Cold season is upon us. I know this because I am currently nestled among the following: three mugs of hot tea, two tissue boxes, and one trash can brimming with sneeze souvenirs. The roommates and I are sick.

It always happens this way: right when the weather turns grim and the holiday adrenaline finally wears off, sniffles strike. Chicagoans everywhere are seeking out a cure for the common cold. Lucky for us, I think I might have found it. The answer is spice!

We all know nothing clears sinuses quite like a spoonful of sriracha. Studies show that certain herbs and spices can be a boon for your overall health as well! Feast your eyes on some of these treats sure to help you kick that cold.

Cayenne Pepper — The sheer amount of health benefits in cayenne are, in a word, bonkers. On top of easing your sore throat and flu season aches,¬† this extra-spicy kick will prevent headaches, aid digestion, and even reduce the redness in your stuffy nose. Spice up your life by adding Cayenne to an omelet, a mug of cocoa, or incorporate it into a Latin American dish!

Cinnamon –Word has it a blend of cinnamon and honey can cure a cold in a matter of days, as well as increase circulation to any achey muscles and ease stomach pain. Though it may not be exactly what the doctor ordered, we think this is a great excuse to take a cinnamon roll baking class: because all medications should be described as “sinful and sweet.”

Turmeric —¬† Commonly found in Indian food, this vibrant yellow spice bears the suspected status of a miracle cure-all. Forget a measly cold; turmeric is rumored¬† to protect the mind from Alzheimers, soothe the joints, ward off heart attacks, and possibly act as an anti-cancer agent.

Mint — All right, this last one’s an herb, but worth a mention for its comforting effects. The menthol in mint will break up any unpleasant stuffiness and clear out your nose, making it easier to avoid being a mouth-breather on public transportation. Add a sprig of mint to a hot tea and breathe deep: Ahhhhh.

Late-night health hack: Looking for a cold-kicking drink? Fix yourself a sidecar with some homemade bitters. The secret ingredient in many a delicious craft cocktail, bitters can be made with any blend of spices, such as health-helping cloves and ginger.

Looking to learn more about the health benefits of spice? Try out the upcoming Ayurvedic Indian Spice class to learn the ins and outs of spicy nutrition!