A Natural Cold Remedy
It’s a new year and a new decade, but some things never change, especially cold and flu season. It seems everywhere you turn, someone is coughing into their sleeve or blowing their nose into a tissue. I don’t know what it is about winter that gives viruses the right environment to flourish and spread—perhaps it’s the change in temperature resulting in more people staying indoors, the reduced daylight hours, or stress during a busy holiday season—but whatever the cause, your immune system is working extra hard to keep you well and healthy during the holidays.
However, sometimes your body loses the battle and you become sick for a few days or a few weeks.
I usually succumb to the cold virus right around Christmas and this last December was no exception. In fact, it was during my first Christmas gathering of the season that I started to notice a peculiar dryness in my throat. I shrugged it off, thinking I hadn’t been drinking enough water. When I tried to go to sleep that night, however, my throat began to hurt and I kept drinking water to try to soothe it, but by one a.m. the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep. Finally, I gave in and took two Tylenol to ease the pain.
When I woke up in the morning, I had a cold. First, it started out as a painful dry cough for a few days which soon turned into a phlegmy cough by the end of the week. At times, the phlegm got so thick in my lungs and throat that I woke up in the middle of the night gasping and struggling to breathe, but no matter how much I coughed, I couldn’t seem to loosen the phlegm.
Under normal circumstances, I would send my husband to the pharmacy to buy me over-the-counter cold medication, but since I’ve been taking antidepressents, I can no longer pop a pill to help me feel better. But I knew I needed to do something to ease the cough and loosen the phlegm in my lungs, so I turned to the ever-faithful Pinterest for some natural home remedies.
Aside from the usual honey and lemon remedies to soothe the throat, one particular remedy struck my interest: Cinnamon Tea for Sore Throat (see the pin here). This simple tea contains four ingredients which are beneficial for boosting your immune system—and these are all ingredients you can get at your local grocery store!
- Milk: Milk contains natural sugars and protein rich in amino acids. Milk is well-known for making your bones strong, but milk is also good for nourishing muscle tissue and strengthening the immune system (source). What I didn’t realize, however, is that when milk is heated up, it helps to loosen phlegm in the throat and chest.
- Honey: Honey is a good source of antioxidants which help protect your body from cell damage and it contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. Because of these medicinal properties, honey soothes your sore throat and acts as a natural cough suppressant (source).
- Cinnamon: Like honey, cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. Cinnamon also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps your body fight infections and repair tissue damage (source).
- Ginger: Ginger contains “gingerol,” which is a substance that is loaded with antioxidants, and antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger has a long history of being used to fight the common cold (source).
The first time I drank this tea, I was surprised and pleased with how well it soothed my sore throat, and it even tasted good! I drank a cup before bed and by morning, my lungs were clear. Of course, I had to blow my nose a lot during the night, but the phlegmy cough was gone. I continued to drink this tea twice a day for several days until I began to feel better.
When my husband started to feel cold symptoms coming on, I made this tea for him twice a day for a couple days and the cold symptoms disappeared! So now this is going to be our go-to beverage whenever we feel a little under the weather because it’s rich in medicinal properties that give a little aid to our hard-working immune systems and gives them a fighting chance!
If you’re fighting a cold and would like to give this remedy a try, the recipe is as follows:
Cinnamon Ginger Milk Tea
Length of time to make: 5 minutes
Makes 1 cup
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Add milk to microwaveable coffee mug and microwave on high for one minute to one and a half minutes to warm the milk, depending on your microwave’s power. If you heat the milk too long, it will scald and boil over, so keep an eye on it as it’s heating.
- Add the honey, cinnamon and ginger to the warmed milk and mix vigorously with a spoon or small wire whisk, breaking up any clumps of cinnamon and ginger as much as possible.
*Note: I like my tea hot, so I usually microwave it for another thirty seconds after mixing.
*Tip: If you have a phlegmy cough, drink one cup of tea before bed to loosen the phlegm. You can also drink another cup of tea in the morning to keep the phlegm down during the day. For best results, drink this tea once or twice a day for the duration of your cold or when you first notice symptoms.
- 1 cup of milk
- tablespoon of honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
Add milk to microwaveable coffee mug and microwave on high for one minute to one and a half minutes to warm the milk, depending on your microwave’s power. If you heat the milk too long, it will scald and boil over, so keep an eye on it as it’s heating.
Add the honey, cinnamon and ginger to the warmed milk and mix vigorously with a spoon or small wire whisk, breaking up any clumps of cinnamon and ginger as much as possible.
Add remaining ingredients.
Microwave the tea for thirty seconds then another thirty seconds after mixing.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 137
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