With it being the middle of cold season and various strains of the frat flu going around, everyone's at wits' end trying to get better fast. And if the NyQuil and cough drops aren't fully working, home remedies might be your next best bet. Every website has its recommendations for dos and don'ts, but how do you know which ones actually work? You need to base them on science. So, here's a list of the eight best scientifically proven ingredients—that you already have in your kitchen—to help your sore throat, runny nose, and congested head.


Photo by Arwin Neil Baichoo on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Honey is a great all-rounder. With all sorts of antioxidants, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, honey is excellent at fighting the common cold and its symptoms. It's also great to coat a sore, scratchy throat when you can't stop coughing. Hot water mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a spoonful of honey is a great recovery-boosting drink.

Vitamin C

Photo by Bruna Branco on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Why is lemon juice added to the previously mentioned drink? It's a great source of Vitamin C! While there isn't compelling research that Vitamin C cures the common cold, it has been seen to improve cold symptoms and help break down mucus. Besides lemons, you can get this vitamin from kiwis, oranges, broccoli, or potatoes.


Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Turmeric contains curcumin, known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects against cold and flu symptoms. Curcumin reduces inflammation, which is linked to excessive coughing and sneezing. It also increases antioxidant capacity to boost your immunity and detoxifies the body.


Photo by NoonBrew on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Ginger contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols that contribute to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. These properties allow ginger to prevent colds, soothe a sore throat, and reduce congestion.


Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Garlic has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that come from allicin, a compound that fights off infections. As an added bonus, garlic boosts immune health, reduces the risk of heart disease, and improves cognitive health. Add fresh garlic to your diet for lasting effects.


Photo by HowToGym on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Salt is an antibacterial that helps kill bacteria in the throat, soothe a sore throat, and break down mucus. Make a saltwater solution with a half-teaspoon of salt and a full glass of warm water. Gargle with it to help reduce swelling and keep the throat clear. A baking soda-saltwater mixture also kills bacteria and prevents fungi growth.


Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Peppermint is another anti-inflammatory ingredient that contains the compound menthol, which gives it its minty fresh flavor. Beyond that, methanol also helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint tea, whether from pre-made pouches or peppermint leaves and boiled water, is a soothing, warm drink for sickness.


Photo by Massimo Rinaldi on Unsplash

Unsplash on unsplash

Chamomile tea is famous for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties in medicinal uses. Studies have shown that inhaling chamomile steam or drinking chamomile tea can help relieve cold symptoms and a sore throat. It can also stimulate the immune system to help your body fight off infections.

Feeling sick is never fun, but these eight ingredients will help fast-track recovery and boost your immunity. Try mixing various ingredients in comforting soups or hot teas to maximize your benefits. For example, honey-ginger-lemon tea or a soup containing lots of garlic, turmeric, and salt is bound to soothe multiple symptoms in one go! Stay warm, keep hydrated, and experiment with these scientifically-backed ingredients to cure your cold or flu.