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How to Help Prevent a Cold Naturally

Home remedies for cold

It’s possible to help prevent a cold naturally! Read here to find out how, or at least how to shorten the life of a cold.

This past winter, I almost caught four colds. You know, your throat starts getting scratchy and you just don’t feel right. Due to a healthy lifestyle and a few simple natural remedies for colds, I was able to help stop a cold in its tracks – not just once, but all 4 times!

First, before we start, I am not a doctor or nurse… these tips have just worked for my family and me.

Secondly, I realize that getting colds is normal and some say even good for your body. But if you or your child do get sick, I think we can all agree that getting over it quickly and easily is preferred. So let’s look at some natural cold remedies or at least reduce the symptoms and lessen the duration of a cold.

Top Natural Remedies for Cold Prevention or Relief

Elderberry Syrup

I took my homemade elderberry syrup every day during the fall and winter to build immunity. It is less expensive than the elderberry syrup you buy in a store, tastes great, and the kids even love it! So it’s a great one for kids to take daily. See my elderberry recipe here, along with dosing instructions for kids and adults.

Vitamin C

I took Vitamin C every day. Normally I would take one tablet, but if I started feeling like I was getting a cold, I would take two – one in the morning and one in the evening.

There are several types of chewable Vitamin C tablets that children would like and is okay for young ones. Check with your doctor or the label for dosing information.


So much of our health starts in our gut. Often called our “second brain,” the gut’s health is imperative to overall health and cold prevention.

So I stayed away from sugar, bread, and dairy (which I normally do anyway). All of these things can feed a cold and prevent your body from being able to fight it off quickly and efficiently.

I know diet can be tough with children on a good day, but when they are feeling poorly is the time when you really want to have them eat food to boost immunity and that has lots of vitamins. This could include oranges, strawberries, chicken soup, foods with garlic and honey just to name a few.

I know your child needs to drink, but soda and juice are usually loaded with sugar, so check the label and give them low sugar juices. And try to have them drink other things like flavored sparkling water or other healthy drinks they like. They can also get liquid from applesauce, watermelon, etc.


Going along with gut health, taking a good quality probiotic every day is key! I take one that is not only probiotic, but prebiotic as well. A probiotic is great, but adding the prebiotic to it enhances the probiotic’s ability to help support the good bacteria and other organisms in your gut.

Also, most probiotics open in your gut too early and don’t go down in your system as much as they should. So the one I have chosen to take is encapsulated with an extra coating around it to keep it together longer in your gut. This allows it to release further down in your system to maximize the effectiveness. Look at the picture below to see the capsule inside of the other capsule.

Proper Hand Washing

Of course I washed my hands well. I taught my children how to wash their hands properly which also helped keep germs away. Be sure to wash well before entering the kitchen and touching food, after using the restroom, and after leaving the house for any reason. There are so many cold and flu germs, so be sure to scrub them off as soon as you get home.

Healthy Hand Sanitizer

For those times when we are out of the house and soap isn’t readily available, I used my homemade hand sanitizer when I was out. This kills germs like store bought hand sanitizer, but it’s actually healthy for you! I recommend and use it for me and my children.

Essential Oils

If one of us starts getting a sore throat, then we immediately add a drop of oregano essential oil or a drop of tea tree essential oil to the bottom of our feet. You can just put one drop on your feet plain, but a carrier oils stretches it further, helping you get the most out of your money.

A carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut oil helps it absorb into your skin better. Oregano and tea tree both have germ killing properties and can have you back up and moving faster.

You can get more ideas about how to make your own healthy natural remedies here.

Detox Bath

A detox bath is great for many reasons! When you are starting to feel badly, nothing beats a good warm bath for many people. Plus when you add the right ingredients to the water, then they can actually help fight illness for you as well!

So a detox bath needs to have one cup of Epsom salt in it for adults, and half a cup for kids. Then you add 2 tablespoons of baking soda for kids and 4 tablespoons baking soda for adults. This is for added detox benefits.

I always add essential oils to a detox bath as well. If you feel like you are getting a cold or if you already have one, some great oils are eucalyptus, tea tree, clove, orange, peppermint, On Guard blend and oregano.

