Cold and Flu Remedies from the Pantry

With fall setting in, cold and flu season can’t be far behind. As miserable as a cold or flu might be now, with the pharmacy shelves bursting with over the counter remedies, one day relief might not be that close at hand.

Most of our prep kits have a stash of OTC medications but in a long-term disaster situation it will be important to make those last as long as possible. You might be surprised to discover that your kitchen cupboards may hold the key to curing your stuffy nose, scratchy throat, cough and chills.

Turning toward natural remedies now will give you the knowledge and skills you need to keep your family well during the onset of a disaster or extended disaster. Consider learning ways to make homemade lozenges to soothe sore throats, or possessing basic knowledge on which herbs may be used to treat cold/flu symptoms. Further, knowing how to combine these together to make cold/flu syrups will only better your family’s chances at beating the cold/flu season when OTC medicines aren’t as readily available.

Listed below are some other homeopathic ways to care for yourself and your family when you are ill.

Lemon-Ginger Jelly:  Place lemon slices and ginger shavings into a small jar.  Cover this with honey.  Keep this in the refrigerator.  In a few days you will have a “jelly” – stir one tablespoon into a cup of hot water for a tea that will soothe your throat and stuffy nose.

Honey Cinnamon Cough Remedy: Sprinkle powdered cinnamon onto a tablespoon of honey to calm a cough caused by a scratchy throat.

Peppermint tea: Peppermint tea will aid in relieving congestion and opening up the sinuses, plus sipping the hot beverage will help you combat chills.

Chicken Noodle Soup:  Chicken soup loaded with garlic and onion is full of antioxidants that will boost your immune system while helping keep you hydrated, relieving irritation in your throat and mucous membranes and warming you up if you are suffering from chills.  Chicken noodle soup has also been proven to have some antiviral properties which can help shorten the duration of a cold or flu.

Steam: Simmering a pot of water on a heat source can put humidity into the room, which helps loosen mucous from nasal passages to ease breathing and soothe coughing. Certain herbs, like basil or mint, or aromatics like eucalyptus or tea tree oil, can be beneficial when added to the pot of water.

Water: Keeping well-hydrated is important when you are blowing your nose ten thousand times per day.  Drink water, juice, ginger ale or sports beverages but avoid drinks containing caffeine. Staying hydrated has the added benefit of offsetting fatigue.  If you can, spike your water with lemon juice for a burst of vitamin C.

Salt Water:  Gargling with salt water can calm a scratchy throat and help get rid of mucous.  It has the added benefit of being mildly antibacterial.  Dissolve one tablespoon of salt into one cup of water.

Ginger Tea: Chinese medicine has turned to ginger root for thousands of years to combat viruses and infections, while boosting the body’s natural immunities.

These remedies have stood the test of time – give them a shot and you might be surprised to find out that you don’t actually need the over-the-counter chemicals to relieve your symptoms!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 19th, 2013
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9 Responses to Cold and Flu Remedies from the Pantry

  1. eric says:

    Don’t forget the onion trick.  Cut an onion in half and place in a glass or ceramic bowl before you go to bed if you have the flu.  Dispose of the onion halves in the morning(if you eat them they will make you very sick!)

  2. Naomi says:

    Honey and camomile tea are both marvellous medicines that can actually help you fight off illness or infection – I’ve had great results.
    And chilli and cayenne pepper are great decongestants!

  3. Amir Ali says:

    Spoonful of buckwheat honey (or other if not available but buckwheat is best) and half spoon of turmeric powder available all stores. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice so it helps heal any inflammation and help s prevent cancer too. Look it up. This has been my medication for generations for flu. Helps precent coughs and colds too.

  4. Ron says:

    Writer lost credibility when she recommended Ginger Ale

    • Robert says:

      She lost credibility only if you are short sighted and uninformed of it’s benefits. Ginger is well known to seriously calm your stomach. Since many people, especially children will not drink a tea made from fresh/dried ginger then ginger ale is the next best thing. Depending on what you have exactly getting your stomach settled down so you can take other things might be very very important.
      Although learning how to make your own is always an option. Plus you can use sugar instead of HFCS’s and any organic ingredients you want. And it tastes even better than store bought, but you might have to tinker with the recipe a bit to get it to your liking.

  5. This is the essential high-test if it’s really influenza:

  6. zebram says:

    saw this on  Excellent advice here.  I’ve always used ginger tea.  It’s fantastic!! But usually you have to add some honey if you’re not used to the taste.

  7. Phillip the Bruce says:

    I work for a company that makes equipment for medical research labs. One of our customers shared with me a study that his lab did, published in CHEST in 2000. Chicked soup inhibits the stimulated migration of  neutrophils. These are white blood cells that, among other things, cause inflammation.

  8. s says:

    I use Echinacea to fight off colds. Its a great herb and it works.

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