Mom's remedy...

Soooooo, I'm down with flu… It's not too bad but I'm suffering from dry cough and don't feel that great over all. This generally happens during seasonal change or even weather change from cold to warm or vice versa…

Orrrrr when you feel too hot at night while sleeping and stick your leg out of the duvet throughout the night to keep a balance but by the morning catch a bit of cold! Yup, happened way too many times to me now…

Well, anyway, once you catch cold it is quite difficult to recover asap. All you can do is take medicines and stay warm. Well, the key is to boost the immune system so that your white blood cells can fight the viruses causing the illness… Best way? Natural remedies of course! So, here are some of my mom's advice while growing up that really saw me through the worst of my cold...

1. Honey: Whether you drink it with warm water, warm milk, in hot ginger tea or just stuff in a spoon full directly, honey has always been one of the foremost natural healers from cold and cough.

The most common remedy I've heard of is warm milk with honey. Some even like to add butter to theirs… Whether it helps or not, I at least got myself a nice cup of warm milk shake :P

Just warm a cup of milk, then stir in a spoon full of honey and (optional) a spoon full of butter. Mix well and drink it up. 

I personally like it in hot/warm water with a dash of lemon juice. Which brings me to the next point...

Note: Did you know that honey NEVER expires?

2. Citrus: lemon, lime, oranges, tangerines… they all help boost the immune system very quickly. Although it's true that every time I eat them when I have cold and cough I tend to cough out phlegm even more for a day or two just before fully recovering, but they do work wonders

I like drinking lime juice or lemon juice in luke warm water. This is quite good for immunity, helps clear skin from acnes and pimples and also helps slim down ;) And what do you know, it actually works!

3. Spices!

Not every one can endure the strong taste but consider yourself lucky if you are among those who like these spices... 

a). Ginger: Gives zang to your curries, life to the cookies and cures cough in a jiffy! Personally I love the taste of ginger especially in curries and savoury dishes… In desserts and cookies, not so much, I mean they are nice but I can do without them… However ginger marmalades, I find, are D.E.Licious!!! 

Ginger juice freshly squeezed out of grated ginger shreds has been known to cure coughs too well in my culture. I've seen my folks chew a dice of the root during their cold and get cured within 1-2 days. Ginger roots are really powerful in giving instant relief from the nagging itch at the back of the throat that keeps you and everyone in the house up all night. I used to be in dorm during my school days and I know how annoying or embarrassing that can get depending on which situation you are!

Just crush a small dice of ginger and consume with honey or warm water. Or if you are like me you can directly chew on the dice, one tiny bite at a time.

For those who cannot stand the strong taste of ginger but don't mind it as a flavouring can also consume ginger tea or ginger infused tea (not the same thing!). Should work too, although might take slightly longer.

b). Garlic: No I am not giving a recipe for a curry but yes, next spice to use is garlic. Garlics are known to  kill a lot of germs, bacterias and vampires :p... But garlic is one of the major antibacterial ingredients that really helps kill the microbes causing the cough. It is an immune booster and brings excellent flavour to your chinese, indian or italian food! 

Mmmmm… Garlic dough balls!!!

Mom also used to apply some garlic heated in mustard oil on my nose, back and chest whenever I caught cold as a kid. Simply crush a clove or two of garlic and put it in a measuring spoon (the deep and round one made out of metal), needn't peel it, at least mom didn't. Add mustard oil and heat till the garlic slightly crackles (the skin will darken, that's how you know it's done). Then let it cool slightly before you apply on your nose, neck, back and chest. Cover up and stay warm… Effects are quite fast!

c). Indian basil leaves a.k.a Tulsi: cough syrups made from indian basil leaves work like magic. Dad always gets a bottle whenever he's caught the flu and the cough vanishes like it never happened in hours!!! Tulsi itself is highly medicinal. Read about its health benefits here. It is slightly strong both in odour and taste, just like ginger, may be a bit too spicy (hot) for those who can't tolerate chilli heat AT ALL. It could be used as a spice but it is a highly sacred tree in India and is worshipped by the hindus, hence, no putting in the curry please... Although you could eat the leaves raw and fresh.

Crush 6-7 leaves and mix in a cup of warm water and imbibe! Excellent cough relief...

d). Turmeric: I have always watched mom add a pinch of turmeric powder to all her vegetarian and meat dishes… It gives a special flavour and a bright colour to the curries and "dals" of all sorts. Without it the dish isn't complete! 

Considered excellent for skin treatment, turmeric paste is often smeared on the skin, over the face, arms and legs to give a glowing smooth skin. It is also applied on both Indian brides and grooms as a wedding spa ritual just a day before the wedding in a "Haldi ceremony" for the very same reason. Turmeric paste is known to cure pimples and clear skin too. 

Well you see, turmeric is antibacterial, and this is where it helps during flu too. Apart from beauty care, little bit of turmeric powder/paste when consumed with warm milk helps in getting instant relief from cough. Now some people swear by it but I'm not sure how quick is the effect personally. However, turmeric is very medicinal and so, I do believe it will have effect sooner or later. But do be careful while using the root or powder, only use little bit as the taste of turmeric is VERY strong. For 1 spoon of pure turmeric powder/paste use 4 cups of warm milk. Or 1 tiny pinch of the powder in 1 cup of water/milk with honey should do.

4. Tea: Well, technically anything warm should help but tea is always a good option ;) Warm green tea infused with either ginger, lemon/lime, honey, turmeric or all of them together would work wonders. 

You can add ginger in your normal tea with honey.

Or add turmeric with either honey and ginger or both, the possibilities are plenty. But care should be taken while adding them in a cup of tea with milk as they may end up curdling the milk, especially ginger.

Well, personally I love tea and I really don't mind whichever way I imbibe the drink. So long as it WILL cure the cough :)

What remedy did your mom pass on to you?

Let me know :)

Till next time,

Stay safe, healthy and gorgeous! 

Love always,