Natural Cold Reliefs that Might be in Your Cupboard

We’ve all been there. We’re sick, our kid or significant other is sick and the last thing we want to do is get in the car and venture out for cold medicine.  

In times like these, your kitchen cupboard may hold the answers you need. Below is a list of common and natural cold relief sources to help you either prevent a cold or soften the symptoms.    

Honey: Ripe with natural antioxidants that can help shield the body from inflammation, honey and its antibacterial properties are a proven cough suppressant in children. A single spoonful of buckwheat honey, specifically, has demonstrated the ability to reduce cough severity and frequency in both children and adults. It’s also improved the quality of sleep in children enduring a cold. Doctors warn against giving honey to children age 1 and under because of the risk of botulism.  

Ginger: While there is a lack of scientific evidence to suggest that ginger can zap your cold altogether, modern research points to ginger as a major beneficiary to your respiratory system. Ginger reduces chest congestion and inflammation of the mucosal layer, and can also prevent colds, sore throats, laryngitis and congestion. Try grating ginger root into a mug of hot water splashed with lemon. You can also blend fresh ginger into a smoothie the next time you’re in defense mode.  

Chicken soup/chicken stock:  Many of us have heard about this remedy since we were young, and that’s because it works. Studies show that carnosine – a dipeptide found in chicken muscle – could contribute to the pathogenesis and prevention of infections and the common cold. Some research has found that consuming hot chicken soup can clear a congested nose and allow for better airflow. Opting for homemade chicken soup or chicken broth made with chicken bones and frozen vegetable scraps is the way to go, as store-bought stocks are normally processed and filled with loads of added sugar.  

Salt water (for gargling): Not that this is a particularly enjoyable exercise, but gargling half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water, multiple times per day, can provide temporary relief for a sore or scratchy throat.  Other research even shows that gargling salt water can strengthen your upper respiratory tract and prevent infections.  

Cayenne: Even if you’re not a spicy food fan, you may want to give your spice rack a second look if you’re feeling ill. Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers like cayenne, one that boasts a healthy heaping of benefits. A 2016 scholarly review found that capsaicin reduced sneezing and relieved itching, coughing and runny noses among patients participating in a study. Remember that ginger smoothie from earlier? Feel free to drop ¼ of a teaspoon of cayenne into it for a super cold repellent.  

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