While growing up in Bangalore, whenever I was suffering from cold and cough, my mom used to give me some hot dairy milk to which a dash of turmeric, salt and crushed black pepper was added. I used to feel so nice drinking hot turmeric milk. Turmeric milk used to provide so much relief for my sore throat.
I guess the magic ingredient "Turmeric" was the key to give me such a relief from the cold. Turmeric is commonly used in Indian cooking. I always use a dash of turmeric in my curries, and sambars.
I no longer get terrible cold and cough, as I don't consume dairy milk. I still love to drink turmeric milk when the weather turns cool. I often make turmeric milk with rice milk.
Visit here to find recipe for Turmeric milk.