Autumn is a time when many of us come down with colds, coughs and flu (at least here in the UK) as the weather becomes colder, damper and the days get shorter which hits our bodies quite hard. Of course, it is also possible to get colds any time of the year – even when you are out in the campervan in the summer – and it is useful to know a few natural food-based remedies that you can use if you can’t get to the pharmacy straight away. This one, the onion antibiotic, is an old remedy and was taught to me by my grandmother…
Onions are amazing food and have a lot of health benefits but are especially good at seeing off bacterial infections. To get the concentrated antibiotic benefits of onion you need to eat it raw but you can also make an onion syrup and this is what my grandmother used to do for us:
- Cut up a small, white onion and place on a small plate
- Cover generously with a soft, brown sugar
- Leave it to stand (covered) for 4 -5 hours. A thick, brown syrup will appear as the juices are drawn out from the onion
- Drink a teaspoon of the syrup every 2 hours until no more syrup appears from the onion
This is the old-fashioned version but today I would use runny honey instead of the sugar as it is healthier and has amazing health benefits itself.
Other foodie remedies you can use for a cold/cough are:
- take extra Vitamin C and Zinc. Foods high in Vit C are: citrus fruit, peppers, kale,strawberries, blackcurrents, broccoli, melon, parsley. Foods high in Zinc are: beef, yoghurt, chickpeas, spinach, pumpkin seeds.
- have hot drinks of lemon+honey+ginger
- take some probiotics (70% of your immune system is in your gut!) so some natural. live yoghurt is good
- eat lots of garlic, raw if you can cope with it
- good, old-fashioned chicken soup
And remember to keep warm and rest. Your immune system is working overtime and you put extra pressure on your whole system when you are busy and stressed and it needs you to be still and calm while it heals you. It’s OK to have a duvet day!