Ask Dr. Feder: Home Remedies for the Flu Season

Want to ask Dr. Feder a question?  Send your holistic family health questions to Dr. Feder at  


Q: During the flu season, what are some natural remedies our family can use?

A:  Some of the remedies you can use are found in your home. These home remedies include onion, hot water bottles, and hydrogen peroxide

Onion improves circulation and breaks up thick mucus and congestion, making it a great remedy for colds. It helps soften the lymph nodes, making it soothing for painful swollen glands in the neck. Onions can be placed into a rounded pouch or a flat cloth envelope, if used for the ear, swollen glands, or feet.

For colds, an onion pouch in a child’s room can help with congestion.
Using a cloth or sock, make an onion pouch, securely tied. Place near the child on the nightstand, by the bed, or above the crib, and leave it overnight. You can also use sliced onion: simply place one to two slices on a plate by the bed.

For chest colds, place an onion poultice on the chest and wrap with a scarf. Onion poultices can also be applied to the feet by way of onion socks.

To make one, put the prepared onion in small pouch and place the securely tied poultice in a sock. Fit the sock on your child’s foot, so that the pouch securely stays in place on the sole of her foot. Let your child sleep overnight with the onion sock. For swollen glands, place a cloth envelope of chopped onion over the swollen glands and wrap with a scarf. In addition to treating colds, onion poultice socks can be used for earaches, teething, and bladder infections.

The Hot Water Bottle
Warmth is key to effective healing for many conditions, though most of us do not make full use of its soothing, therapeutic qualities. We all have hot water bottles buried somewhere in a cabinet; now is time to pull it out, dust it off, and if you cannot find yours, buy one! This part of our medicine chest gets used for most of our illnesses.

To prepare, fill the water bottle midway with hot water. Standing by a sink, I fold the hot water bottle in half to expel the air, with any excess water spilling into the sink, then I securely fasten. Expelling the air helps the bottle retain its heat.

Never place a hot water bottle directly on the skin, but wrap it instead in a towel. The hot water bottle can be used anywhere for comfort, though its most common applications are next to a painful ear or on the chest, tummy, and feet. To warm feet, secure the water bottle around the feet with towels for five to ten minutes until they are warm. Hot water bottles can also be used to warm a cold bed before going to sleep.

An electric heating pad is not a replacement for a hot water bottle. Avoid using an electric heating pad, as studies have linked exposure to low level electromagnetic radiation from these devices to cancer and other health conditions.

Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide known for its germicidal and antiseptic properties is considered a safe and natural cleanser. It is made of water and oxygen (H202) and kills organisms through oxidation. In addition to having a multitude of household uses, hydrogen peroxide has been shown to be effective in aiding the prevention and treatment of colds, flu, and ear infections. Many people have experienced excellent results when placing several drops of hydrogen peroxide in the ear at the onset of the common cold or flu, Hydrogen peroxide is useful for:

  • Onset of cold and flu symptoms
  • Wounds, cuts and sores.
  • Ear wax removal. Hydrogen peroxide first, followed by olive oil (place each solution in affected ear for a few minutes each side)
  • Household cleanser

How to Use: At the onset of cold or flu symptoms, place four drops of hydrogen peroxide (3%) into both ears. The solution will bubble and there may be a little stinging. Within a couple minutes, the liquid will drain out. This treatment is considered safe for infants. Avoid the eyes (if so, flush immediately with water). Avoid any ear drops if there is fluid coming out of the ear (rupture of the eardrum). It is best to use hydrogen peroxide within the first 12-24 hours of illness.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.