Some of the most reliable treatment for your cold, cough or the flu are not written out on a prescription pad.

These super “drugs” are not sitting on the counter of your local drug store.

These effective treatments are sitting humbly on your pantry shelves or within arm’s length at your local grocery store.


I have one right now and I can attest to how tired and ineffective they make you. You want your cold gone yesterday. If you congestion has not exceeded a week, please don’t hunt your doctor’s office down for an antibiotic prescription.

There are a myriad of things you can try out first, no urgent care visit or prescription necessary . In your pantry right now is a scientifically proven remedy for the common cold known as chicken noodle soup. Go ahead and get you some.

You will also hear about high dose vitamin C, eucalyptus or zinc being used to treat colds. The jury is out on how effective they are. Chicken noodle soup however has been proven to help colds.


Don’t bother with cough medicines for kids younger than four. They don’t work and can actually cause harm. What works for this age group (and for you) is lemon tea with honey. The honey soothes the rawness in the throat gotten from the frequent coughing.

Honey will also suppress the cough.

Note: Do not give kids younger than two years of age honey as it can lead to botulism; a paralysis caused by ingesting the botulinum toxin. The toxin is found naturally in dust and usually contaminates honey.

We adults have the ability to nullify the effects of the botulinum toxin when ingested and we have found good uses for the botulinum toxin to treat wrinkles (yep, botox). Babies and toddlers  however can not break down this toxin when ingested.

See, grandma was right after all.

About the author

Avatar photo

Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.


  • Thanks Doc. May I add my grandfather’s remedy for congestion – Vicks Vapor Rup on chest and neck before bed then tie (loosely) a handkerchief (we use bandanas cause who has handkerchiefs anymore) around your neck – helps you sleep!

  • This is interesting and informative “Bola mi”. Got some extra stuff on honey. How is it used for wrinkles?

  • Yes! I am amazed at how many OTC syrups there are on the shelf today that are not much more than honey and a bit of added vitamin C! My biggest hurdle is getting my girls (5&6) to drink hot water or tea with honey. I may have to find a flavored herbal tea that’s safe for their age range where I could sneak the honey in. I personally love the taste of honey and lemon! Great post.

    • Angelica,

      I would recommend the plain and simple lemon tea for kids. The herbal tea formulations might have other addictives that don’t play well with kids.

  • Best two cold remedies we use all winter long. Love ’em. There is nothing like a spoon full of raw honey to soothe a throat and rid a cough. And we drink broth in this house. YES!

  • My kids ask for lemon honey now if they have a cough.
    I also love to add garlic or hot pepper to chicken soup, especially if I have nasal congestion too.

Leave a Comment