Cold Remedy

At-Home Cold Relief

Friday, November 22, 2013

So, tonight I have started to get that feeling.  You know the one:  my throat is dry and hoarse; I'm tired; my nose is starting to become a faucet; and my sinuses have been filled to the brim.  I'm coming down with a cold.

I don't get sick often.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I was sick (thank you, Shakeology!!). Here's the thing, though.   I have this allergy/sinus issue that tends to flare up anytime the weather changes to cold and wintry.  And we are starting to get our share of that here in western Pennsylvania.  

It's a good thing I have a "secret weapon" to fight the nasty little cold virus right when it starts!  My weapon?  Tea.  But not *just* tea...  tea with honey, apple cider vinegar, and lemon.  Trust me:  try this little concoction, and your sore throat, cold, or early bronchitis will be knocked out in no time!

Why It Works:

Black tea - Black tea is a powerhouse when it comes to cold symptoms.  It is packed with B vitamins and folic acid, which help to support immune function.  It also has compounds called flavonoids which have several functions all their own.  These compounds inhibit inflammation which, in turn, decreases congestion.  Tea also has a mild antimicrobial effect.  Finally, black tea has been shown to increase the effectiveness of Vitamin C - which we add via the lemon.

Honey - Honey is a natural antimicrobial itself.  It has even been shown - through limited studies - to be effective against staph that was resistant to penicillin, enrofloxacin, tetraciclin, gentamicin and kanamicyn in this study.  While that was only one particular study, researchers across the board agree that honey has anti-infective properties and uses. 

Apple Cider Vinegar - This acidic substance is amazing at cutting through mucus and decreasing sinus drainage.  Also, like the other things in this tea, apple cider vinegar has some mild antimicrobial properties due to its acidic nature.  Bacteria and viruses have a hard time surviving in such an acidic environment.  Also, surprisingly, though the vinegar is itself an acid, consuming it helps to put the body into an alkaline state - which is also hostile to microbes.

Lemon Juice - Lemons are loaded with vitamin C.  Did you know that vitamin C is a natural antihistamine?  Crazy, right?  Also, while vitamin C has not been shown to lessen the incidence or severity of a cold, it HAS been shown to decrease it's longevity.  Lemon juice also has similar properties to apple cider vinegar in that it thins mucus and is acidic.  Also, like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice provides an immediate acidic environment that is toxic to microbes, but it also helps to put the body into an alkaline state.

The Instructions:

The recipe for this tea is fairly straightforward.  Brew a cup of tea to desired strength.  Add 2 Tbsp. each of apple cider vinegar and honey and the juice from half a lemon.  Drink as often as desired until symptoms resolve.

Do YOU have any home remedies?  I'd love to hear them!!

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