Winter is the season when the common cold attacks. Folk wisdom offers 13 simple remedies to help combat colds and flu.
Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce and use as a sealant to protect the beehive. Its content of flavonoids deters bacteria and prevents infection. Its organic acids are especially effective to fight against the influenza virus. Make a solution with warm water and drink it. However, there are some contraindications… do not take propolis if you suffer from asthma or are allergic to bee products.
2. Mint tea
A few fresh mint leaves in hot water makes a perfect drink in winter. Drinking it both in the morning and after dinner can cure throat dryness, pain, and phlegm caused by heat-induced cold.
3. Cinnamon tea
Add a small spoonful of cinnamon and two garlic cloves to 250 ml of water. Boil for 20 minutes. Add honey and lemon juice to serve. Drink 1-3 cups a day and you will be protected from germs.
4. Plum tea
Add five basil-pickled or salted plums to a cup of hot water and stir for five minutes for a plum tea. Drink it both for breakfast and dinner. The drink’s antibacterial effect works to deter bacteria such as colon bacillus, Shigella dysenteriae, and Salmonella typhi, and helps to fight against colds.
5. Cane juice
Instead of refined cane juice sold in supermarkets, buy freshly pressed juice straight from the store for its minerals. Heat it in a saucepan. Switch off when it starts boiling. Add a few drops of lemon juice to drink. Cane is moist in nature. It can relieve a dry throat and coughing caused by a cold. Lemon, on the other hand, is rich in vitamin C for cold prevention.
6. Salted lemon tea
Cut 2 thin slices of lemon. Salt them with 1 g of salt. Add to hot water and drink. Do not let it sit for long as the lemon will turn bitter. It works best during the onset of a cold to clear the throat and refresh the body. As the drink does not hurt the stomach, it can be taken both before or after a meal.
7. Guava tea
Cut two small Taiwan guava or one big Thailand guava into quarters. Add seven cups of water. Bring to boil and cook under low heat for 5 minutes. Sieve and drink. It can clear heat, detoxify, reduce inflammation, and help urination, which can expedite the recovery from a cold.
8. Yam and ginger sweet soup
Cut a big yam into small pieces and some ginger into thin slices. Add six cups of water and boil. When cooked, add five spoons of brown sugar. Eating a bowl both in the morning and night after a meal can replenish the body quickly and help to get rid of the wind and cold in the body.
9. Chamomile tea
Chamomile works to reduce inflammation, dissolve heat, and hasten sleep, as well as to eliminate the early symptoms of a cold. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea before sleep can help you sleep soundly through the night.
10. Rosemary tea
Drinking a cup of tea made with fresh rosemary or covering your face with a hot towel soaked in boiled hot water with rosemary, mint, or lemon can greatly improve a respiratory system suffering from cold symptoms.
11. Baked orange
Cut a hole on the tip of an orange. Add a pinch of salt to the hole. Wrap in aluminum foil. Put in the oven to bake for five minutes. The peel and the white fiber should be eaten as well for the best results.
According to traditional Chinese medical studies, citrus fruits work for both wind-chill type and wind-heat type coughs to effectively stop coughing, remove phlegm, and nourish the lungs. Dieticians consider oranges a cold-natured food, but heating makes them heat-natured, which can soothe a dry cough.
12. Orange peel and dark plum soup
Put the peels of two oranges, six dark plums, and one star fruit in three cups of water. Cook until the water is reduced down.
13. Tomato with brown sugar
Cut a ripe tomato into slices. Dip in brown sugar and eat directly. You can eat as many times as you want in a day. It works to stop coughing and phlegm-forming.
For those who have contracted a cold, they must rest and seek medical advice. For those who are just at the onset, they can stop the condition from getting worse through forced sweating by drinking more hot water, hot tea, or hot chicken soup. Eating garlic, chili, and wasabi helps too. Once sweated through, the symptoms are much relieved. However, it needs to be pointed out that eating hot and spicy food works only before coughing occurs. If the throat itches and you cough a lot, hot and spicy food and cold drinks should be avoided.
Translated by Cecilia and edited by Helen