Natural and Herbal Cold and Flu Treatments

Looking for relief from your cold and flu symptoms? Would you prefer an herbal or natural remedy? Here you will find some of the most common and popular natural and herbal cold and flu treatments. You should know that natural and herbal remedies are not regulated by the FDA and their efficacy and safety are not guaranteed.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C
Vitamin C - what can it do for you?. Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Vitamin C has gone through periods of popularity for treating the common cold but it is now beginning to fall out of favor. Once thought to be a reliable immunity booster and cold treatment, recent research has shown that its efficacy is doubtful. While it is still a very important part of your daily diet, it apparently has no significant bearing on the treatment or prevention of a cold. However, many people still swear by this supplement and take increased dosages, up to 2000 mg a day, at the first sign of a cold.



Can Echinacea help with colds or the flu?. Steve Gorton/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Like Vitamin C, at one time Echinacea was once considered a cure-all for colds and the flu. More recent research, however, has shown that there is no benefit to taking Echinacea, either in treating the cold or flu or preventing them. But, many people believe Echinacea works for them. It is generally considered safe, though some people have had serious allergic reactions to it and others have experienced mild gastrointestinal symptoms. If you have any concerns, are taking other medications, or have medical problems consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.



Can elderberry help with the cold or flu?. Nicole Faton/Moment Open/Getty Images

Elderberry has been used for many years to treat colds, the flu, and other upper respiratory illnesses. Studies have shown conflicting results about whether or not it actually works. Learn more about elderberry and how it could affect you.


Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure the Flu?

Can Cinnamon and Honey Cure the Flu?. Juan Silva/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Some stories seen on various social media sites have claimed that a combination of cinnamon and honey could cure colds and the flu. Find out why there is no truth to this story.


Airborne Tablets

Airborne is promoted as an immunity booster. According to the manufacturer, you should take Airborne a day or two before being exposed to crowded places (such as airplanes, movie theaters, etc.). You may take one tablet every 3 – 4 hours, not to exceed three doses in a day. It consists of 17 natural ingredients, including Vitamin C and Echinacea. Because of the high levels of vitamins in these tablets, you should not take other vitamins when you take Airborne. The makers of Airborne claim that it can boost your immune system and reduce your risk of getting sick.


Zicam Cold Remedy (Gel and Nasal Swabs)

Zicam is a very popular natural cold remedy that, according to the manufacturer, is "clinically proven to help you get over your cold three times faster". Zicam's main ingredient is zinc gluconate which is a natural mineral that has had various results in regards to the efficacy in reducing the severity of cold symptoms.

There have been reports in the last few years about Zicam possibly causing people to lose their sense of smell and in June 2009 the nasal version was pulled from the market due to these complaints.

Traditional Cold and Flu Medications

Looking for more cold and flu medication options? See what your options are and which ones are best for you when you are looking at traditional cold and flu meds.

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