Microbiologist-turned-homemaker, she is a foodie with a flair for cooking. An avid traveller and voracious reader, she also loves to paint and indulges in photography.
Published April 29th 2015
Quick and easy way to keep cough and cold at bay
It is when most organisms of the animal world including humans run for cover, hibernation or become dormant that their tiny little invisible co-habitants who are barred from entering the higher kingdoms become most active. You guessed it right! Pathogens are out on the lookout for fresh host when the weather gets all cold and clammy. Be rain or winter, it is party time for common cold causing viruses and bacteria. Cradled by the moisture ridden air, they enter our otherwise healthy bodies to cause havoc. And then starts the music of cough, sneezes, sniffles and sore throats for them to dance around jumping from one human harbor to another. The little infectious pranksters multiply oblivious to the fact that mother nature holds a secret solution to every problem.
Passed down through generations, these simple yet effective remedies comprise of ingredients that are scientifically proven to have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
1. Honey and basil: Honey is a household name and so is basil. Some consider them sacred, yet, all around the globe they are considered edible. And both have strong medicinal properties. So if you have sore throat, inflamed tonsils or bothersome cough take a teaspoonful of honey and about 5-6 basil leaves. Dip the leaves in honey and eat them one at a time, partially chewing and then swallowing. You will see the effect in a day or two. Do not forget to have them empty stomach early in the morning for best results.
Image courtesy Scott Bauer, USDA ARS (ID K7240-6)
2. Ginger juice and honey: Ginger is widely used in conventional medicines to prevent nausea, vomiting and cure cold. It also possesses anti-inflammatory characters and is being extensively researched for probable anti-cancerous qualities. For your cold simply take an inch of ginger, crush it and extract the juice. Add same amount of honey, mix it properly and drink. Have the mixture twice or thrice a day for fast relief from cough.
3. Turmeric milk: Add a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of warm milk. You may add a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey to enhance the taste. Have it before going to bed to ease out the cough and help you sleep soundly through the night. Apart from fighting cold turmeric is anti-cancerous and acts as an anti-oxidant. (Please be warned not to take turmeric if you are allergic to ginger, as turmeric too comes from the Zingiberaceae family).
4. Herbal Tea: Take one and half cup of water and boil. Add 1 inch of ginger properly crushed, 2 cloves, 1 cardamom, about 5 peppercorns, 4-5 basil leaves and 1 inch cube of white rock sugar(rock candy). Boil the concoction to three quarters of its original volume. Take it warm before going to bed. The mixture provides great relief from throat congestion, sore throat and cough.
5. Citrus fruits: Nature has its own way of preventing illness and warding off infectious agents. May be this is why we get seasonal fruits. Oranges, clementines, mandarines, grapefruit and many other variants of citrus fruits plentifully grow in winter. These fruits tend to enhance immunity and their low pH makes them antibacterial in nature. Make sure that you regularly consume them in winter to ward off common cold.
So next time you find yourself battling with the bugs be reminded that your kitchen is the armory full of all the weapons you need to win. Wishing you good health...