Viral infections, such as colds and flu, are prevalent at this time of the year and can make one feel miserable. Common symptoms include coughs, sore throats, blocked nose and an aching body, sometimes with a fever.
Instead of reaching for decongestants and anti-histamines, why not try some simple, yet effective home remedies?
We love the anti-inflammatory and healing properties of ginger – a must-have for fighting colds and flu. Try this easy-to-make Ginger tea or get a ginger shot from The Juice Kitchen at Thrive.
Thinly slice two-inches of cleaned and peeled ginger root, put it in a pan with a few cups of water and boil for at least 10 minutes. Stir in lemon, mint or lime juice. Add one teaspoon of honey, to taste. Drink throughout the day.
Another well-known folk remedy is to eat a spoonful of raw, chopped garlic cloves, or even to gnaw on a fresh clove! Garlic is seen to be a broad spectrum antibiotic and antibacterial, and can help the immune system fight off illness. For colds and flu, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects.
A more palatable method is to crush two cloves and let the minced garlic rest for about 15 minutes, letting the enzymes activate. Add honey (also healing) or a touch of olive oil (some say it neutralises the smell) to the minced garlic and smear on a slice of bread or a cracker.
Cayenne pepper can help clear congestion. It also warms the body and stimulates the release of mucus from the respiratory passages. If you have eaten cayenne, you will know just how effectively the hot peppers can clear the sinuses and cause sweating.
Ginger cayenne tea is a well-rounded natural flu remedy and is particularly good for a productive cough – the kind that might accompany the flu, a cold or bronchitis. To make the tea: Mix ¼ cup cayenne pepper and ¼ cup fresh ground or finely chopped ginger with 1 cup honey, 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water. Mix and dilute by the teaspoon in boiling water and drink as a tea as needed. This will keep for up to a week if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
How does it work? Ginger, cayenne and vinegar, along with the hot water, will provide some sinus relief. Have some tissues on hand! The cayenne also serves as a pain reliever (after the initial shock). Honey soothes the throat and is a quick energy supply. The tea preparation ensures that you keep up your fluid intake.
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