Our mothers/grandmothers swore by them, but do they work? Part of it is the intangible aspect of having someone caringly cook something for you when you’re feeling poorly so you can wallow in your misery, but all these recipes have something in them you can acquire even if you’re mother is not around to cook for you: solid nutrition needed when you’re fighting alien invasions. Here are some recipes from grandmothers around the world.
Jewish penicillin, aka homemade chicken soup: Homemade is the key word here, making it from scratch is the only way you’re going to reap the benefits and ensure lower sodium and fresh ingredients that are still packed with nutrients. You’re getting hydrated which is always good of course. Also it is thought to inhibit the migration of white blood cells to the upper respiratory system, which, when they realize they can’t fight a viral infection, promote mucus production and we all know where it goes from there! [recipe]
Moroccan ginger & honey drink: This is my favorite, and not just for when I have a cold. It came to me via a Moroccan grandmother although there are variations of it from around the world. I keep a ginger root in the freezer so it’s always handy, and I often replace the honey with agave nectar. Grate a bit of ginger into a mug, add a teaspoon of honey and add hot water. Stir well and drink once the ginger sinks to the bottom.
Indian turmeric & honey drink: Turmeric is widely known for it’s antiseptic antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties among other things. Add one teaspoon of this all round do-gooder to a cup of milk with a teaspoon of honey and enjoy [recipe]. I also use it in my hot chocolate, see this recipe if you think just turmeric may not be your thing. [hot chocolate recipe]
Asian spicy ramen with kimchi: This dish has the benefits of giving you the all important liquids as well as the spiciness that will force the cold (and who knows what else!) out of your body. I have not tried this recipe, but it seems like a good place to start. [recipe]
Greek fenugreek: The fenugreek seeds are boiled into a tea and are used to ease congestion. You can buy teabags in most natural food stores, or make your own tea. [recipe]
Chinese heat/cool remedies: According to some Chinese remedies, if you are suffering from ‘heat’ symptoms you need foods with ‘cool’ properties. These include: peppermint, chrysanthemum, Chinese box thorn, mung beans, lotus leaves, olives and spinach.
British Hot toddy: Add alcohol to anything in England it becomes a cold remedy, but the hot toddy is probably the most well known. Does it work or just get you drunk and take your mind off your misery so you can sleep? Do we care?! [recipe]