Natural Protection Against Colds and Flu

Image courtesy of Praisaeng, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Praisaeng, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy New Year. I hope that 2015 has got off to a good start for you.

We had a lovely Christmas but I was motivated to write this blog post because of all the germs flying around our family over the holidays! I’ve written before about how important a healthy gut is to keep your immune system strong but it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it an extra boost at this time of year. And my favourite natural ingredient for tackling colds, coughs and sore throats is ginger.

This knobbly spice has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine for hundreds of years and has a whole host of fantastic benefits:

Fights Common Respiratory Problems. If you have a cough, ginger can really help. It is a natural expectorant so will help expand your lungs and loosen up phlegm. There’s a recipe for a natural cough remedy at the end of this article.

Prevent Colds & Flu. In Asia ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for colds and flu. It’s also great if you suffer with blocked sinuses as it clears the microcirculatory channels of the body.

Reduce Pain and Inflammation. Ginger is naturally rich in potent anti-inflammatory substances and it seems to work in a very similar way to aspirin or ibuprofen. If you suffer from achy joints or muscles try adding a few drops of ginger essential oil to your bath.

Helps Relieve Motion and Morning Sickness. The exact reason why ginger is so effective is unknown but studies have shown that people with motion sickness suffer less when given ginger while 75% of morning sickness sufferers say ginger help alleviate their symptoms.

Aids Digestion. Ginger stimulate the release of gastric and pancreatic enzymes which improves the absorption of essential nutrients.

Maintains Normal Blood Circulation. Ginger contains chromium, magnesium and zinc which can help to improve blood flow, as well as help prevent chills, fever, and excessive sweat.

 These are my favourite ways to add some ginger to your diet.

Ginger Shot

Ginger shot ingredientsMy good friend Polly introduced me to these shots and my husband and I now have one every morning!  Juice one medium apple with a thumb-size chunk of fresh ginger (about 15g). You can adjust the amount of ginger depending on how much heat you want from your shot.

This will be enough for two shots. Don’t sip it, just knock it back and enjoy the ‘kick’!

You can also juice in bulk and freeze in small individual pots.

Ginger Tea

Steep two tablespoons of grated ginger in boiling water.

Add two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and two teaspoons of honey. This is a great drink if you have a cough.

 

Do you have any favourite ginger recipes you’d like to share?  Just leave a comment below.