There is a lot of information out there about what works and what does not work to either prevent, reduce the severity of, or aid the symptoms of colds, flus, and virus. While there are a ton of individual herbs that can be made into teas, tinctures, and tonics, there are also some pretty great natural supplements out there that I have personally used and highly recommend. Not everyone has the time (or is prepared in advance) to make the necessary remedies to aid with a particular illness or symptoms.
Disclaimer time! I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I play one on this site so please do not take a single thing I write here to be bonafide medical advice. Whatever I share here is based on my personal experience, research, and possibly the experience of others. I am not making any medical claims. So take what I write and consult with your trusted practitioner before making any changes.
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Top 10 Supplements for Cold and Flu Season
To learn more about each product and where to purchase, please click on the image.
Boiron Cold Calm
I love this product! At the first sign of a cold, I start taking this every 15 minutes. It has always helped reduce the severity and duration of the cold. If you don’t catch it in time, it will also temporarily relieve cold symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and minor sore throat
Active ingredients and purpose
- Allium cepa 3C HPUS – Relieves sneezing and runny nose
- Apis mellifica 6C HPUS – Relieves nasal congestion
- Belladonna 6C HPUS (contains less than 10-15 mg alkaloids per dose) – Relieves colds with a sudden onset
- Eupatorium perfoliatum 3C HPUS – Relieves sinus pain
- Gelsemium sempervirens 6C HPUS – Relieves headaches associated with colds
- Kali bichromicum 6C HPUS – Relieves nasal discharge
- Nux vomica 3C HPUS (contains less than 10-8 mg alkaloids per dose) – Relieves sneezing attacks
- Phytolacca decandra 6C HPUS – Relieves sore throat associated with colds
- Pulsatilla 6C HPUS – Relieves colds with a loss of taste and smell
Another great product from Boiron only for the flu. At the first sign of the flu, I start taking this every 15 minutes. It has always helped reduce the severity and duration of the flu. If you don’t catch it in time, it will also temporarily relieve flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.
Gaia Herbs – Black Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry has long been proposed as being immune supportive, and supports the body's natural defense. Research studies show Black Elderberry to have immune modulating and antioxidant properties. Because elderberry is high in flavonoid rich compounds, it exerts antioxidant protection on cells. By providing antioxidant protection, elderberry aids in protecting cellular health from free radical damage and airborne elements. I use this both as a preventative as well as a “during illness” immune booster. I notice that when I do not take an elderberry compound during an illness, the duration of the illness is longer.
Gaia Herbs – Echinacea Supreme
This is a product that I take at the onset of any illness. Concentrated for a fast-acting response, Echinacea Supreme Supreme contains the full spectrum of Echinacea Supreme phytochemicals — including isobutylamides, the constituents most effective at supporting a healthy immune response. Basically, this product kicks your immune response into high gear, telling your body to get the germs out!
Hylands Defend Cough and Cold Syrup
This is a must-have-on-your-shelf kind of medicine. It is the ONLY non-homemade cough remedy that actually works – day or night! It’s comprehensive, meaning that it really provides comfort and relief for a broad range of cold symptoms including nasal congestion, cough, sore throat and sneezing. Its ingredients are classic, well-proven homeopathic remedies that do their job well. The taste is great and out of the 6 different natural cough remedies I have tried, it works the quickest and the longest.
Active ingredients and purpose
- Allium Cepa 6X HPUS: watery, runny nose, cold, hacking cough, painful throat
- Hepar Sulph Calc. 12X HPUS: cold, sneezing
- Hydrastis 6X HPUS: rattling/tickling cough, sinus congestion, dry/raw/sore throat
- Natrum Muriaticum 6X HPUS: dry cough, sore throat
- Phosphorus 12X HPUS: hoarse/dry cough, nasal congestion, chest congestion
- Pulsatilla 6X HPUS: moist cough, cold, nasal congestion
- Sulphur 12X HPUS: chest congestion, nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose
Barlean's Olive Leaf Complex Throat Spray
Olive leaf complex throat spray is a convenient, super-antioxidant solution for promoting a healthy immune system and season wellness. Natural peppermint, lemon and sage are refreshing and soothing to the throat. This product really does a stellar job of providing relief when you have a sore throat. I make sure to keep it on hand at all times.
Herb Pharm Mullein Garlic Ear Oil
Mullein garlic ear oil provides a natural means for addressing ear pain and infection. The key ingredient, mullein flowers, has been known to be a gentle yet effective herbal remedy for centuries. Mullein flowers have demonstrated antiviral actions as well as being successful in reducing inflammation, softening earwax, stimulating circulation in the ear, and acting as an anodyne to auditory nerves easing irritation and pain in the ear. Combined with the antimicrobial power of fresh garlic, it is a powerhouse against ear infection and pain. It may also be used as a preventative for infants, children, or adults prone to chronic ear infections. The oil is a great accompaniment to ear candling. Use of the oil prior to candling softens earwax making the candles more effective.
This is one product I am sure to always have in my natural medicine cabinet. It has saved me more than once. The theory is that activated charcoal adsorbs the bacteria responsible for stomach ailments. Some stomach illnesses are caused by viruses although bacterial types are more common. While there is less research on whether activated charcoal works for viruses it has been proven to work for bacterial based stomach issues. I have personally watch in awe as it stopped vomiting and diarrhea in its tracks.
Biotics Vitamin D
Did you know that adequate levels of Vitamin D can actually prevent the flu? Learn more in this post. In my personal experience (which is backed by research), taking a LOT of Vitamin at the onset of the flu can actually stop it dead in its tracks. Doing a rush of a high quality Vitamin D has always, always worked for me. There is only one brand of Vitamin D that I trust. Not all Vitamin D is created equal so really research what you are getting.
Here are two articles to guide you in your research.
Hylands Bioplasma Cell Salts
- Balances cell function
- Safe for the entire family
- Quick-dissolving tablets
Hyland's Bioplasma incorporates all of Dr. Scheussler's primary cell salts into one remedy. It relieves colds, nervous tension & headaches. It offers a homeopathic sports recovery aid that restores the body’s cellular balance after post-workout depletion. Dr. W.H. Schuessler, a noted physiological chemist & physicist identified tissue or minerals salts in every human cell. He theorized that if the body was lacking in any of these, illness may occur. Dr. Schuessler utilized homeopathic doses of these mineral salts or cell salts to energize and fortify the cells.
Not exactly a supplement but Olbas Oil is a lifesaver when it comes to nighttime congestion. There is nothing worse than sleeplessness due to a stuffy nose. I put four drops on a small towel, fold the towel over and put it in the pillowcase of the pillow my daughter or I sleep on. This stuff is amazing at relieving congestion.