Grandma’s Secret Cold-Fighting Remedy

I remember those days when I still lived at home, spoiled by a mom and a gran who love nothing more than feeding and caring for the family.

If I had just a hint of a sniffle, I would be plied with home remedies, most of them involving honey. Basic honey water for something mild, or the famous arad milk for more serious colds.

Called “arad milk” because of the very visible inclusion of arad (also known as haldi or turmeric) in the ingredients, this strange-looking, often-changing concoction was a staple of my childhood sick days.

If pressed, my mom can provide a general list of ingredients, but the mixture seems to take on the flavor of whichever spice she seems most inclined to that particular day. But the basic recipe for arad milk is pretty easy.


  • One cup milk
  • A pinch of arad (turmeric)
  • One elachi (cardamom) pod / or half a teaspoon of elachi powder
  • One small cinnamon stick / or half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • Half a teaspoon of ginger powder
  • Honey (as much as your sweet tooth can handle)

Add all the ingredients to the milk, while warming it on the stove (do not bring to a boil). Mix continuously, until warm. Remove from the stove, stir in honey to taste and drink while still warm. You may strain the mixture, or just remove the cardamom pod and cinnamon stick and drink it as is.

It’s easy to see why this mixture packs a cold-fighting punch. Turmeric has many healing properties, and ginger is known for fighting colds. Cardamom, like ginger, has heating properties, which is useful when you have a cold. Honey is an ancient medicinal staple and cinnamon is a great infection fighting spice. Mix it all together and you have the goodness of a delicious home remedy that is sure to have you feeling better in no time.