Mother Earth Living

Natural Herbal Remedies for Colds

By Michael Castleman
November/December 2002
Add to My MSN

Content Tools

Related Content

Make it Green: Soothe Colds with Hot Honey and Lemon

Relieve the worst common cold symptoms with this natural drink.

The Path to Herbalism

The art of healing our bodies with herbs is a new fascination in Erin McIntosh's life. Learn more ab...

Take the Confusion Out of Infusion: How to Make an Elderflower Infusion

Make your own sweet, soothing elderflower infusion to help naturally alleviate cold symptoms.

A Weapon for the War on Colds

Our colds have died down to a dull roar over here, but we're still struggling with some nagging symp...

Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Echinacea (Echinacea spp.), vitamin C, zinc and vegetable soup.

Echinacea: tincture. Vitamin C: tablets. Zinc: lozenges. Vegetable soup: by the bowl.

How it Works:
All of these treatments boost the immune system’s ability to fight cold viruses. University of Wisconsin researchers reviewed nine echinacea studies. Six showed significant benefit and two suggested benefit. A Finnish review of twenty-one vitamin C studies showed an average symptom-reduction score of 23 percent. Several studies show that zinc lozenges speed recovery from colds. Vegetable soup is soothing, and vegetables have phytochemicals with immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory actions.

Echinacea: 1 to 3 teaspoons of tincture in juice or tea three times daily. Vitamin C: 500 mg four times daily, total 2,000 mg. Zinc: 23 mg of zinc gluconate or zinc aspartate every 2 hours in lozenges. Vegetable soup: whenever you’re hungry.

Echinacea causes tongue tingling or numbing, but this is temporary and harmless. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea. Some people find the taste of zinc lozenges unpleasant.

Other Information:
Rest helps the body focus on self-healing. Hot fluids soothe the throat, provide some decongestion and impede viral replication—cold viruses don’t reproduce as well at temperatures above normal body temperature.

San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit .

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.

CSS 320-
CSS 321-480
CSS 481-600
CSS 601-768
CSS 769-984
CSS 985+