Natural treatments and home remedies for cold in elderly

cold in elderly

For most people, fatigue, sneezing, and coughing of the common cold is an inconvenient experience and it is just a minor disruption in our plans for the day. But for older adults, the common cold can be the worse condition. There are some studies in which is said that more than 60% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States are for those who are 65 or older [1]. Older people are having weaker immune systems compared to other people and this means that they are more susceptible to complications. When these people have the proper treatment, then this can help them to avoid some problems such as pneumonia and bronchitis.


19 Home remedies for cold in elderly

Vitamin C

We know that Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can help your body to be healthy and strong. This is a very effective natural treatment for colds, especially it is the effective natural treatment if is used at the first signs of illness [2]. You should consume foods that are rich in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits and also you can take this vitamin in a form of a supplement on a daily basis but you need to talk with your doctor before you add them to your diet. It will boost your immune system and also it will speed the healing process. This will help you to alleviate further symptoms and complications.


This is one of the most used natural cures for colds because it has many health benefits such as antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antibiotic [3]. You should mince one to two cloves of garlic and float them in a small glass of water. You should drink this home remedy very quickly. If you are sick enough, then you will not even notice the taste. If you are a pregnant woman, then you should not take more than one clove of garlic medicinally per day. Children often resist this home remedy.

Honey – onion syrup

You should make a honey–onion syrup because it is a very effective home remedy for cough. Honey is a wonderful home remedy for healing a sore throat. Onion can make wonders because it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Also, it can help you to loosen up phlegm deep in your chest.

Hot liquids

When you have a cold, then you should use hot lemon water and hot herbal teas. They will boost your immune system and there are many varieties of herbs that can help you with infection.

Elderflower tea

You should use the elderflowers as your natural cure for colds because they can help you to get relief from the symptoms. This home remedy is also safe for small children and it is remarkably gentle. This natural cure has a pleasant taste so if kids are consuming it, then they are not objectionable. [4]


There are many studies in which is said that the Echinacea is one of the most popular natural cures in the traditional medicine for colds [2]. It can reduce the severity and duration of colds. The best natural cures for Echinacea are those that are made from fresh Echinacea.

Fresh ginger root

Fresh ginger root is inexpensive and spicy. This is one of the best home remedies which you can use for cold care. You should buy fresh ginger. Organic ginger is preferred. You should cut a piece about an inch and a half long. You can chop this piece very finely or you can grate it. You should put the finely minced ginger into a tea strainer and you should put the tea strainer in a cup. You should pour fresh boiling water into this cup. You should let this tea sit for 5 minutes. Then, you should remove the tea strainer and squeeze the ginger with a spoon to get a bit more of the ginger juice into the cup. You should add a spoonful of honey to have a better flavor and you should sip it. Ginger root has shaogals and gingerols which have anti-inflammatory properties. They will help you to get relief from a sore throat very quickly. Also, they will kill the rhinovirus which is one of the most common causes of colds. You should drink 3 or more cups of this tea until you get better. Also, you can drink this ginger tea to warm up your body on a very cold winter day. If you have children who have a cold, then you should reduce the concentration of the tea a bit and in this way, it will be less spicy.


This is a traditional San tribal name for the South African herb Pelargonium sidoides. Many of us do not remember the Latin name, but we can easily remember the name Umcka. This is a very effective home remedy when we have a cold, especially at the beginning of the cold. It can cut the entire misery short. There are some studies in which is shown that Umcka works well on humans. [5]

Saline nose rinse

One way to treat the cold is to clean the sinuses. A saline rinse will help you to irrigate your sinuses and also it will give you relief from added pressure. This natural treatment will also eliminate infection as the slat cleanses and purifies. You should try a rinse made of one teaspoon of salt to at least eight ounces of water. You should use a neti pot or a dropper to move the rinse through your nasal passages.

