Do natural remedies actually work with coughs and sore throats?

Winter is a wonderful time of year in Australia, but with winter, comes cold season. The common cold is a viral infection, with symptoms such as coughs and sore throats usually lasting around a week. While no cure exists, the duration and severity of the symptoms can be managed with varying success using a range of natural remedies. With a multitude of options out there, it’s hard to know which remedies work best. Here is a list of the most popular natural remedies, and an evaluation of if, and how, they work to treat cold symptoms.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is rich in antioxidants, with double that of green tea, and four times that of vitamin C. Olive leaf extract has antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is praised as enhancing the function of the immune system, by phagocytosis (destroying invading organisms) and by stopping bacteria and viruses from replicating themselves within the body. Olive leaf has been shown to prevent colds, as well as reduce the severity of their symptoms.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is abundant in many fruits and vegetables that come into season during winter. They say nature knows best, and vitamin C has a strong record for helping both prevent the incidence of colds, and shorten the duration of cold symptoms.. A balanced diet rich in fresh, seasonal produce should always be your first line of defence for cold season, but vitamin C tablets are a convenient way to supercharge your dosage. Taking vitamin C won’t prevent you from getting sick, but it will shorten the duration and severity of your symptoms.


Garlic has anti-viral properties, which helps address the cause of your cough and cold. It is best taken raw, but it can be fairly unpalatable, and give you an unpleasant odour! Garlic capsules are easier to take, but better still, why not incorporate lots of garlic into a beautiful chicken soup, for a remedy that is both nourishing and tasty. The warm chicken soup might sooth your sore throat, but eating garlic won’t address your symptoms directly.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is being touted as a super food, with its antioxidant properties helping tackle viruses, bacteria and fungal infections. Aside from these benefits, honey in a warm drink such as herbal tea is not only delicious, but also very soothing for an irritated, sore throat.

Often there are lots of safe cold remedies lurking in your kitchen pantry. Bisolvon medicine for coughs is another alternative to consider, should your symptoms persist. It is important to address cold symptoms quickly, to ensure you get as much uninterrupted rest as possible. Sleep is the most important factor for recovering from your cold, so try a combination of remedies to see what works best for you.

Written by Amelia Stuckey

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