Two ways … to fight cold symptoms naturally


Winter is the time for colds and flu to proliferate as we all spend more time inside and in close quarters.  Sore throats and nasal congestion can make you feel truly miserable.  Here are two ways to nurture yourself and get some relief for those awful symptoms just by using some basic pantry staples.


There’s no cure for the viruses that cause colds or the flu, but there is a lot you can do with a few healthy ingredients to alleviate your symptoms and help comfort yourself or your loved ones.  Of course, these ideas don’t replace the need for medical help and if your symptoms are severe, please see your doctor.


1.    Chicken soup

While there is no scientific proof that chicken soup cures a cold or flu or speeds up recovery, its ingredients do contain nutrients that support your immune system. It’s also a comforting food that provides hydration, essential when you are unwell, and may help you feel better overall. Also, there is some evidence that chicken soup slows the movement of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell which protects against infections. If neutrophils are moving slowly, they stay more concentrated in areas of your body where they are needed, which may contribute to healing.


Many cultures have their own version of a cold-busting chicken soup.  “Jewish penicillin” is a chicken and vegetable broth which includes up to 6 garlic cloves (garlic is a traditional cold remedy) and is often served with matzo balls.  Greeks have an equivalent, avgolemono soup, which is made with chicken stock, rice, eggs and lemon and is said to be able to cure anything from cold or flu to a hangover or a heartbreak. Here’s our recipe for an easy weeknight version.


2.    Spicy ginger tea

Mix up a batch of this spicy brew and your blocked nose will clear in no time.

Into a French press or a large teapot with a built-in strainer, add:

·      a 5cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced,

·      half or a whole small red chili, (sliced and including seeds if you can handle a lot of heat)

·      half a lemon, thinly sliced

·      half a teaspoon ground turmeric

·      1 teaspoon honey

Fill with boiling water and let steep for 5 minutes.  Drink while still steaming for maximum benefit. The honey and lemon will soothe your sore throat, ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties, and the heat of the capsaicin in the chili will work wonders on your sinuses.  It will make your nose run, which is just the ticket if your nose is blocked, and soon afterwards your airways will start to clear.

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