Dr. Lawren Chan N.D. Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre Naturopath YVR
3 min|Dr. Lawren Chan

Dr. Lawren's Home Remedies for the Common Cold

Wellness, Health

6 Home Remedies for the Common Cold

The average adult gets sick between 2 and 4 times a year, while children catch colds 6 to 10 times a year. Most colds/flu occur during the fall and winter, starting as early as September and persisting until March or April. The common cold, characterized by a sore/scratchy throat, stuffed up/runny nose, and sneezing is usually caused by a viral infection which often resolves within 7-10 days, but can sometimes linger for weeks. Some helpful home remedies to support symptom management and infection resolution are:


Open up congested airways with a few drops of Eucalyptus globulus essential oil in a bowl of boiling water. By breathing deeply with your head over the bowl and a towel draped around you to hold in the steam the eucalyptus will act directly on the respiratory passages to promote drainage, reduce spasms, and fight infection.


Reduce congestion, mucus buildup, sinus pressure, and facial pain with a mixture of salt, baking soda and distilled water in a neti-pot, saline rinse bottle, or rubber nasal/ear bulb.


Dissolve 1/2 tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water and gargle the solution in divided amounts for a few seconds each time before spitting. Repeat until the mixture is finished to help temporarily relieve sore, scratchy throats.

4. RAW GARLIC (Allium Sativum)

Let 1-2 cloves of crushed/chopped garlic stand for 15 minutes before eating to allow the natural enzymatic reactions to release the medicinally active constituent allicin. Allicin has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and expectorant activity and can be consumed in this manner 2-3 times per day.

5. GINGER (Zingiber officinalis) TEA

Possessing anti-inflammatory, immune-supportive, and antispasmodic properties, bring 5-6 cups of water and 1/4 cup fresh ginger root to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon and manuka honey to taste, which also confers antibacterial, antiviral, antiinflammatory and antioxidant benefits to soothe symptoms and target the infection.


Utilizes the traditional properties of hydrotherapy to help stimulate the immune system by improving circulation to combat infection, congestion, headaches, and fever. Simply soak a thin pair of socks in a bowl of ice water and wring them out just so they do not drip, put cold/wet socks on warm/dry feet (take a hot bath or soak feet for 5-10 minutes if needed first), put a pair of dry thick wool socks on top of the others and go to bed.

Wear the socks overnight and in the morning you will find that the thin pair of socks will have most likely dried thanks to your body's own thermogenesis. You may wake with increased sweating during the night, if your pajamas or sheets are soaked it is best to change to a dry set, but leave the layered socks on. Repeat the following 1-2 nights.

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