These oils are a little bit stronger, so if your child is young, these oils are not recommended. But lavender has a nice calming effect for them if you would like to add that. And also lemon can help them detox and isn’t too strong.

I put the Epsom salt in a glass, then add the oils to the salt. This way the salts can anchor the oils down in the water a little bit instead of just having the essential oils floating on top of the water. You should be in the bath at least 20 minutes because it takes that long for the detox to happen.

Bentonite Clay

If I started feeling like I was getting sick, I would also take Bentonite clay. Bentonite clay helps detox your body, getting the bad stuff out and putting the good stuff like minerals back in.

It works when it’s mixed with water, so you put a tablespoon in a little mason jar, mix with 2 ounces of water, and drink within two minutes of mixing.

Children can have a smaller dose of bentonite clay, but it may not be their favorite tasting thing. It kind of tastes like chalky water. If you don’t tell them or if you put it in a healthy juice, they may not even notice. You can also put bentonite clay into a bath.


Zinc is also really good at helping prevent a cold or helping you feel better faster. I have used different brands over the years. I used to use the sugary lozenges like ColdEeze, but now I realize sugar feeds a cold, so I stick with the supplement.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Finally, and this is my least favorite, yet one that is very helpful… Put 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear for three minutes. Do this as soon as you feel like you may be coming down with something 2-3 times a day. It works great when used with the above natural remedies to help with cold relief.

One of my daughters kicks and screams when I try to do this for her, and she suffers with more colds because she truly won’t let me do it anymore. It is an unusual feeling. However, the other 3 of us use the peroxide and have had a much better success rate feeling better sooner!

Other Thoughts

I have also heard about using vitamin D for children and adults to help prevent colds, but we have not used this one personally yet. But you may want to look into that.

And if you do end up getting sick or are still on the verge, this recipe for Healthy Popsicles is nice and soothing with other healing properties. Give it a try!

Try these things for yourself and your family this cold and flu season, and leave a comment below to let me know if it worked to give you and what other head cold remedies you use. Also please pin on Pinterest so others can benefit as well!

15 thoughts on “How to Help Prevent a Cold Naturally”

  1. Pingback: Is Going Gluten Free Beneficial? • Healthy Living in Colorado

  2. Thank you for this article. Twice now since reading these great tips I have been able to beat a cold right away! I had never heard that peroxide was good for fighting a cold, what an amazing discovery. Cant wait to make and try out the hand sanitizer!! Thank you Allison for your wisdom.

  3. Great tips! We love our homemade elderberry syrup around here. I use it to hide the kid’s cod liver oil and fish oil. We make homemade sanitizer and do a version similar to On Guard as well. However, I have never heard of the hydrogen peroxide in the ears! This is fascinating! I can’t wait to try it next sickness season. Thanks 🙂

    1. Thanks, Chelsea. I have never considered slipping cod liver oil in there! I may have to try that… The peroxide is AHHH-MAZING!!! Give it a try and let me know how it works! 🙂

  4. Great tips! We love elderberry and have used On Guard! I’ve never heard of the hydrogen peroxide trick, though. I also have a method called acupressure that we do on our ears when we’re starting to get a cold or congested that really helps. Maybe they’re related somehow?

    1. Maybe they are related?? I have used acupressure once a cold has started, but not for prevention. I’ll look into that. Thanks for the tip!

  5. I’m going to have to try the hydrogen peroxide trick and the bentonite clay! I do all the other things along with herbs, fire cider and kefir. Nothing feels as amazing as when you can vanquish a cold naturally!! Love these tips!

    1. That’s great! Thanks for the comment. I have never tried fire cider. I will check that one out! I love all of the suggestions in this thread! I also LOVE vanquishing a cold naturally!!

  6. Thanks for useful and natural tips ideas. Our Elderberry syrup is always ready in case we need some immunity booster. I think it also important to sleep with open windows at night so the air is fresh and clear.

    1. Vladka, do you also sleep with the windows open in winter? It’s too cold here to do that I think. But I agree that having fresh air is always good! Thanks for the comment!

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