Natural Remedies for the Flu

Natural Remedies for the Flu post image

It’s cold and flu season. Interestingly, it comes alongside the holiday season. Did you ever wonder why? Hmmm. At this time of year we have many social activities and celebrations. This leads to eating plenty of sugary sweets, not getting enough sleep and generally trying to keep up with all the extra activities that engage us this time of year. This can be stressful even though it is fun. That is a prescription for an impaired immune system, making us susceptible to contracting viral and bacterial illnesses.

While holiday time is a fun time, for many there are just too many demands on their time and healthy eating is difficult to accomplish. Kids are schupted (isn’t that a great Yiddish word?) with candy and chocolate everywhere they go. Every activity has a snack. This would drive me crazy when my son was little. I would watch the kids going straight for the snack table at every event. Pathetic. We are teaching our children that they need a sugary snack at every single event!

Here’s What NOT To Do

Do not get pressured into getting a flu shot. Think about it and research the risk vs. benefit profile. They are pressuring EVERYONE to get this. These toxic shots are available 24/7 at local pharmacies and even churches. They are enlisting clergy people to push the shot on everyone.

Remember the phrase a chicken in every pot? They are trying for a flu shot in every arm! Don’t fall for it! A yearly flu shot is VERY dangerous and it does not protect you. Do your research first and make an informed decision.

What’s in the Flu Shot

For the 2012-2013 flu season Novardis is offering FLUVIRIN® which is an influenza virus vaccine prepared from virus propagated in  embryonated hens eggs which have been inoculated with a specific type of influenza virus suspension containing neomycin and polymyxin which are antibiotics.

Ingredients of Fluvirin:
Beta-Propiolactone, Egg Protein, Neomycin, Polymyxin B, Polyoxyethylene 9-10 Nonyl Phenol (Triton N-101, Octoxynol 9), Thimerosal (in the multidose containers), Thimerosal* (much smaller amounts in the single-dose syringes)

Potential problems

  • The egg protein may be a trigger for those allergic to eggs.
  • Beta-Propiolactone is used for sterilization. Read about the toxicity here.
  • Octoxynol 9 is a vaginal spermicide.
  • Thimerosal is used as a preservative in the vaccine. It contains 49.6% mercury by weight and has been implicated in many health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, autism, seizures, mental retardation, hyperactivity, dyslexia and many more nervous system conditions.
  • The mercury used in vaccines is a powerful neurotoxin that can damage the nervous system of a child.
  • If you get this vaccine every year you are getting thimersol and all the other adjuvants and toxic additives as well year after year.
  • Don’t rely on Tamiflu after the fact. It has been found to be unsafe and ineffective.

Here are Some Natural Ways of Dealing With The Flu

Foods that support the immune system

Hydrate yourself with warm liquids such as homemade nutrient dense bone broths and herbal teas. These liquids will help to hydrate your body which is especially important if you have a fever.

Soups made from bone broths with added vegetables and herbs are a must when you have a cold or flu. It is the best way to get easily digestible nutrients into a body that needs to use all its energy to support the immune system.

Coconut oil has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties so try to put some in your tea, on your food or take by the spoonful.

Raw milk from grassfed cows or raw yogurt or kefir made from that milk is extremely nourishing and the live immune factors in the raw milk will help you when you are sick. If you are drinking raw milk you probably will not get the flu in the first place.

Eggs from pastured chickens — soft boiled or raw if they are very fresh will supply lots of vitamin A and D.

Fermented foods such as homemade yogurt without added sugars and homemade sauerkraut juice would be easy to get down and are beneficial.

Garlic is also a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses and fungus. Try eating your food with garlic. This is also available as a supplement.

Do not eat sugary starchy foods when sick with the flu. The sugar feeds the microorganisms and this will work against getting better.

Take extra cod liver oil because this will give you additional vitamins A and D which are essential for a strong immune system. This is something you should be taking on a daily basis. Double your usual dose when you are sick.

Extra vitamin C is also good for the immune system. A 1999 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics indicated that 1,000 mg of vitamin every hour for 6 hours and 1,000 mg three times daily afterward can effectively relieve or even prevent flu symptoms.

Zinc lozenges have been shown to sooth a sore throat. Be sure to take zinc with food. On an empty stomach it can cause nausea.

Lauricidin is a supplement of monolaurin which is lauric acid that is found in breast milk. This is very protective against bacteria and viruses and can be used with children.


Immune modulating herbals such as echinacea, golden root, andrographis  and astragalus can be helpful.
Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years to strengthen the immune and respiratory systems and to fight the flu. Astragalus belongs to a class of herbs called adaptogens, which helps the body handle stress. Astragalus is also antibacterial and antiviral.

Olive leaf has been shown to be an excellent antibacterial. This herbal supplement fights bacterial and viral infections.

An extract of the black elderberries produces beneficial immune actions and helps fight influenza and other respiratory viruses. Two small studies have demonstrated rapid recovery from influenza with a proprietary elderberry extract called Sambucol, which is available in many natural food stores.

You also can make your own elderberry syrup.


One of the best remedies on the market is Oscillococcinum. If you can say this correctly three times fast, your flu will disappear! Just kidding. This is something you can have in your first aid closet. If you take it as soon as you start feeling sick it will work better. It is also good for the common cold as well as the flu.

