Ayurveda is the traditional Indian system of medicine. Although talk of chakras and levitating gurus lets rational skeptics dismiss it entirely, modern science has vindicated many Ayurvedic therapies, herbs, and concepts. Golden milk is one, and it’s really simple. Add turmeric to milk and it turns gold. In Ayurveda, golden milk is used to fight sore throats, colds, and flus. Does it work?
Well, turmeric is absolutely rife with potent pharmacological effects. It may be able to relieve cough and clear up excess mucus, at least according to animal studies.
Milk might actually be a bigger aid. Research has shown that a combo of two milk components—whey protein and lactoferrin—is able to reduce the incidence of the common cold in people. That was a concentrated supplement, however. Your standard glass of milk doesn’t have nearly as much whey or lactoferrin. Raw milk (unpasteurised directly from the farms) may be a better option, as it contains more lactoferrin than pasteurised milk, and raw whey provides more glutathione-boosting effects than heat-treated whey. To preserve these benefits, you’ll have to drink your golden milk unheated, of course.
People call it “Jewish penicillin,” and they’re not lying: evidence has confirmed that chicken soup eases nasal congestion, improves the function of the nasal cilia protecting us from pathogen incursions, and reduces cold symptoms.
Does it have to be chicken? As most cultures include soup in their list of effective cold remedies, I suspect it’s the goodness of the broth that’s important and any true bone broth-based soup will work.
Some people, when ill, swear that spicy food helps them “sweat it out.” Maybe, but a better bet lies in its effect on our nasal cavities. Capsaicin, the chilli pepper component that produces a burning sensation in mammalian tissue, reduces nasal inflammation. When your nasal blood vessels are inflamed, the walls constrict; the space gets tighter and you have trouble breathing. Studies indicate that capsaicin is effective against most symptoms of nasal congestion.
Vick’s Vapor Rub
Many people don’t realise that Vick’s is essentially just essential oils—of menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, cedar, nutmeg. That means it’s the latest (and quite possibly greatest) in a long line of natural herbal blends used by humans to clear congestion and improve sleep. It may not “cure” a cold, but few of the remedies mentioned today do. What it does is reduce some of the symptoms and help you get out of your own way so that your immune system can do its job. If you’re not sleeping, you’re not recovering from anything.
What else you could do?
Pro-vitamin C researchers argue that attaining the pharmacological benefit for upper respiratory tract infections requires mega-dosing until the patient reaches bowel tolerance, meaning, you'll have to up your dose of daily Vit C until you start getting diarrhoea and then going down slightly and staying at that level. Vit C is water soluble which means it does not get stored in the body. Therefore it's hard to really overdose and we do need to replenish the Vit regularly.
An entire head (yes, a head) of crushed garlic lightly simmered in a mug of bone broth. If I feel a cold coming on, try to prepare this. It's a potent combination of two of the cold-busting ingredients with the most support in the literature (broth and garlic).
For a sore throat, heating up and drinking a blend of lemon juice (lime works too), water, and raw honey in a 4:4:1 ratio always seems to work.