At this time of year, it can be nearly impossible to avoid all of the nasty colds, flus and other viruses flying around. If you’re feeling under the weather, don’t despair - here are some of our favourite natural remedies that you can whip up at home to help you feel a little bit better.
1 - Lemon and honey
A classic combination, there’s a reason lemon and honey is often the first thing people reach for when they’re feeling under the weather. Lemon is packed full of vitamins and honey is a natural soother for a sore throat. Simply boil a mug of water and pour over a juicy big lemon segment and a generous squeeze of honey - add some sprigs of fresh mint or pinch of ginger and cayenne pepper for an extra kick.
2 - Turmeric
The yellow pigment within turmeric, curcumin, is packed full with powerful health-boosting properties. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and has a positive impact on blood flow, cognitive function and the digestive system. It’s generally beneficial for your immune system and overall health, making it the perfect superfood for when you’re feeling ill. Whether you opt for a warming curry or turmeric milk, tea or latte, there are plenty of delicious ways to use turmeric in the kitchen.
3 - Apple cider vinegar
If you can overlook the strong fermented taste, ACV has plenty of beneficial properties. It contains amino acids and antioxidants, and it’s a probiotic, meaning it’s good for your digestive health. For centuries, people have claimed ACV has powerful healing properties - so it’s certainly worth a try! Mix a spoonful of ACV with warm water and honey to help loosen mucus and aid your breathing.
4 - Ginger
No matter whether you’re feeling sick, full of cold or just generally not quite right, make ginger your new best friend. It has powerful medicinal properties, and comes in many forms including fresh, powdered and crystallised. Brew up a fresh tea and include ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other warming spices you find in your cupboard to help kickstart your immune system.
5 - Hearty vegetable soup
It might sound obvious, but a vitamin-packed soup or broth is the perfect meal option for when you’re not feeling up to cooking anything else. Whether you prefer chicken soup, vegetable broth or minestrone, pack your blend full of garlic, sage and plenty of other herbs. Include vegetables like carrots, leeks, celery and mushrooms for extra nutritional value.
6 - Jump in the bath
Once you’ve had enough healing drink and food, have a toasty warm bath. The steam will help loosen mucus and release the pressure in your sinuses, helping you feel less blocked up. Include a few drops of essential oil in your bath to maximise the benefits - eucalyptus, mint, cinnamon and tea tree oil are the perfect options.
7 - Hydrate and sleep
Finally, the best two ways to help shift your cold are by simply drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and getting lots of rejuvenating rest. Get plenty of early nights while you’re still feeling poorly, and make sure you’ve always got a glass or bottle of water with you to encourage you to drink constantly. Add some lime, lemon, basil or mint to your water to make it even more tempting!