NATURAL IMMUNE BOOSTERS FOR COLDS
Updated: May 25, 2020
What should you do when you start to feel that sudden, familiar dry tingle in the back of the throat? Take action, what you do over the next few hours may mean the difference between staying well or staying home in bed all day. (For all the wrong reasons!) Here are our top tips on how to deal.
OUR GO-TO COLD BUSTERS
Homemade Ginger Tea with Manuka Honey and Lemon
The bite of fresh ginger is both soothing on the throat and incredibly healing. We like to chop up a big knob of old ginger, and a squeeze of lemon. Wait until the water is lukewarm before adding a large tablespoon of high UMF Manuka honey, as boiling temperatures deactivate the healing properties of the honey. Down this by the gallon and you'll feel right as rain in no time - it's much more effective than sucking on sugar-laden throat sweets.
Onion water for dry coughs
Yes, you read that right. This one is courtesy of Andrea's Peruvian nanny, who swore by this old Incan remedy for coughs. Ditch the gross expectorants, this is way cheaper, tastier and more effective. Roughly chop a few onions and layer in a tupperware. Sprinkle some sugar, and add another layer. Repeat until you get to the top. Cover with foil or clingfilm and refrigerate, placing a few cans on top to compress the onion/sugar mixture. Overnight, you'll get some liquid out of the onion, which you take like a cough syrup. It works a charm, promise!
Bring on the Broth
There's a reason why every culture has their version of mama's chicken soup. If you can't make it from scratch, bones et al - invest in a decent pre-made one like the Chicken Immunity Broth from our beloved Little Farms. The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and fight inflammation in the throat. Plus its super comforting when you're feeling under the weather!
We've all heard about vitamin C, but zinc is an essential immune boosting mineral. According to the Mayo Clinic, taking zinc within 24 hours of the onset of a cold or flu will help lessen the severity and even shorten the duration by a day. You need to take at least 75 mg per day, for as long as the cold lasts.
Chill and Sleep
Yes, just good ol' rest. The workout can wait, it's better to get an extra hour or two of zz's when your body is run down and trying to fend off bugs.
WHAT NOT TO EAT
Sugar is inflammatory, so ditch the comforting desserts, and remember - let food by thy medicine. Now is not the time to indulge in Krispy Kreme, just because you're feeling sorry for yourself.
Need we even say this? Alcohol weakens your immune system and disturbs your sleep, so don't even think about that hot toddy.
Ditch the lattes and yoghurt as dairy can increase mucus production, and that is one thing you don't want more of when you're already stuffed up, or your nose is dripping.
This one might surprise you. Citric acid in orange juice is actually irritating to the throat, so opt for tea instead.