Cold Remedy

Main piece:

“I always go and get this… I call it spicy lemonade, but it’s like lemon, agave, and cayenne pepper, and it’s from Whole Foods and I always go and get it when I’m sick.”


Informant is a third year pre-med student at George Washington University who grew up in Mill Valley, California. While she knows that this may not be highly effective, using this combination of ingredients as a cold remedy is something that she learned from her mother, and she says it does make her feel better.


I was just getting over a cold, so the informant shared with me some of her favorite ways to feel better.


This cold remedy is not based in science, yet it is one that I have learned from many different sources, be it my peers, my family, or the internet. Because it is so well known, it is easier to believe its effectiveness. The informant’s mother made this concoction for her growing up, so naturally she is going to trust its validity and continue the practice. This is a prime example of how a remedy gains more “scientific” credibility when it is corroborated by a larger community.

A published example of this recipe can be found here.