Top 5 Herbs & Spices for Colds
Note: Always discuss with your doctor before taking large supplements of herbs in case of any reaction with a medication.
Garlic Tonic Soup at the first signs of a cold, or add lots of garlic to chicken soup. Skip supplements and go for fresh garlic - it's cheaper, tastier, safer, and likely to be more effective. Safety tip: If you're on anticoagulant drugs or are scheduled for surgery, talk to your doctor before consuming large amounts of garlic.
Ginger is warm & spicy that kick makes it a favorite culinary spice throughout the world. Long appreciated as an aid to digestion, numerous studies have shown that it is effective against nausea. Ginger has also been shown to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, so consuming it while you're sick may help knock out whatever is ailing you. Add minced fresh ginger root to soup, or blend it into a Vitamin C-rich fruit smoothie. Feeling too low-energy to cook? Try prepared ginger teabags, or nibble on a piece of crystallized ginger. I personally love ginger tea, I add a little bit of cinnamon to mine to make it even tastier. Safety tip: If you are on anticoagulant drugs or are scheduled for surgery, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before consuming large amounts of ginger.
3. Chili Peppers: Ever get that teary-eyed, runny-nosed, throat-clearing sensation after eating hot peppers? Next time you're miserably congested and scratchy-throated, put those peppers to work! Try a little cayenne in soup, or add hot sauce to stir-fried veggies served over soothing rice. Chili's appear to have anti-inflammatory properties, too, so they may give you a little respite if you're feeling achy.
4. Mint is a natural source of menthol, so a steaming cup of mint tea can actually help open clogged nasal passages and soothe sore throats, at least temporarily. Drinking it throughout the day may even help offset the need for dehydrating decongestants. If you're running a fever, menthol's cooling sensation may help you feel a little more comfortable. Mint is also a great stomach soother. If you get tired of tea, try adding chopped mint leaves to fruit salad.
5. Chamomile: Feeling crummy can make it hard to sleep just when you need rest the most. Some medications can make you jumpy, others might be upsetting your stomach. Enter chamomile. This little floral herb soothes the stomach, and relaxes both mind and body. Because it has mild muscle-relaxing properties, it may help alleviate aches and pains, too. Try a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime, and get the healing rest you need.