How to stop a cold dead in its tracks. 

It’s that time of year again, sniffles, coughs and colds galore. Prepare for sore throats, bunged up noses and chesty coughs for the next few weeks. If like me you are not a fan of being sick then here are a few ways to stop the cold before it starts.

1. Cinnamon 

This ancient spice is full of antioxidants and has a host of anti-inflammatory properties, it is also incredibly helpful for fighting infections and viruses.

Add a teaspoon of honey to a teaspoon of cinnamon and mix into a paste, add a small amount of warm water to dilute. Mix these together and knock it all back in one, do this three or four times a day.

2. Raw Honey

Real, made by bees honey is magically good for you – plus it tastes amazing. Aside from being a fantastic sugar alternative, raw honey is packed with healthy enzymes and it’s anti-viral and anti-fungal properties do wonders for fighting any illness. It is great for skin conditions, sore throats, coughs and even digestive issues and bloating.

A teaspoon or two of honey in your tea, lemon water or smoothie will give you that added boost and help your immune system start fighting off those nasty cold causers.

3. Garlic

Not just for pasta sauces and warding off vampires, garlic is a fantastic food with a host of antibiotic properties – in fact about three cloves of garlic have about the same antibacterial properties as a standard does of penicillin! Filled with the sulphur containing compound allicin this clove is fantastic for boosting your immune system function during cold and flu season and it is great for managing blood pressure and improving heart health but best of all it is a great way to releave chesty coughs, sore throats and even tonsillitis. Garlic can also be used to treat warts and reduce the itch of an insect bite – and you thought it was just for cooking!

If you can stomach it then 2-4 grams per day of fresh, minced garlic (about one clove) is a great way to fight infections – and keep away vampires or potential dates. The garlic should to be cut or minced in order to release the allicin which is the active component of garlic and it can be taken warm as cooking it releases other benefits but the cloves should never be microwaved. You can always mix the minced garlic with honey to make it more bareable if the thought of a teaspoon of raw garlic is making your stomach turn.
The best way to cook garlic and still get the most benifits from it is to crush the garlic and then wait 10 minutes before cooking it. By letting it stand for 10 minutes before it goes in the pan you give it it a chance to further the formation of allicin and it makes it more stable and resistant to the heat of cooking. After 10 minutes you can cook it on low or medium heat for a short period of time (up to 15 minutes).

4. Ginger

Ginger has been used as medicine by many cultures for thousands of years, it’s healing properties are reknowned the world over. From tea to water to cooking you will find this fiery root is used in so many applications there is no shortage or ways to include it in your diet. Especially good for settling an upset stomach ginger is perfect for motion sickness, food poisoning and pregnant women but it also reduces inflammation, helps relieve stress, soothes a cough and cold, has antibiotic properties and releases cramps.

There are plenty of recipes online for various forms of ginger tea but one of the easiest ways to up your ginger intake is to infuse your water. Place a few pieces of ginger into your water bottle in the morning and allow it to infuse throughout the day as you drink. It’s that easy.

5. Turmeric

Aside from its great ability to turn every thing it touches yellow tumeric is hailed as a magic spice. Used whole or dried tumeric has a number of healing properties with its number one use being for reducing inflammation. The curcumin found in tumeric is amazing for improving cognitive function and protecting brain cells as well as aiding healthy heart and liver function, it is also great for joint and muscle care and healthy skin while also being an amazing antidepressant.

Tumeric can be used to treat asthma, stomach ulcers, blood pressure issues as well as your standard cold and flu. It is also a great addition to the diet of anyone with auto-immune issues.

Tumeric lattes, or golden milk, are a great way to get your dose. Mix milk (dairy, non-dairy, what ever you like) with tumeric, one or two teaspoons, and some raw ginger. Add some honey and heat on the stove until warm and combined. Remove the bits of ginger or tumeric if you have used raw sticks and drink. It’s great before bed. If you want to shake it up you can also add cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves.

6. Lemon

Lemons are an amazing citrus fruit that boast a number of health benifits, from their antibacterial properties to their host of vitamins it is important to include lemon in your diet, and even more so during cold and flu season. This fruit is a great detoxifyer as it helps flush the kidneys and liver removing all the nasties that can build up there. It is also great for fighting infections, treating asthma, improving heart function and aiding digestion.

Just by adding it to your daily bottle of water and allowing it to infuse you are doing yourself a favour, with zero effort.

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