In Chinese Medicine, the first line of defense for the common cold are hot and pungent foods that expel pathogens from the lungs. The quintessential formula treatment for the first stages of a cold is a hot soup of fermented black soybeans with sliced scallion. The hot broth replenishes the fluids and encourages sweating to release the cold, while the pungent scallion clears the lungs and upper respiratory passages.
In the US we can easily substitute the chinese preparation of black fermented soybeans with any type of miso paste we prefer, and combine that with sliced scallion, onion, crushed garlic, cayenne or black pepper. Each one of these pungent spices has a different effect but the all quickly and intensely warm the body and expel cold pathogens.
After 1 or 2 cups of the soup, follow up with a hot bath and get under the covers. Once the sweat breaks, the cold will be expelled.