You may be able to skip the pharmacy counter and find some pretty powerful cold, and flu remedies in your own spice cabinet. Medications have their place of course, but often the first line of defense is getting our immune systems up to par going the natural route. Most of us are familiar with good old vitamin C, but many cultures have turned to warm spices like turmeric, and ginger to feed colds, and starve fevers for hundreds of years. Added to smoothies, warmed dairy or nondairy milk, or as a tea, experiencing the healing benefits of these spices is simple.
Turmeric with its deep golden hue is available as a whole root or powder. Known as the main spice in curry powder, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that many naturopathic practitioners prescribe in place of over-the-counter ibuprofen. Studies have shown that turmeric may also benefit arthritis sufferers, and slow Alzheimer’s disease by reducing oxidative damage to the brain. As with all spices, make sure you purchase it as fresh as possible.
Nothing is cozier and familiar than cinnamon. It’s a signature spice in baked goods, along with having anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. According to WebMD, the medicinal qualities of cinnamon include lowering blood sugar, and cholesterol. One popular remedy for colds, and sore throats are taking cinnamon with raw honey for an antibiotic effect.
Ginger is a friend to travelers with its anti-nausea properties, and steeped in tea, and added to recipes also has a warming effect that reduces inflammation, and detoxes the body. Chinese medicine has been touting the cold-fighting benefit of ginger for over 2000 years, as well as its ability to improve circulation, and improve immunity.
Cardamom is a warm spice with floral notes common in Indian cuisine. Ayurveda recommends the use of cardamom to relieve digestive upset such as bloating, and nausea, as well as fighting colds, and flu. As a natural diuretic, cardamom is effective in flushing toxins from the kidneys.
Experiment with these aromatic spices, and be sure to replace them every six months or so to ensure maximum potency.
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