Fighting off the dreaded ‘lurgie’… a-la-naturale…

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While working on my website I came down with the flu and my friends gave me some natural remedies that were given to them to get rid of the flu without conventional medications. I thought I would pass them on to you.

Onion – Cut the top of an onion and place it in a glass bowl and then place the bowl  next  to my bed.  The theory is that the onion attracts the bacteria of the flu and pulls the bacteria from my body into the onion, so in the morning I would be well.

This got me thinking, so I did some research on foods that fight infection.

Some of the natural remedies I looked into were chicken soup, hot and spicy food, garlic, citrus fruit and ginger.

Chicken Soup contains cysteine, an amino acid that thins the mucus in the lungs, reducing some of the ‘cloggy’ symptoms of a cold (Winter R. A Consumer’s Guide to Medicines in Food . New York, NY: Crown Trade Paperbacks 1995;167-68.). Additionally, the brew reduces inflammation and congestion, and provides much-needed rehydration. Make chicken soup with real stock if possible – chicken and vegetable stock is rich in nutrients. Onions and garlic are excellent immunity-boosting additions, as is celery, which promotes sleep.

Hot and spicy food
Some people swear by garlic, horseradish, chillies or spicy sauces to help ease congestion. Try cooking some Indian or other ethnic foods that contain these ingredients or simply add a spicy sauce to foods you like such as omelettes for extra zip.

Garlic is believed to act as an antioxidant and destroy free-radicals, the active oxygen molecules that damage cells, so add garlic liberally to your favourite foods.

Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids. Instead of coffee, fizzy or sweetened drinks, have plenty of water and pure fruit juices. Hot beverages work better for some people, so consider chamomile, green or peppermint herbal tea, or sip on hot water with a slice of lemon.

Citrus fruits
Reach for citrus fruits to increase your vitamin C intake. Drink freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast, snack on half a grapefruit, or add tangerine slices to a lunchtime salad. Getting an increased amount of vitamin C is especially important if you smoke, as smoking increases both your risk of catching a cold and your body’s need for this protective vitamin.

Vitamin C sources
Citrus fruits aren’t the only foods high in vitamin C. Potatoes, green peppers, strawberries and pineapple can help as your daily cold-fighting food arsenal.

Actually I find fresh ginger root helps treat the coughing and fever that often accompany colds and flu. Try making a ginger tea: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

A daily routine of high-fat, high-sugar junk foods, skipped meals and lots of caffeine can make you more susceptible to minor illnesses like colds and flu. Instead, make sure you eat plenty of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and low-fat protein to keep your immune system strong. Think of nutritious foods as part of your cold-and-flu armour, and you’ll be ready to do battle whenever illness strikes.

What are your thoughts on the good and the bad of natural remedies? Please leave a comment below and share this part of your journey with us….