It is a time to start thinking about cold a flu season, which lets face it runs almost all year round these days. There are some wonderful remedies that you may already have in your home to let to combat the common flu. Already many people have been presenting to us with coughs, chills and signs of influenza. It is normal to experience at least one cold each year, but it is not normal to take weeks to recover and have lingering symptoms (coughs, mucous, lethargy).
The body has an innate ability to fight any infection, and to recover fully from it. In order to achieve this, you must support your body with the right conditions – staying warm, eating well and getting ample rest will resolve a healthy functioning immune system that kicks a cold with no lingering symptoms.
These plant medicines have a long history in convalescence and are easy to grow or find in your favourite green grocers. It is best if you start eating them daily as soon as the days turn cold and increase the amount at the first sign of a sore throat or fatigue.
Ginger: a warming herb that enhances circulation to promote faster healing from infections and wounds. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and provides pain relief for cramps and aches. In the digestive track it brings warmth and circulation to the gut, relieving nausea and strengthening the appetite, which is paramount in convalescence. Traditionally ginger has been used with chamomile, fennel, peppermint and cinnamon to normalise digestion and prevent wind and bloating in the gut.
Garlic: fresh or organically grown garlic is the best herbal antibiotic going around. Having 1 raw clove of garlic a day has been a popular treatment and prevention of colds, flus and parasite infections. Garlic is also a powerful anti-inflamatory and increases circulation and therefore the speed at which white blood cells can reach an infection site.
Tumeric: with simular properties to garlic and ginger, this yellow spice is sensational for curing a dry sore throat. You can pop it in your curries or add it to some apple cider vinegar and manuka honey to recover from minor cases of tonsillitis and respiratory tract infections.
YEP tea: A combination of yarrow, elder and peppermint, this tea helps break a fever to ensure quick removal of a virus. The herbs also dry up mucous, soothe a sore throat and reduce headaches. Drink 4 cups a day when sick.
Honey: honey is mostly used to soothe and coat the throat and respiratory tract. It has super antibacterial properties and was often used as a non-alcoholic way to preserve the herbal medicines to make them more palatable.
Lemon: the pith is full of bioflavonoids which encourage the absorption of vitamin C and helps repair mucous membranes in the respiratory system and gut. The juice has a wonderful ability to break up mucous. Lemon juice also aids digestion and balances PH.
To fully convalesce at home it is important that you -
Rest and stay warm: • Go to bed early and rest as required • Have a warm bath – add some essential oils or Epsom salts if you are achy. • Eat warming soups and teas with plenty of the above herbs. • Have a thermometer to monitor fever.
This will help reduce your time off work. Recipe for Immune tea: This fabulously immune enhancing tea can be sipped throughout the day to allay the symptoms of cough, cold, tonsillitis and flu. • 1 Cup Hot Water • 1 clove Crushed Garlic • 1/2 a fresh lemon juice and grated rind/pith. • 1 tsp Honey • 1 tsp Turmeric (optional, but worth it) • 1 pinch chilli flakes (optional) Combine all in a mug. Sip as often as you can!! Remember to wrap yourself up in bed to enhance your natural ability fight off infection. This tea is very warming and will increase the fever – it actually tastes quite OK!