Cold and Flu Remedies


Cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses. They have similar symptoms, but in general, flu is worse than cold. Symptoms begin 1-4 days after being infected by a cold virus and typically last for about three days. During the time you have symptoms, you are contagious.

Common Symptoms

Cold symptoms are a gradual onset of sneezing; stuffy/ runny nose; sore throat; mild cough or chest discomfort. Flu symptoms are the sudden onset of fever; aches; fatigue and weakness; chest discomfort and coughing headache.

Issues Specific to Children

Colds can make small babies seriously ill. It is especially important to take precautions against passing on colds. Let children stay in bed if they want to.

If children become very ill with high fever and shallow rapid breathing, they may get pneumonia. This is very serious in HIV + children. They should be taken for professional treatment immediately. When a newborn baby (2 months or younger) has cold symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

NB: Do not use antibiotics to treat a cold

General Advice

  • Boost your body’s natural resistance to infections by getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking plenty of liquids every day, and taking physical exercise.
  • When you are sick, eat and sleep apart from others so you do not pass on your cold. Take special care to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wipe your nose instead of blowing to prevent a cold from leading to earache. Teach children to do the same.

Herbal Therapy

Artemisia annua Tea Boil 1 tsp dried leaves in 1-liter water for 10 minutes. Drink a glass of 2* daily to help suppress symptoms when you feel a cold coming on.

Roselle and Lemon Grass Tea boil a handful of roselle calycle with a handful of fresh lemongrass leaves in 1-liter water. Drink throughout the day to aid your recovery.

Neem Herbal Infusion, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 1 tea bag, and steep for 5 minutes, stir then remove the teabag, and drink a glass daily to help you boost your immunity.

Chamomile in Lemon Grass Herbal Infusion, bring 1 cup of water to boil, add 1 tea bag, and steep for 5 minutes, stir then remove the teabag, sweeten it with honey, and drink a glass daily at night to help the body fight bacteria and viruses and aids in recovery.

In addition, to drink liquids, try one of the following steam inhalations 2 * daily to help clean and disinfect your airways.

Eucalyptus globulus inhalation places a handful of fresh leaves in a saucepan of boiling water. Inhale the steam or use eucalyptus oil extract in boiling water and inhale the steam.

Clematis hirsute inhalation prepare and use as above.

Zanthoxylum chalybeum inhalation prepare and use as above.

Cymbopogon citratus inhalation prepare and use as above.

Artemisia annua inhalation Prepare and use as above.

Food & Nutrition Advice

Take plenty of liquids to aid your body in flushing out the infection. The following drinks help to fight cold and flu.

  • Ginger, Lemon, and Garlic Tea use 2 pieces of ginger, 2 lemons cut into pieces, and 3 garlic cloves. Bring to a boil in a covered pan and keep covered until cool. Drink a glass 3 * daily (10-16yrs: 1/2glass 3 * daily).
  • Lemon Juice Dissolve 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice in hot water. Drink as often as you like.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Guava has an especially high content of vitamin C.

TICAH – Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health.


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