Ah, the common cold; even the healthiest among us get caught with a sniffly nose, sore throat, and bad case of nonstop sneezes now and then. When a cold strikes, hands down, rest is best. But so often life gets in the way, and it’s just not possible to stay under those warm covers until you feel 100% again. So what do we do to speed healing, and help your body fight back and strengthen immune function so that you feel better, faster? The NAA has an arsenal of nutritional strategies, road tested by our founders, their families, and clients, to share this season.

Here, our top home remedies for the common cold; stock up on these immune-boosters now, and throughout the year:

  • Garlic and onions. Fresh garlic and onions, along with other members of the allium family like leeks, are naturally antiviral and naturally improve the activity of immune cells that fight off colds.
  • Raw honey. Honey (choose raw or even Manuka varieties that have not been heated and highly processed) for active antibacterial and antiviral properties that also soothe sore throats. Make your own DIY cold syrup simply at home with raw honey and onions. It’s not just for when you have a cold; a tablespoon a day is a great remedy to add to your daily immune-boosting routine. Don’t want to take it straight? Add it to your warm lemon water or diluted raw apple cider vinegar. Learn to make it yourself here:

  • Chicken soup. This time-tested remedy (more than just a bone broth trend) is bursting with nutrition that is healing to the gut, which houses the body’s immune center. Beyond broth, chicken soup is rich in nutrients that are easily digestible and soothing to weary throats and stomachs. Make yours with organic chicken, and simmer your own broth for the most benefits.
  • Elderberry. Elderberries are long known for their respiratory benefits. A fun fact about elderberry is that it follows what’s known as the “doctrine of signatures” so beautifully—the idea that the part of the body that the plant’s physical characteristics resemble what it’s best used for as an herbal remedy. Elderberries look like lungs, hence, they are known to support a healthy respiratory system. The respiratory benefits of elderberries also translate to the skin, as respiration is one of the skin’s main functions. Elderberry is best taken as a syrup, and is a common ingredient in natural cold and cough syrups. This season, you could actually make your own using this elderberry syrup recipe.
  • Herbal teas. Staying hydrated is essential to speed cold healing, and warm liquids like lemon water and herbal teas provide additional health-supporting benefits.
  • Ginger and Turmeric. These anti-inflammatory rhizomes support immune function and digestion. Ginger specifically warms the body, while curcumin in turmeric reduces the entry of a virus into cells. To get both of these powerful cold-fighters in one place, try fire cider. Fire cider is one of the most famous immune boosters and includes turmeric and ginger, in addition to horseradish root, raw apple cider vinegar, and other potent natural ingredients. A shot of this per day is a great way to support overall health during cold and flu season. Fair warning: it’s strong, but it is definitely an acquired taste. Don’t want to take it straight? It makes a great salad dressing or smoothie addition. Learn to make your own fire cider here.
  • Mushrooms. From reishi to chaga to shiitake, mushrooms contain various compounds that have benefits including immune-strengthening, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties. Read more about specific mushroom varieties here. They also provide and extra immune-boosting vitamin D boost for your body.

We want to hear from you!

What are your go-to nutritional strategies for cold care?

What do you do to speed cold healing and feel back to your best self?