- Tea – studies have shown some benefit for sore throat and congestion from drinking horehound tea, thyme tea can help with cough, and blackberry tea can help with diarrhea. Score one for Grandma!
- Toddy – for those looking to add a “special” ingredient to their hot drink of choice, alcohol may help with vasodilation and improve congestion briefly. Just remember, one is going to be more than enough when you’re not feeling well.
- Eucalyptus Oil – when heated with water and the vapors inhaled, it too can help with loosening mucus, but please don’t get your face too close to the hot water!!
- Vitamin C – this one’s kind of a wash. While it doesn’t actually prevent a cold, supplementing with extra vitamin C when sick may shorten the duration of your cold.
- Ginger – this natural ingredient may help with nausea.
- Peppermint Oil – topical application (to skin of the forehead and temples, preferably with some olive oil to prevent irritation) can reduce some types of headache symptoms.
- Feverfew – another option for headache symptoms that may be affective in some cases.
- Kratom – a supposedly natural and safe pain reliever; unfortunately, it’s not. It may be as addictive as opioids, and it has a high potential for addiction, with a number of deaths attributed to the supplement. Not to mention, it’s been contaminated with opioids in some cases.
- Neti Pots – another wash. While irrigation of the nose may help free mucus and debris to help with congestion, be sure to clean the pots and use distilled water as bacterial infections have occurred following unsanitized uses. For similar relief without the risk, over-the-counter saline nasal spray is a good option.
- Probiotics – definitely beneficial, especially if you have to take antibiotics, but with a caveat: these are best consumed from fermented foods as there have been no studies to assess either the safety or efficacy of probiotic supplements, despite the fact that probiotics are a multibillion dollar industry.
- Zinc – 80-90mg per day of this supplement may help shorten the duration of your cold. Just beware if having diarrhea as too much zinc can worsen symptoms.
- Chicken Noodle Soup – what would a list like this be without chicken noodle soup? It turns out, it can help provide nutrients when a sore throat makes swallowing difficult, it has mild anti-inflammatory properties, and the warmth can help with congestion. (Besides, am I really going to argue with Grandma on this one?)
**If your illness causes severe nausea/vomiting, high fever, intractable pain or any other concerning symptoms that seem beyond a simple cold, be sure to talk to your doctor.