8 Effective Herbs That Fight Cold

Updated on March 31st, 2020
Herbs for Cold

Every adult is prone to catch a cold at least two-four times a year. The number goes up to five-ten times per year for children as their immune system is not well-adapted to fight these injections. Fever, chills, headaches, runny nose, cough are some of the common symptoms of a cold.

Natural remedies are often the most commonly preferred methods by health experts around the globe. It is because of their high potency in alleviating and preventing cold. Of the many natural remedies, herbs are given a little higher preference due to their effectiveness in fighting cold and also the symptoms associated with it.

Below listed are a few such herbs to fight cold:

Herbal Remedies for Cold

1. Astragalus

Astragalus is recommended for cold as it stimulates the immune system, and has an antioxidant property that breaks down the virus inside the body.

How to Take It?

  • Astragalus is available in most of the herbal food stores in the form of drops and tablets.
  • You can visit a Chinese food store or herbal store to get the roots of astragalus.
  • Boil these roots in water to make tea or soup, and drink this to get relief from the annoying cold.
  • Mix ginseng with your tea for better results.

How Much to Take?

If you are preparing astragalus tea, then boil 6-12 gm of dried root in 12 ounces of water, and have this tea at least thrice a day. 

You can consume this drink three to four times a day. For children, the dosage will be different. A child with a 50 lbs weight should take only 1/3 of the adult dosage.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Cold]

2. Elderberry


Over hundreds of years, elderberry(1) has been used by people to cure a cold. The main component which makes elderberries the go-to herb for cold is antioxidants present in it. These antioxidants help in strengthening the immune system that helps in effectively fighting the viruses that cause cold.  

How to Take It?

Elderberry can be taken in juice syrup form to ease cold symptoms and reduces the duration of colds.

This syrup or juice should be taken within 48 hours of the occurrence of the first symptoms. You can even take elderberry lozenges within 24 hours of the occurrence of early signs of a cold. Consuming it can help in alleviating the cold within 2-4 days.

How Much to Take?

Dosage of elderberry is not standard, and it depends from person to person. Usually, it is advised to take one tablespoon of elderberry extract four times a day for a common cold. The lozenge is another form in which elderberry can be taken, and you can keep taking it throughout the day till your cold subsides.

3. Garlic

Adding garlic to your regular diet may help avoid the cold or the flu. Garlic reduces the severity of cold symptoms and helps you recover faster. Allin compounds found in whole garlic(2) helps to strengthen the immune system. Allin changes to allicin when you crush or chew garlic. Allicin contains sulfur, which gives garlic a peculiar taste and also has medicinal properties that fight against the virus inside the body.

How to Take It?

Garlic can be had in various forms like powdered garlic, garlic oil, and aged garlic. The best and most effective form is aged garlic. If you have garlic cloves as a whole, make sure to crush the clove at least 10 minutes before having it.

How Much to Use?

For garlic to be effective on cold, it is advised to have one clove two to three times a day. If you are going ahead with aged garlic powder, then 600-1200 mg dosage per day is good enough. Too much intake of garlic can be toxic; therefore, stay within the prescribed dosage.

[Also Read: Benefits Garlic for Sore Throat]

4. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea in a cup

Ginger is the most successful treatment for cold. It acts quickly on the symptoms. Whether you are going through cough, blocked nostrils, sore throat, headache, or inflammation, ginger can fix it all in no time. This is a wonder root which offers instant relief by producing heat in the body and cutting down the virus. Chinese have used ginger for ages to treat colds and flu.

How to Use?

Prepare a comforting ginger tea by adding 20–40 grams of fresh ginger to a cup of hot water. Allow ginger slices to sit in that hot water for a few minutes before drinking. You can add honey or lemon juice to enhance the taste of this tea. If you can get ginger in powder form, then you can mix it with a teaspoon of honey, and have.

How Much to Use?

Clinical trials have suggested using 170 mg to 1 gm of ginger three-four times a day. Essential oils of ginger once in a day can be used for aromatherapy to recover from a blocked nose.

5. Lemon Balm

Why Use It?

Lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help in fighting the microbes that cause cold. Besides, it may also help in easing the congestion associated with cold.

How to Use?

Boil finely chopped lemongrass in a cup of water for at least 30 minutes. It helps in the complete extraction of the active components. Strain and drink this Lemongrass tea regularly to cure a cold.

You can also take lemongrass essential oil steam to get rid of cold and open blocked noses. Mix a few drops of essential oil to boiling water and inhale the steam which comes out.

How Much to Use?

Use 50 gm of lemongrass to make around 60 ml of lemongrass tea. Have this tea three times a day for a week, and you would feel relieved from the cold.

6. Rose Hip

Rose Hip

Antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid are present in rosehip oil. These acids are vital for curing the cell membranes in the skin. Strong and healthy cells act as a wall to prevent the virus from entering the body, which can otherwise lead to cold and congestion.

How to Use it?

Rosehip fruit blooms at the time of fall. The inner hairy seeds can be used by extracting their pulp to make jellies, syrups, or tea in dried form.

How Much to Use?

Rosehip oil does not have any side effects as it is an excellent booster for Vitamin C. Having rosehip oil twice a day in any form is best suited to beat cold.

[Read: Zinc for Cold]

7. Echinacea

Echinacea is one herb that reduces the intensity and duration of the cold. To get the best results, it is advised to have fresh Echinacea.

How to Use it?

Echinacea should not be consumed on an empty stomach as it may cause some unwanted reactions. You can make tea out of Echinacea roots or have it in powder form along with water.

How Much to Use?

Consuming Echinacea tea 2-4 times every day continuously for seven to fourteen days can help in treating and also preventing colds.

[Read: Eucalyptus Oil for Cold]

8. Thyme


Thyme has antiviral, antimicrobial, antibiotic, decongestant properties. These properties help in reducing the time you are stuck up with a cold and rejuvenates your system. Experts also suggest that thyme works very well in opening chest congestions, which can, in turn, alleviate cold.

[Also Read: Benefits of Thyme Essential Oil]

How to Take It?

You can make tea with thyme extracts or mix it with peppermint, and have it. Thyme leaves can be boiled and inhaled as steam to cure a cold.

How Much to Take?

Use a ½ spoon of thyme to make steam, four times a day. If you are taking thyme steam, then add one drop of thyme oil with ½ teaspoon olive oil in boiling water.

Bottom line:

Usually, cold runs for about five-seven days, but you can get relief in lesser time by using the herbal remedies, as mentioned above. Try to enrich your immune system by eating healthy, nutritious foods so that the virus does not catch you easily.

Also, children are highly prone to catching a cold hence keep a check that they do not come in close contact with any person carrying a cold. In severe cases or if the cold is frequent, it advisable you consult a physician.


1. What Are the Symptoms of a Cold?

The most common ones are running nose, sneezing, low fever, sore throat, cough, mild headache, congestion, and so on.

2. What Other Home Remedies That Can Be Used for Cold?

Other home remedies for cold that you can try are being hydrated, having warm drinks like tea, and soup, bringing down congestion by taking steam, gargling with salt water to relieve sore throat, and taking the right amount of rest.

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