5 Ways to Naturally Relieve Cold & Flu Discomfort

By Alise Robers, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student 

Fevers, fatigue, runny noses, coughing, and sore throats are symptoms we are all too familiar with. Colds and the flu are infections caused by viruses that can last just a few days or up to two weeks. Poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and stress are all factors that make you more susceptible. Below are some natural ways to help relieve those pesky symptoms.

Start with some good ole’ Vitamin C. Vitamin C may not prevent a cold but it may help get you back up on your feet faster!1 Try some strawberries, orange juice, blackberries or grapefruit and when you’re bored of those go for some tangerines, mangoes or pomegranate juice.1,2 All are good sources of Vitamin C.

Hyssop Officinalis (hyssop) is a small bushy plant of the mint family that has been recommended as a decongestant for centuries. The bitter, minty leaves are used in cooking and herbal medicines. Drink Hyssop as a tea to loosen phlegm or gargle with it to aid a sore throat.3 Add some honey for flavor and extra soothing power!1,3

Ginger is a fragrant herb that can help you sweat out the toxins in your body, which is great for when you have a cold or flu.4 It also soothes upset stomachs, dizziness, nausea, and cold sweats.4 If you simmer three to four slices of fresh ginger root in a pint of hot water for 20-30 minutes you will have made a refreshing and very soothing remedy.1

Chicken noodle soup is a classic when it comes to colds and cases of flu, and health experts agree! The hot liquids help to moisten and clear the nasal passages, and sooth your sore throat.1,5 It can also alleviate upper respiratory tract infections by reducing inflammation.1,5 It’s even a great idea to make your very own chicken noodle soup at home using some garlic, sweet potatoes, celery, parsnips, onions, carrots, parsley and turnips.1

Pineapple juice is not only sweet and delicious but it actually can also help expel mucous and relieve a sore throat!1  After coughing all day mix up 8 ounces of warm pineapple juice with two teaspoons of honey to soothe your throat.1

Last but certainly not least, drink water! Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help you replace the fluid you are losing and it will also keep your throat lining moist so it won’t crack and let another virus in!1,6



For more health tips, search the Fill Your Plate blog using the keyword ‘Health’.




  1. Chapter 7, “Cold & Flu Fighters.” Unleash the Inner Healing Power of Foods. N.p.: n.p., 2008. 69-72. Print.
  2. “Vitamin C In Fruits & Vegetables.” Fruits & Veggies More Matters. N.p., n.d. Web. 2017. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/vitamin-c-in-fruits-and-vegetabels.
  3. “HYSSOP: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings.” WebMD. WebMD, 2009. Web. 2017.
  4. Ware, Megan. “Ginger: Health Benefits, Facts, Research.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, Jan. 2016. Web. 2017
  5. “Can chicken soup cure a cold?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 02 Mar. 2016. Web. 2017. http://www.mayoclinic,org/disease-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/health-tip/art-20048631.
  6. “Cold and Flu: Natural Rememdies.” MyVMC. N.p., 22 May 2016. Web. 2017. http://www.myvmc.com/treatments/cold-and-flu-natural-remedies/.
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