Not one for over-the-counter flu medicine, week long antibiotic prescriptions, or sleepy cough syrups? Me neither. Have you heard of the saying, “Nature heals, and the doctor helps”? Well, good thing for us all-natural enthusiasts, practically everything we need to fight a cold is already sitting pretty in the kitchen pantry. Whether it’s the winter cold, changes in weather, or a bug in the air that’s got you feeling less than stellar, head to the pantry and try out these seven effective natural cold remedies to revive your immune system naturally. Nature heals, the doctor helps.
Ginger + Turmeric
There is no better duo than ginger and turmeric when it comes to fighting inflammation and used together, they’re a one-two punch. Powerful on their own, ginger has antiseptic properties and is loaded with vitamin c and magnesium. Turmeric, with its superior anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, has become a popular natural remedy for nearly anything. These roots are immune-building and help fight colds as well as nausea.
1 tsp freshly grated turmeric
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp raw honey
¼ tsp black pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil. Put grated turmeric and ginger inside and reduce to medium-heat, allowing to steep for 10 minutes. Strain liquid and add honey and pepper. Note: Black pepper aides the body in absorbing the turmeric and ginger, as well as helping to dissolve mucus. Coconut oil can be substituted for black pepper for a milder taste as it has the same absorbing abilities.
*Recipe from naturalnews.com
Long known for its ability to fight and cure infections, lemon is a powerful antioxidant packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It’s phlegm-reducing properties works best at soothing and healing a sore throat. To use, squeeze fresh lemon juice into tea or hot water with a spoonful of honey. Want to take it up a notch? Make it a “Hot Toddy” by adding two tablespoons of bourbon.
Did you know that one small orange has 50 mg of vitamin C? And that’s without any side effects. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C boosts the immune system and is used to treat a variety of illnesses. Make the ultimate cold-busting elixir by mixing orange juice with fresh ginger juice and apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is incredible stuff. Though acidic, it actually neutralizes ph levels in our body which make it hard for flu germs to grow. It prevents the cold virus on top of treating it, kills fungus, and aides in digestion. Add 2-3 tablespoons to 8oz of room temperature water. Mix in honey to mask the taste if you find it to be too strong on its own. Let this mighty ACV drink become a staple in your daily routine. It’s a preventative measure to fend off the flu and promotes optimal health benefits like lowered blood pressure and heart health to name a few.
Sweet, magical honey, what is it you can’t do? Antibacterial, anti-viral, and immune boosting, honey fights infections on multiple levels, making it difficult for bacteria to develop a resistance. On top of that, it kills different types of bacterias. Add raw honey to tea, hot water, or eat a spoonful before bed.
There’s plenty to brag on garlic for. A study from Washington State University showed that garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics. It’s antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties make this powerful antioxidant the ultimate go-to when you’re under the weather. One popular folk remedy includes eating a spoonful of raw, chopped cloves or gnawing on it whole! While admittedly not for the faint of heart, milder methods include mincing garlic and letting it rest for 15 minutes to take the strength down a notch. You can also add honey or olive oil on top of the crushed garlic, to neutralize the smell/taste, and take it down with a small piece of bread or cracker. You could make a garlic tea by steeping sliced garlic in boiled water for five minutes and adding honey.
Chock full of antioxidants, polyphenols, and nutrients, green tea is able to hinder the growth of certain bacterial species that make you ill. Often referred to as the healthiest drink in the world, keeping this tea in your daily rotation is sure to keep infections away. Try incorporating matcha green tea into your health arsenal as well, which is thought to tote even greater health benefits than other green teas.
Vegetable + Bone Broth
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, vegetable and bone broth are excellent at fighting infection and soothing sore throats. Finding something to eat when you’re sick, that won’t irritate a sore throat and still give you the nutrients you need, is a stressful task. Broths solve that problem and have historically been consumed during fasting. Plutarch and Benjamin Franklin both agreed, fasting and rest are the greatest medicine you can take when ill.
Don’t overlook cinnamon as just another spice. It’s actually one of the most potent antioxidants on the planet. Take a teaspoon of raw honey and add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to knock out a cold fast.