Cold and flu symptoms can be some of the most miserable, from coughing, to aches, fevers, and chills, to stuffy and pressured sinuses, to nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and more. Instead of loading up on over-the-counter medicine, here are 10 natural remedies to relieve your worst symptoms.

1. Rest

It takes a lot of energy to fight off an illness, so take it easy as much as possible. Resting helps your body put more energy toward your immune system to fight the infection and become healthy again. Keep your head elevated with a towel or pillow to help drain nasal passages.

2. Extra fluids

Drink as much water as you can to relieve symptoms like headaches or dry eyes and throat. To avoid dehydration, amp up the fluids when you can (taking small sips if you feel nauseous). Fruit juices, clear sodas, herbal teas with honey, and electrolyte drinks are also good options to stay hydrated.

3. Steam

Sit in a hot shower or steamy bathroom for instant congestion relief. You can also boil a pot of water, drape a towel over your head to trap the steam, and breathe through your nose from a safe distance. Keep a humidifier or cool-mist vaporizer running when you are resting or sleeping.

4. Clear Out Your Nose

It is important to blow your nose often – sniffing mucus back into your head can cause discomfort, a worsened cough, and sinus infections. Gently blow each nostril clear. You can also use a neti pot, which flushes a mild saline solution through the nasal passages, moisturizing the area and loosening/flushing mucus.

If your baby or small child comes down with the cold or flu, using saline drops and a bulb syringe to clear their nose will provide them with relief and clear their airways.

5. Gargle

Gargling with salt water will help remove cough-inducing mucus in the throat, and can also offer relief for stuffy ears.

6. Chicken Soup and Warm Liquids

Chicken soup is known for being the meal for the sick to relieve aches, pains, congestion, and fatigue. Whether the soup really helps with symptoms or whether it is just nice to have a hot meal, chicken soup is a great remedy for when you’re feeling under the weather. Other warm liquids, like teas or juice, can be just as soothing and beneficial.

7. Honey

Honey’s high viscosity does a great job of coating and soothing irritated mucous membranes, and it has antibacterial properties. Just take 1 spoonful of honey 1-3 times a day to control coughing.

Our school’s Herbal Clinic offers FREE walk-in herbal remedy consultations, and a 60-minute consultation to help you find natural approaches and remedies for any medical issues you may have. Several herbalism students and the herbalism instructor will be present to provide you with guidance to address your specific health questions, goals, and overall well-being! Stop in at the first sign of the cold or flu for a consultation to help you get back to a healthy you.