• Kerri Bailey, BS CH

Cold vs Flu



So you may be sick and wondering- Do I have a "cold" or is it the "flu"?

The Common Cold is a minor viral infection usually caused by a type of Rhinovirus. Typical Symptoms are sore throat, headache, cough, congested head & sinus / nasal, watery discharge, sneezing, low grade fever & muscle aches & soreness and general weakness & low energy.

The “Flu” is a viral respiratory infection, caused by a type of influenza virus; maybe a type A or B strain if from an animal. The Symptoms are the same as for colds, except more sudden & more severe. (Know when to see a Doctor!)

Bacterial Infection vs. Viral Infection

Local to area Widespread / systemic

Stays where initiated Spreads all over

Short high fever Persistent low grade fever

Mucous is thick, sticky & colored Thin, clear mucous

Treating Colds/ Flu

Those more susceptible to colds/flu: smoke, high stress levels, chronic lung illness & people with decreased immunity.

1. Treat symptoms. Drink teas & use steam aromatherapy. Take baths with essential oils and Himalayan pink salt (see blog) or Epsom salts.

2. Increase immunity. Increase your Vitamin C intake (don’t take EFA’s during colds/flu); take immune enhancing herbs as teas, tinctures or capsules. Dress warmly.

3. Flush out mucous. Chicken soup really works, feed a cold starve a fever. Drink fluids & herbal teas(avoid sugar). Don’t suppress coughs, use expectorants. Flush used tissues into toilet, avoid spreading to others- stay home if you are contagious. Eat hot and spicy foods and herbs!

PRE-CAUTIONS: Don’t give aspirin to children showing viral infections, as this could develop into Reye Syndrome which is potentially fatal.

See a Doctor if you are experiencing:

  • Heavy Chest congestion or Wheezing (could develop into severe illness).

  • Persistent Fevers above 102˚F for more than 3 days.

Try to avoid mucous increasing foods, sugar, dairy products & EFA supplements (oil holds virus in mucous) during the flu.

Be active during a cold to move the mucous out of the body and feed it. For the Flu,”rest is best and starve a fever”.


Herbs that are Immunity Boosters Astragulus (long term), Cayenne, Cinnamon, Echinacea (short term), Elder berry, Eleuthero, Garlic & Onions, Licorice, Olive Leaf (long term), Pau D’Arco, Reishi, Shitake & Maitake Mushrooms, Thyme, Usnea

Herbs for Sinus & Fevers Boneset, Chamomile, Chinese Chrysanthemum,


Elderflower, Ephedra (use wth caution), Honeysuckle Flower, Nettle, Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint, Rose Hip, Yarrow

Herbs for Lungs & Sore Throat Angelica, Anise, Catnip, Coltsfoot, Elecampane, Fenugreek, Ginger, Goldenrod, Horehound, Lemon Balm, Lungwort, Mullein, Pleurisy Root, Schisandra, Violets, Wild Cherry Bark.

SYMPTOM COLD FLU

FEVER Rare Common

COUGHING Hacking, Productive (mucus-producing) cough often present Dry and hacking cough is often present

ACHES Slight Body Aches & PainsModerate Body Aches are common

STUFFY NOSE Commonly present & typically resolves within a week. A runny nose is commonly present

CHILLS Chills are Uncommon but possible Mild to moderate

TIREDNESS Mild Moderate to High

SNEEZING Commonly Present Commonly Present

ONSET of SYMPTOMS Symptoms develop over a couple of days. Develop over a few days.

HEADACHE Fairly Uncommon Fairly Common

SORE THROAT Commonly Present Commonly present

CHEST DISCOMFORT Mild to moderate Moderate- Severe (seek medical attention immediately!)

This article is for educational purposes, not intended for self diagnosis. See your physician whenever needed.

Shop at Herbal Elements for Teas, Tinctures and Supplements

#coldsvsflu #herbsforcolds #herbalistTacoma

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