Ginger/Lemon/Honey: These separate or together can pack a powerful punch and sooth the throat. Try them in a cold pressed juice or hot tea. Add local honey to naturally sweeten and help fight off allergies. “Honey works especially well on coughs,” says Elena Klimenko, M.D., an integrative medicine practitioner in New York City. “And it helps eliminate the secondary bacterial infections that can come with colds and flu.”
Chicken Soup: In general hot liquids help clear up mucus but the chicken soup itself contains an amino acid that acts like the drug acetylcysteine, which is used to treat bronchitis and other lung ailments. Both the chicken and vegetables inhibit inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which causes coughs and congestion, according to a 2000 study at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
Vitamin C: A popular go-to for cold fixes, Vitamin C is a well studies and supported cold remedy. Steve Gardner, litigation director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "It's an extraordinarily expensive vitamin-C delivery system. If there's any benefit, it may be from the vitamin C, which for some people might reduce the severity or duration of a cold, but won’t prevent one."
Echinacea: At first signs of a cold Echinacea can help combat your bug! Try it as a tincture and drop it into warm water. "It tends to be a little more potent than pills," says Dr. Leopold, who is the director of integrative medical education at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and a faculty member with the Scripps Natural Supplement Conference, in La Jolla, Calif.
Neti Pot: Helps keep your nasal irrigation clean. Don’t use it too often as it may flush out good mucus. Due to rare brain infections, the FDA warns that it's best to use distilled or sterile water, or boil water for 3 to 5 minutes and then cool to a warm temperature before using.
Zinc: Helps shorten the length of a cold and is commonly recommended by doctors. “Zinc is believed to work by inhibiting viral cell reproduction in the mucus membranes of the upper respiratory system,” says Fred Pescatore, M.D., an integrative physician and president of the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists. “It works for both cold and flu.”
Meditation: Meditation has been known to restore balance and give perspective to life. Meditation proponents often cite zero negative side effects and can add to mindfulness. Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD “There is some evidence that enhancing general physical and mental health may reduce acute respiratory infection burden.”
Pair the above with lots of water and rest and you’ll be on the road to recovery the