I realize that a little cold might be my body’s way of telling me to take a few days off and relax. We should all be able to rest and heal. But I also love the way my body feels during this time when I’m giving it lots of cold-fighting antioxidants and immune boosting spices. I find myself wanting a homemade cold remedy when I’m coming down with a cold. And now I’ll share with you – the elixir.
At the very first hint of a cold coming on, I beeline it for the grocery store for ginger. I can’t stand the side effects of cold medicines. They make me feel drowsy and dehydrated. Instead, fighting a cold with plant-based natural medicine helps the cold actually go away faster, instead of just masking the symptoms. Everything in this little elixir is powerful and packed with immune fighting nutrients and phytochemicals. Make enough for 4 servings and take two big shots a day for two days – one in the morning and one at night. Be warned – it is strong, but does the trick.
Ginger is magical. While I can’t seem to find a documented scientific reason why ginger would provide a powerful jolt of energy and mental clarify, I swear it does. Right after taking this, or a shot of plain ginger juice (which I also HIGHLY recommend for a cold – or just some good clean recreational fun), my body and mind feel a subtle but noticeable wave of energy. It’s actually fun.
On top of two large swigs of this potion per day, thinly slice another 1/2 inch of ginger and put in a thermos with hot water. Let it steep an hour or so, then add lemon and honey. Sip throughout the day.
Makes 4 1-gulp servings
- 1 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- juice of 3 lemons
- juice of 1/2 an orange (optional)
- pinch cayenne
Put all the ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Then drink. Best to have a glass of water handy in case you need a chaser.
Why This Will Make You Feel Amazing
Ginger — traditionally used to treat nausea, motion sickness, and intestinal distress. It has anti-inflammatory actions and helps sooth a sore throat.
Garlic — anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, helps prevent and fight the common cold.
Lemon — juice, peel, and pith is full of bioflavonoids with strong antioxidant properties.
Turmeric — the active component is curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory action. It’s effect is strengthened when taken with black pepper and/or food.
Cayenne — taken orally can relieve congestion, back and head pain. Topical creme with cayenne can also relieve pain!
Other natural remedies for colds:
Gurgle with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide to soothe a sore throat first thing in the morning.
Get lots of rest. This is essential the whole time you’re feeling ill. If you can’t take any time off work, just make sure you’re going to bed super early. Try to let yourself sleep for 10 hours a night.
Overdo it with fluids. Try to just constantly be sipping on hot water with lemon. Add honey to a few.
Emily Van Eck, MS, RDN specializes in intuitive eating, mindfulness-based eating practices, embodiment with food and movement, and healing from years of weight-bias and disordered eating. She helps womxn find balance, consistency, and peace with their eating habits so they can feel confident to get outta their heads and into their bodies. Emily is a registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor with a master’s degree in nutrition science. Read more about her here.