A great natural remedy for colds and flu is a combination of lemon juice, honey, coconut oil and lemon essential oil.

Recipe: 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup honey (manuka is best), 3 tbsp coconut oil, 2 drops lemon essential oil

Mix lemon juice, honey and coconut oil in a small saucespan and heat over a low heat until the coconut oil is melted. Take off the heat and add 2 drops of lemon essential oil and blend all ingredients together to form a syrup. 

Take by the spoonful or add to hot water for a soothing and immune boosting drink.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is known to help boost the immune system and also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also a healthy way to start the day by drinking with warm water each day. Helps to alkalise the body.

Honey

Honey has powerful anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. In one study, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep. In fact, in the study, honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient, dextromethorphan, in typical over-the-counter doses.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and contains lauric acid, which is antibacterial and antiviral.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil (citrus limon), with its high vitamin content, helps boost the body’s immune system and stimulates the production of white blood cells, thereby increasing your ability to fight off illness. Lemon oil also improves circulation throughout the body.

Essential oils are not usually recommended for taking orally but when lemon is mixed with these other ingredients and in such a low ratio of 2 drops it adds that extra something to this simple remedy. Did you know that lemon essential oils is extracted from the peel of the lemon and is used in food flavouring, puddings and cakes and you've probably been eating it all your life? 

Ever wonder why we seem to get either a cold or the flu when the weather turns cold? 

Now scientists have found the answer. It appears the virus lasts longer in cold, dry air, and our sluggish, cold-weather mucus can't clear it out.

At room temperature, they found flu transmission peaks at low relative humidity (20-35%) and again at 65%. It spread less well at around 50% humidity, and not at all over 80%. This parallels the stability of flu virus in aerosol droplets at different humidities, and also the droplets' ability to remain airborne. At over 80% humidity, droplets containing flu virus themselves fall out of the air.

The effect also happened too quickly to be due to dry air damaging nasal tissue so that it is not as effective a barrier to viruses, which has been suggested as a factor in humans.

But temperature trumped humidity: at 5 °C animals caught flu at humidities that stopped the virus when it was warmer, possibly because sick animals' noses shed virus two days longer at cooler temperatures.

To find out why, Palese's team charted 13 early immune reactions in infected animals, but they were unaffected by temperature. Mucus, however, normally flows up through our respiratory tracts to clear out contaminants. "Mucus becomes more viscous as cold air hits our upper respiratory tracts," he says. "So we can't clear the virus as easily."

Journal reference: PLoS Pathogens (DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.0030151)