Snow has just fallen and its probably one of the coldest parts of winter right now and thus, this is the time for the sniffles, body aches, headaches, fevers, and the flu. Prevention is of course the best way to go about, but sometimes, regardless of how hard you try, you just cannot prevent catching the flu. For example, if you are surrounded by people who are at ill, whether its at home, at work, or on the train, your chances of getting sick are higher. So, what are some things you can do at home to keep yourself well or to have a speedy recovery? Here are my top five home remedies.
1) Hot water with lemon and ginger. Drink lots and lots of hot water with lemon and ginger. This sounds so basic and simple, but really works. Hot water will help clear up any congestion to help you feel better. Ginger is truly a “miracle” cure all because the spiciness of ginger will also help to clear up any congestion or phlegm. Lemon will help to internally cleanse your digestion. All three together will cleanse you of any bacteria and will help you feel better.
2) Drink tea. Drinking lots and lots of herbal teas is excellent. Personally, I recommend green ginger tea with lemon. It has all the added benefits from above, but green tea is filled with anti-oxidants, which will boost your immune system. I would avoid caffeinated beverages because the last thing your body needs is a false kick of energy because it just causes more strain on the body.
3) Vitamin C. When you get sick, it means that your immune system has weakened. It needs more energy and “vitamin C” to function and get you back to health. But rather than taking vitamin C supplements, the best way to get that extra vitamin C is through fruit. I recommend squeezing one slice of orange, one slice of lemon, and one slice of lime in hot water, mix, and drink. Each slice should be about 1/8 size of the fruit and do not use a juicer.
4) Diet. Watch what you eat when you are sick. Stay clear of meats and any foods that are hard to digest, such as beans. Soups and cooked vegetables are best. Chicken broths are also ok, but not chicken pieces. Keep grain consumption to a minimum. When you are sick, your digestion is weak and that is why you often feel heavy and lethargic. Therefore, while you are recovering, give your digestion a break and eat light and fresh foods. Fresh fruits are also excellent, especially, since most fruits contain vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
5) Sleep. Believe it or not, for most people, when they are not feeling well, they still go to work or take care of household chores. The fastest road to recovery is to sleep. One sick day off from work is better then having to take 3 or 4 days off from work. Take a solid day’s worth of rest and drink lots and lots of fluids.
6) Bonus. This bonus point for recovering is not a home remedy and that is why it didn’t make it in the top five. The best herb for a fever is “Maha-Sudarshan Churna.” Most Indian grocery stores with a herbal section should carry it. It is a powerful herb that tackles fevers. You only need to take ½ teaspoon mixed with honey 3 times a day and your fever will be gone. But a fair warning for you is that it is quite bitter in taste and therefore, you can mix in more honey with it if you like.
I recognize that majority of my recommendations involve a lot of liquids. Liquids are what you need, because the more you drink water, the faster you will flush the bacteria or viruses out of your body. Whenever I begin to feel ill, or actually do get sick, I will follow each and every one of these remedies and I am always back on my feet in no time.
Stay warm and bundle up when going out. Even when you are not ill, drink lots of water and eat your fruits and vegetables. All of this, will really help to keep you well.
Health and Happiness!