Keep pesky bugs at bay this winter with natural home remedies. Who wants to be wrapped up in bed with a hot water bottle when there are fabulous Christmas festivities to engage in?!
I’m very interested in using natural ingredients to help get rid of a tickly cough or a sore throat. Over the years I’ve used various herbal remedies which I’d love to share with you. If you have any you’d like to share with me, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Orange and ginger drink
What you’ll need:
1-4 Orange herbal teabags (you can also use lemon teabags)
A few inches of fresh ginger
A few teaspoons of honey (optional)
This is my go-to rescue remedy in winter. I can’t function without it. I’ve used a variety of shop bought cough syrups but nothing gets rid of a sore or irritated throat like this.
First, boil a full kettle of water. You can finely grate the ginger while you wait. Let the water cool for a few moments and pour it in a large glass jug. Add the teabags. Stir then add the grated ginger. If you wish to add a few teaspoons of honey you can do it now. Stir the mixture and cover.
The great thing about this drink is you can have it hot or cold. If you’re drinking it hot, leave the mixture for around 20-30 minutes but if you’re having it cold you can leave it overnight.
Once you’re ready to drink it, use a large sieve to get rid of the grated ginger as you decanter it into a suitable cup/bottle.
I can’t praise echinacea enough. If I don’t have large supply of this in my health cupboard I start to panic. It’s that good.
Echinacea is an excellent immune booster and can help prevent a common cold developing further. It’s anti-inflammatory and some studies have shown that echinacea can even increase the number of white blood cells (crucial for fighting infections).
It’s usually best to take echinacea when you start developing mild symptoms of a cold: sneezing, coughing or generally feeling rundown. If you’re using the liquid, it’s recommended to dilute 20-25 drops in a large glass (250ml) of water. I always notice a difference from the first use.
Although echinacea is available in tablets or liquid, I prefer to use the liquid. I feel it gets to work faster.
Sage (including tea, throat spray and pastilles)
Admittedly, this herb is an acquired taste but hey, if it works who cares? Sage is an amazing ingredient. It fights inflammation and has antiseptic qualities, making it ideal to help with sore throats and coughs. You can buy sage in a variety of forms: tea, throat sprays, sweets or pastilles.
Salt water gargle
Ok, so this one really is as sexy as it sounds. A salt water gargle instantly soothes a sore throat and helps fight strep throat and even tonsillitis because it stops bacteria spreading.
Add one teaspoon of salt (fine salt is best for this, table salt is ideal) to a small glass of lukewarm water. Stir it well for a few seconds and gargle away! You should start to notice a difference in your throat pretty quickly as the salt will instantly soothe an irritated throat.
Disclaimer: Although I am highly interested in healthcare, herbal remedies and nutrition, I am not a trained doctor or nutritionist. Please consult your doctor for further help and advice.