How to

30 September 2016

Unusual Remedies to Help You Conquer That Winter Flu
It’s getting to be that season where winter, cosy clothing, and sniffly noses are a part of daily life.  When temperatures plummet, so too does personal well-being and happiness (in some cases); and with that, we can take a moment to examine some homeopathic, DIY remedies to common cold weather ailments.

Full disclosure: these remedies are not proven to work nor should you expect them to be cure-alls. However, prepare to be pleasantly surprised at how quickly they take your mind off of your distressing state.

  • Ginger and cayenne microwaved with lemon juice, honey, and echinacea extract yield a slightly revolting concoction that will clear up the sinuses. Ginger has antibiotic properties that aid with digestion, detoxing, inflammation, joint pain and nausea. Cayenne relieves congestion naturally, a by-product of spiciness. Capsaicin, an ingredient that gives cayenne its flavour, causes the body to release liquids to cool down. Echinacea extract is known to boost immune function, relieve pain, and has antiviral/antioxidant effects.

  • Soup, a staple for the sickly, is at its best with clear broths and uncomplicated ingredients. Chicken soup is a staple, but why not try chicken soup with rice? A piping hot bowl of soup will clear up congestion (temporarily) and relieve body aches. The reasoning behind soup making you feel a million times better could also be how comforting it is. 

  • When you’re sick, eating is a real chore. So, try getting your nutrients in liquid form. Fruits and veggies, especially those with Vitamin C (citrus fruits, strawberries, papaya, kiwi) or A (sweet potato, carrots, spinach), will smash a cold to bits. Any kind of smoothie with fresh ingredients will do, but if you really can’t think of any then try this recipe packed with immune-boosting ingredients. 

  • Honey-onion soup doesn’t sound immediately appealing, but the honey will work great on a sore throat and the onion has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that get to the root of the cold issue.

  • Make spicy dishes and eat them constantly! This may not be a home remedy per-se, but it’ll definitely loosen up any phlegm and get your nose running for the majority of the day. Try spicy noodle soups, kimchi fried rice, or anything with sriracha mixed in. The plus to these spicy dishes? Most of them can handle a fair bit of ginger which has beneficial qualities that we covered above.  

  • Take an Epsom salt bath. Not only will you be wrapped in steam and forced to relax, the Epsom salt acts as a detoxifying agent. Spending time soaking in the bathwater will improve circulation, reduce stress, and relieve inflammation. A winner all around!

  • Making a simple syrup of medicinal herbs will beat out name-brand cold remedies any day. They can deliver multiple beneficial components in one fell swoop. There are many variations to try, some of which can be dreamt up at home for the homoeopathically-inclined. If you’re a recipe person, then this tutorial on making herbal syrups is right up your alley. 

  • Probably the most interesting remedy on here, a mustard compress may do the trick for you. The tangy spread has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s worth a shot. Make a paste out of 1 T mustard, 2-4 T flour, and 1 egg white, adding water to get the right consistency. You’ll need a pair of cloths big enough to cover your chest. Once ready, spread the mixture onto the first cloth, layering the second on top like a sandwich. Smear some olive oil over your chest before laying the cloth wrap down. It should only need a few minutes to set, and be sure to check your skin frequently as mustard can leave burns! 
Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).