Simple home remedies for coughs and colds (that really work!)

Monday, May 9, 2016 5:56:20 PM Pacific/Auckland

By Kim Bulder, Naturopath & Medical Herbalist


Traditional home remedies using common pantry items are a simple and effective way to help boost defences and ease symptoms.


A traditional soothing favourite for scratchy throats and irritating coughs, suitable for anyone over 1 year of age.

In a clinical trial comparing honey to cough medicine for children with coughs, parents rated honey as the best, and even the World Health Organisation recommends good old honey and lemon drinks.

Additionally, Medsafe New Zealand advise that many cough and cold medications are not safe for children under 6 years of age. Traditional home remedies can be a great alternative.


Ginger, Cinnamon, Cayenne and Garlic are excellent natural remedies. They have antibacterial and antiviral properties and stimulate immune function. They also have a warming effect to help soothe and decongest.



 A natural protective hot toddy (can be taken hot or cold) to boost defences. Also great to soothe sore throats and coughs.

 Mix the following into warm water:

  • 1 tsp Manuka honey
  • ½ -1 freshly squeezed Lemon
  • ¼ tsp ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp freshly grated Ginger

To supercharge, add:

  • Pinch of Cayenne (leave out if throat feels sore and raw)
  • 1 clove crushed Garlic 



Pure sea salt or rock salt makes a simple and effective throat gargle and mouthwash to soothe and disinfect. Just be sure to use pure natural salt, not common table salt.



Dissolve ½ teaspoon of pure sea salt or rock salt in a cup of warm water.

  • Gargle regularly to help soothe a scratchy sore throat
  • Use as a mouthwash for inflamed gums or after dental work
  • Can also be used as a nasal rinse to help clear a stuffy nose

See our range of natural Winter Wellbeing products for kids and adults

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