The best cure for the flu is cuddling with someone who is willing to bring you tea in bed. But if that’s not an option, copious amounts of garlic can also work.

After a weekend in the mountains, I got so sick that I was literally unable to think – a bit of a problem since my work is mostly about thinking. Besides, there was an important event coming up and I had exactly 2 days to get back on my feet. Here I’m giving you the gist of how I use natural medicine whenever I catch a cold or the flu. I’d love to know if you are feeling adventurous enough to try these recipes  J And also – what’s your favorite natural medicine?

Ginger, garlic, apple, and lemon

I first tested this combo a couple of summers ago, when I was getting sick right before a week-long festival. The drive was over 9 hours and the accommodation was camping, so I really had to pull myself together quickly!

Natural medicine for flu and cold
Photo: Megumi Nachev


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can soothe both chronic inflammation and seasonal ailments. Besides, it helps with respiratory viruses.


Garlic, much like ginger, has a potent antibacterial effect, which is why it’s a popular ingredient in natural medicine throughout the world. 

Natural medicine for flu and cold
Photo: Tobias


Apples are a “superfood” because they help us keep our strength, when the weather outside has sucked us dry. They are rich in antioxidants, which protect and activate cellular functioning, so they’ve earned their place as a staple in natural medicine.


Lemons are full of Vitamin C. Maybe you’ve noticed that many cold and flu meds contain Vitamin C – that’s because it’s a great help against runny noses and sore throats. If you’ve decided to try natural medicine by itself, or in addition to pharmacological drugs, lemons are an important ingredient.

Natural medicine for flu and cold
Photo: Nery Montenegro

And then…

I chop my four ingredients (adding extra garlic and ginger), mix them together and eat them up with a spoon. The apple softens the strong, spicy character of the garlic and ginger, but if you want to make your life a bit sweeter feel free to add honey. It’s a vital ingredient in natural medicine, because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, it’s an immunostimulant. 

Some of the people I’ve shared this recipe with seemed a bit scared, but I promise – there is nothing to fear. Just make sure you don’t go out after consuming the concoction unless you want to bring the terror of garlic breath to the streets.

Baking Soda and Chamomile Inhalation

The last time I caught the flu it came with a horrendous cough, which is how I found this natural medicine mixture.

Natural medicine for flu and cold
Photo: Tanushree Rao

Baking Soda

Even though there aren’t conclusive scientific studies, according to Bulgarian natural medicine baking soda really helps with a stuffy nose and a cough. All you need to do is dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda (don’t but in too much, as it can be dangerous) in a bowl of boiling water, lean over and throw a towel over your head, so that the vapes won’t go running.


I also added a bit of chamomile tea in my bow, as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, I love the scent and it is soothing as well – there’s nothing better than good sleep, especially when you’re sick. 

Natural medicine for flu and cold
Photo: Ioana Cristiana

Saltwater Gargle

Another true classic in natural medicine and something people have been using for hundreds of years, a saltwater gargle can help soothe your sore, swollen throat. And it’s really not as bad as it sounds. When I told people about it I got a lot of reactions like: “Oh that’s terrible, it must be so painful!” In reality, it doesn’t hurt at all. Actually, it’s more like swallowing a bit of water when you’re swimming in the sea/ocean – it’s not great but it’s not that big of a deal either. I made my gargle with Himalayan salt and you can also add honey.

Natural medicine for flu and cold
Photo: Joanna Kosinka

Being Gentle and Loving Towards Yourself

According to natural medicine and traditional practices, whether they are Bulgarian, Asian, South American, or something else, listening to your body is of primary importance. It gives you information about your state of mind, as well as your physiological functioning. So wanting to get better in just 2 days wasn’t exactly in harmony with natural medicine. But instead of stressing about this as well, and making myself even sicker, I chose to accept that that’s how things currently are. My natural medicine remedies didn’t give me any superpowers, but they did make me feel healthier and more vital. I hope that they will be there for you as well in the season when everyone is coughing in your face.

I’d be so happy if you decided to share what you think about these recipes, as well as your own secrets of natural medicine. Please do that in the comments below 🙂