Drug-Free Relief for the Common Cold

Your throat is burning, you can’t stop sneezing and your nose has been running for days. You’re suffering from the common cold and despite it being a supposedly minor illness, you feel absolutely rotten. You want to do everything you can to shake off the symptoms, so here are some suggestions to help minimize the effects of the cold virus on your poor, suffering body.

Honeywoman sneezing

As long as the sufferer is over 12 months old, honey can be soothing to the throat and could have an antibacterial effect. Either swallow a spoonful of honey straight from the container or dissolve a spoonful in a cup of boiling water. Add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and half a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger and drink it as soon as it cools to the right temperature.


Hardcore cold fighters will add a raw, crushed garlic clove to their honey, ginger and lemon juice to increase its anti-microbial properties. If you don’t like the taste of garlic, you can still incorporate garlic into your anti-cold toolbox: cook the garlic first so it’s less pungent and add it to food.

Fruit Lollies

There’s little that can be done to ease a throat that feels like it’s full of razor blades but ice lollies, including ice pops, can bring some much-needed short-term relief. Fruity lollies are best as they contain the smallest quantity of added sugar and can provide some extra vitamins at a time when eating can be difficult.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Sometimes, we catch a seasonal common cold simply because we shared an office space, train or bus with somebody who was infected. In other instances, it can be a sign that there’s something in a person’s immune response that’s malfunctioning; if you suffer from frequent colds, it’s wise to see your family doctor. In the meantime, to boost your body’s natural immunity and help it fight off the cold virus, supplements like zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D are useful.

Herbs, Spices and Plants

For their cold-fighting powers and virus-bashing properties, many people swear by Echinacea, ginseng and ginger. These can usually be taken as tea, capsule, tablet or tincture.


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  1. I have found as well that, in the 'Vitamin and Mineral Supplements' category, a slightly strong solution of salt in water sprayed or poured into the stuffed-up nose a la Neti is almost immediately helpful in shrinking swollen tissue and restoring airflow. Aa-aahh!