Support your immune system with this homemade cold remedy drink. Ginger, honey, lemon and optional whiskey combine for a natural cold remedy tea that will help you feel better quickly and help shorten the duration of a cold or the flu.
Life doesn’t stop when you wake up with a sore throat or a stuffy nose. I still have to get up, take my dog Jasper on a walk and keep on working. When I don’t feel good, I prefer to use natural home remedies as my first line of defense. While I’m a huge believe in fire cider vinegar, sometimes my throat isn’t always up for the task of drinking a garlic, horseradish and pepper infused apple cider vinegar tonic. This homemade cold remedy drink is easy on my throat for the days I want something warm and soothing to drink.
At the first sign of a cold, I make this homemade cold remedy drink to give my immune system natural support. It only has three ingredients plus whiskey if you want to add it, so it’s easy to make, even if you don’t feel good. For really bad colds – or even the flu – I alternate taking this natural cold remedy tea with fire cider vinegar – assuming I don’t have a sore throat. Alternately, you can also add a tablespoon of fire cider to my homemade cold remedy drink. As always, however, it is important to seek medical advice or assistance if your cold gets worse or doesn’t improve within seven days.
Homemade Cold Remedy Drink
This homemade cold and flu tea isn’t just for cold symptoms like a sore throat or runny nose; it’s also great for an upset stomach. When you were a kid, your mom probably gave you ginger ale to sip on if you weren’t feeling well.
While drinking soda probably isn’t the best thing to drink when you’re sick due to the sugars, there is some truth in that old home remedy. Ginger, in the right quantities, can help relieve an upset stomach by increasing bile production and kill some microbes so you feel better quicker. This makes it suitable for not just colds, but also the flu. (You can also learn how to make your own custom herbal tea blends for common ailments here.)
Benefits of Natural Cold Remedy Tea Ingredients
The Benefits of Raw Honey
Raw honey is added to this homemade cold remedy drink both for taste and for it’s natural benefits. While some people like drinking lemon water, a ginger and lemon drink is very sour drink and not very palatable for many people.
You could use white sugar to sweeten this drink, but white sugar has a lot of empty calories and little nutritional value. Raw honey, however, is full of enzymes and nutrients that help support a healthy immune system. Therefore it makes a much better alternative over sugar as a sweetener for a natural cold remedy tea.
I only use local raw honey in my homemade cold remedy drink. Most honey on the grocery store shelf can barely pass as honey. It’s been process and pasteurized. By the time it hits the shelf, most of the nutrients and enzymes have been killed by the processing it.
Raw honey isn’t pasteurized or processed. Sometimes it’s filtered to remove debris, but it keeps the nutrients and enzymes to promote better health.
Raw honey is naturally antibacterial and can even kill some types of fungi. When you eat or drink raw honey, it can help kill germs inside your body.
Honey is also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect healthy cells in the body by reducing free radicals. This helps support your immune system over time.
For immediate relief, honey can help reduce mucus and reduce coughing. It also coats the throat, which can soothe a sore throat for almost immediate relief. In fact, I eat raw honey by the spoonful at night if I’m coughing and can’t get to sleep. It really works incredibly well at soothing irritation in my throat.
I always recommend buying local honey. This helps support your local economy, and there is some evidence that eating local raw honey can help reduce allergies by exposing your body to pollen from your area.
Don’t forget that children under one-year-old should not eat any honey either alone or in a drink like this one.
The Benefits of Ginger
I add ginger to my homemade cold and flu tea because it can help relieve a stomach ache and reduce nausea.
Two compounds in ginger, gingerols and shaogals, are anti-inflammatories. They can help reduce inflammation from a sore throat so you feel better quickly.
Ginger is also naturally antimicrobial. It can kill bacteria and some viruses, including the rhinovirus that causes colds.
Over the counter cold medication can relieve your symptoms, but it can’t kill the virus that caused your cold. However, ginger may be able to kill the virus naturally. This can help shorten the duration of your cold. (Source.)
Although ginger is most known for relieving a stomach ache, it can cause an upset stomach if you take too much. If you get an upset stomach, limit this natural cold remedy tea to once a day.
The Benefits of Lemon
Lemon, like all citrus fruits, is high in vitamin C. Boosting vitamin C can help reduce the duration of a cold and help you feel better. Several studies have mixed results about the benefits of vitamin C for colds, but many people swear that taking extra vitamin C helps them feel better.
Lemon juice can also help reduce phlegm so you feel better right away. Drinking this homemade cold remedy drink before bed can help you sleep better by reducing phlegm help stop coughing temporarily.
For long term benefits, lemons are high in antioxidants that can help reduce free radicals in the body.
Like honey and ginger, lemons are also antimicrobial. They can help kill both bacteria and viruses in the body. This can also help shorten the duration of colds.
The Benefits of Warm Water
It’s important to drink this homemade cold remedy drink warm because the warm water also has benefits for your body.
The warmth can help open nasal passages, which helps reduce a stuffy nose and helps you sleep. It also helps lubricate your throat to make your sore throat feel better.
It’s important to stay hydrated when you are sick. Drinking plenty of water will help you feel better.
The Benefits of Whiskey
Adding whiskey to this natural cold remedy tea is optional. Alcohol can help dilate blood vessels in your body. This helps thin mucus, which can help you breathe better. However, you need to make sure you increase your water intake so your body stays hydrated. Otherwise, including alcohol in your homemade cold remedy drink can actually have opposite the intended effect.
Also, if you do add whiskey to your homemade cold remedy drink, be responsible. Don’t add it if you may be driving.
Homemade Cold Remedy Drink Recipe
1 cup boiling water
1 inch fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ounce whiskey (optional)
To make my homemade cold remedy drink, grate the ginger or slice into thin slices and then mince. (For best results, you want the ginger to be in very small pieces.)
Then place the grated or minced ginger inside a teapot or medium sized bowl.
Pour the boiling water over the grated or minced ginger. Let this steep for three minutes.
While the ginger is steeping, place the lemon juice and raw honey in a mug.
Strain the ginger out of the water and pour over the lemon juice and honey. Then stir well until the honey is dissolved.
You can add more honey to taste, if desired.
Next, add whiskey if you’re using it.
How to Use My Homemade Cold Remedy Drink
You can drink this homemade cold and flu tea three or four times a day to relieve your cold symptoms naturally. If your stomach gets upset from the ginger, just use ginger tea once a day and drink warm water, honey, and lemon the rest of the day.
Tips for Reusing Your Ginger
You can reuse the grated or minced ginger you used for your first cup of homemade cold and flu tea. I reuse mine two or three more times before I discard it. Just steep the ginger for a few extra minutes for the second and third steep to get more ginger out of it.
More Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
If you like my recipe for making a homemade cold remedy drink, then you may also enjoy some of my other natural cold and flu remedies.
- Fire Cider Vinegar Recipe for Natural Cold Relief
- Breathe Easy Essential Oil Blend (And Homemade Vapor Rub)
- How to Make Custom Herbal Tea Blends for Colds & Flu
- Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe for Immune Support
- DIY Shower Steamers with Menthol Crystals
- Sickness Support Bath Soak Recipe with Essential Oils
For more natural ways to care for your body throughout cold and flu season, be sure to visit my Home Remedies Pinterest board. You can also find and follow me on Blog Lovin‘, facebook, twitter and instagram. Or sign up for my newsletter.
This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience or research and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.