"A cold is a normal process to get rid of toxins. If you block that process, you'll end up with something worse because the cold is a way of getting rid of things." —Dr. Tom Cowan, MD

The concoction below will shorten the recovery period of the common cold or flu from a week to a few days. Make sure you aren't allergic to any of the ingredients listed below. Combine the ingredients into a blender with warm water and make a smoothie. Adjust quantities to your taste and condition.

  • Garlic, 2 - 5 cloves ( peeled )
  • Ginger, 2 - 5 slices ( skin on is fine )
  • Honey (as much as you'd like), unpasteurized. Or maple syrup.
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), as much as you're comfortable with.
  • Pineapple ( lots—frozen or fresh). You can also substitute with strawberry, blueberry, or another fruit. The purpose is to mask the taste of garlic and ginger.
  • OPTIONAL: Cayenne pepper, or another mild pepper. Whole or powder. Pepper may not be suitable for some due to indigestion. Effective at eliminating stuffy nose. If tolerance allows, you can also snort minute amounts.
  • OPTIONAL: Tumeric powder.
  • OPTIONAL: Cinnamon.

There isn't an exact science as to how much of each ingredient you should use. The most important ingredients are garlic, ginger, honey, and lemon.

Make a smoothie

Mix everything into a blender with warm or hot water.

1) Drink it when you have the common cold or flu. Drink as many servings as you feel are needed.

2) As a preventative, drink 2 -4 servings before the cold or flu season starts.

Drink on an empty stomach, or while fasting. Fasting is effective since it allows the immune system to build new cells. Fasting is a very effective and underrated modality for illness and disease.

You can substitute pineapple for blueberry, strawberry, or another fruit. The fruit is to mask the taste of garlic and ginger.

Health benefits of individual ingredients

Garlic. Boosts the immune system. Garlic has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Ginger. Anti-inflammatory properties, increases blood circulation, pain relief.

EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil ). A rich source of antioxidants, reduces the risk of heart disease, improves bone and brain health.

Honey. Soothes the throat and suppresses cough, a rich source of antioxidants, improves heart health. The thickness of honey helps coat and soothe an irritated throat.

Lemon. A rich source of vitamin C, improves digestive health.

Mild or hot cayenne pepper.  Helps unclog stuffy nasals, boosts the immune system, increases body temperature. If you can tolerate it, snort minute quantities with the nose.

Cinnamon bark contains an oily chemical called cinnamaldehyde that kills a variety of illness-causing bacteria. It's also a fever reducer and anti-inflammatory, says herbalist James A. Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy (Rodale Inc., 1999). And while it probably won't replace aspirin or acetaminophen in your medicine cabinet, cinnamon does have some analgesic activity.

Chicken broth or soup

Of course, always have chicken soup ready. Either chicken broth or the soup itself.

Load the soup with garlic and herbs.

Stay hydrated

In addition to chicken soup, stay hydrated. Drink lots of warm water or slowly sip hot water if you have the common cold.

As always, get plenty of rest.

Cause of excess mucus (phlegm)

Food allergies. On the top of the list is dairy products. Milk and its derivatives like cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt contain casein molecules that stimulate phlegm production. In addition, dairy contains a sugar called lactose which further increases mucus secretion.

Honorable mentions:

  • Wheat (the gluten found in wheat)
  • Deep fried foods
  • Sugary foods
  • Soy
  • Red meat


Lisa M. I'd been stuffed up with sinus congestion since the end of November. And I mean completely. Decongestant sprays twice a day to get a few hours of relief. I haven't been that bad since before I discovered I was allergic to dairy and cut it out of my diet. Tomato and MSG also do a number on my sinuses, but I haven't had those in years either. My other food allergies and intolerances do other inflammatory things to me.

So all this time I've been going nuts, trying to figure out what I'm intolerant to now. I eliminated avocados, which I was eating very regularly. No improvement. I thought it must be chickpeas because I eat hummus regularly. Nope. Then I was sure it must be black tea, because I received my new specialty teas around end of November. (my new favs happen to be the black tea ones). Stopped drinking them. No improvement. Grrr.

Unrelated, or so I thought, I figured it's about time I did a detox, of sorts. I started with CandiGone because I ate too much crap in December. I hadn't had my obvious Candida issues that I usually get, so hadn't bothered yet. No toe soreness or nail inflammation/infection. No itching.

I've been taking CandiGone for almost a week and guess what? I haven't taken any decongestant sprays in a couple of days and I can somewhat comfortably breathe again. It's not yet back to my normal (hopefully it didn't cause new polyp growth), but it's a significant improvement. I think I've pinpointed the cause, knock on wood.

Candida overgrowth. Frig sakes, LOL. My body reacts and inflames in weird ways to whatever it can. It only took me 2 months to figure this one out, LOL.

Cold vs. Flu: What's The Difference?, youtube.com

Remember that covid-19 is the rebranding of the cold and flu.