Grandma’s Cold Remedies: Do They Work?

Grandma’s Cold Remedies: Do They Work?

Since ancient times, humans have been finding ways of dealing with both injury and illness by drawing upon the surrounding resources. For those of us who grew up in the country or spent time with our grandparents and ended up with minor scratches, scrapes from time to time, or we’re feeling a bit under the weather, there always seemed to be ways that could at least make us feel better.  

The mystery of why humans have yet to conquer the common cold is that there are over 200 viruses and rhinoviruses that can trigger what we consider a “cold.”

While almost all of us grew up with, or at least heard about, tried-and-true methods of dealing with the various symptoms of colds, we wonder what helped us recover from it. Here are a few of the most common remedies handed down to many of us over the centuries.

Stay Home

The best place to recover from a cold is to be where you’re likely to be most comfortable. When you are achy, running a fever, or having chills, you’re going to feel a whole lot better by simply recovering at home rather than pushing yourself to go to work and potentially infecting others or making yourself sicker. Wrap up in a blanket to keep warm and indulge in a bit of well-deserved self-care.

Chicken Soup

Whether chicken soup actually helps overcome or shorten a cold or flu has been hotly debated for centuries. Here’s one reason they help. Soups and broths contain not only water but also salt. Hot liquids cause increased blood flow and seem to help congestion move, and you end up feeling better. 

Most chicken soup recipes contain vegetables that can provide vitamins and nutrients that can help nourish the body. Herbs and spices used to season the soup can lend themselves in to help further warm up the body and activate the healing process.

One herb commonly found in many chicken soup recipes is garlic (Allium sativum). Garlic contains hundreds of chemical constituents; however, allicin’s constituent includes slightly sulfurous compounds and is both antiviral and antifungal. It is also reputed to have slightly antibiotic properties. If what ails you is bacterial rather than viral, you will likely feel better after consuming foods containing garlic. 

Garlic, as good as it sounds, isn’t perfect. Some of the side effects include bad breath or body order. Garlic can also cause digestive issues if too much is consumed.  

Honey and Lemon

Honey has been known to help with various ailments since ancient times. Honey can coat the throat and help ease a cough when you have a cold. It also has naturally occurring antibacterial properties that fight against some of the bacteria that caused the cold. 

Lemon (Citrus limon) contains citric acid and lots of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which acts to stimulate the salivary glands, further easing the soreness that we feel with a cold.

Vitamin C

There have been many reports over the decades that Vitamin C may help boost our body’s immune system, slow or diminish viral bacteria, and reduce the inflammation in the throat and nose. 

While most of us can get a healthy dose of Vitamin C from the foods we eat, such as oranges, lemons, limes, kiwi, grapefruit, peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries, sometimes taking a daily supplement can help. Here at Sir Jason Winters, we carry several dietary supplements containing Vitamin C, depending on your personal needs.  


Our bodies require this mineral to stay healthy. Although it can be found in eggs, meat, and seafood, sometimes our diets can fall short. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc is 15 mg for men and 12 mg for women. 

A daily vitamin can help keep zinc at recommended levels, but sometimes when suffering from a cold, taking a little more can be helpful if taken when the first signs of the onset of a cold manifest. Several of Sir Jason Winters’ vitamin and mineral supplements contain zinc and can help boost your overall immunity.

Zinc has been shown to possibly prevent cold viruses from replicating, but often grandmother’s remedy of sucking on a zinc lozenge can leave a bad taste in your mouth. Don’t take too much, either!


Many grandmothers have sworn by putting a spoonful of homemade elderberry syrup in hand as a way to help lessen the length and severity of a cold. Sir Jason Winters makes getting the goodness of elderberry much easier with our Elderberry Gummy Vites, which also contain Vitamin C and zinc.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a delicious purplish-black berry that has long been valued in addressing symptoms typical of colds, flu, and other sinus conditions. Researchers have found that elderberry extract appears to be effective in fighting off viruses. Recent studies suggest that the anthocyanins that occur naturally in elderberries may boost immunity and prevent viruses from adhering to the cells in our bodies. 

A Hot Cup of Tea

As we have said here on our blog, after water, tea is the most consumed beverage globally. Black, green, and white tea are all made from the oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Tea is high in flavonoids which act as antioxidants. These reduce inflammation within the body and may ease the swelling and pain of a sore throat. 

Once you are over your cold, those same antioxidants may possibly even provide immune support against future colds. To boost your immunity, why not indulge in a cup of herbal, black, or green tea every day? 

During the month of February, when you place any 3 boxes of tea bags in your cart, the cost of 1 box will be automatically deducted from your order at checkout! You don’t need a coupon to take advantage of this offer. However, we have to limit it to just one free box per customer per order because of the incredible savings. Please see complete details here: 

 Disclaimer: Please note that all information provided on this blog is not intended to recommend, diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition or to replace the advice of a qualified doctor or other healthcare professional. Before consuming tea or any other natural health supplement, please consult your doctor.


“The Family Herbal” A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality” by Rosemary Gladstar, 2001, Storey Publishing, LLC, Adams, MA

“People’s Desk Reference: Traditional Herbal Formulas Volume 1 & 2” by F. Joseph Montagna, 1979, (Collector’s Edition) Quest for Truth Publications, Lake Oswego, WI

“Secrets of the Sacred White Buffalo: Native American Healing Remedies” by Gary Null, Ph.D., 1998, Prentice-Hall, Paramus, NJ

“How to Be Your Own Herbal Pharmacist” by Linda Rector-Page, N.D. Ph.D. 1991, self-published, Sierra, CA


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