Brazilian Flu Remedies: Avó Knows Best

brazilian flu remedy

Brazilian Flu Remedies: Avó Knows Best

Most-used home remedies for colds and flu in Brazil

“A avó sabe melhor!” in Brazil is a phrase that means, “The grandmother knows best!”Grandma is the smartest!

People know that Brazilian grandmothers can fix any illness with a tea or tincture. Feeling sick? Headache? Trouble falling asleep at night? Avó has just what you need to feel better and calm down.

There is no difference in how to treat cold and flu symptoms. At the first sign of symptoms, a Brazilian grandmother is sure to have a suggestion, which is usually a tea made with ingredients that have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antioxidant qualities.

Of course, they will tell you to see a doctor or get medication from the pharmacy for more dangerous illnesses. But if you just have a mild cold, you can use traditional Brazilian home treatments to make yourself feel better and get better faster.

Here are some of Brazil’s most well-known folk cures for colds and flu.
Traditional Brazilian cures for the cold and flu

Chá de mel e limão (honey and lime tea)

Honey and lime tea are used to treat colds and flu in Brazil.

This is a well-known song in Brazil. The ingredients help the nose and throat feel less stuffy and hydrated. You can also add ginger to make it a bit stronger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory and expectorant effects, which means that it helps clear mucus from the respiratory system. This makes it easier to cough up phlegm, which is often made when you have a cold.

Keep in mind that Brazilians usually use limes because they are easy to find and inexpensive, but you can also use lemons.


1 cup of water (agua)
2 spoonfuls of honey
The juice from one lime is equal to
A piece of fresh ginger can be added if you want.


Add sliced ginger to boiling water in a pot. Let boil for 2 minutes.
Take it off the heat and add honey and fresh lime juice. The vitamin C in the fruit will not be lost if you add the lime juice after it is done boiling.
Take out the ginger, and serve the soup hot. 

Note: In true Brazilian way, you can make this in a big pot and keep it on the stove all day, heating it up again and again.

Chá de alho (garlic tea)

Even though garlic tea might not taste the best, its powerful effects make up for its bad taste (and the bad smell you might have after drinking it)! Allicin, which is found in garlic, can kill germs, ease pain, and prevent the flu. In other words, it will help you get rid of your cold or flu symptoms quickly.


1 cup of water (agua)
3 crushed garlic cloves with the skins taken off.
1 teaspoon of honey (1 tsp.
Juice of 1/2 limão (lime) or limão siciliano (lemon)


Add the garlic to the boiling water in a pot. 
Cook for about 5 minutes over low heat.
Turn off the heat and let it sit for about ten minutes.
Take the garlic out of the juice and pour the liquid into a cup.
Add honey and lemon juice.
Warm is best.

Again, you can make a big pot and heat it up several times during the day.

Chá de equinácea (Echinacea tea)

Echinacea is a growing plant that looks like a daisy and has been used as a medicine for a long time. People think it boosts the immune system and makes people sweat, which helps fight fevers. Brazilians will also tell you that it can help with a runny nose, a cough, and soreness.


1 cup liquid
1 tablespoon of dried leaves from echinacea


In a pot, bring the water to a boil.
Take it off the heat and add the echinacea leaves that have been dried.
Give the dried echinacea leaves 10 minutes to soak. 
Take the leaves out of the tea and serve it hot.

Brazil is blessed with rich land and a lot of fruit and vegetables, so it is not surprising that fruit juice is everywhere. Even though juices are popular any time, they are especially good for people who are feeling a little sick.

You can buy juice at the store, but in Brazil, most people buy the fruits themselves and juice or mix them themselves.

Suco de laranja (orange juice)

Oranges are everywhere in Brazil, and it is well known that they are full of vitamin C. This easy drink is great for anyone who needs a boost to their immune system. Take some oranges, cut them in half, and squeeze the juice into a glass to make the drink.
Suco de acerola (acerola juice)
You probably know cashews as the little dried nuts that look like crescents and taste great on their own or in baked goods. But you might not know that cashew nuts, or castanha de caju, are only a small part of the bigger cashew plant.

The cashew tree comes from the coast of northeastern Brazil. Its fruit looks almost exactly like an apple and has sweet, chewy meat that is often squeezed to make juice. It might be hard to find outside of Brazil, like acerola, but you might be able to find boxes of suco de caju (cashew fruit juice) to get an idea of how it tastes.

To make juice from fresh cashew fruit, blend the fruit with water until it becomes a smooth puree, then squeeze out the pulp.

Add a few drops of propolis extract to any of these juices to boost their immune-boosting benefits. Bees make propolis, which is a kind of glue. It can kill germs and may help the defense system work better.

Sopa de galinha (chicken soup)

Like people in many other places, Brazilians use warm, comfortable soups to treat colds and the flu. These help give the body the nutrients it needs to fight off sickness and keep it fresh. They are also calming. Who does not feel better when they are sick and can curl up with a warm bowl of soup?

And, like many other places, sopa de galinha, or chicken soup, is one of the most popular things to eat in Brazil. Here’s a recipe for Brazilian chicken soup to get you going.

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