these tried and tested Desi remedies will destroy any flu or cold that comes your way
Blustery winds, arctic temperatures and icy rain.
Welcome to flu season and the spread of colds, coughs and general ill moods among daily commuters.
Confined spaces and stuffy interiors are a glorious breeding ground for germs, viruses and all manner of unsavoury bacteria.
Even if you’ve avoided a cold and flu so far this season, you can be sure that Mr. Flu will creep up on you sooner or later.
But before you stock up on meds, capsules and as many lozenges as the pharmacy stocks, try out some of these tried and tested Desi remedies that will destroy any flu or cold that comes your way.
Milk and Turmeric
Haldi has been an age-long remedy for illness. The Indian spice is well known for its antiseptic properties.
The earthy spice contains countless nutrients, including antioxidants, and is used as a medicine for Desis.
The ‘healing spice’ when mixed with warm milk is a perfect nightcap for when you are feeling run down.
A popular remedy for the common cold, Ginger contains a special compound called ‘ajoene’, which helps to control bacteria and viruses that can arise because of infections.
Ginger tea can help dry a runny nose and expel excess phlegm from your respiratory tract.
To make, slice 4-6 slices of raw ginger and boil in water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add honey or lime juice to taste.
Night Jasmine or ‘Shiuli’ is an effective combatant of colds and a sore throat.
The leaves of this plant contain ‘mannitol’, ‘oleanolic acid’ and ‘tannic acid’, which have powerful antiviral properties.
They can help in fighting back viruses and bacteria. To consume, crush 5-8 leaves together to extract the juice. Mix this with a teaspoon of honey, and take daily.
Lemon, Cinnamon and Honey
Raw honey is high in bacteria-killing enzymes and other nutrients which give it amazing medicinal properties.
Mixing with fresh lemon can help to soothe sore throats.
Lemon contains antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which will boost your immune system and speed up the healing process.
While also being highly flavourful, cinnamon has many antibacterial properties that are perfect for colds and coughs.
Try mixing this trio together for a triple-action cure for colds and coughs.
Honey and Hot Brandy
For a quick fix for a particularly rough cold and flu, brandy helps to keep your chest warm.
All you need to do is mix a teaspoon and intake for a speedy recovery.
But be warned as taking alcohol can lead to dehydration.
Amla or the Indian Gooseberry contains a rich source of vitamin C.
Foods that are rich in vitamin C can help to protect your lungs from congestion and prevent the onset of a cold.
Taking just one tablespoon of amla juice in the morning will help you build up your immune system, giving you less chance of getting sick.
Tulsi Spiced Tea
Tulsi or Holy Basil is another gift from mother nature that is brilliant has been used for centuries as part of Ayurveda healing.
The leaves of a tulsi plant contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and is great for building up your immune system.
This queen of herbs can be mixed with ginger and black pepper for a strong and punchy tea that will fight of any cold or flu.
Raw jaggery is known for being a classic remedy that can cure a dry cough and cold.
Boil water with black pepper and add cumin and jaggery. Drink the tea to soothe coughs and colds.
To mix it up, you can even try jaggery laddoos made with sesame seeds.
Perhaps one of the best natural cures for the common cold, garlic has many healing properties.
It is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiprotozoal. It helps to clear stubborn mucus that blocks lungs.
But while garlic is a master remedy, its consumption can be a bit of a rough ride. The best way to use garlic to treat your cold, is to crush 5 or 6 cloves and consume them raw.
If that’s too much to handle in your delicate state, try mixing it with yoghurt to balance out the strong taste.
Hot Cayenne Pepper
Spicy food is actually quite good for you. As well as packing a spicy punch, cayenne pepper clears nasal congestion, respiratory passages and your sinuses.
It induces sweating which can lower fevers that are caused by a flu. Cayenne is also a source of ‘capsaicin’ which is the compound that makes peppers so spicy.
To treat colds, use in your daily tea with a tablespoon of honey and half a teaspoon of dry cayenne pepper powder.
When it comes to colds and flu, the best medications can be found in your kitchen cupboard. These natural Desi remedies have been used for centuries, and passed on through generations.
They are a fool-proof cure for those pesky colds and can be used at any time when flu season beckons.