Drat, I got the dreaded cold/flu that seems to be spreading over Perth right now. Unfortunately I didn’t act quick enough with my typical bug killing routine. At any sign of a cold I usually:
- Gargle an antiseptic throat gargle or salt water
- Take vitamin C
- Eat Laksa (an asian spicy hot noodle soup)
This usually stops a cold from getting me nine times out of ten. But I didn’t do it. Silly me!
There is still a way to combat things naturally though. Why naturally? Partly because I prefer to, but mainly because I’m breastfeeding and would rather not pass on any unneccesary medications or chemicals. They only treat the symptoms anyway.
Cold Combat #1
A hot water, lemon, honey & cayenne pepper drink. Simply combine lemon juice (several slices), a teaspoon of honey, as much cayenne pepper as you can handle and hot or boiling water. Honey naturally fights bacteria and lemon is high in vitamin C which helps boost your immune system. Cayenne pepper aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only does this drink work wonders, but it sooths the throat! You can skip the hot water part and squeeze more lemon juice for a more potent version of the drink. You can also add garlic (see #2 below).
Cold Combat #2
It works on vampires and it works on colds – garlic. Aim to eat at least two cloves of garlic a day as soon as cold symptoms appear and you can combat the cold or at least reduce the duration. I add garlic to all my meals or you can add garlic to the cold combat drink (above) or just eat the garlic whole (if you dare!!). I make my partner eat lots of grlic too so I’m not the only one with garlic breath!
Cold Combat #3
Tea tree oil on a tissue, dab on the neck then stuff it into the collar of my shirt so I breath it in all day. Tea tree oil has bacteria fighting qualities.
I also try to take natural supplements during this time (or if you’re smart take them all winter to boost your immunity). There are some great immune boosting multi-vitamins on the market today. One of the most important vitamins to take is Vitamin C which can help shorten the duration of a cold. Take 500mg a day at the first sign of a cold.
I used to only get colds when my body was at its weakest, so it’s really important to stay stress-free and sleep well. Sometimes this is easier said than done, so if work or life stresses or lack of sleep are unavoidable (like breastfeeding a newborn!!) then dose up on the above combats to prevent an attack.
It probably goes without saying, eat healthy and nutritious food. Particularly in-season fresh fruit & vegetables. My favourite combat food is a laksa (vegetables, chicken/fish/tofu and spicy warm soup! Perfect!), but you can’t get more easy or traditional than chicken soup!
So that’s it folks, that’s my cold combat techniques for winter! I hope I can help even just one of you fight off this dreaded cold!