If you’re sitting in front of your computer or phone reading this, and you feel a sniffle coming on, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of a cold for good. Luckily for you, this blog is going to break down the best cold supplements to take in the early stages of the flu season to keep you protected and operating at 100%.
Fighting a cold is all about keeping your system as healthy as possible and the best way to do that is to have superfood-rich supplements on hand at all times. Make a shopping list and stock up on this list of antioxidants, adaptogens, and feel-better remedies!
How To Get Rid Of A Cold
Before using any of the below supplements and remedies, check with a doctor about whether or not the supplement is recommended based on your current health, age, and existing medical conditions.
Top 7 Cold Supplements & Remedies
How to stop a cold in the early stages? Echinacea should be your first step. Echinacea isn’t just a difficult word to spell. It’s an ancient, natural remedy that can prevent and fight off pesky colds and flu. In fact, a meta-analysis found that echinacea can help reduce the probability of catching a cold. The study also found that echinacea shortened the duration or severity of colds. (1, 2)
When you feel a tickle in your throat, try it out as a tea, tincture, or pill and see what works in your body.
Elderberry is a powerful herb that has been used throughout the centuries for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antidepressant effects. (2) These potent, violet, blueberry-like bulbs are loaded with vitamins and polyphenols to help your body fight off a cold or flu.
You may have heard of elderberry syrup before. It’s a common ingredient in cough drops and many ambitious DIY-ers make their own syrup to save money on buying cold and flu medicines. Feeling adventurous? Try making your own syrup using dried elderberries and use it as a natural way to fight off a cold at the first tickle in the throat!
Fun fact: Elderberry’s wonders don’t stop at making you feel better. The syrup is delicious in soda, cocktails, or as a yummy drizzle on pancakes and waffles!
3. Hot tea
If you have a sore throat, a hot cup of tea can feel like the best thing in the world. Coating your throat with a calming cup of tea can soothe a cough and help clear up sinus congestion. Brew a fresh cup before you go to bed and relax. Some teas are better at boosting immunity than others, so look for teas that contain powerful ingredients to help your body build up its defenses. For example, SkinnyFit ZzzTox tea contains superfoods like lavender, chamomile, peppermint leaf, valerian root, and more. These ingredients help boost immunity and lower stress in the body.
4. Buckwheat honey
Ever heard of buckwheat honey? I hadn’t either until a coworker told me it was her favorite “how to stop a cold in the early stages” remedy. So last fall, when I felt a bit sniffly, I bought a jar of this magical nectar, ate a spoonful…and voilà! The cold never moved past infancy. I looked into it and apparently, this honey is a mighty antioxidant and antimicrobial. Studies find that just a single dose of buckwheat honey can reduce your cough and mucus secretion. (3) Buckwheat honey is the best-kept secret to help you clear up sinus issues and coughs so you can go back to sipping hot apple cider in peace!
Oh, and did I mention that it tastes freaking fantastic? This dark honey is absolutely mouth-watering with amber undertones (unlike orange blossom and other light kinds of honey) with a thick, crystally texture. Add honey to your favorite tea or just take a spoonful when you feel a cold coming on… yum!
Nip that cold in the bud with ginseng. This supplement helps boost the immune system to bolster the body’s defenses against a cold. (4) Not only does ginseng ward off colds, it’s a natural adaptogen, which means it reduces chronic stress. When your body is under constant stress, your defense mechanisms lower and you’re more prone to getting sick. Taking ginseng on the regular can keep your stress levels low and prevent you from getting a cold or flu in the first place.
An extra, sexy plus? Ginseng is a natural aphrodisiac. 😉(5)
Did you ever wonder how to get rid of a cold while also warding off vampires? The answer is garlic. Garlic is an age-old balm for easing symptoms of a cold or flu. Chomping on a clove of fresh garlic can do wonders for your immunity. Raw garlic is an antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial, so it can help zap any bugs in your system. You can even chop up a clove and take it with a spoonful of buckwheat honey for double the benefits.
In addition to using natural cold supplements, shop for foods that are high in antioxidants. Foods rich in antioxidants tend to be bright, such as deep purple, orange, dark green, and red. (5)
Here are some of the best antioxidant foods to eat during flu season:
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet potatoes
If you’re anything like me, you know how difficult it can be to pack your day with all of the nutrients you need. Instead, opt for an antioxidant-rich superfood powder like Beauty Juice or Skinny Greens. Not only are these more practical and affordable options, but they also taste delicious and are easy to take on-the-go. Each formula has over 20 antioxidants and over 30 superfoods in each scoop. If you have a busy lifestyle and are more susceptible to getting sick, fastrack your flu prevention and buy a jar or two of Beauty Juice or Skinny Greens today!
When To Go To The Doctor For A Cold
According to the CDC, flu season is on its way. If you’re getting a flu shot, try to get one by the end of October. (6) So, how do you know if you have a cold coming on?
Common signs of a cold include but are not limited to the following: (7)
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
These symptoms usually peak within 2 or 3 days. The way to remedy a cold is with hydration, sleep, and time. There’s no quick fix for overcoming the flu, so it’s important to give your body time to slow down and R-E-L-A-X.
Most people don’t need to seek medical help for a cold or flu. The CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours when you start feeling flu-like symptoms, to reduce contamination. If your symptoms worsen, you can go see a doctor for medications like antiviral drugs. (8)
The Bottom Line On Cold Supplements
When you wonder how to get rid of a cold, the answer is to listen to your body. While there is no cure for a cold, there are ways to prevent a cold from coming on and ways to best manage the symptoms. In addition to taking the supplements and remedies we listed above, remember to:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink hot liquids
- Call in sick to work
- Make a cold and flu-fighting immune-boosting drink
- Take a hot bath or go in a steam room
- Skip your workout, or at least scale it back
- Wash your hands frequently
If you’re like me, it’s easy to underestimate the value of going slow. If you are beginning to feel sick or you’re currently in the throes of a cold, remember that getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to SLOW DOWN. When you’re sick, your body’s working overtime to heal itself. Stock up on these supplements, stay in bed, don’t worry about what your to-do list—at least not right now. And, feel better!
READ NEXT: 7 Helpful Tips For Staying Healthy During The Holidays
- The University of California, Berkeley. (2014). Echinacea.
- Tiralongo, E., Wee, S., & Lea, R. (2016). Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travellers: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.
- Goldman R. D. (2014). Honey for treatment of cough in children. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 60(12), 1107–1110.
- Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. (n.d.). Ginseng For The Common Cold.
- UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2015). 4 foods to ease cold and flu symptoms.
- Centers for Disease and Control. (2019). Flu Season.
- Centers for Disease and Control. (2019). Common Cold.
- Centers for Disease and Control. (2019). Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick.