Some of my favourite things to have in the house around winter to help banish those bugs:
Immune boosting due the volatile oils content being a natural antibiotic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Garlic is also good for the heart as it can lower homocysteine levels. Garlic is detoxifying due to the sulfhydryl content which helps in the removal of toxic substances. Can take 1 clove 3 x a day with lots of water or equally a supplement capsule. (NOTE: can be an anti-coagulant so be aware if on any similar meds)
Lemons are a natural diuretic and are alkalising to the body which is why a lot of people swear by taking lemon water in the mornings. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, folate, riboflavin, calcium, , magnesium, potassium and protein. They are antibacterial and can help to reduce inflammation so are great to use when colds and flu season is about. Ideally have a lemon freshly juiced in some "warm" water each morning. You can also add in ginger and lots of the other ingredients listed here to make a nourishing tea.
Is another powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient. Mainly known for it's help in fighting nausea (anti-emetic), ginger is also very good for gut health as well as circulation. So for those suffering with cold extremities this winter - get guzzling the ginger tea! Ginger is also a good expectorant if suffering from chesty coughs, you can drink the tea or add it to stir-frys - remember to put it in at the end as the less cooked a food is the more nutritional clout it has!
Turmeric has become very popular over the last year or two and you may have heard of golden milks and turmeric teas etc. This is because it contains an active compound called curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inflammation occurs with most immune responses and while it is a good thing because it is part of the immune response it can be problematic if we have low level, long term inflammation. Turmeric is also another antioxidant contributing to reducing oxidative stress that can build up when ill, overdoing it, stressed, over worked or exercising too much. Turmeric can be used in teas, as a spice when making curries (see my recipe pages for ideas) or sprinkled on sweet potatoes, in soups and on eggs for breakfasts. Very versatile - but remember to wash your hands after or you may be stained orange for a while!!!!
One of my favourite herbs to use in cooking due it's unmistakable taste and smell. It is also one of the best culinary herbs to fight off colds and flu as it can help loosen and expel mucous. Thymol which is one of the essential oil in thyme is a powerful anti-bacterial useful in many ailments caused by a bacteria. The best way to use this medicinally is by making it into an infusion with warm water and then drinking the tea.
So get stocking up over the winter season so you are ready and armed. However adding these into your daily cooking routines will also be a good preventative strategy.
- Neal's Yard Healing Foods