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My Favorite Cold and Sore Throat Remedy


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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 mix up my favorite cold and sore throat remedy, of course.

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 I had my bases 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.

Cold and Sore Throat Remedy

2 Tablespoons each:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • honey
  • lemon juice

Cinnamon
8 oz. hot water

Mix first three ingredients together, add a couple of dashes of cinnamon and hot water. Stir well and enjoy.

Recommendations

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 bedtime. That surprised me because I thought the warm liquid would make me sleepy. I think it may be the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I’ve seen it 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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16 Comments

  1. I make what we call ‘hot honey and lemon’ – which is basically your recipe minus the vinegar and cinnamon. I just squeeze half a lemon and use about a Tablespoon of honey in a mug and add hot water, stir and enjoy. My son (nearly 7yo) loves it when he feels a scratchy throat. The honey and lemon is very soothing. Not sure if it really keeps a cold away, but it is a comforting thing to have when one is feeling icky. My husband is into cider vinegar and has used it for his throat from time to time (he took voice lessons from someone who recommended it to him), but I can’t handle the smell of it as I’m drinking it. My other favorite ‘fighting off a cold’ remedy is Trader Joe’s Effervescent Orange Vitamin C Drink Mix. They are little packets of dry mix that you add to juice or water – full of great vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system. I grab one when I feel a bit of a sniffle coming on and I can usually ward off a full on cold if I keep taking it for a few days.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts through your blog. I am not at the stage you are with your kids (being teens and all) but I can glean from what you are experiencing and take mental notes for when I get there with our son.

    Have a blessed Autumn and flu-less season!

  2. I made this today for my girls and myself. I didn’t have lemon. I made it with 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbs of honey, cinnamon and hot/warm water. I made 8oz and split it between the three of us. We all liked it. I figured I would start small. My girls are 7 and 9 so this was a huge step.

    1. I’m glad you all liked it. My husband and I actually enjoy the taste of it, though that first sip can be a bit tart.

  3. Thank you Kris for this recipe, I was at work today when my throat started hurting and it’s only gotten worse. I use to always take OC medicine but it always takes forever for my throat to feel better. So I’m hoping this works, I’m drinking it as I write this and it’s already helping soothe my throat. I use to not like apple cider but recently I fell in love with it so I do love the taste. Thanks again!

    1. I’m glad to find someone else who actually thinks it tastes good. I really like it and it helps so much. I hope it helps you!

  4. I’ve been fighting a sore throat for the past two days and the Nyquil isn’t helping. Saw your recipe, didn’t know how i was gong to feel about the apple cider vinegar, drinking now, my throat thanks you!! I hope to knock out this malaise as well. Thank you for my new go to remedy!

    1. I’m so glad it helped! I swear by that stuff. My kids hate it and refuse to drink it, but I actually like the taste – once I get past the first super-tangy sip. 🙂

  5. An old friend from Jamaica taught me basically the same thing many years ago. Only she insisted on fresh squeezed lime juice, mixed with an equal amount of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”), and raw honey.

    There was no mixing it with hot water or anything else. The honey dissolves in the acidic mixture so it remains liquid as is.

    I used it for years as a singer’s remedy for sore throat or cold related throat issues. And I am making some today in fact.

    I found this article when looking to see if turmeric and cinnamon might have some benefit, since they are now a fad amongst the anti-inflammatory advisors. I think I will try that with some hot water later today, but stick with the undiluted tonic when out of the house today.

  6. I just found your recipe on Pinterest. I knew there was one, but I wasn’t sure of the ratios. This one is simple and easy to remember. I’ve got the itchy throat and aches going on, so I’m hoping to kick it quick! I’m sipping the drink as I type. Thanks!

  7. This actually didn’t taste bad at all! I didn’t have ACV, so used white vinegar instead. Throat feels somewhat better. Need to get some ACV though. Thanks for the recipe!

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