Naturopathic Cures for the Common Cold by Aisling O’Kelly
We all know that antibiotics don’t do much for the common cold and while sometimes spending a few days on the couch is the best way to recover- life commitments don’t always allow us that luxury! Naturopathy is when we use a combination of different healing tools at the same time. As a Naturopathic Nutritionist I apply this to every condition I see.
This hot humid weather is actually a breathing ground for viruses and bacteria! So here are my easy and cheap tips to beat the common cold. Chances are you will probably have most of these cures sitting in your kitchen press already…
- Vitamin C: When you’re feeling a bit under the weather it might be appealing to fill up on comfort foods i.e. sugar and processed foods. However, this is the opposite to what you should be doing. When we are sick we need to give our infection fighting cells all the ammunition they can get! Mixed berries, jaffa oranges and fresh pineapple are all loaded with vitamin C which is vital for boosting our immune system. Stock up on these fruits and munch on them throughout the day
- Hot water and Fresh Lemon– there is nothing worse than constantly trying to clear phlegm and mucus from your throat all day when we are sick. Not only does lemon help to break all of this up but lemon is also alkalising, not acidic, in the bloodstream and bacteria and viruses can’t survive in alkaline environments. A mug of water with ½ fresh lemon squeezed in first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day. You could also add in a teaspoon of honey too, if you wanted to make it a bit sweeter.
- Cayenne Pepper Powder– Blocked sinuses, pressure headaches and not being able to taste food- some of the worst parts about having a cold! Cayenne works by reducing inflammation in your sinuses- allowing more oxygen to the area. That feeling of your ‘head weighing a tonne’ actually is pretty accurate when we are all blocked up. Our sinuses are usually filled with air- but when they are blocked up they are filled with mucus. Less air= heavier head! The best part is cayenne is cheap as chips and you probably already have this in your spice rack. Take ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a shot glass filled with water, first thing in the morning before breakfast. Follow with a glass of cold water. *Cayenne shouldn’t be taken with blood clotting medications.
- Fresh Garlic- that stubborn garlic smell that lingers for hours after your finished eating is actually a disease fighting powerhouse called Allicin. It targets any bacteria in the body. If you ever see green mucus/phlegm (bacteria)- think garlic! The catch is, that allicin is only activated AFTER the garlic is chopped and it takes at least 10 minutes to reach it’s full potential. So instead of chopping your garlic and throwing it straight onto a hot pan- chop it first and add it to your dish last. Not only will it still be tasty but you are getting all the medicinal benefits too. Add garlic to soups, stir-frys, casseroles and curries.
- Self-Reflexology- This is free, simple to do and you can do it anywhere! The theory is that every part of our body is reflected on our hands and feet. The idea is that when you massage the correlating parts, it increases circulation, oxygen and blood flow to that area of the body- allowing the removal of toxins. The web of our fingers reflects our sinuses. Massage this area when you are watching a movie or even sitting in traffic! It might be slightly sore and tender in the beginning but as you continue to do it the pain will ease.
- Homemade chicken soup– immune boosting, mucus clearing and delicious. This chicken soup recipe has actually undergone clinical trials for how good it is at killing the common cold. You can make a big batch of this and freeze it it individual portions. Just reheat it with a knob of real butter when you want it!
Chicken Soup Recipe
- 4 large carrots
- 2 medium onions
- 3 sticks celery
- 6 medium potatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Fresh thyme, a few sprigs
- Large chicken or 4 chicken fillets
- 2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Black pepper, good pinch
- 2 pints of veg stock or water
- Prepare chicken; remove skin. Cut into portions or cook whole chicken
- Heat oil and fry chopped onion and garlic gently without browning for about 5mins.
- Add veg. (excluding potato) cover and cook gently until oil is absorbed.
- Add remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. May be cooked in pressure cooker for 20mins.
- May be eaten immediately or liquidised or frozen for 6 weeks.
Aisling is a Nutritional Therapist who combines natural medicine with evidence based research to find the underlying cause of illness. Aisling designs personalised plans for each client including dietary and supplement recommendations and general lifestyle advice; exercise, stress management cooking tips etc. Find her on Facebook or visit www.AokNutriton.com