The cold-fighting formula we’ve been swearing by recently isn’t a fistful of supplements or a purse-full of Airborne, Ricola, and Emergen-C. In fact, it’s a homemade turmeric tonic and, yep, you can actually *feel* it working. The best part? We bet you have most of the ingredients already on hand to quickly whip up this cold conqueror in your kitchen the next time a sore throat strikes. If you want to make it even more potent, simply add a couple of dropperfuls of an immune-boosting tincture like echinacea or reishi to stave off sickness and stress. Get the recipe below.

turmeric tonic drink
turmeric tonic drink


This sunny, spicy tonic is filled to the brim with wellness-boosting and immune-supportive phytochemicals such as ginger and turmeric, both power players in the anti-inflammatory world. “Ginger has been used in food and medicine for millennia and may play a role in the early stages of colds and coughs,” says Rachel Fine, RD and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition, a nutrition counseling firm in NYC. One study showed that fresh ginger inhibited plaque formation and viral activity against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory tract infection.

Better known for fighting inflammation, turmeric, and its active constituent, curcumin, actually have serious antimicrobial properties. To aid in curcumin’s bioavailability, or the rate at which the body can metabolize and absorb a nutrient, turmeric is best combined with black pepper (which increases its absorption by 2000 percent), and fat (in this case, coconut oil, but it’s often seen paired up with coconut milk).

To round out the rest of the recipe: a pinch of cayenne, which boosts blood circulation and helps ease a runny nose; Manuka honey, a probiotic food sourced from the tea tree and is packed with antibacterial properties; and lemon, high in vitamin C, “which is believed to help reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold if ingested routinely during the cold season,” says Fine. Think of this tonic as super leveled-up lemon water.



  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 teaspo0n Manuka honey, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 12 ounces hot water, just boiled


1. In your favorite mug, combine turmeric powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and Manuka honey, stirring to make a paste.

2. Add in the coconut oil, ginger, and lemon juice; stir to combine.

3. Pour hot water over the spice/lemon juice mixture and stir. Alternatively, use an Aerolatte to make it frothy.

Recipe notes: Drink one to three cups daily at the onset of a cold. Combined with extra rest, added hydration, and a conscious slow-down (it takes work to heal!), we’re betting you’ll start to feel better ASAP.

RELATED: 4 Science-Backed Holistic Cold Remedies That Actually Work

(Recipe via Jessica Waller/Brit + Co, photo via Getty)

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