Winter might signal the start of the festive season – a time for family and fun – but it also signals the start of something much less enjoyable: the cold. Catching a cold during winter seems almost a given – even for the healthiest amongst us too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t strengthen our body against an onslaught of coughs and sneezes, for building up our immune system will hold us in good stead for fighting off those winter chills.
If we want to reduce the possibility of catching a cold, or cutting our recovery time in half, we only have to look as far as the humble cup of tea. Try out these recipes and you’ll feel ready to tackle winter hands on in no time!
Chamomile tea gets a citrusy-sweet twist with this stress-busting, antioxident-boosting recipe:
1 chamomile tea bag
Chamomile works wonders for not only calming the mind but also calming a sore throat. The vitamin C from the orange will help to give the immune system a boost whilst the honey will help to reduce coughs and throat irritation.
Simply add water to the chamomile tea bag and squeeze in the juice from the orange. Stir in the honey and enjoy.
Ginger and Apple Tea
The many benefits of ginger combine with the warming properties of cinnamon and the antioxidents of the apple to create a delicious medicine for a cold.
Fresh ginger (use a little or a lot depending on desired flavour)
1/2 an apple
1 cinnamon stick (ground cinnamon can be used if desired)
Ginger is renowned for its healing properties, namely its benefits on digestion and nausea, but also for its ability to ward off colds. Apples contain an antioxident (quercetin) which boosts the immune system whilst the anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon help to promote healing.
Simply slice both the apple and ginger in half and simmer for 10 minutes in a cup of water along with the cinnamon.
The zingy taste of lemon tea has been seen as the perfect start to a day for a long time, but it’s also the perfect way to strengthen your immune system during the cold, dark days of winter.
3 slices of lemon
1 green tea bag
1tsp sweetener (honey, sugar, maple syrup etc)
Lemons have a high vitamin C content making them the perfect antidote to winter’s ailments. Green tea is also loaded with antioxidents, so much so that some studies suggest green tea can fight off viruses and kill bacteria.
Put the lemon slices and green tea bag into a mug and pour over hot water. Add the sweetener and stir.
If you’re looking for a cold remedy that packs a punch, look no further than a Hot Toddy.
1 shot of whiskey
1tsp lemon juice
50ml of boiling water
1 cinnamon stick (or a pinch of ground cinnamon if preferred)
A Hot Toddy has long been touted as the perfect cure for a cough and cold. The mix of spices, honey and lemon juice offer a much needed boost to the immune system whilst the whiskey provides a warming kick. The alcohol in whiskey helps to kill bacteria in the throat too.
Place the whiskey, lemon juice and honey in a small cup and pour over hot water. Stir the mixture and add the cinnamon stick. If you’re not a whiskey fan, try adding a couple of cloves and a pinch of nutmeg to suit your taste.
photo credit: Walter A. Aue <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/54350362@N03/29133227242″>Zofia K. Aue: A Cuppa</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>