The arrival of cooler temps may be a welcome break from Alabama’s sweltering summer days, yet, for many of us it also means having to face the dreaded cold and flu season. As you prepare to fight back, you may be surprised to learn that a trip to the local pharmacy isn’t really necessary-you may already have access to some of the most powerful remedies available — right in your very own kitchen.
Since the beginning of time, natural spices and other foods have been used as powerful remedies to strengthen and heal different aspects of an ailing immune system. Today, however, spices are primarily used as cooking ingredients and most often valued for their flavor and aroma. Yet, natural spices can also offer incredible health benefits, including the power to remedy even the worst cold and flu symptoms.
1. Ginger: Widely used in Asian cooking, ginger has a unique taste and smell. Interestingly, it is for this reason that ginger has historically been used to disguise the taste and smell of medicines. Ginger root can be used to remedy several different problems. For nausea or an upset stomach, try nibbling on a few pieces of candied ginger. To help reduce congestion, drink hot tea made by boiling a small piece of ginger root in two cups of water. A sore throat can be soothed by taking a teaspoon of honey mixed with several drops of freshly squeezed ginger root.
2. Honey: Although most often used for as a sweetener, honey can also work wonders for many health related issues. To help sooth the onset of a cough, take a teaspoon of honey with a few sprinkles of ground pepper. Honey is also well known for it’s ability to enhance metabolism.
3. Garlic: Well known for it’s antibiotic properties, garlic is also a terrific antioxidant, and immune stimulant. In terms of cooking, it is probably one of the most widely used ingredients through out the world. In its raw form, it’s flavor and taste are very strong, yet when cooked, garlic becomes much more mild and, almost sweet. Regular consumption of garlic has been linked to lowering cholesterol, as well as reducing high blood pressure. Garlic can also be used to reduce the irritation of a nagging cough. Cut one whole garlic bulb into quarters and place within two quarts of water. Simmer on a low heat for one hour, strain, and sip the broth slowly.
4. Cayenne Pepper: Adding spicy pepper, such as cayenne, to your food can help relieve many of the worst cold symptoms. Just a few sprinkles of ground cayenne can ward off congestion and, help relax your lungs, therefore making it easier to breath. Consuming pepper while suffering from a cold, can also help you regain your sense of smell and taste.