Monday, 4 March 2013

Natural Cold Remedies

You know one, I'm sure. Everyone and their grandmother does. One person says to rub eucalyptus on your wrist, another tells you to load up on garlic. Buried in this well-meaning advice are some "golden nuggets". Some studies suggest garlic may have mild natural antibiotic properties. Ginger is known for providing relief from nausea as well as relieving common cold symptoms. Mangoes may have anti-viral properties as well. But is there any science to support home-grown remedies? In some cases, yes. In others, perhaps. Recent studies suggest that the placebo effect holds even when subjects understand that they are receiving a placebo, so even if there is no direct bio-chemical effect of your favourite remedy, you may still experience some relief from it.

In the spirit of the season of runny noses, I will share the recipe for our family's favourite cold remedy: honey-ginger tea with lemon. Not only does it seem to provide relief, it also tastes good. Adjust proportions to suit your personal preference.

Honey-Ginger Tea With Lemon

fresh ginger
filtered, reverse-osmosis or tap water (not bottled water)
1/2-1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 generous teaspoon natural raw honey (try a farmer's market or local producer). Use commercial brands only in desperation since they tend to be highly processed.

  1. Peel and slice ginger into very thin strips, about 1 tablespoon per mug (although it is called "tea", this is definitely a "mug" kind of drink) and place in the bottom of a mug (if microwaving) or a teapot.
  2. To microwave, fill the mug with water leaving room at the top for lemon and honey if using a mug and microwave on high until it reaches boiling temperature (about 2 minutes).
  3. For a teapot, add boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove ginger slices (if desired). Stir in the lemon juice and honey and enjoy.