top of page
  • Madison

Supportive Herbal Remedies for Colds & Flu: Nature's Pharmacy at Your Local Supermarket

As the cold and flu season reaches its peak, the onslaught of symptoms can hit hard and fast. While prevention is the best defense, sometimes we find ourselves unprepared when illness strikes. Herbalists often arm themselves with fire cider and tinctures in the fall, but what if these remedies aren't readily available? Fear not, for your local supermarket can be a treasure trove of herbs to alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of colds and flu.

Herbal enthusiasts are known for keeping their remedy arsenal stocked, but when caught off guard, there's no time to wait for online orders. Relief is desired promptly. Fortunately, the following supportive herbs can be easily acquired and crafted into simple yet effective remedies to address various illnesses, including colds and flu.

Supportive Herbs for Colds and Flu Shopping List:

  1. Garlic:

  • Properties: anti-viral, antibiotic, and antiseptic.

  • Benefit: Fights infections and boosts the immune system.

  1. Onion:

  • Properties: Great for coughs, and raw onion keeps the respiratory tract open.

  • Benefit: Alleviates respiratory issues and promotes clear airways.

  1. Ginger:

  • Properties: Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.

  • Benefit: Effective against colds/flu, aids in nausea, and reduces inflammation.

  1. Sage:

  • Properties: Carminative, antiseptic, and astringent.

  • Benefit: Relieves sore throats, coughs, and sinus congestion. Avoid during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

  1. Thyme:

  • Properties: Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, expectorant, and astringent.

  • Benefit: Excellent for respiratory infections, coughs, and stomach issues.

  1. Cayenne Powder:

  • Properties: Stimulant, anti-microbial, analgesic, carminative, diaphoretic, and expectorant.

  • Benefit: Prevents and shortens the duration of colds/flu by bringing heat to the body.

  1. Honey:

  • Properties: Raw, local honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic.

  • Benefit: Soothes throat, fights infection, and accelerates healing. Not suitable for children under 1 year old.

  1. Lemon:

  • Properties: High in vitamin C.

  • Benefit: Strengthens resistance, reduces phlegm, and aids in a speedy recovery from colds and flu.


Recipe from The Herbal Academy

This is a base recipe to drink daily through the duration of illness.

Cold Remedy Tea, Garlic, Lemon


2-4 chopped garlic cloves

3-4 slices fresh ginger

Raw honey


2-3 lemons


  • In a 1 quart mason jar combine 2-4 cloves chopped garlic and 3-4 slices of fresh ginger.

  • Cover and let steep for at least 20 minutes.

  • Add juice of 2-3 lemons and honey to taste (approximately ¼ cup)

  • You can strain or leave herbs in mixture.

  • Consume warm and as needed. It can be consumed at room temperature, but not chilled.

Recipe from The Herbal Academy

Use this tea as a base and then add some of the other remedies below if needed. Garlic can irritate the stomach. If you are drinking this often you may need to adjust the amount of garlic or eliminate it.

Basic Cold/Flu Tea


3-4 slices fresh ginger with skin

One clove chopped garlic

Cayenne powder

Tea of choice (black, green, oolong, herbal)

Honey to taste

Milk/milk alternative, optional


  • Bring 3-4 slices of fresh ginger (skin on) and one clove of chopped garlic to a boil and simmer for approximately 20 minutes

  • Use ginger water to steep tea (black, green, oolong or any herbal tea)

  • Add cayenne powder as hot as can be tolerated to induce sweating

  • Honey to taste

  • Add milk or dairy alternative (almond, soy or other)

  • Drink 3-4 cups per day

  • Drink before bed and bundle up to induce sweat


Below are some easy tea preparations for a variety of symptoms.

Ginger Tea: 2- 3 slices of ginger per cup of water (or to taste – ginger can be strong)

Sage Tea (Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding): 1 ½ teaspoon dried sage (or 3 teaspoon fresh) per cup of water.

Thyme Tea: 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 3 teaspoon fresh) per cup of water.

When the symptoms of colds and flu hit, and your usual herbal remedies are out of reach, a trip to your local supermarket can provide an array of supportive herbs. These easily accessible ingredients, when combined wisely, can offer relief and potentially prevent the progression of illnesses. Explore the healing power of nature's pharmacy to tackle colds and flu head-on, using simple and effective herbal remedies from your local store.


bottom of page