cold in elderly

Eucalyptus essential oil

When you are congested, then your nose feels like it is plugged with baking dough. You should fill the bathroom sink with hot water. You should put 3 – 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil into the sink water. You should drape a towel over your head and then you should bend over the sink. You should breathe the vapors. You should do this natural treatment for 5 minutes. This type of essential oil is the best natural decongestant. As you breathe the vapors, you will feel that your sinuses are opening up. You should do this natural treatment as many times as you need. The eucalyptus vapors will also get deep into your chest and they can help you to open up the congested bronchial tubes. Also, you can get eucalyptus–based cough drops. They will also help you to decongest. [6]

Vitamin B12

There are many doctors who have said that Vitamin B12 is one of the best ways to prevent a cold which also places it as an effective home remedy for a cold. This home remedy can boost the immune system and also enables it to function more proactively against a cold. You can take a monthly shot of B12 for maintenance but also you can take a daily supplement of B12 when you are coping with a cold. [2]

Hydrogen peroxide

When you have the first sign of ear infection, sinus infection, cold, or flu, then you should put a dropper full of hydrogen peroxide into each ear. You should lie with the hydrogen peroxide in your ear until the bubbling stops. You should do this natural treatment on both sides. You should repeat this natural treatment every few hours until the infection is gone.

Nettle leaf

There are some doctors who have said that the nettle leaf is the only herb that is needed for illness treatment. It has large amounts of vitamins and trace minerals. It will help your body to stay hydrated and it will remove the toxins.


This is also a very effective home remedy for cold and flu. When you use it abundantly in tea or tincture at the beginning of an illness, then it will shorten the illness to less than 24 hours. This home remedy is especially good for fevers because it induces perspiration and also it is a very effective home remedy for all childhood types of illnesses. This is naturally bitter so it is often good to include stevia leaf and peppermint when you are making a tea. Also, it is a good natural treatment for the kidneys and liver and it supports the endocrine system. [7]


Chamomile is an effective home remedy for colds. It can calm the nerves. It can help children to sleep better [8]. Also, it can reduce fever or inflammation. You can drink chamomile tea.


This is one of the most used natural cures for cold and flu treatments. It helps induce sleep and it settles the stomach. You can use it in a form of tea or tincture. It is a very effective home remedy for combating cold, flu, or other illness.

Red clover

Red clover is rich in nutrients. It purifies the blood and it relaxes your body. You can use it in a form of tincture or tea.


This vitamin is also an effective natural treatment for cold because it can reduce the severity of flu or cold virus and it can help you to shorten the duration of illness. [2]

Licorice root

This is also a very effective natural cure for cold and flu because it can give you relief from their symptoms. It has antispasmodic, expectorant, demulcent, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is sweet and makes most herbal blends taste great.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People 65 Years and Older & Influenza. Retrieved from

[2] Rondanelli M, Miccono A, Lamburghini S, et al. Self-care for common colds: The pivotal role of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea in three main immune interactive clusters (physical barriers, innate and adaptive immunity) involved during an episode of common colds – Practical advice on dosages and on the time to take these nutrients/botanicals in order to prevent or treat common colds. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018.

[3] Ried K, Travica N, Sali A. The effect of kyolic aged garlic extract on gut microbiota, inflammation, and cardiovascular markers in hypertensives: The GarGIC trial. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2018.

[4] Tiralongo E, Wee SS, Lea RA. Elderberry supplementation reduces cold duration and symptoms in air-travellers: A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutrients. 2016;8(4):182.

[5] Patrick G, Hickner J. This obscure herb works for the common cold. The Journal of Family Practice. 2008;57(3):157-61.

[6] Horvath G, Acs K. Essential oils in the treatment of respiratory tract diseases highlighting their role in bacterial infections and their anti-inflammatory action: a review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 2015;30:331-41.

[7] Applequist WL, Moerman DE. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.): A neglected panacea? A review of ethnobotany, bioactivity, and biomedical research. Economic Botany. 2011;65(2):209-25.

[8] Abdullahzadeh M, Matourypour P, Naji SA. Investigation effect of oral chamomilla
on sleep quality in elderly people in Isfahan: A randomized control trial. Journal of Education and Health Promotion. 2017;6.


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