The best defense against a cold or cough may be hidden in your spice rack and not the medicine cabinet! In addition to their food-flavoring properties, herbs and spices have long been used for their medicinal properties.
Along with lots of rest and a big glass of orange juice, food may be a great way to fight off whatever illnesses your immune system is currently battling. Herbs and spices that you’re already using to season your food may actually help fight illnesses.
Historically, herbs and spices like turmeric and ginger have been used not just for flavor but also for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (respectively), and modern medicine backs up much of what ancient theory suggested.
Supplement cold-fighting chicken soup with other natural immune-boosters like lemon (vitamin C), ginger, and garlic. Although most of the world agrees that chicken soup is one of the best ways to cure a cold, there are other, more adventurous cold remedies from around the world that you may want to try, like lizard soup or a hot mustard footbath.
But if you’re content with more common natural remedies like herbs and spices, herbal teas and many foods, like oats and yogurt, that also have immune boosting properties and may prevent or shorten the lifespan of everything from flu symptoms to sore throats.
Herbs and spices can help you get back on your feet when you’re battling a cold or sore throat, and they have an added bonus of making your food taste great.
With winter at its peak, it’s time to boost your immune system naturally with these tasty herbs and spices.
Remember, though, that even if you are using natural remedies to fight an illness, you should always consult with a doctor for medical treatment, and be aware that some spices may interact with medicine.
Black pepper is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps maintain a healthy colon. But those susceptible to kidney stones should not over-do black pepper,as it is high in oxalate, which can create stones.
Cayenne pepper is a powerful antiseptic. The next time you have a sore throat, mix some cayenne pepper into warm water with a bit of lemon juice to kill off those nasty virus germs. Click here for our best cayenne recipes.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.