While many people suggested hot drinks, others seem to get a little, err, crafty when fighting cold symptoms naturally.

By Renee Cherry
February 20, 2020
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Reese Witherspoon
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Cold and flu season is in full swing, and the sniffles are equal opportunity offenders. Their most recent victim? Reese Witherspoon.

The Oscar-winning actress recently shared that she's getting over a sinus infection, posting a #sickday photo to Instagram. Instead of scouring Google for the best cold and sinus infection remedies, Witherspoon asked her followers for their advice.

After fielding the responses, she shared screenshots of some of the answers on Instagram Stories. "Thanks y'all for all the cold remedy recommendations!" she wrote. "I'm gonna share a few here. I'm feeling better already." (Related: How to Get Rid of a Cold In 24 Hours)

Screenshots from Reese Witherspoon's Instagram
Screenshots from Reese Witherspoon's Instagram
Screenshots from Reese Witherspoon's Instagram
Left: Credit: Instagram/@reesewitherspoon
Center: Credit: Instagram/@reesewitherspoon
Right: Credit: Instagram/@reesewitherspoon

By the looks of it, hot drinks were a common theme, with options like Davids Tea Organic Cold 911 tea (Buy It, $23,, a Starbucks Medicine Ball with peppermint, and the cold-fighting-classic of ginger tea. But one response, in particular, a drink recipe, caught Witherspoon's attention—so much so, she circled it and wrote, "Done ✅."

The recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon of raw honey. The combo includes a few cold-relief standouts. Cayenne contains the compound capsaicin which research links to sinus relief, ginger has potential immunity-boosting benefits, and honey has antimicrobial properties that might help fight the virus itself rather than just treat symptoms. (Related: 10 Home Remedies for Cold and Flu)

While hot drinks are an obvious choice because of their steam factor, Mindy Kaling suggested a smoothie. In an Instagram Story slide, Witherspoon shared that the comedian sent her the link to a Vitamin C Immune Booster Smoothie recipe from food blogger Mountain Mama Cooks. Sure, smoothies are great for an on-the-go breakfast...but for a cold? Kaling's on the right track: Replenishing your body's vitamin C when you have a cold can relieve symptoms and help fortify your immune system. (Related: 7 Home Remedies for Sinus Infections That Actually Work)

Witherspoon also called out one rather unconventional cold remedy, highlighting the words "wet sock treatment (google it)." In case you don't feel like googling, here's the scoop: Wearing wet socks to bed is a cold-relief tactic meant to increase blood circulation, which then stimulates the immune system and "rallies the body's defenses" to fight against the cold, according to Bastyr University Health. The idea is that the increased blood circulation leads to decreased congestion in the head, throat, and upper respiratory passages, according to the university. FWIW, though, there is no scientific evidence backing this cold remedy, and anecdotal evidence points to the placebo effect.

Clearly, however, Witherspoon has a strong support system to tap into any time she's feeling under the weather.


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