image of woman sick with head cold or bronchitis

Latino Home Remedies for a Cold: Keep Your Symptoms at Bay

Culture, Health & Fitness

A cold can be quite a nuisance. It comes uninvited and disrupts our daily routines. Bronchitis, in particular, is a big nuisance (because that’s what I have). Bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways in the lungs, typically caused by a viral or bacterial infection. The main symptom of bronchitis is a persistent cough that produces mucus. Other symptoms may include chest tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue, and a low-grade fever. Treatments for bronchitis may consist of over-the-counter medications such as cough suppressants, pain relievers, and decongestants. According to the CDC and other sources, antibiotics are only prescribed if the doctor thinks the cause is bacterial and not viral (which explains why I didn’t get an antibiotic). I’m told that staying hydrated is also important, as getting plenty of rest and avoiding irritants like smoke and pollution.

I’m sitting here either wheezing or coughing with every breath. (That might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much.) I have the medications prescribed by my doctor. Still, even before I visited the medical professionals, I pulled out the tried-and-true home remedies I learned from my mother and grandmother to make me feel better. I know there’s a good chance that their effectiveness is primarily a placebo effect (it’s all in my mind), but that doesn’t stop me. Feeling better is feeling better.

If you are looking for natural remedies to get rid of cold symptoms, you have come to the right place. Latino home remedies for colds have been passed down from generation to generation and have proven to be effective in relieving symptoms (in this case, I’m treating my bronchitis symptoms the same as I would cold symptoms). Whether you are looking for relief from a congested nose, sore throat, or headache, these remedies may be able to help.

  • Hot water with lemon and honey
  • Vicks Vaporub
  • Caldo de Pollo
  • Steam
  • Hot Herbal tea
  • Saltwater gargle

image of honey

Hot water with lemon and honey

This is a classic remedy used for centuries to soothe a sore throat and boost the immune system. The combination of lemon and honey provides a dose of Vitamin C and antioxidants that help fight the cold virus. Mix the juice of half a lemon with a tablespoon of honey in a cup of hot water and enjoy.

image of Vicks VapoRub

Vicks Vaporub

This is another popular home remedy many families have used for generations. Applying a small amount of Vicks Vaporub under the nostrils, on your feet, chest, and forehead can help to soothe and clear the nasal passages. The menthol in the ointment acts as a decongestant and helps to relieve a stuffy nose.

Photo of caldo de pollo (chicken soup)

Caldo de Pollo

Chicken soup is a comfort food that is delicious and therapeutic. Caldo de Pollo, also known as Latin-style chicken soup, is a staple in many households when someone has a cold. The warm broth helps to soothe the throat, while the garlic and cilantro in the soup act as natural antibiotics. Right now, I’ve consumed enough chicken soup for a year. It has helped soothe my throat and make me feel better, but I’m tired. In the Houston area, my favorite caldos are from Taquerias Arandas, La Tapatia, and El Rey Taqueria.

photo of pot with boiling water and steam


Steam can help to break up mucus and soothe the throat. Boil water in a pot and add eucalyptus oil or mint. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam to help clear your nasal passages.

Photo of a cup of herbal tea with mint

Hot Herbal tea

Herbal teas are a great way to warm up and soothe the throat. Popular Latin-style teas include canela (cinnamon), manzanilla (chamomile), or hierbabuena (mint). These teas not only help to relieve symptoms but also provide a relaxing and comforting experience.

Photo of a pile of salt with spoon

Saltwater gargle

A saltwater gargle can help to relieve a sore throat. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle for 30 seconds. The salt helps to kill bacteria and soothe the throat.

These Latino home remedies for a cold are natural and effective ways to relieve symptoms (from personal experience). Whether you prefer to drink hot liquids, inhale steam, or apply ointments, these remedies can help you feel better. Try one or a combination of these remedies and see what works best for you. Remember, these remedies may provide temporary relief, but it is always important to consult a healthcare professional if your symptoms persist or worsen.

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