Cold remedies

It may not be cold season, but this week I recently felt a sore throat coming on. Wondering what ways I could tackle it head on, I asked a few of my nutrition-minded friends what they recommended to stop a cold in its tracks, and below were some of their recommendations. These may be more holistic approaches, but you can’t deny that their suggestions contain some great ingredients to boost an ailing immune system.

While I may be sitting here a day later with a cold, there are always a myriad of other factors to consider when getting sick. i.e whether you are properly resting (nope), drinking enough fluids, etc. And who knows, the below approaches may have very well kept my symptoms at bay.

Here are some of the concoctions I was told about as well as a little research I did on my own.

1. Elderberry syrup: mix with water or take a tablespoon every few hours

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What did I find out?  

Made from dried elderberries, elderberry syrup is full of antioxidants, vitamin C and immune supporting minerals. It is known to reduce the length of the flu if taken immediately when symptoms begin to occur.

2. Turmeric: mix a teaspoon with a cup of water

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What did I find out?

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a very strong antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Not just for making currys, turmeric has been used medicinally in India for thousands of years. What’s more, good old fashion science has started backing up curcumin for it’s health-benefits. But instead of taking it in powder form, make sure to take it as a capsule so you receive a high enough curcumin dose, and ensure that the capsule contains bioperine so it is absorbed properly.

3. Slice of lemon, a few pieces of ginger and a dash of cayenne pepper mixed with hot water

What did I find out?

We all have heard that lemon is an amazing elixir of health. Mix it with ginger and cayenne pepper and you have the perfect drink to flush out your system. Capsaicin, cayenne’s active ingredient, is known to cool the body’s temperature while lemons are high in Vitamin C, keeping you hydrated and perhaps even minimising the duration of a cold. Ginger is another great immune supporter, known for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, cleansing the system and lowering body temperature.

4. Propolis extract: add 1.0mL to a cup of water

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What did I find out?

A substance similar to resin, propolis comes from the buds of poplar and cone-bearing trees. It is rarely found in its purest form, and must be taken from the tree’s surrounding beehives. Used medicinally since 350 B.C, propolis is known to help fight-off bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Depending on the condition you are trying to treat, it can be taken orally or directly applied to the skin.

5. Acupuncture

What did I find out?

Stimulating the body, acupuncture may help speed up the progress of a cold, helping flush it out of the body more quickly. In acupuncture, needles can be inserted along the lung and large intestine meridian points, triggering the immune system to function more consistently.

What remedies do you swear by when you feel a cold coming on?

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