It’s that time of year again. It’s cold time. And that usually means two things:
- I dig out that copy of the Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews song “Baby it’s cold outside” because… well it is.
- I launch into slight paranoia about not getting too close to people because they’re spreading cold and flu germs and I know it’s an in vain task, because it’s out to get me.
Problem one can be easily dealt with. Warp up warm, pull the cosy socks on and layer, layer, layer. Don’t forget the hat (depending on which sources you believe, we lose about 35% of our body heat via the head – trivia of the day).
Problem two is not so simple. Many people when they feel a cold coming on head straight to the pharmacy counter labelled cold and flu medicines and in extreme cases hit the GP and are sometimes prescribed anti-biotics. My approach is different because
a) we’re exposed to enough chemicals in our daily life and I believe that a common cold does not need anti-biotics
b) I like to remind my immune system that it is there for a reason and the annual cold is just doing that.
My usually approach involves rest, lots of herbal tea, chicken noodle soup and a steam bath with Olbas oil (makes your eyes and nose runny, but also makes your skin glow). Using this approach usually takes 3-4 days to recover.
Now I realise that not everyone has the luxury to pull a sickie for this amount of time including me. And so I’ve been hunting for different approaches to dealing with a cold. There is a magical solution to dealing with a cold – and it’s called garlic and ginger.
Ohhhh, I can see you wrinkle your face and go YUCK! But bear with me. Here’s why:
- garlic is a powerful natural broad spectrum anti-biotic which the bacteria in the body do not develop resistance against (unlike to some of their pharmaceutical counterparts). Additionally, garlic has been found to have antiviral and antifungal properties.
- The evidence on ginger is not quite as clear, but clear enough. The essential oils found in ginger are said to have analgesic (painkilling), sedative (tranquilising), antipyretic (fever lowering) and antibacterial properties. The Chinese have a number of preparations (including a cola) with ginger to treat common colds.
So, looking at these properties of the two plants, it may not be so surprising that they work a treat. And it does work, I’ve had bouts of colds coming on and because I really could not get sick, was desperate enough to try it. 2 days on a garlic and ginger infusion and the problem was solved. Initially, I thought it might have been a fluke, but just recently I had the same situation: really can’t get ill because of business launch. And so I tried it again. And Bazinga! 2 days and I was fine.
How do you deploy this wonder weapon? I boil 1 clove of garlic (peeled and quartered) and a 1 cm piece of ginger (peeled and quartered) in 1 liter of water for 10 min. The 10 min comes from an ayurvedic recipe for hydration, which funny enough contains ginger. Fill it in a thermos and take it with you. Drink 3 to 4 large mugs a day and don’t forget to drink enough water/ herbal tea in between.
Am I too radical or esoteric? Maybe. But if only one person gives this some serious consideration, much is won.