20 Natural Health Tips for Cold and Flu Season

Natural HealthCold and flu season is here, and once it makes an inroad at your house, it may really make life miserable for all of you. If you want to be better prepared for it, set yourself up right with some preventative measures.

You can’t avoid every cold virus that’s going around, but you may be able to minimize the risk to yourself and your family (or at the very least, get through it with minimal downtime).

Some of these tips are common sense, and some might take some effort, but the payoff of a healthy family is definitely worth it. Just remember, prevention is always cheaper than the cure…

20 Natural Health Tips for Cold and Flu Season

  1. Wash your hands frequently, especially when returning home from a public place. Stay away from “antibacterial” soaps with triclosan – soap and water does the trick.
  2. Change your hand towels often. Using a common towel may pass germs from one person to another, so a sick person should have their own towel to use.
  3. Clean the places that harbor the most germs in your house – refrigerator doors and handles, bathroom faucets, doorknobs, remote controls, light switches, telephones, dishwasher handles, salt and pepper shakers, toys, and of course, your hands!
  4. Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep will negatively affect your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Be aware of what your body needs (8 hours may not be enough for you), and supplement it with quick cat-naps of 15 to 30 minutes if you can.
  5. Stay hydrated. Living and working inside with the heat on can really dry you out, and it’s more difficult to remember to drink water when it isn’t hot outside.
  6. Take your vitamins. Find a good whole-food based multivitamin for you and your family, especially if you aren’t eating as healthy as you know you should.
  7. Get sunshine on your body. Exposing yourself to the sun every day boosts vitamin D production and helps to lift your mood, which affects your immune response.
  8. Be active – move your body. Regular exercise, especially vigorous exercise, keeps your body healthy and offsets the negative effects of our modern sedentary lifestyle. Try some yoga for a gentle way to help your body’s lymph system clean itself out.
  9. Be positive. Having a positive outlook may be one of the most important things you do for your health.
  10. Laugh. Humor is good medicine, so find a corny movie or watch some stand-up comedy and just laugh.
  11. Vitamin C. I am a big fan of Emergen-C. Just mix with water for a fizzy, energizing drink.
  12. Eat more fruits and veggies. Vegetables and fruits are nutritional powerhouses, and with citrus coming into season in the winter, eating lots of oranges is a cheap way to support your immune system.
  13. Drink your juice. Got a juicer? Flush your body with raw fruit and vegetable juices.
  14. Use herbs for healing. Astragalus, osha root, echinacea, and elderberry extract are widely used and easily found in health food stores and co-ops.
  15. Use a neti pot. A neti pot can help to keep your sinuses clear and healthy, whether you’re sick or not.
  16. Get a massage. A massage will help to support your lymphatic system and flush toxins from your body.
  17. Take it easy on the coffee and alcohol. At the first sign of illness, try taking a break from coffee and alcohol to give your liver less to deal with.
  18. Just say no. When feeling less than optimal, do less, stay home from work if you can, and don’t over-commit. Make your health the highest priority.
  19. Avoid taking over-the-counter medications. Suppressing the symptoms through medication may make you feel temporarily better, but it’s usually best to let your body heal itself. Let fevers run their course, and let the mucus drip right out. Use natural remedies whenever possible.
  20. Try Probiotics: Many people don’t associate cold and flu symptoms with the digestive system, but Probiotics and other detoxifying agents can be essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. When the colon is functioning optimally, the body can focus its detoxification efforts on fighting viruses like the flu or common cold.

Here’s to a healthy cold and flu season! Got a good tip that works for you? Leave a comment!

Image: lepiaf.geo at Flickr

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

15 thoughts on “20 Natural Health Tips for Cold and Flu Season

  • Thank you for your tips. The cold and flu season is definitely here. Unfortunately it hits mommy the worst. She does not get a break. She has to still take care of everyone in the household. But the tips you give are very helpful. Especially the ones about washing your hands. Thanks again and have a happy healthy holiday season.

  • Pingback: Review: 20 Natural Health Tips « Eco Lesbo Vego

  • Thanks for your valuable tips. Though we may not completely prevent viral infections, these things will keep us minimize the possibility of getting infected.

  • Nice list, aaaachoo, wish I would have read it a few days ago, sniff sniff. 😉

    You could also add to the list probiotics which help boost the immune system and also I’ve been using a natural toothpaste from Vit-Myr (see the post below) that has zinc, clove and other bad bacteria fighting ingredients which seems to be helping fight off colds (I’ve been able to fight off the last two rounds brought home from the kidios so far)
    .-= Earth Friendly Goodies´s last blog ..Vita-Myr: A Natural Gum Disease Treatment and Bad Breath Banisher =-.

  • John Michael

    This is a great list of tips. I usually follow most of them, but not all of them are old news to me. I’m going to have to try out a neti pot and using some herbs and see how it works out. Also, one thing that I noticed you didn’t have on your list is probiotics. You should come check out my site to find out the best probiotics supplements.

  • A new and vastly improved silver has recently been developed that is non-toxic and very effective against a wide range of bacteria, viruses, yeasts and other pathogens.

    Numerous lab reports and research studies have documented the benefits of using silver, including its ability to destroy over a dozen of today’s most dangerous pathogens, including Salmonella, and E. coli.

    Silver Shield can be used as an antibiotic, as well as, a preventative supplement if used on a daily basis. Using silver as a preventative measure may not only keep pathogens in check and fight existing infection, but also offer long-term protection from chronic disease.

    Silver Sol has been shown to destroy viruses in the same classification as Swine Flu. The liquid was shown to prevent H5N1 Influenza when swallowed twice daily.

    Silver Sol gel has been shown to disinfect topically and keep hands completely sanitized for 4 hours.

    Viral Studies:In test tube results the American Biotech Labs silver product was able to kill or neutralize a billion bacteriophage virus in 2.5 hours. In test tube tests against an Avian Influenza A H3-N2 and the Beijing Influenza A H1-N1, the American Biotech Labs 10 ppm product was able to kill or neutralize 96-98% of the virus in two hours, with no measurable virus surviving in 12 hours. Against Avian Influenza A H5-N1 Vietnam Hybrid, the 10 ppm product reduced the viral levels below detectable levels in six hours.

    Visit my website for this awesome product and ask me questions anytime.
    I don’t take the FLU shot and most of my clients do not either .. Why spread this virus?? Prevent it!!

    Find natural product and PURE Herbs also at my website.. Health to you all..I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  • That’s a really good list of tips. Whenever I get a bad cold, I’ll always boost my vitamin c intake. Oregano oil is another great way to knock out the cold. It’s also important to stay hydrated and eat light.
    .-= Eddie´s last blog ..The Health Benefits of Oregano Oil =-.

  • Can’t believe this. It’s mid summer and I’m at home with a severe cold.. I like your tips, but number 18 is a real problem with me. So much to do, so little time!

  • You have here valuable and useful tips. When it’s cold and flu season, I usually spread some ravensara and lemon essential oil in the air with a diffuser. It helps to clean the air and kill the germs.

  • And 21, exercise! Daily exercise boosts the immune system for about 3 hours, which is enough time for your antibodies to make a better stand against viruses.

  • Any alteration in the natural process within the body causes sickness. Follow these tips and surely, you will stay healthy this cold and flu season. 🙂

  • Take honey daily. It works like a charm. I hope it helps someone.

  • Simple tips but these are much beneficial if anyone follow them. I follow most of all. From my view
    Wash your hands frequently, Laugh, Eat more fruits and veggies and Be positive is much beneficial.
    Thanks for sharing such a useful post.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *