Nonna Knows Best: Natural Remedies to Fight Winter Colds

You wake up and it hits you; your throat is a little scratchy and you’re feeling a little congested.  And, you instantly think to yourself…, no, no, not another dreaded winter cold!

It happened to me on the first day of my Christmas holidays, and it sucked!  So, what do you do?  You could head to the local farmacia (pharmacy) and stock up on every syrup, cough drop and nasal spray they have to offer or here’s another idea; why not ask nonna? After all she’s been there done that and without the luxury of modern day pharmaceuticals.

I’m not a fan of over-the-counter cold medicines.  Don’t get me wrong, if I’m desperate, I’ll do it. No one wants to be out of commission for weeks at a time trying to get over a nasty bug.  But, along with modern day medicine, I like to incorporate some good old-fashioned home remedies.

Here are just a few of Nonna’s Tried and Tested Remedies:

natural remedy italian nonna winter cold chicken soup

Feed your fever with some chicken broth.
There is nothing better than a warm cup-o-soup when you are feeling under the weather.  Yes, a fever means your body temperature is up, but don’t let that stop you from having something warm.  Chicken broth, especially homemade, is great because it’s full of minerals, vitamins and proteins that your body needs to stay strong. And, since it’s a liquid, it will keep you hydrated!

milk honey natural remedy italian winter cold

Soothe a sore throat with warm milk and honey.
My family, friends and pretty much everyone I meet swear by this remedy.  This is best prepared at night before going to bed.  Honey naturally fights bacteria and the warm milk will help you sleep better.  The consistency of the warm milk and honey together will create a natural coating that will help you feel less like you are swallowing knives!

garlic natural remedy italian winter cold

The Odd Couple:  Garlic and Lemon.
This may not seem all that appetizing but many Italians have told me it’s an effective way to ward off a cold. I’ve personally never been brave enough to try it myself but we all know what garlic breath does to people, so I can imagine it does the same with colds! Heehee…but in all seriousness, desperate times call for desperate measures.  Let the juice of one lemon and a clove of garlic infuse in a cup of hot water for a few minutes and drink this concoction warm.  You can add a little honey to help with the taste.

Have you ever used one of these home remedies?  Do you have one you’d like to share?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Image Credits:  Richard North, Alpha, stu_spivack


One thought on “Nonna Knows Best: Natural Remedies to Fight Winter Colds

  1. Absolutely must gargle with hot salt water, several times a day!! Use a saline spray for your nose. Salt kills bacteria!! My mother would also make a concoction of honey, lemon juice and glycerin (don’t know where you can buy that nowadays) big spoonfuls to quiet a cough. My husband’s mother would give the kids sips of “Anisette” a liquor similar to Sambuca. 🙂

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