We are in the middle of cold season. And while not life threatening, the sniffles make us miserable while the bug runs its course. There are many over the counter cold remedies available, however these products can create side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth and eyes, and digestive distress.
I’ve discovered four natural alternatives to cold medicine. These powerful drinks not only help me in my fight against colds and allergies, they support and strengthen my immune system so that I am less likely to catch what’s going around next time.
Banana Orange Pineapple Smoothie
We typically think of hot drinks when fighting a cold. However, this nutrient packed fruit smoothie is a great drink to boost the immune system and increase vitamin C.
Bananas are a powerful antiviral food that also soothes sleep disorders and reduces anxiety. Oranges are high in vitamin C and bioactive calcium. They help combat the strep virus and a host of other disorders. Pineapple is anti inflammatory and supports the immune system as well.
In a blender, combine 1 banana, 2 oranges and 1 cup frozen pineapple chucks. Add 3/4 cup water and blend well.
Sipping on a banana orange pineapple smoothie is a great way to start the day, boost the immune system, and soothe a sore or scratchy throat.
Spiced Apple Cider
This fragrant hot drink not only tastes great, it also smells wonderful as it simmers on the stove. And the spiced cider is full of health benefits.
Apple cider is a great digestive aid and is very soothing to the digestive tract sipped before or after a meal. It also helps to reduce stress damage and keep the body energized and active. Cloves and ginger are especially good for warding off respiratory ailments and any cold or flu symptoms. They also help relieve headaches, nausea, muscle spasms, tension, and nerve pain. Cinnamon is very good for reducing inflammation. Star anise is highly beneficial in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections. (Recipe and info from Anthony William, the Medical Medium).
This warming drink is soothing, easing a sore throat and clearing a stuffy nose. Save the left overs in the fridge and drink cold or reheat. Drink spiced apple cider often to ward off cold symptoms and strengthen the body’s immune system.
Big Magic Chai
I discovered this hot drink via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page. Full of anti inflammatory spices, this hot drink is a great end of the day treat. Liz swears that it will cure anything!
Ginger is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds with powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects. Cardamom is a pungent spice, related to ginger, that helps alleviate cold symptoms. Cinnamon also has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties.
This is another aromatic drink that makes me feel better just by inhaling the spicy scent.
This tea can be purchased in tea bag form, or it is simple to brew from loose dried leaves, purchased in bulk, at a health food store.
Nettle leaves have anti inflammatory properties that work with the body in relieving and preventing cold and allergy symptoms. I brew a pot of tea and keeping it warm under a tea cozy, sip on it all day.
Place 3-4 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves into a large mesh tea ball. Steep in teapot, in very hot water, for 15 minutes. Add a spoonful of raw honey to each cup of tea, as a sweetener, if desired.
A single cup of tea can be prepared by adding 1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaves to a small mesh tea ball or mesh basket and steeping for 15 minutes in a cup of very hot water.
I start drinking nettle tea as soon as I feel a cold coming on. It not only feels great to my throat, it soothes my body and clears my head.
The next time a cold threatens to bring you down, try one, or all, of these natural drinks. Your body will thank you.