Cures for the common cold

It seems to me there are two main topics of conversation at the moment. One: the Olympics. Two: winter ailments. Your enjoyment of a) is directly affected by your experience of b) – and your suffrance of b) somewhat improved by a) – but b) is still a drag.

I have tried all manner of cures and potions to get rid of my current cold but it has Olympic endurance. Yesterday, however, while marvelling at the replay of the women’s triathlon, I remembered my old favourite winter brew. Lying on the sofa while drinking it did seem to help a lot.

Winter cold cure
This is a good thing to drink if you’re feeling feverish and fretful. Make a big glassful, wrap up warm and sweat it out in front of the telly.

Juice and zest of a lemon
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
about 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh chilli or chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
2 tsp honey

Mix all ingredients together in a large mug or glass and top up with boiling water. Cover and leave to steep for five minutes, then drink. You can strain it into another glass if you don’t fancy a drink with bits in it.

If you’re over the feverish cold stage but still have a sore throat, this thyme tea is very soothing. And if you just fancy something with honey in it, I reckon these manuka honey brownies will do nicely.

What’s your favourite cold cure? And what’s been your favourite bit of the Olympics so far?



  1. August 5, 2012 / 8:22 pm

    I was introduced to this exact same cure by an Aussie when I first moved to Scotland – go figure. She called it "Witches Brew" (pretty apt I reckon!) and her orders where to drink it with the bits in and then top it back up with more water and drink that lot down too. Then I could throw the bits away. One dose of this brew and my cold quickly disappeared. Hope you feel better soon.

  2. August 6, 2012 / 5:33 am

    I don't have a cold cure, but my husband has been sipping on whisky! He reckons it helps his sore throat! Mmmmm!

    • August 5, 2018 / 2:13 pm

      I’ve found a bit of inebriation definitely helps you “forget” that you’re sick 🙂

  3. August 6, 2012 / 10:52 am

    Urgh, Lucy, I feel ya! I went with a spicy chicken broth soup in an attempt to cure mine, and sadly the Olympics hadn't quite started to it was trashy rom-coms on the couch for me. I made a similar concoction but without chilli or garlic…must try next time although what a drag. Feel better soon!

  4. August 6, 2012 / 1:10 pm

    This is a drink I often make when feeling under the weather. Also good is a cup of hot chicken stock flavoured with red chilli, ginger and garlic. Tastes really good and burns all germs away too!
    Also in answer to your question about the condensed milk Earl Grey tea ice cream…….Yes, it could be frozen following a no churn method. I only used the ice cream maker because I have one and it is still very new! xx

  5. August 6, 2012 / 7:42 pm

    oh good questions Lucy. My favourite cold cure is similar to yours with the addition of a crushed garlic clove and a star anise. I know that it sounds like a really peculiar combination. but works really well. Oh and sometimes a glug of rum or whisky too.

    I hope you're feeling much better now…

    The olympics…I'm really too busy to watch it at the moment but can't help doing so…it's all been so exciting…the cycling and rowing and volley ball and tennis….All amazing…

  6. August 7, 2012 / 10:54 am

    I've just got over a nasty throat infection. The thing that helped the most going into nights was a Lemsip, with a dollop each of honey and whisky. Very soothing, warming, and helped me get off to sleep.

  7. Paul
    August 7, 2012 / 2:03 pm

    I think I tend to go for the whiskey a bit too easily haha though it is very good at knocking me out so I get a really good sleep, so that might it's "medicinal power". I suppose that is the whole "do what makes you feel good" mantra. Off course, for something cheap like Jim Bean so you don't go broke trying to get rid of a sore throat.

    Does anyone use things like herbs? A friend swears by something called andrographis paniculata which is sold under the name King of Bitters or Swedish Bitters. There's a link to it if you're interested

  8. August 7, 2012 / 2:04 pm

    Hi Lucy, its been ages since I heard from you! I think I stopped commenting to you a while ago, when you didn't comment back after a few of my comments (so silly of me)…we just get so caught up with our every-day life and other things!

    Love your cold remedy, I thought that Jewish chicken soup would be a 'cure all' for the common cold, but this remedy is far better. Ginger is such a good addition in so many dishes, and drinks, and for the cold…along with honey, garlic and chilli peppers…GENIUS!

    Will add you blog to my blog list so I can stay in touch that way!

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