I don't mean to brag, but I'm basically an expert on being miserably ill. One semester, I had both the flu and strep throat in the span of two months. Losing my voice entirely is a semi-annual event for me. I take my vitamins, exercise, get decent sleep and eat healthy, but my immune system peaces out right when I need it the most. Maybe one day we will make amends, but for now, I've learned the best way to cope when flu season comes around. 

When first introduced to this home remedy, I was extremely skeptical. A good friend of mine handed me the concoction one evening when I was particularly sick, swearing by its effectiveness. It seemed questionable at best, but I was also desperate. (Plus, I had no voice, so I couldn't ask any questions anyways.)

However, after one glass, my skepticism melted away. The pain in my throat subsided, my voice started to come back, and my sinuses started to clear. This is now my go-to drink when I catch whatever new sickness campus has to offer. I've woken up in the middle of the night with horrible throat pain and dragged myself out of bed for this drink. It may not be tasty, but I promise you- it does help. 

Each ingredient serves a specific purpose in combating that unwelcome sickness.

Ginger Tea

green tea, tea
Jocelyn Hsu

A natural antiviral, ginger is a go-to cold fighting ingredient. Not only does it fight against bacteria that causes colds, it also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that boost your immune system. It's a natural pain reliever, fever reducer, and decongestant. 

Lemon Juice

Sarah Silbiger

Just like OJ, lemon juice is loaded with Vitamin C. Adding pure lemon juice into this drink helps boost your bodies natural defenses. Specifically, it has antibacterial properties that can fight throat infections and reduce phlegm.


molasses, tea, whisky, oil, honey, maple syrup, wine, alcohol, liquor, syrup
Stephanie Lee

On the surface, honey plays a major factor in improving the taste of this drink. It balances out the cayenne and vinegar to make slightly more manageable to drink. However, honey is more than just sweet! Its high sugar concentration actually draws water from bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them. It's a natural antibiotic. 

Cayenne Pepper

cereal, condiment, espresso, cinnamon, herb, relish, coffee
Hannah Linn

Now we are getting into the questionable ingredients. I promise you, this drink would not be as effective without a spicy kick of cayenne. A natural immune system booster, cayenne's anti-inflammatory powers sooth a sore throat and the spice thins mucus. All at once, it soothes and detoxes. If you can power through the taste, you'll feel noticeably better. If the spice is too much for you, feel free to reduce the amount of pepper.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Phoebe Melnick

Apple cider vinegar rules the internet as the go-to home remedy. Particularly, it makes an appearance in most detox recipes. It boosts your immune system and clears toxins from the body. A splash of this in your drink will help clear that sickness from your system even faster.

Cold-Busting Tea

  • Prep Time:0
  • Cook Time:5 mins
  • Total Time:5 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 1 cup brewed ginger tea
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
lemon, juice
  • Step 1

    Brew ginger tea. Let it steep for the recommended amount of time and then remove the tea bag.

    ice, lemonade, tea, lemon
    Amanda Olivero
  • Step 2

    Combine the lemon juice, honey, cayenne, and apple cider vinegar in the glass. Give it a good stir and drink up! Get well soon.

    alcohol, juice, wine, cocktail, tea
    Amanda Olivero

There you have it, the cold-busting cocktail to rule all home remedies. Next time you're feeling the new campus plague creeping up, whip up a mug of this concoction. Of course, be sure to get good rest and stay hydrated too!