It’s that time of year again when everybody’s got a cough or a sniffle.
But whatever you do, don’t just go for the over the counter chemical filled remedies, they aren’t always the best option.
Instead, opt for home made natural remedies that will help to boost your body’s own defences.
- Honey And Red Onion Cough Syrup
- Mullein Tea For Congestion And Coughs
- Garlic Tea Immune System Booster
- Lemon And Honey Sore Throat Soother
- Virus Fighting Chicken Soup
- My Natural Cold Remedy
- Starve A Fever And Feed A Cold
A great natural cough syrup that is suitable for family members of all ages is this recipe, which takes red onions, raw honey (or stevia) and brown cane sugar, and although it’s got onion in it, you can’t taste it – it actually tastes quite nice so there will be no issues getting the kids to have it.
Simply peel and slice the whole onion horizontally and layer the slices of onion in a bowl, layering it with layers of raw honey and brown sugar, you can use stevia powder in place of the honey if you prefer but we’ll warn you, it can make it extremely sickly sweet.
Keep layering the ingredients until the whole onion is in, and then cover the bowl with cling film and leave overnight.
The following day there should be a few doses of sweet syrup at the bottom of the bowl containing a vast range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will help fight infections, and sooth those sore, swollen throats. Just administer a spoon at a time as required.
Mullein tea has long been known for its ability to decongest your chest and to help to relieve coughs, colds and even the flu.
It helps to loosen up mucous that is trapped in the chest by acting as an expectorant, and it is also great for soothing sore throats.
So how do you make it?
First of all, pack a tea strainer or a tea ball with dried mullein and sit in a cup of boiled water for ten minutes.
Simply drink to get the benefits, if it’s not sweet enough you could add a teaspoon of honey.
Garlic is well known for its ability to improve and boost the immune system and it is also an antiviral and antibacterial.
Which makes it the ideal ingredients for fighting off nasty coughs, colds, viruses and flu-like illnesses.
It is also great for the heart and cardiovascular system too so you’re getting more than you bargained for with this.
A great way to get the nutrients from the garlic into your body is to make a garlic tea and if you add a small amount of raw honey this tea tastes beautiful as well as healing your body from whatever cold or cough you have.
Simply peel 2-4 garlic cloves and crush them by turning your knife on its side.
Add the crushed cloves to two mugs full of water and boil before simmering for around 15 minutes.
Strain off the garlic and then add raw honey and a drop of fresh lemon juice before drinking.
Raw honey with fresh lemon juice is the ideal remedy to sooth sore throats and it also helps to stop any tickling in the throat that makes you cough.
Raw honey contains ingredients that help to kill off viruses and bacteria, so it’s a great ingredient for getting rid of colds and flu.
Fresh lemons are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, and these both help to give your immune system a boost and thus decrease the amount of time it takes to get rid of your cough and sore throat.
Just 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey and the juice of half a lemon will make enough to take throughout the day as required to prevent coughing and relieve sore throats.
Although not for vegetarians, for those who do eat meat this antiviral chicken soup is very effective at fighting colds and flu quickly.
This has been used as far back as the 12th century, when Maimonides, the Jewish physician recommended it, and it is still very popular today.
You should use chicken and organic vegetables boiled up in water with 2 tablespoons of honey and cook for 1-2 hours before serving, but make sure you use organic as you don’t want to litter your body with harmful pesticides, especially when you’re ill.
This is a wonderful natural cold remedy which can help to clear a cold and help to boost a flagging immune system.
Firstly grate a large knob of ginger into a saucepan of water, bring the water to the boil and then allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn off the hob and then sieve enough water for a mug full and then leave the rest on the hob for later to be re-heated.
Next, add the following 3 ingredients: 2/3 tea spoons of raw cider vinegar (I recommend Biona’s), the juice from a lemon and some organic honey.
Once you’ve added all the ingredients, drink the mixture. Some people can find the cider vinegar a bit too stringent so adjust to taste.
This drink works very well because of all of the healing properties of the ingredients, which are explained below.
Why This Remedy Works
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation of the throat and nasal passages that you can often experience with common colds.
It’s also great for treating nausea so if you feel sick with a tummy bug, ginger will do the trick.
Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes that help to boost your energy levels and aid recovery.
It also has antibiotic properties that can help to deal with bacterial infections that cause diarrhoea.
Lemon juice is a natural antiseptic and helps with immune system function due to its high content of vitamin C.
It also works to decrease the toxicity of any virus that might be looming in your body.
Organic honey, according to many studies, can cut your common cold by two days.
A combination of lemon and honey helps to loosen phlegm on the chest and can help to sooth a cough.
Why It’s Better Than Off-The-Shelf Remedies
When we get a cold the first thing our body does is change its internal environment to help kill the virus.
It does this by heating up the body causing us to sweat, this also helps to clear out phlegm from our body.
Our body also produces more antibodies through our white blood cells to also help attack the virus.
Often our response is to immediately reach for instant lemon drinks that try to reduce some of the symptoms of our cold which actually stops the body doing what it is trying to do.
It’s important to remember that when the body is trying to defeat a virus these clever tactics are part of our bodies strategy and when you take a powdered lemon drink to suppress these symptoms not only you are stopping the body trying to defeat the virus that is causing the cold but you are not allowing our immune system to strengthen by naturally defeating this virus.
When the body heats up it also sweats out toxins and clears mucus from the system, this ‘cleans’ the body and enables it to operate more efficiently.
A cold might also be your body saying it’s time for a rest, we’re tired!
Sometimes when we are feeling ill we may not like it at the time but it’s okay, our body often knows it own wisdom and we are better off working with it than trying to fight it.
A Yale study has investigated the old wisdom of “starving a fever and feeding cold”,
Researchers have been looking into the types of infections and whether fasting or eating has positive of negative effects on immune response.
When we are ill, we naturally go through periods of appetite loss and consequently fasting.
“Through millennia, all organisms evolved to be attuned to what cells need,” said Andrew Wang, M.D.
“Cells require certain nutrients to perform tasks and food preferences may be the body’s way of telling us how best to survive different types of infections” said Wang.
For decades, doctors and scientists have questioned the effect dietary choices and illness behaviors have during sickness.
“When animals are infected they stop eating and they switch to a fasting metabolic mode,” Medzhitov said.
“The question was whether fasting metabolism is protective or detrimental.”
This particular study was led by immunobiologist Ruslan Medzhitov, who looked at the effect of nutrition on mice (which were infected with either a common virus or bacteria) and found some interesting results.
When the mice were fed, they found that those with viral infections survived, but mice with a bacteria infection died.
The researchers tested individual nutrients such as fat, protein and glucose and found that glucose was responsible for the effect on nutrition on the infection.
“During a viral infection, eating provides glucose, which may be necessary for survival,” Medzhitov said.
However, the researchers then infected mice with the bacterium ‘Listeria monocytogenes’, which causes food poisoning.
The mice that weren’t fed eventually recovered – but those mice that were force fed died.
Medzhitov said that “fasting leads to the production of ketones — another type of fuel — which may help animals tolerate a bacterial infection.”
Whilst the study indicates that dietary preferences may be linked to specific infections, supports “starve a fever or feed a cold” and be especially valuable for practitioners – more research is needed on the specifics on humans and their diagnoses.
Therefore caution is needed depending on the illness.
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