Last updated on Jun 17th, 2021 at 02:27 pm

While cold and flu medicine should have its place in your bathroom cabinet, there’s also a wide range of natural remedies including tissue salts and essential oils that can help to boost the body’s immune system and ability to fight off infections.

Essential oils

Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments.  Johannesburg-based homeopath, Dr Vicki Compere is passionate about natural immune health and children’s health and has been using essential oils to treat patients for years. She says, “Essential oils are very versatile and can be used in different ways, such as in a carrier oil for massage, in a diffuser, topically or in a bath.”

A word of caution: Due to their potency, essential oils are not safe for babies under 3 months. Always speak to a registered homeopath before using essential oils on your baby, as they should be diluted and never applied directly to the skin.

ALSO SEE: 5 common baby health concerns and how to treat them

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Our recommendations:


This is an anti-inflammatory and germ destroyer. A wonderful decongestant.


This powerful herb fights bacteria, viruses and fungus.


This is a potent essential oil that cleanses and drains the lymphatics where glands are swollen during an infection.


A natural cleanser, antibacterial and immune booster – lemon is one of the best essential oils to keep in your home all year. Wiping surfaces with a lemon solution leaves them smelling great and germ free.


Ginger is a warming, soothing oil that’s powerful in easing symptoms of colds and flu, and specifically sore throats.

ALSO SEE: 5 tips to soothe your child’s sore throat


Peppermint is found in many over-the-counter decongestants as it works so well to relieve a stuffy nose. Peppermint also supports the respiratory system and boosts energy.

Tea tree

Tea tree has potent antimicrobial and disinfectant properties, which is why you’ll find it in many skincare products to treat problem skin, such as acne. Due to its potency, it’s best to be diluted with a carrier oil.

Tissue salts

Also known as biochemic mineral salts, tissue salts are natural minerals – found in plants and soil that can help to restore optimal balance to the body. Although research has shown that tissue salts alone can’t cure an infection, they can assist the body and the immune system to fight it off.

“One of the major benefits of tissue salts is that they are very safe and can be used by anyone of any age, even during pregnancy, without any known side effects,” says Vicki.

Try these tissue salts this winter:

Ferrum Phos No4

This tissue salt works for any acute inflammation where there’s redness, heat, pain and/or swelling. It can be used to speed up healing for earaches, sore throats, mild pain, colds, flu and fevers.

Kali Mur no5

This helps to remove excess mucus and phlegm. It’s helpful to treat colds and blocked noses with thick white mucus congestion. Coughs, colds, sinus with congestion and tough white/grey sticky secretions will benefit from its use.

Kali Sulph No7

This tissue salt works well to treat conditions involving the sinuses or coughs where discharge is thick, sticky, yellow or green.

Nat Mur No9

If you or a family member suffers with hay fever year-round, this tissue salt is useful in winter to treat hay fever symptoms – particularly when the nose or eyes are irritated and water often.

More about the expert:

Dr Vicki Compere is a homoeopath who has been in private practice for over 16 years. She practises in Fourways and has a keen interest in natural immune health, children’s health, stress management, gut health and allergy management. Her approach is holistic and includes protocols that are unique for each person depending on their needs. She believes that the mind and body are linked and that each person needs to be treated as a totality in order to return to a state of optimum wellbeing. Learn more about Dr Vicki Compere here.