Is it possible that warming drinks can keep us cozy and offer health benefits? Of course, they do have to be non-alcoholic to have a healthy impact on our immune system and not add weight gain as we sip away. We come in from the cold and we want something warm because it makes us feel… well, good. Isn’t that why we start our day with coffee or tea? And don’t we sometimes end our day with a cup of chamomile tea or hot cocoa? Most of all, when we feel a cold coming on, or we are down for the count, we only want a soothing, warming drink. Having a few antioxidant packed cold fighting drink recipes on hand will help our chances of beating or treating a winter cold.
Healthy Warming Drinks
Sometimes no matter what we do, we may catch a cold and unfortunately it can last up to two weeks. With our hectic lives, even if we work from home, maintaining schedules and tasks with coughing and running noses is not easy or pleasant. Colds are viral, and the best thing we can do about them is to self-medicate the symptoms to make us feel better with warming drinks. No need to run to the pharmacy for over the counter products when a combination of natural ingredients usually available in every kitchen can accomplish the same results. Let’s look at a few warming drink recipes made a natural way and why they work.
Hot Water and Lemon Infusion
(some people start their day with just room temperature water and fresh lemon juice)
1 cup of boiling water
The juice of 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch sea salt
A teaspoon of honey
Directions: Put all of the ingredients in your favorite mug, stir well and drink whilst warm.
Cold Buster Frothy
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk – you could use regular milk if you are so inclined though!
1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cayenne pepper
Freshly ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of honey
Directions: Heat the milk in a saucepan, add all ingredients, then whisk away until you have a lovely frothy mixture. Make sure you drink it whilst it is still warm to get the best results.
Be Prepared With Cold Fighters: Lemon, Ginger, and Honey
Prepare the following recipe ahead of time, store in the refrigerator in a mason jar and just add a few tablespoons to hot water at the first sign of a cold.
Directions: Thoroughly clean and slice 2 lemons and 2 pieces of ginger, the size of your pointer finger
Alternate in a mason jar, then slowly pour raw honey over it.
Allow honey to sink down and fill to the top, seal tight. Refrigerate
Over time, the mixture will start to turn into a loose jelly.
Scoop out 2-3 tablespoons including whole pieces of ginger and lemon and steep in hot water for 3-4 minutes.
Hot Pomegranate Cider
3 cups apple cider
1 cup pomegranate juice
3 cinnamon sticks
Directions: Simmer all ingredients for 10 minutes. Serve minus cinnamon sticks and cloves.
(We would be remiss if we did not include the classic cure-all for a cold.)
Cut up whole chicken
Cut up several carrots, celery, 1 onion, 1 parsnip, 1 turnip
dash of kosher salt, few sprigs of dill
8 cups of water or broth or a combination
Directions: Simmer in a large pot until chicken is falling off the bones. Strain and return pieces of chicken and vegetables.
Why Warming Drinks Work
Healing Benefits of Spices from HerculeanHealth.com
These delicious spices and recipes are imbued with curative properties:
Tumeric and Ginger capitalize on anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They help you sweat out the toxins in your body, which is helpful when you have a cold or flu. Ginger is also very helpful for settling upset stomachs, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats.
Hot water and lemon combination flush the liver and kidneys of toxins. Adding lemon juice adds 25% of your daily vitamin C requirement which keeps the immune system strong and neutralizes the free radicals in your body. It helps to reduce inflammation.
Cinnamon and Nutmeg are great spices for the season and can help with balancing blood-sugar levels.
Cayenne pepper stimulates the metabolism and raises our internal heat due to high amounts of capsaicin.
Honey soothes a sore throat, making it an effective and natural cough suppressant. This improves the body’s ability to fight infection and decreases the risk of fevers. The natural sweetness of honey also balances the tartness of lemon and the spice of ginger, giving honey, lemon and ginger tea its soothing flavor.
Pomegranate helps to fight off infection with antioxidants, and contains astringents. An astringent is a substance that causes contraction of body tissue. In the case of a sore throat, it helps the swelling in your throat to go down, diminishing the pain.
Chicken Soup stops certain white blood cells from congregating and causing inflammation, preventing the production of large amounts of mucus. The hot soup also thins the mucus. Adding freshly chopped garlic to your soup adds a powerful boost as it stimulates the release of natural germ fighters. Add a few red pepper flakes to increase the broth’s decongesting power.
Why am I talking about How to Treat a Cold?
You must be wondering why a jewelry designer has written about warming drinks and cold fighting recipes. Don’t fall prey to laryngitis like I just did. Over the two week period that I suffered from a cold, I heard from many people about what I should do to feel better and make it go away. So I spent a great deal of time googling home remedies and was rather impressed with all the variations. It led me to try a few I had not used before, as well as think about keeping my body going through the winter months just ahead. It is possible to ward off a cold using our natural health resources, but if a cold does attack, the most critical piece of information I learned was to rest, rest and rest, and to hydrate- be it with water, ginger, green and black hot teas, and pomegranate juice.
What is your favorite home remedy?
Wishing everyone a healthy winter.