As we are nearing the end of the year, the flu and cold season is kicking into high gear. While it isn’t the cold weather itself that makes you sick – you can get a cold year-round – most people tend to get sick during the winter months.
Most germs that cause the common cold spread more quickly in cold, dry air. Furthermore, during the winter months, people spend more time indoors and closer to each other, which makes it easier for the bacteria and viruses to spread.
Of course, there are a few things you can do to prevent sickness in the first place. Keeping up your healthy eating habits, boosting your immune system, drinking enough filtered water during the day, washing your hands regularly, eating wholesome foods, and getting an adequate amount of exercise and sleep are all good examples of how to keep your body healthy and clean.
However, if you do get sick this season, don’t be too quick to run to the pharmacy for an over-the-counter solution unless it’s absolutely necessary. Nature can provide you with a far better and tastier solution that doesn’t come with harmful side effects.
DIY citrus spiced cough syrup
If there is one remedy you should add to your natural medicine cabinet, then it’s the citrus spiced cough syrup. It is easy and inexpensive to make, tastes great and you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.
Whenever you have a nagging cough, sore throat or feel the first tingle in your throat, brew up this concoction made from vitamin C-packed citrus fruits, extra-virgin coconut oil and antioxidant-rich cinnamon sticks.
- One medium organic navel orange, cut into one to two-inch pieces (do not peel)
- One organic lemon, cut into one-inch pieces (do not peel)
- Two-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- Two teaspoons mixed peppercorns
- One cinnamon stick
- Two tablespoons water
- Two tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
- One cup raw honey
- In a saucepan, combine orange and lemon pieces, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and water. Heat over medium heat while mashing the ingredients with a wooden spoon to release the juices. Lightly crush the cinnamon stick and peppercorns.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until fragrant.
- When fragrant, stir in the coconut oil and raw honey until the coconut oil is melted. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and pour into a clean jar with a lid.
- To use, take one or two tablespoons as needed until the symptoms disappear.
Combinations of honey, lemon and ginger to soothe a cough or a sore throat have been around for centuries. And these age-old remedies actually work! Even science agrees. Studies have shown that honey has potent antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, researchers suggest that raw honey can ease a cough and improve sleep as well as, or even better than, over-the-counter cough syrups.
Combine honey’s power with the immune-boosting nutrients in lemons and oranges, coconut oil and the spices, and you’ve got a delicious way to treat cold and flu symptoms naturally.