Old Wives Tales for Colds And Flu: Myth or Truth?

It’s that time of year, cold and flu season. When the temperatures fluctuate, and the cold keeps us indoors, it is the time of year when runny noses and coughs run wild. It’s a time of year mothers dread. We all remember our mother’s home remedies. The Old Wives Tales our moms held to when we were sick. It turns out some of them are right!
Old Wives Tales That Really Work

Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used honey to heal a variety of illnesses and injuries with honey. Honey increases calcium absorption; can increase hemoglobin count and treat or prevent anemia caused by nutritional factors; can help arthritic joints, and fights colds and respiratory infections of all kinds.
f you can get your hands on some raw or Manuka honey you will have the best results. Even the plain old ordinary pasteurized honey is great for suppressing coughs and soothing a sore throat.

Good old vitamin C. Lemon is packed full of it! Plus vitamins A and B, antioxidants and more. Antioxidants are believed to prevent a cold from spreading in your body, which gives your body a better chance to kill the bug. Lemons can soothe aching throats and helps with mucus in the body.


Garlic has many healing properties. It is a natural antibiotic, thins the blood and lowers inflammation.

Orange Juice

Not only is orange juice full of vitamin c and antioxidants.  Plus, staying hydrated during an illness allows your body to flush out all the bad stuff. So drink that juice down!


Not only will this keep you hydrated, but drinking warm fluids helps loosen mucus. Add some honey and lemon and you have a super cold fighting drink.

Salt Water

I’m sure you remember being told to gargle with salt water for a sore throat. Well it turns out there is some merit in this old wives tale. Salt is antiseptic. Gargling with salt water helps restore the natural PH balance by neutralizing the acid. It also washes away unwanted mucus and increase the blood flow to the throat. The capillaries then become dilated, which allows for faster circulation of infection-fighting cells.

Hot Foods

Spicy foods can help clear out the sinus cavities giving some relief to a stuffed up nose. Spicy foods are also believed to release pain killing endorphins in the body. While eating spicy foods won’t cure you, they can offer some relief to your symptoms.

Chicken Soup

The oldest of old wives tales. Yes, chicken soup is good for that nasty cold for so many reasons! First, the hot broth adds hydration, loosens mucus, and it is believed that chicken broth is a natural decongestant. Second, it is filled with nutrient rich vegetables. Your body needs nutrition to fight any illness, and chicken soup is easy to swallow when your throat is on fire. This makes it a perfect food to offer someone when they are sick. The biggest benefit is the comfort factor. Chicken soup is comfort food and enjoyable to eat.  An added bonus is it is easy to add other things from the old wives tale hand book. Add lemon, garlic, and ginger to create a super cold fighter.

While nothing will cure the common cold, there are things you can do to help speed up your recovery, and keep more comfortable!

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