Kill Your Cold Naturally: 8 Holistic Secrets You May Not Know!

mbg Food Contributor By Elissa Goodman
mbg Food Contributor
Elissa Goodman is a cleanse expert based in Los Angeles, California, certified in integrative nutrition through the American University of Complementary Medicine. She holds a bachelor's in advertising and marketing from Arizona State and a bachelor's in business from the University of Arizona.
Medical review by Heather Moday, M.D.
Allergist & Immunologist
Heather Moday, M.D. is the founder of the Moday Center for Functional and Integrative Medicine in Philadelphia, where she practices both traditional medicine and integrative medicine.

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The dreaded cold and flu season is coming up fast! As a holistic nutritionist, I’ve researched the best cold-killing remedies that are natural, gentle on the body and fast-working! To stave off or recover from a cold, try these eight holistic methods:

1. Immunity juice

To combat a cold at the first hint of sniffles, I'll make an immunity juice. This recipe is full of powerful, illness-fighting foods like parsley (combats infection), horseradish (clears the sinuses) and garlic (antiviral).

To make it at home, just juice the following:

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 inch-thick round horseradish root
  • 1 orange
  • 5 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 inch knob of turmeric
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 stalks celery
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2. Immunity soup

This recipe from Dr. Andrew Weil is a great alternative to comforting chicken soup! It’s a savory and nutritionally balanced medley of antiviral foods, including mushrooms and broccoli.


  • ¾ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrots, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 ¼ pieces astragalus root (about 15 inches total)
  • 5 cups mushroom stock
  • 1 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 cups broccoli florets,
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
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  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in large pot.
  • Add onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until soft and translucent. Then add mushrooms, carrots, astragalus root and stock.
  • Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add tamari and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Add broccoli florets and cook 2 minutes. Remove astragalus root pieces. Garnish with scallions before serving.

3. Probiotics

Probiotics will promote healthy intestinal bacteria, which helps produce virus-fighting antibodies and aids in vitamin absorption. You can get your probiotics by supplement or by eating probiotic-rich foods such as miso, kimchi, sauerkraut or kefir.

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4.Grapefruit seed extract

Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be an effective antimicrobial. When I feel sick, I put 40 drops in an empty capsule and take one capsule two times a day. The vitamin C works wonders on the immune system.

5. Nix sugar

Sugar can interfere with the immune system cells that block bacteria. To keep your immune system alert, swap your sweets for something savory.

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6. Sleep more

Shoot for a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night. Not giving your body proper rest can weaken your immunity by reducing cytokines (proteins that target inflammation and infection). If you're starting to feel sick, aim to get in bed earlier each night. If it's really bad, take the day off and rest until you've recovered.

7. Reduce stress

Illness thrives in a stressed body. So to prevent sickness, make relaxing activities part of your weekly routine. Try getting a reflexology foot massage, making time for a yoga class, or going on a 30-minute walk.

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8. Sunshine for vitamin D

Your body needs vitamin D to activate pathogen fighting T-cells. And the best way to get your D is to soak up the sun. Try some sunscreen-free exposure for 20 minutes between 8 am and 10 am or between 4 pm and 6 pm, when the sun isn't too harsh. And lose those sunglasses, because a great way to synthesize vitamin D is through your eyes.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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