Inside Columbia


Holistic Cold Remedies, Foods to Boost the Immune System

By Inside Columbia
Holistic cold & flu remedy supplies

Photos by L.G. Patterson

With the colder season approaching, it is the perfect time to stock your medicine cabinet with all the supplies needed for holistic cold and flu remedies. It’s also just as important to incorporate immune-boosting foods into your diet to be as preventative as possible.
From bone broth to essential oils to elderberry syrup, I have you covered!

One of my staple remedies all year round is elderberry syrup. Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving issues due to sinuses, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation, even cancer. Research published in the Journal of International Medical Research suggests that when it’s used within the first 48 hours of symptom onset, the plant may even help relieve and shorten the duration of the cold and flu. At Nourish Café & Market, we use organic elderberries from local farmers, then add local honey and healing spices to make it extra nutrient dense.

Kimber Dean

One of the most remarkable things about bone broth is its gut-supportive benefits, which actually have a holistic effect on the body and support a healthy immune system. Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and support immune system function and healthy inflammation response. Bone broth has many other nutritional healing benefits and can even promote healthy sleep, boost energy during the day and support a healthy mood.

At Nourish, we make chicken bone broth with Altai Meadows Farm’s chicken feet and backs, and our beef bone broth is made from Covered L Farm cow knuckle and marrow bones. We cook it for 48 hours to get the most nutrient dense bone broth.

Carvacrol, found in oregano essential oil, is so potent that it has been the focus of over 800 studies referenced in PubMed, the world’s No. 1 database for scientific evidence-based literature. To give you a sense of how multifunctional and impressive carvacrol is, it has been shown in studies to help reverse or reduce bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasites, viruses, inflammation, allergies, tumors, indigestion and candida. When a member of my family isn’t feeling well, I put oregano essential oil on the bottom of their feet because our feet have the largest pores on our body for the best absorption (and it doesn’t smell the best). Oil of oregano capsules are easily found and inexpensive.

Camu camu, a shrub found in flooded areas of the Amazon rainforest, has been found to contain one of the highest levels of vitamin C on the planet, in addition to other antioxidants such as polyphenols and ellagic acid. It can have 60 times more vitamin C than an orange and 56 times more than a lemon. This means that camu may help feed the body the nutrients it needs to properly recover from issues like the common cold or flu.

I like to use camu camu powder in smoothies, baked goods and even desserts! The taste is slightly nutty, but not overpowering.

Colloidal silver’s ability to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs is impressive. While employed at UCLA School of Medicine in the 1980s, Dr. Larry C. Ford documented over 650 different disease-causing pathogens that were destroyed in minutes when exposed to small amounts of silver. According to a study published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, “silver nanoparticles are capable of reducing viral infectivity, probably by blocking interaction of the virus within the cell.” I use the colloidal silver spray from Achieve Balance Chiropractic in Columbia when my family needs it.

Speaking of chiropractic care, chiropractors work in the field of complementary or alternative medicine, treating patients by performing hands-on chiropractic adjustments in order to help with postural restoration, spinal alignment, nervous system function and maintenance of health. Getting regular adjustments can help maintain a healthy immune system.

As one of doTERRA’s most popular oils, doTERRA On Guard is a powerful proprietary blend that supports healthy immune function and respiratory function when used internally and contains cleansing properties. On Guard provides a natural and effective alternative for immune support when used internally, protecting against environmental and seasonal threats.

Another great pantry staple is Traditional Medicinal teas. They have teas for cold care, throat care, echinacea and so many more.

Eating a healthy diet plays a huge role in boosting the immune system. Consuming whole foods that are plant based and staying away from food-like products made with toxic ingredients, preservatives and artificial flavors or colors is just as important. We know from research that sugar feeds disease, so trying to stay away from drinking or eating sugary foods is best.

Incorporating foods high in probiotics and vitamins C and D are important. Lowering stress levels also help boost the immune system and improves overall health. Meditation is a great way to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, getting us out of fight or flight mode, and into a calming state.

Now you have all the holistic tools to stay healthy this cold and flu season!

Chicken Broth


  • 2 carrots, cut in half
  • 1 onion, quartered with skin on
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 2 pounds chicken feet and/or back fat
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar filtered water

Optional herbs

  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Place all vegetables on a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. 
  • In a large stock pot, add the roasted vegetables, chicken feet/back fat, sea salt, optional herbs (using all or a mixture of the ones you prefer) and apple cider vinegar. Fill the pot to the top with filtered water, bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a very low simmer, top with a lid and continue to simmer for 24 hours. Every six to eight hours, add more water to fill back up to the top of the pot. 
  • After 24 hours of simmering, strain the bone broth into an airtight container (or several, if needed for storage space). Let it cool completely in the refrigerator without a lid. 
  • Once completely cooled, top with the lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. 

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