Homeopathy also may be used for acute cold and flu symptoms. Get yourself a good starter book and a few remedies and learn all you can about it. It is a very individual therapy and each person may need different remedies for the flu.

Warm Detoxification Bath

Take a warm detoxification bath with 1 cup of Epsom salts or magnesium salts to relax aching muscles and relieve the chills.

Get Plenty of Sleep

When you are really sick in bed, of course you will be getting more sleep. To prevent colds and flu, get a good night’s sleep every day.

Naturally open the nasal passages with steam

If you have nasal congestion (more common when you have a cold) use steam to open the nasal passages. A steam shower is great for this. If you do not have one, bring a quart-size pot of water to a boil, remove it from the stove and place your face a comfortable distance from the steam taking care not to burn your skin. Cover your head with a towel. Inhale through your nose if you’re stuffy, or through your mouth for chest congestion.

Adding a drop or two of essential oils or herbs to the water, such as eucalyptus, will also aid in opening up the passages and thinning the mucous. Just be sure to close your eyes and never drink the water.

Some people like to use the neti pot for irrigation of sinuses.

Keep your immune system healthy

Importantly, keep yourself healthy by eating well, keeping to your exercise program, getting enough sleep and staying away from sweets. Studies have found that immediately after eating sugar, there is a drop in white blood cell function. According to WebMD,

Consuming too much sugar suppresses immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria. Even consuming just 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about the same as in two 12-ounce sodas) reduces the ability of white blood cells to overpower and destroy bacteria. This effect is seen for at least a few hours after consuming a sugary drink.

Seek medical help if symptoms persist of if you develop a high fever. Please see my disclaimer.

This post is shared at: Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Fight back Friday, Foodie Friday, Seasonal Celebration, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Meatless Monday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Tasteful Tuesday, Mommy Club, Sustainable Ways, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Creative Juice Thursday, Thank Your Body THursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter

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Leave a Comment

  • Susan Weinberg November 30, 2012, 9:41 am

    I was at my doctor the other day and she asked me if I wanted a flu shot and I said, “I don’t take flu shots”. People think they cannot say no to their doctor.

  • Lis November 30, 2012, 2:32 pm

    I never get flu shots as a healthy adult. But what would you suggest I do about my children? I have a 5 year-old and a 1 year-old. The pediatrician of course warns of the dangers of flu to children and I have always got flu shots for them. (And they haven’t ever gotten flu.) I’m very concerned about this but not sure what is the right thing to do.

  • jim elder December 1, 2012, 5:56 pm

    Who is the person who wrote this?? How do you arrive at all t his information?

    Im at senior of 75, you need flu shots, just like other shots over the life time of your
    ife. So tell me how to arrive at this information, that you should not take a flu shot
    and a senior friend of mine did and he passed away. No flue shot, how do you explain
    that to his family?

  • Mary December 5, 2012, 4:51 pm

    In response to Jim Elder, I’m 73 and I have never had a flu shot and don’t plan on getting one. I eat healthy foods and drink lots of probiotics, etc. I’m not on any medication whatsoever. One of my employers years ago offered to pay for the flu shots for the Company and I refused and I was the only one that didn’t get the flu that Winter. Do some research as to what is in the flu shots. You might change your mind.

  • Monica December 6, 2012, 7:26 pm

    Great post! My husband and I, (along with my parents) don’t get flu shots. A lot of people swear by them, but we try to let our bodies do the fighting. I love the tips you’ve offered as well! I’d rather be prepared than clueless!

  • Cecilia December 8, 2012, 1:10 am

    I genuinely have a question; where do you find the ingredients for the flu vaccines? I found the FDA Fluvirin paraphenalia ( ), but I can’t find like an ingredients listing.

  • Jill December 8, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Hi Cecilia,
    You can look up the specific vaccine you want and get the package insert online — which will have ingredients, side effects, etc. Your doctor can also provide you with this and should — but that would scare people away.

  • Michelle @ The Willing Cook December 12, 2012, 9:16 am

    Good Morning, Jill! I just wanted to let you know that I’m featuring your great informative post at this week’s Allergy-Free Wednesdays. I’m always looking for more tools for my “medicine cabinet”. Although I hope we can by-pass all your recommendations and stay far, far away from any illnesses, I’d say the chances are slim. Thanks, again!

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  • Db October 6, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Homeopathy is mentioned. I have used homeo. remedies for years. It is my especially-used flu fighter… Boiron has a ‘kit’ with almost all the really important remedies and a guide as to what ones to use for what ailment. This should be in EVERY home! Also there is a very good layman’s book by Dana Ullman. We need to wean ourselves from doctors – most of whom don’t know much or anything about US… just textbook stuff. WE know ourselves and our families much better and should be more active in working on repairing our own health issues when we are sick.
    One thing about homeopathy – you can’t overdose! Your body is being stimulated by nano amounts, so you could take a whole bottle without ill effects. AND you should realize it is not a quick cure all in every case, so a strong BELIEF system and belief IN the remedy is VERY helpful!
    I have successfully used homeopathics for many medical issues over the last 30 years. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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