I knew what Grandma would say the instant I told her I had a cold, and Grandma did not disappoint.

“Do you have any apple cider vinegar?”

As a matter of fact, I do, but I use it (mixed with mustard, bourbon and honey) for glazing a tenderloin, not curing a sore throat.

Grandma swears by cider vinegar, though. For everything. Acne. Sunburn. Cold. Flu. Mosquito bites. Strep. Fertility problems. Paper cuts. Disappointment in love. Everything. She force-fed it to all three of her children all their lives but they all swear it has absolutely no medicinal properties and since the smell of it makes me nauseous, I tend to believe them.

I have closet shelves stacked with different cold remedies, all of them exactly as useless as Grandma’s vinegar. Every kind, every brand, pills, tablets, lozenges, throat sprays, powder you mix up in tea. Not a single one of them has ever offered the relief they promise. Benadryl makes me feel high. Sudafed dries out my sinuses until my face hurts and yes, I’ve tried every variety of it. Advil Cold and Sinus is nice but I get that floating-brain feeling and can’t shake it, and DayQuil has made whatever I’m taking it for worse every time.

The only thing that works is ibuprofen and decongestive nasal spray and lots and lots and lots of vitamins. And Ruby Tuesday tea from this place with lots of honey in it. I even brought some to Grandma once when she was under the weather and she agreed it was the best tea she’d ever had. Then she took my hand and looked into my face and said, “but nothing works as good as apple cider vinegar.”

Anybody else got family heirloom cold remedies that work (or don’t)?