Natural flu remedies: ginger, honey, lemon…

In prevention or to get rid of the flu and its symptoms (cough, fever), many foods, plants or essential oils can be effective. Lemon, honey, garlic, ginger… A tour of grandmother’s remedies with Daniel Caroff, naturopathic doctor.

According to data from Public health Francethe flu epidemic affects on average 2.6 million people each year. It is a contagious respiratory viral infection that comes back every winter. It causes fever and cough. But know that there are natural ways to prevent the virus before you have to cure yourself of it. Without forgetting that “to avoid having the fluthe same precautions as for Covid-19 must be applied: avoid contact with sick people, wash your hands regularly, and use single-use tissues“, immediately recalls Daniel Caroff, naturopathic doctor. Tower of flu remedies.

Garlic: rich in sulfur

Garlic can be a great help during a flu. Very rich in sulfurthis food has strong anti-inflammatory properties. People who have inflammation ENT (running nose for example) or at the level of the respiratory system can also take sulfur delivered in the form of blisters. It is also possible to drink garlic herbal teas in the form of an infusion, several times a day. It is advisable to use fermented black garlic instead, which has the same properties but has a more pleasant taste.

Lemon: rich in vitamin C

Lemon is rich in vitamin C which itself is anti-viral. Consuming it in a glass of cold or lukewarm water is a good idea. but, in herbal tea, this is useless because the vitamin C is killed by the high temperature of the water. We avoid herbal teas lemon only. Can also bet on theessential oil of lemon whose “them respiratory antiseptic properties are demonstrated and put to good use in certain hospitals via sanitizing atmospheric diffusions” underline Drs Françoise Couic Marinier and Anthony Touboul in their book “Treat everything with 16 essential oils”. Mix 5 drops of lemon EO, 5 drops of radiated eucalytus EO and 5 drops of ravintsara EO. Diffuse the mixture 15 minutes per hour, 3 to 4 times a day from 12 years old or 5 minutes per hour from 6 years old. “For children under 6 years old, the broadcast is for 5 minutes in their absence. explain the two authors.

Honey: against sore throat

The flu often causes inflammation of the throat. Honey can then soothe this pain. For example, you can prepare a soothing grog: Put 2 drops of lemon essential oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 pinch of cinnamon powder, 1 pinch of ginger powder in a cup and pour simmering water.

Ginger: immunostimulant

“In Chinese medicine, ginger is widely used to treat flu-like illness”, says Dr. Daniel Caroff, general practitioner and naturopath. It contains an essential oil whose properties are immunostimulant. “The fresh ginger also has an antiviral action on the flu virus.” In case of fever and/or cold: let infuse for ten minutes one or two slices of fresh ginger with a piece of cinnamon in a cup of boiling water. Add a little honey before drinking if desired.

Echinacea: rather in flu prevention

Immunostimulant, Echinacea is take for prevention, from October to February.It’s 90% effective, especially in children.” says the doctor. In treatment, mix 1ml for 10 kgs in a little water (5 ml for adults) 5 days out of 7 over a period of 3 weeks per month.

Elderberry: to calm coughs

“During a flu, the cough which is initially dry becomes oily because of the mucus secreted in the respiratory tract”, explains Daniel Caroff. In order to make this troublesome cough disappear, it is then necessary to use mucolytic products like elderberry. “The black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) plays on respiratory infections. He causes sweating in case of fever, is digestive and diuretic and allows strengthen the immune systemadd the nutritionist trained in herbal medicine Caroline Gayet and the herbalist Michel Pierre in their book “Les secrets de mon herboristerie”. To boost your immune system : mix 20g eleutherococcus root, 20g echinacea root, 20g rosemary leaves, 20g elderflower and 20g rosehip bark. Put a tablespoon of the mixture in 25 cl for prevention or 4 tablespoons in 1 liter of cold water as a cure, to do in decoction 3 minutes then infuse 10 minutes. Filter and drink over the duration of symptoms or a cup a day to prevent recurrences in cure of 3 weeks per month.

Ginseng: anti-fatigue

This adaptogenic plant is not antiviral but can be taken to prevent the flu to strengthen your immunity or after the flu to regain the energy lost during the period of illness. the ginseng can be bought in herbalism in the form of dried rootit can be consumed in decoction at the rate of1 gram of root per day. It can also be found in pharmacies in the form of capsules or tablets containing its powdered root.

Eucalyptus radiata essential oil

Eucalyptus radiata essential oil is antibacterial and antiviral. It also has expectorant, decongestant and anti-inflammatory effects, especially at the ENT level, hence the fact that it is recommended in case of flu.. “It should also be noted that this essential oil stimulates the immune system” emphasize Drs. Couic-Marinier and Touboul. In adults, pour 2 drops of eucalyptus EO in a teaspoon of honey morning, noon and evening for 7 days. We can alsouse in massage on the upper chest because of 6 drops in a little vegetable oil (macadamia for example), 1 to 3 times a day for 5 to 7 days.

Ravintsara essential oil

This is the essential oil the most antiviral but it often needs to be associated with another oil like that of tea tree. Just mix 3 drops in a spoon of honey about 3 times a day. She can also be applied inside the wrists, on the thorax, or on the soles of the feet for people sensitive to the smell. Ravintsara essential oil should not be used in children under 3 years old and in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

“If you suffer from the flu, it is possible to take homeopathy but at the first symptoms“, says the naturopathic doctor. In prevention, Influenzinum is effective if ingested 10 granules per week alternately with Yersin serum. Other homeopathic preparations are effective:

  • Infludo, from the Weleda laboratory (contains a little alcohol so is not recommended for people suffering from alcoholism)
  • L52 from the Lehning laboratory (contains a little alcohol so is not recommended for people suffering from alcoholism)
  • Oscillococcinum, from Boiron (based on Muscovy duck liver). Pregnant women should avoid consuming it.

During pregnancy, essential oils are contraindicated during the first trimester. Ravintsara and Tea Tree can be taken from the 4th month. Ginseng is also prohibited for pregnant and breastfeeding women and non-pubescent children. On the other hand, ginger helps pregnant women a lot to fight against the nausea of ​​the first months of pregnancy.

Thanks to Daniel Caroff, naturopathic doctor and author of the book Living Earth Guide to Naturopathy (Living Earth editions).


“Treat everything with 15 essential oils” Drs Françoise Couic Marinier and Anthony Touboul, 2019.

“The secrets of my herbalism”Caroline Gayet and Michel Pierre, InterEditions, 2019.

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