The typical congestion, runny nose, cough and aches that come with a cold can make you feel rotten for a few days, but there is one simple common kitchen ingredient that can help you feel better fast...
According to Ayurveda, winter and spring are the time when we are more likely to get a cold. Colds are primarily a kapha disorder where the body shows a build up of the cold and wet properties of kapha which reveal themselves as mucous and congestion. Vata is also involved causing chills, and sometimes low appetite.
Since a cold is caused by the cool nature of both kapha and vata the best way to treat it is to use the warming properties of ginger. Ginger is good for the lungs, digestion and circulation so it is perfect for treating colds. For the lungs, ginger clears phlegm, for the digestive system it kindles our digestive fire and stimulates the production of digestive enzymes, and circulation is increased along with sweating.
Ginger is so revered in Ayurvedic medicine for it's many healing qualities that it is known as ‘the universal medicine’.
Three Ginger Based Home Remedies for Treating a Cold
1. Ginger & Cinnamon Tea
Take a cooking pot and fill with 1 pint of cold water, add one cinnamon quill and 1 inch of grated fresh ginger. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain and pour into a thermos flask with a little raw honey. This should be enough for three of four cups to be drunk throughout the day.
You can also add a squeeze of lemon to your flask for extra congestion relief and soothing a cough.
Cinnamon is a popular spice for the treatment of colds and flu due to it's warming nature and it's effect on increasing circulation. It has a cleansing effect on the body and is valuable in the treatment of both Kapha and Vata conditions.
2. Ginger & Honey Cough Syrup
This simple home remedy can be made in a minute and is very soothing to coughs and colds. See the video below for a quick and easy guide to making your own fresh ginger cough syrup.
3. Ginger Bath
Mix one tablespoonful of ground (powdered) ginger with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts under hot running water and run yourself a warm cold easing, muscle soothing bath.
Keep warm and avoid cold foods, especially dairy, for a fast recovery.
Note: This article is for information only. If iyou are concerned about your health, please see your doctor. Be careful when using ginger if you are taking anti-coagulant medication and do not use ginger within 3 hours of taking aspirin.