I went away to a wedding in Buffalo this past weekend. It was a beautiful, unusually warm fall weekend and it was great to spend time with family and friends. But on the day we were leaving it started. The sore throat. First just a twinge when I woke up, so I thought perhaps I had just been snoring (so unlike me). But then within a few hours it came on strong. It went through its usual mix – sore throat, fever, aches and pains, stuffy nose, chest congestion, and cough.
Sometimes when I get sick, because I am sick, I dissolve into a puddle of weakness and ineptitude, not doing the things that I know I should be doing but lying around feeling sorry for myself and eating rice pudding (my go-to comfort food). This time, though, I didn’t have the time to indulge my weakness as I have a ladies weekend planned in Maine and there is no way that a cold is going to get in the way. This time I did sick right. Here are a few homemade cold remedies that you can easily make from ingredients at home and which help heal and restore in a gentle, soothing, all-natural, non-chemical way.
1. hot toddy
I figured I would start with the best, and the most effective at making you feel better. The Hot Toddy is magic when you are sick. It is my alternative to NyQuil. It puts you quite contentedly to sleep while soothing your throat, clearing your sinuses, and warming you and your chest. And it’s delicious, if you can still taste. There are many different versions from the standard Hot Toddy to the Cider Hot Toddy (pictured above). It’s hard to go wrong with this and pretty easy to customize to your taste. The main ingredients are an alcohol (bourbon, rye, or brandy usually), lemon (I tend to go big on this), honey (ditto), hot water, and then accessory flavors (cloves, anise, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger). Make a big cup of this, cuddle up, and then sleep – one of the best home remedies.
2. honey ginger throat drops
No matter what medley of cold symptoms I get, I always get a sore throat. And from that sore throat comes an irritated throat and cough, so it is essential for me to have something to soothe it, especially at night. Store bought, mediciny drops and lozenges work, but I hate having to ingest something so chemical and dyed, especially at night if I am going to fall asleep after, or even while, I am having it. These Homemade Honey Ginger Throat Drops from the Free People Blog are the answer. Easily made from just honey and ginger, both key healing and soothing ingredients, you needn’t be worried about sticky red, blue, or green residue on your teeth, or your pillow.
3. a natural cough remedy
Simple to make, simple to take. This Natural Cough Remedy is made with the all-stars of natural, healing ingredients – apple cider vinegar, cayenne, ginger, and honey. This cough medicine is both soothing and cleansing, it will help remedy your cold, instead of just masking it and making you feel twitchy. I’d much rather take something that is actually healing my body rather than just masking my cold.
4. ginger, jalapeño, and lemon tea
This should definitely be part of your repertoire. Thanks to Barrett at Valleybrink Road for this game changer. I like to make a pot of this and sip it throughout the day, even when I am not sick. Sometimes I will skip the jalapeño and add apple cider vinegar for an everyday cleansing drink – but if you are fighting a cold, stick with the heat of the jalapeño it will sock it to your sinuses and warm you from the inside out.
5. turmeric milk
Turmeric has been getting a lot more attention these days for its countless health benefits and healing properties. In India it has been a long-standing home remedy, used to treat skins problems, colds, chest pain, sore throats, and even toothaches. To treat a cold, Indian mothers make Turmeric Milk or haldi ka doodh which is a warm, peppery mix of turmeric, spices, and warm milk which instantly warms and soothes the throat. Thanks Journey Kitchen for introducing me to this new-to-me treatment.
So these are a few of the ways that you can soothe and calm your cold with homemade remedies that actually remedy, made from natural, healing ingredients you have at home. My cold is on its way out, but I’d love to know – Do you have any to share?