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While we unfortunately don’t know when winter will end, that doesn’t mean you can’t navigate through flu season successfully. Instead of popping tons of cold medication this year, why not head to the kitchen, DIY-style? There are a number of anti-inflammatory ingredients out there that can not only help fight cold and flu symptoms naturally, but also taste way better than cough syrup.

From ginger and pineapple to turmeric and elderberry, check out some homemade cold remedies that you should be stocking up on for the remainder of these winter months.

Indian Turmeric Milk

Long known in Ayurvedic medicine as a superherb, turmeric is full of healing properties. Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its bright color, is incredibly high in antioxidants, and is believed to fight inflammation at its source.

This soothing drink has an almost peppery quality to it, and the ginger and cardamom not only taste great, but are anti-inflammatory. It’s the perfect drink to boost your immunity on a cold winter’s day.


  • 2 cups fresh whole milk (almond can be used if you’re going dairy-free)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns
  • 2-3 whole cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of saffron, optional


  1. Heat the milk with the spices for about two to three minutes.
  2. Add a sweetener to taste, if using. (Recommendations include honey or stevia.)
  3. Let the mixture cool until it hits room temperature.
  4. Strain and serve.

Recipe from Journey Kitchen

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Elderberry Tea

Grown in certain parts of North America and Central Europe, elderberries can be used to help fight the first signs of flu. Studies have shown that it’s incredibly effective, potentially due to the berry’s high levels of Vitamin A and C, as well as antioxidants and flavonoids.

This tea is made by simmering berries and spices, and is incredibly soothing on the throat. Whip it up the next time you feel a cold coming on—the spices are great for boosting immunity, too.


  • 16 ounces filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
  • 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional)


  1. Put the water and elderberries into a small saucepan.
  2. Add turmeric and cinnamon.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes. (This helps bring out the beneficial properties of the elderberries.)
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for about five minutes.
  5. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour into individual mugs.
  6. Stir in raw honey (if using).

Recipe from Wellness Mama

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Cold-Busting Green Smoothie

Although an ice cold smoothie probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking cold remedies, but the ingredients in this smoothie have been specifically chosen to fight the flu—bananas help with energy, the spinach is a great source of fiber and vitamins, and the citrus adds a ton of Vitamin C.

Add a protein powder, and you officially have a complete meal when you’re too nauseous to stomach anything else.


  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 orange with peel
  • 3 baby carrots
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 small apple
  • 1/2 cup ice


  1. Place the juice and spinach in a blender.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, ending with the ice.
  3. Blend until smooth, and drink up.

Recipe from Oh Sweet Basil

Photography by DOMINO

See more inventive drinks:

Non-Alcoholic Cocktails to Get You Through Dry January

Inventive Crockpot Cocktail Recipes to Get You Through the Holidays

The Sweet and Tangy Cranberry Cocktails We’re Making This Weekend

This story was originally published in February 2018, and has since been updated.