.


For swollen, sore and painful throats:


The following techniques are great to help reduce a sore and swollen throat that often marks the start of an illness. Try both or one to help reduce and calm the inflammation and pain.

  1. Gargling with warm salty water. Your elders may have got you doing this as a child, and it does help. Add a teaspoon of unrefined salt to warm water and stir. Gargle and spit several times, using up the whole glass if you can manage it, to help reduce the swelling and pain in your glands and throat. It is important to do this several times a day to keep getting results. Salt and warm water acts as an antibacterial wash and helps to cleanse the inflamed tissues and reduce the heat in the affected area.


  1. Gargling with Apple Cider Vinegar and warm water is also an effective way to calm a burning, sore and swollen throat. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and gargle when necessary. It may be a strong taste and possibly not to everyone’s ability so alternatively it can be made into a throat soothing tea with the additions of honey and ginger. Here is how:

Grate a knob of ginger into a small pot or milk pan together with 2 ½ cups of water and simmer for 10 mins. Strain the liquid into a mug or thermos and add 1-2 teaspoons of honey and stir. Lastly add 30mls of Apple cider vinegar (adjust to taste). You may find this apple cider vinegar tea really helps to take the edge off your sore throat and helps to reduce sinus congestion and phlegm. It does taste good and will help reduce the duration of your illness.



Coughs and sinus congestion:


Homemade Ginger, Onion and Honey Cough Mixture


This is a great recipe for the whole family and can be used in conjunction with steam treatments to help with coughs and congestion. It is particularly good for children who suffer from sinus and chest congestion that may not have mastered blowing their noses yet, as this cough mixture can work wonders to help expectorate phlegm and reduce coughing.


How to make:

1 red onion – finely chopped so the juices can easily seep into the honey (alternatively use 8-9 cloves of garlic if you prefer)

1 cup of raw honey

1 good size knob of ginger – grated so the juices can seep into the honey


Add the chopped onion and grated ginger into a glass jar/container that has an air-tight lid.

Add in the honey and stir well.

Replace the lid and let sit for a few hours or overnight to marinade and become nice and strong. The sediment may settle on the bottom


Take one spoonful every hour as needed. For children, it may be easier for them to take the mixture without much sediment (onion, ginger bits) in it so spoon off the top for them.


  • Red onion or garlic both strengthens the immune system and works as a natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and expectorant.
  • Honey is good at moistening and soothing itchy and irritated throats. It too has natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Ginger is spicy and warm and helps to stop cough and promote light perspiration and reduce fever. It also warms and strengthens the digestive system.


Please note: If you have any signs of a cold or flu, it is important to get tested for COVID19 at this time. The test is now available for anyone showing these symptoms and it only takes 2 days to get your results. Please contact your GP to get a referral.


Make sure that you wash your hands regularly, practice good respiratory health (cover your mouth with your elbow or hand and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards) and maintain 1.5 metres distance between others.


We wish you all safety and health at this time.


Nicola Loizou

Chinese Medicine Practitioner