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... ginger.
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.
Four Ginger Based Home Remedies for Treating a Cold
1. Ginger & Cinnamon Tea
Take a 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 serve. This should be enough for three of four cups to be drunk throughout the day. Honey can be added to taste once the tea has cooled to drinking temperature.
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 to see how quick and easy it is to make this fresh ginger home made 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.
4. Ginger Steam Inhalation
Add a couple of drops of ginger oil and eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water. Lean over the bowl and inhale. If you cover your head and the bowl with a towel you will trap the steam in around your face and this will work better.
For a fresh steam inhalation that doesn’t involve buying essential oils: add 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger to a pot of boiling water, boil for a few minutes then remove from the heat and inhale. If you have a eucalyptus tree nearby you can and a few leaves to the water as it boils too.
Keep warm and sip hot drinks throughout the day and avoid cold foods, especially dairy for a fast recovery.
Note: For information only. If in doubt, please see your doctor. Be careful when using ginger if you are taking anti-coagulant medication and do no use ginger within 3 hours of taking aspirin.
Photo by SingChan