Cold or flu bug got you down? Here are nine home remedies to help our immune systems stay on track and help us stay healthy this winter.
I Heard on the news today that happy people are less likely to get sick.
I’ve been dealing with one illness after the other since mid-December. What does this say about me? I consider myself a happy person. Human, of course, so there’s definitely the odd bad day thrown into the mix. But I was sent into a bit of a self-examination tailspin with this revelation from my one of my favourite airwave personalities.
My latest tango with a bug came in the form a short-lived stomach ailment. Last week, I was congested up to my eyeballs. Then there was bronchitis before that.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting on that fire cider to finish fermenting so I can punish myself — erm, prevent any other seasonal sicknesses.
In the meantime, I asked some of my fellow food bloggers their favourite folk or home remedies for staying healthy at this time of year. Listen, we all know when a girl needs antibiotics, a girl needs antibiotics and we should always seek a doctor’s advice when our immune system seems to go AWOL.
Still, their suggestions promised comfort and nutrients. Both are just as important as any pharmaceutical when you’re down for the count, trying your best to stay warm through the latest round of chills or push through the feverish sweats.
So keep these home remedies handy the next time your nose is running faster Usain Bolt or you feel that ache in your throat that tells you your white blood cells are about to kick into overdrive.
Spruce tea. Photo by Markus Meuller.
See that pine tree in your backyard? It’s not just a pretty decoration. That beast is packing some serious vitamin C. Markus from Earth, Food and Fire tells us how to tap into its healing potential with a cup of spruce tea. Better still, close your eyes and you’ll be transported to a lush forest, which is way better than being stuck inside because you’re sick.
Wild rosehip tea. Photo by Markus Mueller.
Maybe you don’t have any pine trees within reach. There are plenty of rosebushes around to fill the void, as Markus also points out. And every fall they offer us some healing power with their rosehips, which are the plant’s seed pods. They make a beautifully tangy and fruity tea that offers 25 times more vitamin C than your average orange. Rosehips also boast other important vitamins and antioxidants, those compounds that reduce inflammation and stress on our cells.
Natural honey-lemon cold remedy. Photo by Sharon Rhodes.
Natural Honey-Lemon Cold Remedy
No NeoCitran? No worries. The Honour System has us covered with this concoction of honey and lemon. Honey has antibacterial properties, and we all know lemon is an excellent source of immunity boosting and healing vitamin C.
Hot and sour miso soup. Photo by Laura Murray.
Hot and Sour Miso Soup and Red Lentil Miso Soup
Laura Murray swears by this soup when she’s down for the count. Aside from the warmth of a hot bowl of soup, and the kapow delivered to your tastebuds, Miso offers many health benefits. The fermented bean paste is a probiotic, and a healthy gut has been touted as a line of defence against cold and flu bugs. Another remedy for the vegetarian sniffles featuring miso comes from Mary at Ketchup With That. She adds red lentils to her pot, providing extra iron and protein, which never hurt anyone on a healing journey.
DIY Mustard Bath
Mustard isn’t just a condiment for your favourite foot-longs. Turns out, it works wonders in the bath when we’re congested. Add some camphoraceous essential oils and Satori Design for Living’s recipe will leave you breathing easy.
Indian Tea (Kahwa)
Puneeta at Maple and Marigold goes back to her childhood in India to offer up the health benefits of cardamom and cinnamon in this warming tea recipe. The idea of leaving it on the stove to steep for hours will probably fill your home with wonderful smells to be enjoyed between cups and Kleenexes.
Phlegm-busting orange peel tea. Photo by Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma.
Phlegm-Busting Orange Peel Tea
What else can be said about this tea from Puneeta Maple and Marigold? The name says it all.
Rocky did it. And so does Riz at Chocolates and Chai. Apparently downing raw eggs has benefits beyond dramatic effect on the big screen. If nothing else, the humour in Riz’s story of this “warming” concoction will make you feel better.
I’m happy to say I’m not alone when it comes to putting a pinch of cayenne in a hot drink to help me feel better. While my concoction usually includes lemon juice, turmeric, ginger and honey, Joyce at VanFoodies offers an elixir that features apple cider vinegar, ginger, cayenne and honey, and tastes like a fancy café drink.