There seem to be alot of coughs and colds around at the moment, or at least there were on my DLR carriage this morning! So I thought it may be a good time to share my favourite natural cold remedies.
- Vitamin C: Well documented for it's anti-viral and immune boosting properties. I take a high dose supplement at the first sign of a cold - but also worth increasing your fruit and veg as these come with the added benefits of live enzymes and other antioxidants.
- Lemons and limes: Hot lemon and honey is an old-fashioned cold remedy with some truth to it. Unlike taking a supplement, which has to be digested in the stomach, drinking a source of vitamin C, such as lemon juice, allows some absorption directly into the affected tissues (throat). I like the juice of half a lemon or a whole lime with hot or cold water (sweeten with honey or agave nectar if you can't take it straight).
- Echinacea: Well known as a preventative measure but I also find it useful to shift a cold once I have one and always have Echinacea tincture in stock at home.
- Olive leaf: Less well known anti-viral which I find effective in a supplement combined with Echinacea.
- Cat's claw: Not some illegal feline based chinese remedy, but infact a brazilian plant with anti-viral properties. Worth keeping the capsules in your desk and taking at the first sign of a cold/flu.
- Horse radish: A natural decongestant, I take it as a supplement to dry up a cold but eating horseradish should work too.
- Curry: I live in the right part of town for a good curry and it's just the thing for a cold - and not just because it clears the sinuses. Many of the herbs and spices used in curry have been shown to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
- Keeping warm: There's good reason to curl up under the duvet if you're ill - the immune system works better at a higher temperature, so when you get a fever that is your body deliberately raising the temperature to help fight an infection.