My Favorite Cold and Sore Throat Remedy

Fall is my favorite time of year, but I don’t like what it ushers in – cold and flu season. I haven’t had a full-fledged cold since 2009, which I firmly believe is the direct result of my overall healthier lifestyle. I’ve shared 10 tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season, but what do I do when I do start feeling puny? Why, I just mix up my favorite cold and sore throat remedy, of course.

Apple cider vingar, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon combine to make powerful DIY cold and sore throat mix.

A year or so ago, when I had a sore throat – typically the first sign of an impending cold for me – I hit the Internet trying to discover how to head it off. Several ingredients consistently showed up in my search results so, wanting to make sure my bases were covered, I decided to play it safe and mix them all into one super cold-and-sore-throat-combating combination.

It’s strong, but I actually like the taste.


I strongly recommend raw, unfiltered  apple cider vinegar. The ultimate mixture for me also includes fresh lemon juice, local honey, and a real cinnamon stick. However, I don’t always have those last three ingredients on hand, so I’ll take what I can get.

The one time that I came closest to a full-fledged cold – it might have even been the beginnings of strep based on how bad my throat hurt – I drank this mixture several times a day for a couple of days. Most of the time, though, if I catch it early enough, one or two cups is enough.

Not only does it make my sore throat feel better, I’ve found that it works well for the general achy-ness and rundown feeling that often accompanies the start of a cold.

Now, clearly, the FDA has not verified these statements and it’s probably important to them that I’m clear on that, but this crazy concoction sure helps me. Chicken noodle soup makes me feel better, too, even though it’s not FDA-approved for colds. My sore-throat drink may just work because I expect it to – a placebo effect. That’s fine by me. As long as I feel better, I don’t care if it’s all in my head or not.

The kids hate it and won’t drink it. It does have a strong flavor, but I’m a big fan of vinegar, so it doesn’t bother me. I’ve tried dropping the vinegar, honey, and lemon juice down to 1 tablespoon each, but they still won’t drink it.

Brian tried it for the first time a while back and now he swears by it, too.

I have noticed one unexpected side effect – the mix seems to keep me awake if I drink it too close to bed time. That surprised me because I thought the warm liquid would make me sleepy. I think it may be the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which I have since seen touted as a “pick me up” drink. So, I don’t advise drinking it too close to bedtime.

Do you drink anything like this? Do you find it helps? What’s your favorite home remedy?

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