Every time I come down with a cold, I yearn for my mother’s care. Traditionally, her cure was always chicken soup and citrus tea. Now, I can look back on her home remedies with an eye of understanding. Collagen from the chicken bones is more than just a gelatinous substance, it’s a premier healing agent for the gut lining and immune health. The tea wasn’t only throat soothing but contained nutrients like vitamin D and zinc which are vital for warding off colds. With flu season almost over, it is the perfect time for the flu to hit us the hardest (just when we think we can see the sunny months). Besides the soup and tea, here are 5 common kitchen herbs to help you kick your cold this season!
1. The Holy Herb: Oregano
This is one of my favorite herbal supplements. It is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-allergenic, antiseptic and seriously boosts your immune system. It can also regulate menstruation and promote better digestion which could also really affect your health. This herbal supplement is very potent. You can feel the medicinal effects of this herb by its slight burning sensation. That is normal – but it is advised to dilute the herbal extract in olive or coconut oil to alleviate this side effect, especially if used directly on the skin. Dilute and take a few drops four times a day to kick and prevent an infection.
2. The Ninja Kick: Raw Garlic
An old Italian remedy from my grandmother that I thought was only a myth was the power of garlic. She puts it in everything – even her ears! But, when I finally took it seriously and chewed on a raw clove for thirty seconds, I instantly felt relief in my throat and a boost in immunity the next day. Garlic is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and has powerful antioxidants. It doesn’t only promote immune health and ward away sickness, but it also cures infections like in the ear, gut or intestines. One cautionary tip is to spit out the clove and wash away the burning sensation with a glass of water. Many people can feel nauseated after ingesting a large amount of raw garlic.
3. The Meditative Herb: Peppermint
An essential essential oil (intended repetition to highlight the essentialness of this essential oil), the peppermint herb has many anti properties like oregano oil while also offering respiratory and pain relief. Peppermint can be combined with lavender to cure headaches or rubbed on the chest to alleviate congestion and breathe better. It can be ingested too – especially in combination with steaming hot water. You can clear your nasal tracks by breathing over a boiling pot of water with a few drops of peppermint oil added to it. Or, chop up this raw herb and steap it for a soothing and relaxing tea.
4. Yummy For Your Tummy: Ginger
Ginger is a common ingredient people turn to when they get sick because it has such a soothing effect on the respiratory system and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also prevents nausea and relieves digestive ailments. My favorite power tonic is a fresh ginger root tea with lemon juice, peppermint and molasses or honey. Usually, I recommend staying away from sugar, but molasses and honey are low-glycemic, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar and will slowly burn off. The sugar helps to soothe a scratchy throat as well as the taste – if ginger is too spicy for your palate.
5. Round House Kick: Rosemary
Again with all the antis (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic and even anti-aging), Rosemary provides the round-house kick to a cold’s weak spot. It is not only boosting immunity but also freshening sick breath, targeting respiratory inflammation, elevating mood and driving away pain.
Now, rummage those cupboards and brew up your cold preventing tonic. And, while you strive to incorporate more of these immune-boosting herbs, make sure to avoid refined sugar and grains as those foods will just inflame your immunity. We know that days are long and busy, but during this time of need for your body, rest well. Get a good night’s sleep and feel the relief.
One More For Your Medicine Cabinent:
Vitamin Rich: Citrus
Boosting your immune system is all about increasing the nutrients in the body that are lacking. Vitamin C is a crucial one. Adding more citrus to your diet will enhance your Vitamin C and enhance your immune sustenance. Also included in this desired fruit are fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium just to name a few.