Are you afraid you’ll catch the flu?
Here are my top tips on how to prevent and fight back with herbs, home remedies and potent winter foods:
But first: sleep more!
To keep your immune system humming and strong, make sure you drink enough water and get plenty of rest. It is OK to sleep more in the winter – in fact it is the smart thing to do. Our bodies crave it. So allow yourself to indulge in beauty sleep without any guilt feelings at all.
Spice up your food / use spices to make hot teas
Many common spices have antimicrobial, antiviral and expectorant powers. Use ground spices in your food and make tea from ginger and turmeric root as well as cinnamon sticks. Boil them for 10 – 20 minutes and sip on them often.
Ginger: anti-inflammatory, fights the flu, common cold and respiratory infections
Cayenne: detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, fights the flu and common cold
Cinnamon: anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, fights infections and viruses
Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, strong anti-oxidant
Pepper: treats sinus and nasal congestion, expectorant
Get your daily dose of lacto-fermented vegetables
Lacto-fermented vegetables are higher in vitamins than their unfermented counterparts and boost immunity by providing live pro-biotic bacteria. Have 2 tablespoons daily. You can find unpasteurized sauerkraut and pickles in the cold section of your natural food stores. They are easy to make yourself. Here are guidelines for making your own.
Superfoods: garlic, lemon juice, raw honey
Garlic: antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal
Lemon juice: strengthens immune system, prevents viral infections like cold and flu
Honey: anti-viral, boosts immune system
Use these powerful ingredients in food and drink. Make salad dressings using raw garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Add lemon juice to your drinking water. Use honey instead of sugar. To keep honey’s medicinal power intact, never heat it over 95 F or 35 C.
Recipe: natural antibiotics in a jar
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons ground ginger
½ tablespoon ground cayenne
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup + 1½ tablespoons (100 ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 Press the garlic into a jar, add all spices and lemon juice and stir.
2 Add the honey and mix.
3 Let the mixture sit at room temperature for three hours, then transfer into the refrigerator.
This is a powerful concoction – take 1 teaspoon every day first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as a preventative. When already under the weather, take 1 tablespoon three times per day, one before each meal. This is strong stuff and meant for adults only. It is not suitable for children.
At the first hint of a cold coming on, take a dropperful in a glass of water and drink 3 x per day between meals. You can find echinacea tincture at your health food store.
Eat vitamin C rich foods such as: black currants, red and green bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, kale and parsley.
Food: eat this not that
Eat leafy greens on a daily basis. Besides being powerhouses for vitamins and minerals, they help reduce mucus and clear congestion, especially in the lungs. Their chlorophyll content supports the good gut bacteria, thus boosting immunity. Sauté them with chopped garlic and ginger for a delicious side dish.
Cut back on sugar and sweets.
Cut back on dairy, as milk products are mucus producing foods.