Well guys, Spring is upon us and so is cold and flu season! I’ve been inspired by all of my sniffly stuffy friends in this post! I know that this is a little out of the blue compared to the other posts, but this is one of my biggest passions and my friends are always asking my advise on this topic. So here you go!
As some of you already know, I work a couple of different jobs. Part time I’m a Barista, part time I’m a Bartender in 2 different high volume restaurants. So, I make a lot of drinks! Though, I do love my coffee, my favorite drinks to make are teas, I’m obsessed with TEA, superfoods elixirs and juices. I’m a bit of a health nut and I research health and nutrition with an emphasis on holistic just for fun. I know, I’m a nerd! This stuff just fascinates me!
I’m the type of person who gets really excited over Superfoods and juice cleanses. I carry around a little bag full of different kinds of tea and I always make sure to pack spices like Cayenne pepper and turmeric in my purse. I’m also the type of person who has suffered from chronic Sinus and ear infections all my life. As a kid I always had to use inhalers and humidifiers. I was constantly on antibiotics and allergy medicine. Up until about 4 years ago I was always sick around this time of year. It never failed. Seasons would change and I would get sick. I would get a small cold and it would turn into a full blown sinus and ear infection every time. There was one month that I remember being on 3 rounds of antibiotics back to back! It was terrible. So I started researching and what I found changed my life.
In this day and age it is so easy to educate yourself, at the same time it’s very easy to get confused by all the misinformation out there. Stop wasting your money on over the counter cold medicines! Let’s all be real. If you’ve got a cold no amount of cold medicine is going to make you better, and it actually might make you worse or lengthen the amount of time you’re sick. It’s a FACT. At best cold medicines only some what treat your symptoms but they don’t actually make you better. Also it’s been proven that not all over the counter cold medicines actually work! Now of course if your symptoms are severe, and you feel like you’re going to die, then you should seek the advise of a Doctor. What I’m talking about is preventing sickness and how to treat yourself once you are sick with a common cold.
These are things that I’ve personally researched tried and use on a regular basis. It’s been about 4 years now and I haven’t been on any antibiotics! I haven’t had a single ear infection. I’m rarely sick, but I am human so it does happen occasionally when I’m surrounded by sickies. The difference is that now when I do feel a cold coming on I start taking preventative measures and I’m never sick for more than a couple days max. It’s a lot more tolerable than going weeks with a severe cold that won’t go away. It’s all about keeping your immune system strong and preventing dis-ease in the first place. I don’t take any pharmaceutical drugs anymore, not even Ibuprofen or Advil unless I absolutely have to.
Turmeric: The Golden Goddess
Turmeric is my #1 favorite! I use it almost daily for a number of reasons. This traditional Ayurvedic herb is used for inflammation, aches and pains, which is wonderful for people like me who are very active. I’m a climber and yogi and I love anything outdoors. That being said I’m pretty rough on myself! Turmeric is a great natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory and has been proven to work as effectively as most over the counter pain medicines. Also ladies, it’s great at relieving menstrual cramps and bloating.
Turmeric’s anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties help your body’s immune system and leave you better equipped to fight off cold and flu. Lovisa says, “Turmeric’s curcumin helps stimulate the body’s immune system and kicks it in to action (even if you already have a cold) making it a great natural remedy.”
Turmeric has a long history of healing use (over 4 000 years) and has been a staple of Indian food traditions for millennia in Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese, and Siddhic medicinal traditions. Similar to its cousin ginger, Turmeric is a root and is one of the most potent and powerful antioxidants found in nature. It’s benefits and uses go on and on!
How to use Turmeric
There are teas you can buy with Lemon, ginger and Turmeric like the Tulsi brand of tea, which is really good. You can also make it yourself very easily. You can find the powder in any spice section of a grocery store. All you have to do is mix 1/2-1 teaspoon Turmeric in some hot water with lemon and honey and ginger if you like.
Or for something a little more delicious try making Golden Milk. Golden Milk is a traditional Ayurvedic drink which is extremely beneficial. Three main ingredients that make up the base of this drink are:
Turmeric: Curcumin, powerful antioxidant. You can use as a paste or powder.
Coconut milk: About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.
Black Pepper: when mixed with Turmeric has been found to increase the curcumin’s bio-availability by 2,000 percent!
I’ve found a recipe for Golden Milk (below) but there are a number of ways you can make it. This is usually how I make mine, except I add a little ginger if I have it. It all depends on how your feeling and what you have on hand. My boyfriend loves this drink and asks me to make it for him all the time. Make a cup of this before bed or when you wake up in the morning and I guarantee you’ll be feeling better in no time!
More Natural Cold Fighters
Adding things like turmeric to your diet is awesome but the more you do to help out your immune system the better equipped you will be for fighting off all types of sicknesses. Here are some more powerful cold fighters I highly recommend adding to your diet as well:
Zinc: is believed to work by inhibiting viral cell reproduction in the mucus membranes of the upper respiratory system – See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/cold_flu/tips/10_doctor-approved_natural_cold_remedies.aspx#sthash.zXUQz8lt.dpuf
Echinacea: is a powerful cold fighting herb
Ginger: the root of the ginger plant contains compounds called gingerols that attack pain, inflammation, germs and viruses. Ginger suppresses inflammatory compounds – See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/cold_flu/tips/10_doctor-approved_natural_cold_remedies.aspx#sthash.zXUQz8lt.dpuf
Honey: made from flower pollen and enzymes in bee saliva, has antioxidants and antiviral and antibacterial properties – all of which make it a top cold-fighter – See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/cold_flu/tips/10_doctor-approved_natural_cold_remedies.aspx#sthash.zXUQz8lt.dpuf
Garlic: is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. For colds and flus, it also provides decongestant and expectorant effects. Crushing chopping and letting minced garlic rest causes a chemical reaction that releases allicin. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial only present shortly after garlic is crushed and before it is heated! Eating fresh garlic in this state is purported to knock out that terrible feeling associated with the onset of a cold or flu. Some experts even recommend eating a clove or two every 3 to 4 hours until the bug is entirely knocked out. See more at http://thechalkboardmag.com/would-you-wouldnt-you-gnaw-raw-garlic-for-cold-flu-season
There is so much information out there. See for yourself!