Health is a daily practice. Whether you’re trying to heal from a chronic illness or want to build more resilience to acute infections like colds, flu, and other opportunistic invaders, what you do on a daily basis matters to your immune system. Thankfully, if you do come down with something, there are many great natural remedies to help you feel better fast.
When it comes to health, there are many things you can do on a daily basis to make your body more resilient to illness such as:
- Eating a nourishing diet
- Getting plenty of sunshine
- Managing your stress levels
- Moving your body daily
- Prioritizing sleep
- Prioritizing love and connection over fear and isolation
But keep in mind, the ultimate goal is not to never get sick. It’s to build vitality and resilience so that your body can combat infections efficiently and you can get back to your life quickly. Your body needs exposure to different bugs, bacteria, virus in order for your immune system to be strong. Trying to hide from opportunistic invaders is not a good long-term strategy. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to build resilience is.
So, you’re doing all of the above and that’s great! But what if you’ve been exposed to a bug or start to feel symptoms coming on?
Check out the list below for my go-to resources for feeling better fast.
Natural remedies for colds and flu:
Been exposed to a bug or starting to feel symptoms coming on?
These are the things I SWEAR by when it comes to feeling better fast!
🧄 Raw garlic supports the immune system
If I had to choose ONE thing, it would be loads of raw garlic in bone broth. Every time I feel a bug coming on, I heat up bone broth and then add several chopped cloves to it (once removed from heat). I immediately feel relief and am convinced this helps me get over sickness fast. Repeat as often as needed.
Garlic has antibiotic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and can:
- Increase the antioxidant levels in your body
- Improve immune function
- Reduce the occurrence of the common cold
Aged garlic extract increases the activity of immune cells while lowering inflammatory proteins (cytokines).
Some studies show that aged garlic extract can stimulate white blood cells (lymphocytes, macrophages, monocytes, and neutrophils) by increasing glutathione, a potent anti-oxidant. White blood cells provide protection against infections and illness.
The best way to eat garlic is raw. Heating or drying garlic can drastically reduce garlic’s amount of allicin, the main bioactive ingredient.
Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial
Oregano is a powerful antimicrobial and can inhibit the growth and spread of many pathogenic bacterial strains.
Oil of oregano has an antioxidant capacity similar to that of vitamin C, so it’s effective at fighting free radical damage. Its antimicrobial properties are mostly tied to its high carvacrol content, an antibacterial that is active on its own.
Studies show that oregano extract can decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) while increasing the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.
I like the oregonal from North American Herb and Spice Co. I often incorporate this in gut-healing protocols for H. Pylori and SIBO, as well.
Bone broth provides minerals and amino acids for faster recovery
When you’re recovering from illness, your body needs larger quantities of nutrients, especially minerals, and bone broth is a great source.
Bone broth contains amino acids arginine, essential for immune and liver function, and glycine, needed to produce glutathione and promote sleep.
These amino acids are also important for maintaining the integrity of the gut lining, an important defense for your body’s overall ability to fight illness.
Retinol is essential for immune function
This nutrient is essential for proper immune function. Immune cells need vitamin A to perform their jobs and coordinate an immune response when your body is under attack. Here are some important things to know about vitamin A and your immune function:
Vitamin A is known as an anti-inflammation vitamin because of its critical role in enhancing immune function. VitA is involved in the development of the immune system and plays regulatory roles in cellular immune responses and humoral immune processes.
- Vitamin A supports immunity by reducing intestinal inflammation and restoring impaired antibody responses, especially as they relate to mucosal immunity.
- It can help heal inflamed mucus membranes.
- Research shows that even a mild vitamin A deficiency can make you more susceptible to illnesses including respiratory infections and colds/flu
- Finally, your skin is one of your body’s first defense mechanisms for keeping bacteria and viruses out of your system. Vitamin A plays a key role in skin health and integrity. It’s also important for wound healing.
What are the best sources of vitamin A?
What are the best sources of vitamin A? If you’re thinking sweet potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables, think again. Contrary to popular belief, carrots and sweet potatoes do not contain vitamin A. They do contain carotenoids, which can convert into vitamin A in your body. However, for most people, this conversion is not that efficient. Your body can still put carotenoids to use as antioxidants, but they cannot perform the functions for which vitamin A is needed unless they are first converted to retinol in the body. You can skip this inefficient conversion by consuming foods high in retinol. These sources include:
- Liver from any animal, especially beef liver. If that doesn’t sound appealing, you can take liver in pill form. Use code CKN10 for 10% off
- Cod liver oil, thankfully, also available in pill form (I take this kind)
- Butter or ghee from grass-fed cows.
- Raw dairy is a great source of retinol. You can find raw dairy near you (in the US) at realmilk.com.
- Egg yolks, from pasture-raised eggs
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory
Ginger is a powerful anti-viral and antimicrobial. It is great for boosting the immune system. It is also effective at reducing inflammation.
Cultures around the world have used ginger for thousands of years to alleviate ailments and pain ranging from colds and nausea to arthritis and migraines. The main bioactive ingredient in ginger is 6-gingerol, but it also has other important antioxidants including quercetin and curcumin.
Vitamin C protects against oxidants:
When sick, our bodies use a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C gets used up while it protects against oxidants.
Research demonstrates that:
- Vitamin C reduces the severity and duration of colds.
- Vitamin C reduces the incidence of colds during extreme physical stress.
- Vitamin C reduces the incidence of pneumonia.
Vitamin C levels in the lungs are up to 30x higher than in the blood, making it even more important at helping combat respiratory infections.
