My Russian remedies for cold

Many years ago in Russia, I got sick. My American friend recommended to rest and make my family to cook some chicken soup for me. It sounded really funny at that time. I didn’t see any connection between flu and chicken soup. After relocating to the US, I’ve learned that this is a very popular way to treat your cold. …cold or flu? To be honest I’ve never knew the difference between them. I had to look up online. 


… the main difference is that the flu is caused by different types of viruses than the common cold.  Flu symptoms are usually much worse than cold symptoms, and they appear suddenly. The most common flu symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, head and body aches. Colds are usually associated with a sore throat and runny nose. And cold symptoms usually appear gradually…

About a week ago I caught a cold. Now I know it was  a cold (not flu). My husband was away on a business trip. So I wasn’t expecting any chicken soup. And  I had to remember some Russian home remedies for colds.

My Russian remedies:
  • Rest, sleep a lot. 

This is a hard one. It’s very difficult to rest when you have to go to work. And I cannot sleep  much because I don’t like to sleep.

  • Drink a lot of tea with honey and/or lemon, and/or raspberry

If my husband sees me drinking tea with honey he knows I’m getting sick. In general I don’t like honey. I prefer  real homemade raspberry jam. One day I’ll make it. Russians believe that raspberries along with cranberries and lingonberries are very good for you  during colds. 

  • Soak your feet in hot water with dry mustard (about 10-15 min), wipe them with a towel, put on wool socks and go to bed. 

Make sure you don’t have a fever when you do this.

  • Gargle with Salt water

Also you can alternate salt water with a decoction of pharmacy chamomile

  • For sore throat eat a lot of ice cream in large chunks.

 If there are any germs they will be killed by cold ice cream. It’s all kids’ favorite remedy. Unfortunately I’m not an ice cream fan any more.  

  • If you cough at night, mix hot black tea (half of a glass)  with red wine (half of a glass), drink and go to bed. The cough will subside.

To be honest, I don’t remember the last time I used that one. But I firmly believe that it works.

  • Don’t eat a lot. 
  • Using garlic as a disinfectant.

 I  place the dishes with the chopped garlic in different rooms. Garlic kills germs. Also I like to eat garlic, which drives my husband crazy((((

People say if you treat a cold it  lasts 1 week. If you don’t , it lasts 7 days. The home remedies I mentioned above may not really treat but at least they can help reduce symptoms. 

The best way to avoid experimenting with home remedies is to prevent a cold. Dress appropriately for the weather, eat more citrus fruits, and maintain your immune system.  In Russia, I took Echinacea from September to April, and it really worked.

Google said cold symptoms tend to arrive  gradually. 

As a bonus, I share a first-day-getting-cold remedy:

When you get home after a day of being cold, during dinner drink a shot of vodka mixed with ground black pepper. You don’t need much just one small glass but it makes your body warm from the inside, and may prevent the cold. 

Be healthy and feel free to share your home cold remedies. 

Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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