When you begin to feel sick with a common cold, your immune system is responding to a short-lived viral infection of the upper respiratory system caused by a rhinovirus. Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce your fever, but may have some negative consequences. For example, a study from McMaster University in Ontario concluded that the use of these fever reducing drugs increases flu transmission.

So, how can you both slow disease transmission while also caring for your body when you’re feeling sick? The answer: use herbs to care for your cold.

The Best Herbs for a Fever

A fever could mean your body is fighting off a variety of illnesses. Whether viral or bacterial, here are the best herbs to treat a fever.


Hyssop is a perennial herb in the mint family that has been traditionally used for reducing fevers. It is a stimulating diaphoretic, which means it causes the body to sweat, thereby lowering its overall temperature, effectively treating low-grade fevers. Hyssop is very easy to grow, and can bloom into a medium to large bush or shrub. You can purchase hyssop through this link.


Elderflowers come into season in the summer months, and are widely used in herbalism to treat a variety of symptoms. The tannins found in elderflowers make this herb a powerful diaphoretic that stimulates circulation to help cool the body. Elderflowers are the perfect summer herb that relax the body and help move trapped fluids and mucus. You can grow elderflowers from seeds purchased here, and you can purchase tonifying elderberry syrup here.


This gentle, slightly sweet, and child-safe herb has antibacterial properties that assist the body in fighting off illnesses. It is an effective relaxant and sedative, and may also provide relief from pain such as body aches associated with colds and the flu. Purchase chamomile here to help treat your cold.

The Best Herbs for Cold Symptoms

A cold is usually characterized by sinus congestion, coughing, a fever, fatigue, and more. While usually mild, colds can be extremely uncomfortable and prevent you from living life to the fullest. Use these herbs to treat a cold.


Mullein has been used for centuries to relieve bronchial congestion and assist the body in expelling infected mucus. Sounds gross, we know, but coughing is the body’s natural mechanism for removing trapped mucus in the respiratory system. Mullein supports this mechanism. You can purchase mullein herb here, and our Bronchia Calm syrup contains mullein amongst other cough-supporting herbs.


This herb grows abundantly in North America, and many Native Americans historically used Gumweed to relieve bronchitis and asthma. The extract of this herb might also help prevent bacteria growth, and was found to help relieve itching associated with poison ivy. Find Gumweed extract here.


Echinacea is an astringent that can tighten and tone the mucus lining of the throat to reduce swelling and lessen a sore throat. Echinacea is also an excellent immune booster, with no known negative side effects. Echinacea was shown to be safe and effective in the prevention of the common cold. Our LittleBerry elderberry syrup contains echinacea. You can also buy echinacea herbal supplements here.

The Best Herbs to Treat Flu Symptoms

The flu differs from a cold in that it comes on much more suddenly and is often associated with body aches and higher fever. The flu can produce much more severe symptoms than the common cold. These herbs help prevent and treat symptoms of the flu.

Licorice Root

According to one study, licorice “has demonstrated potential to act as [an] antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulation and other effects for COVID-19 patients” and may also relieve similar flu symptoms. There has been no recorded side effects to using licorice in treatment of flu symptoms. Purchase licorice root to keep in your medicine chest here.


Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar has said that “Sage is a well-known cold and flu fighter. Because of its astringent, antiseptic and relaxing action on the mucus membranes, sage is the classic remedy for inflammation of the mouth, throat and tonsils.” Sage can be beneficial in the treatment of sore throats associated with upper respiratory illnesses like the flu. Buy sage supplements here.


This powerful herb has been proven time and time again as one of the best herbs overall for preventing and reducing symptoms of viral infections like the flu. 90% of people who took 2000 mg of elderberry juice while sick with the flu reported zero symptoms after 3 days. Experience improved symptoms for yourself with our Pure Elderberry Syrup.

We hope that the information found in this article assists you in making the difficult decisions on what to stock your medicine cabinet with this season. Have more questions about herbs? Email us at retail@andilynns.com. Have a healthy day!