First of all, Young Living essential oils are a staple in our home! We use them for everything--from healing a minor cut to headaches and infections! For a cold, the ones we use the most are Thieves, R.C., peppermint and Eucalyptus radiata. Thieves is a blend that's great for immunity. I like to put a drop in my cold care tea when I'm not feeling great. I rub it (diluted) onto Emma's feet when she's sick and we diffuse it through the air too. Rub a little R.C. on your chest, under your nose, on your neck and you'll be able to breath better! Peppermint is great for headaches--rubbed on your temples, also good for fevers and congestion. Eucalyptus can be used in the same way as R.C.--and any of those oils can be diffused--great for airborne bacteria. Young Living oils can't be purchased in any health shops. You must order them through a distributor (which I happen to be). If you use another kind of essential oil, you really need to do your research to make sure it's safe for ingestion and topical use. Go with a therapeutic grade oil, not an aromatherapy grade oil. Just let me know if you'd like to learn more!
Eric and I drink lots of tea when we're under the weather. I love the varieties by Traditional Medicinals--cold care, the sore throat one and herba tussin (cough tea) are staples in the winter months. Add a drop of Thieves to any of those! This morning I'm drinking some fresh thyme tea. Thyme is great for it's antimicrobial properties. Remember the honey and lemon your remember as a kid? Still great--add some grated ginger or chopped garlic for the microbial effect.
Apple cider vinegar is also antibacterial so boil about 1/4 cup with 1/4 cup of water and inhale the steam--great for your sinuses. You can also gargle with a shot glass full of apple cider vinegar and some cayenne (anti-inflammatory and will numb the pain of a sore throat). Or just some warm water, sea salt and cayenne.
There are lots of great resources out there and I'm constantly adding new remedies to our toolbox! I love this book--Naturally Healthy Babies and Children: A Commensense Guide to Herbal Remedies, Nutrition and Health.