6 DIY Ways to Boost Immunity During Cold and Flu Season

Colds are the worst. Here's how to ease your sneezing and stuffy nose with home remedies found in the garden. Plus, get a bonus immune-boosting recipe!



It’s officially chilly outside, which means fall boots, mums, and changing leaves — yay! Unfortunately, the shift in weather also signals cold and flu season — boo! While it’s always smart to get your annual flu shoot — especially older adults who are 50 and above and children six months and older — there are many at-home remedies that can ward off or alleviate systems of the irritating common cold.

So if you’re coughing, sneezing and sniffling, try one of these DIY ideas that may just get you back on your feet sooner.

Important reminder: These homeopathic treatments are suggestions for minor symptoms only, and should not be replacements for a visit to the doctor. Consult your MD or visit a clinic if you suffer from severe cold and flu symptoms (such as fever, severe aches and pains) or have not gotten better within a few days.


The echinacea (or purple coneflower) plant is a perennial that will come back year after year with bright, daisy-like pinkish-purple flowers, but their secret isn’t in their beauty. It’s actually the creeping rootstock that can be used to treat cold symptoms. You can find it in capsules, or use fragments of dried root to make tea. Remember to discard the Echinacea root before drinking.

Lemon Balm

Like echinacea, lemon balm is a perennial used to calm cold and flu symptoms. However, it’s the leaves that serve up the good stuff this time. Steep leaves in boiled water for tea to feel relaxed, sooth sore throats, and even ease nervousness, too.


Rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and more good-for-you vitamins and minerals, potent ginger root has a host of natural health benefits. It’s been shown to ease upset stomachs, thwart migraines, and of course, alleviate symptoms of the common cold. Peel and grate fresh ginger to use it, you guessed it, a cup of tea.


You’re probably familiar with chamomile tea as a cozy, relaxing nighttime drink, but did you know you can add the sweet flower into a hot bath, too? Breathing in the steam from chamomile is said to help sooth hay fever and revive tired eyes. Try a cup or a tub full when you’re feeling under the weather for a more restful night’s sleep.


Headache? Sore throat? Achiness? Instead of running to the drugstore, try utilizing the flowers, leaves or stems of meadowstreet, all of which contain salicylates — a main ingredient in aspirin. A bonus benefit: white flowering perennial is also thought to soothe digestion, perfect for a minor belly ache.

Greek Yogurt Soup With Fresh Herbs

Not too keen on tea? Go Greek — with yogurt that is. The live cultures (a.k.a. probiotics) are your gut’s best defense against the bad bacteria that causes the cold and flu. Give your immune system the boost it needs with the addition of these live culture “good bacteria,” found in this delicious hot-or-cold Greek yogurt soup with chopped fresh herbs.

Next Up

It's Not Too Late to Plant Your Fall Greens. Here's How!

Find out from the experts at HGTV what vegetables do best in cool-weather fall gardens.

It's Not Too Late to Grow These 11 Tasty Plants

Didn't plant those tomatoes? Say hello to your fall friends: radishes, broccoli, greens and more! 

Fall Gardening Tools You Can't Live Without

With the right gear, you will totally rule fall.

You Voted, Now Learn More About the 6 Outdoor Designs You Loved

Need a little inspiration to make your great outdoors truly great? Check out the award-winning spaces that were tops with HGTV fans.

10 Clever Container Gardens We Love From Joanna Gaines

Let Joanna help you channel your inner gardener.

10 Garden Books to Gift This Holiday Season

Indulge the gardener in your life — or yourself — with an inspirational or useful garden book this Christmas.

19 Dreamy Cottage Gardens

These cozy backyards are the stuff of fairy tales.

10 Must-Try Vertical Planter Ideas For Summer

Things might be looking up in your garden.

Surround Yourself With a Pollinator-Friendly Garden

See how you can help butterflies and bees thrive.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.


Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.