7 Chemical-Free Cold and Flu Remedies that Work

home remedies for germs

Even the worst germaphobes can avoid cleaning with harsh chemicals and antibacterial concoctions that only make bacteria more resistant. Try any of our seven cold and flu remedies that work to fend off the nastiest of cooties.

1.Thieves Spray: Combine a few drops of Thieves essential oil blend with a pinch of salt in a small spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water, shake and use as a degerming spray. The oils in Thieves—clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary—combine to fight off some nasty stuff. You can make your own blend by combining those five oils. I keep a small spray bottle in my purse to clean our hands, shopping carts and such.

You can make a similar hand sanitizer with Thieves, alcohol or witch hazel and water.

2. Lemon Juice or Lemon Oil: Lemons are naturally antiseptic. Using lemon juice or oil in cleaners or even in a sanitizer for your first aid kit can be a frugal, eco-friendly germ killer.

3. Oregano Oil: Oregano oil is a natural antiviral and antioxidant. It can clear sinuses, reduce infections, boost your immune system and get rid of fungus. I add oregano, along with Thieves and some coconut oil to the bottoms of our feet as an immune-boosting foot rub.

4. Vinegar: It’s not only a grease cutter and stain remover, but vinegar also is a major germ killer. Instead of expensive and unhealthy cleaners, try vinegar to naturally kill germs on your countertops, sinks, doorknobs and any area of your home (or park, or airplane seat) you want to degerm.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide: A mild bleaching agent that can kill bacteria and fungi, hydrogen peroxide can kill off stubborn mildew and germs. Mix it with water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water, to create a disinfectant spray. Please note: hydrogen peroxide can burn the skin, use with caution. 

6. Castile Soap: Add castile soap to water and Thieves oil and you’ve got yourself a homemade foaming hand soap blend that can kick super tough germs. And it does all that without chemical additives and antibacterial ingredients that make bacteria more resistant.

7. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has a bevy of benefits for health and beauty. It also can be used for degerming and cold and flu prevention and treatment since it’s naturally antibacterial.

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