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Home Remedies to Treat a Cold


While there’s no cure for the common cold, these tried and tested remedies have been shown to ease the severity of the virus and alleviate symptoms. From raw honey and garlic to probiotics and bone broth, try these simple staples next time you’re suffering from congestion, coughs and fatigue.



There’s a staggering 70-80 per cent of immune tissue housed in your gut, so it makes sense to focus on your digestive system when you come down with a cold. The best way to do it? Take probiotics. Found in fermented foods like apple cider vinegar, miso, kim chi, sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir, or taken in capsule or powder form, probiotics are friendly bacteria that help boost your body’s immune response.


Raw Garlic

It might sound unpalatable, but munching on a clove of raw garlic is a tried and tested winner when it comes to treating the common cold. Allicin, an antibacterial and decongestant compound found in the bulb, can help alleviate symptoms. If you can’t eat it whole, try crushing or finely chopping it and adding it to salads for a nutritious boost that is sure to help heal you. Just avoid heating or cooking garlic for allicin’s full benefits, as it’s heat sensitive.



Keeping hydrated is one of the most important remedies in treating colds. Try loading up on soups and warm broths, like miso soup - a probiotic-rich option that helps flood your gut with good bacteria while also helping with hydration. Other options to consider are bone broths and chicken soup, which have been used for centuries as a cold remedy. It is believed the hot liquid helps open up the airways, easing congestion and encouraging the body to sweat - a natural way to fight off germs.


Zinc + Vitamin C

While there’s mixed reports on the effectiveness of zinc to treat a cold, some studies have discovered promising results when looking at zinc and vitamin C taken together. They work to boost the immune system and aid in wound healing, supporting your body through the virus and potentially easing symptoms, reducing the severity and cutting down the length of time your cold stays around.


Lemon, Honey, Turmeric and Ginger Tea

Staying hydrated throughout the course of a cold is key, and this easy tea recipe is a traditional favourite. Mix steaming hot water with lemon, honey, ginger and turmeric for a serious immune boost that eases everything from congestion to sore throats. Ginger is a known antiviral, while raw honey helps with coughs. Curcumin found in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting powerhouse.


Spicy Cider Drink

Looking for another way to stay hydrated? Mix cold water with the probiotic-rich apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, minced garlic, lemon juice and grated ginger. Be warned, it’s spicy, but the cocktail of immune-boosting, cold-kicking ingredients are sure to help put your virus in its place.



Words by Yasmin Trollope Image under license from