Remember, ascorbic acid is not the same as Vitamin C. It is a part of Vitamin C, but it’s just the outer shell. In isolated form, ascorbic acid is void of vitamin C cofactors and can actually DEPLETE the adrenal glands of Vitamin C, where 90% of all vitamin C in the body is stored! Ascorbic acid also destroys the body’s copper-carrying protein, ceruloplasmin. Losing bioavailable copper to ascorbic acid creates problems for all areas of health.
For this reason, I always use a whole form of vitamin C.
Some of the best food sources of vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits
The adrenal cocktail is a great source also. And, I love the Perfect Acerola from Perfect Supplements. You can use code CKN10 for 10% off.
Shilajit has anti-viral properties:
Shilajit is a complete trace mineral source, ideal for mineral repletion. Research demonstrates its antioxidant properties and an animal study showed shilajit increased superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, all powerful antioxidants in the body.
Shilajit promotes recovery by:
- Increasing circulation
- Increasing energy
- Antiviral properties
Studies have demonstrated shilajit effective against herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and 2, human cytomegalovirus 32 (HCMV), human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).24, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria as well as Candida albicans fungi.
I take Panacea from Mitolife, (use code CKN15 for 15% off) which is one of the highest quality shilajits I have found. It is VERY important that you source shilajit from a reputable source as it can be contaminated with heavy metals and other harmful substances.
Methylene Blue: Secret Blue Magic
You’re only as healthy as your mitochondria are. The root cause of illness is caused by an energy deficiency at the mitochrondial level. Without adequate energy, the immune system cannot function optimally.
Methylene blue increases mitochondrial function and supercharges complex IV so that more ATP (energy) is pumped out. With more energy that is being produced, thanks to MB, there also are byproducts of the energy-making process. One of these byproducts is reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Too much ROS is not good. It can promote inflammation, cancer, degeneration, and wrinkles. BUT, good news. Methylene blue, at low doses, cleans up and neutralizes ROS, making you even more resilient.
There are a number of studies available now linking the benefits of low-dose methylene blue to positive outcomes for the current virus circulating the world. I encourage you to spend time reading the research and to also check out this book, “The Complete Guide to Methylene Blue.”
Methylene Blue Research:
Below are just a few of the research papers on the subject. I encourage you to do your own research and to consult a practitioner when it comes to sourcing and dosing.
- Methylene blue for treatment of hospitalized Covid-19 patients: A randomized, controlled, open-label clinical trial, Phase 2
- Methylene Blue Treatment of COVID-19
- Methylene Blue Inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 Spike–ACE2 Protein-Protein Interaction–a Mechanism that can Contribute to its Antiviral Activity Against COVID-19
- Methylene blue may have a role in the treatment of COVID-19
- “Lest we forget you–methylene blue…”
Off-topic to this post, but methylene blue has also had a lot of discussion recently for its promising positive effects on Alzheimers patients. More fascinating research to dive into if you’re interested in the wonderful blue world of MB.
Again, before incorporating MB into your wellness routine, please consult a qualified healthcare professional who is familiar with the therapeutic effects of this substance and how to dose properly. A few good companies that make a quality, food-grade MB are:
And, finally, although this is a “natural” guide to feeling better fast, it’s important to note that methylene blue is 100% synthetic. It was one of the first all-synthetic drugs to be manufactured and has been used for over 120 years.
Why I don’t take drugstore, OTC medications
No need for drugstore junk that just acts as a bandaid to suppress symptoms and doesn’t actually do anything to make your body more resilient. Most drugstore meds have harmful ingredients that can weaken your body. Let’s make the body more strong and resilient!
Why I don’t suppress a fever:
One other (controversial) note. If I’m sick, I don’t suppress a fever, so long as the fever is under 103. Fever is a natural response to infection or illness and, in fact, it is a good sign as it means that the body is responding to fight the infection. (there are, of course, exceptions!)
Reducing a fever can be counterproductive and can actually make the illness last longer, as it lets the cause of the illness live for a longer time. Not only that, but OTC fever reducers like Tylenol can hurt the liver and Advil can hurt the kidneys or cause damage and bleeding to the digestive tract. That doesn’t seem like it would help your body fight infections more efficiently.
- Raw garlic
- Oregonal from North American Herb and Spice Co
- Retinol-rich foods: beef liver (10% off with code CKN10), cod liver oil, raw dairy, egg yolks, butter
- Bone broth: homemade or Kettle and Fire or Bonafide.
- Ginger: raw ginger, ginger tea, ginger capsules
- Vitamin C-rich foods: Strawberries, Guava, Papaya, Citrus fruits, Cherries, Papaya, Kiwi, Potato
- Whole Vitamin C: Perfect Acerola (code CKN10 for 10% off)
- Shilajit: Panacea from Mitolife (15% off with code CKN15)
- Methylene blue options: Lifeblud, Troscriptions, Health Natura
What about you? What are your go-to remedies when you get sick? What would you add to this list?
Let me know in the comments below!
I am not a doctor, and I don’t claim to be one. I can’t prevent, treat, cure or diagnose illness or disease. The information presented on this website is not meant to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. The purpose of this website is to share knowledge from my research and experience. I encourage you to make your own decisions regarding your health care based on your own research and relationship with your health care professional.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase through that link, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my work!
Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention
[Antiviral activity of extracts of basidiomycetes and humic compounds substances against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (Retroviridae: Orthoretrovirinae: Lentivirus: Human immunodeficiency virus 1) and Herpes Simplex Virus (Herpesviridae: Simplexvirus: Human alphaherpesvirus 1)]