10 Cold Remedies From Around the World

| © Elli O. / Unsplash

US Editorial Team Lead

It’s officially cold and flu season. While over-the-counter meds can help calm some of your most aggressive symptoms, these home remedies from around the world may help soothe you as you recuperate.

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Lizard soup is the Chinese take on chicken soup. Protein and warm broth both nourish and soothe, especially if you’re suffering from a sore throat.


The combination of overproof rum and lime juice is believed to open the pores and help cold sufferers “sweat the cold out.” Lime juice also happens to be an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps build immunity.


Garlic tea—a combination of garlic, lemon tea, and honey—is a go-to cold remedy in Spain as well as many Latin American countries. Garlic is an antioxidant and works as a natural decongestant. Honey helps fight infection (and sweetens the taste of the concoction). Lemon juice helps breaks up mucus.

United Kingdom

Bovril is beef extract. When warmed and diluted with a bit of water, Bovril, or “beef soup,” is soothing and easy to digest when you may have lost appetite or have a weak stomach due to your cold or flu.

Dominican Republic

Sancocho is a traditional Caribbean stew, which includes several different kinds of meats and lots of nutrient-rich vegetables. It’s the perfect remedy to build strength, open sinuses, and soothe a sore and itchy throat.


Garlic appears more than once on this list because of its natural healing properties. In Morocco, garlic omelettes combine the antioxidant and immunity boosting effects of garlic with the nourishing effects of protein-rich eggs.


If you’ve ever cut up an onion, you know that the mere smell of it can bring you to tears. With that in mind, the Japanese remedy of smelling onions only makes sense. Onion scent helps clear sinuses when you’re congested.


Palm oil with either sugar or honey is a traditional Nigerian cold remedy. Palm oil comes from oil palm fruit, primarily found in Africa. The combination of the oil and sweet sugar or honey is believed to help relieve coughs.


Turmeric is used in many Indian dishes. The spice’s health benefits include improving mood, clearing skin, and fighting cold and flu. Its antiviral properties have been credited with curing the common cold in no time.


Gogol mogol is similar to eggnog. It consists of egg yolk and honey or sugar, whisked and served warm over milk. The warmth of the mixture is believed to help soothe a sore throat.

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