Dinner Diva: Natural ways to fight colds, flu

dinner diva leanne elyThere may be snow on the ground, there is colder weather, lots of soups and stews, and then of course the stuffed up noses. It all sounds great until you’re blowing your nose every two seconds and your throat could pass for sandpaper. And if all that wasn’t enough, your lungs have to fight the losing battle of a cough so aggressive you feel as though the wind is constantly being knocked out of you.

Sometimes these are just symptoms of a small cold, but other times they could be the flu (and you’ll be able to tell since the flu symptoms are nearly 10 times harsher than a simple cold). But let’s look at some home remedies for these health violators before resorting to chugging a bottle of Dayquil.

We all know that vitamin C is a good thing to keep in your system when fighting a cold. You can make sure of that by taking your daily vitamins and maybe increasing the dosage of vitamin C for the duration of the cold or flu. A great herb to help combat your cold is Echinacea. Echinacea is a notable immune system booster and will also help take up arms against the germs with your white blood cells to help insure a victory.

There are also some very standard steps to taking care of yourself that I think we often neglect and opt to buy medicine instead. According to WebMD you must: blow your nose, rest, gargle, and shower. You have to blow your nose regularly because half the time we’ll only blow our noses when we can no longer breathe out of them, but try to do it a couple times an hour to keep that mucus out of your system. Stay rested because your body won’t have enough energy to keep to your regular routine while fighting off a sickness. I once got over a cold by simply spending an entire day in bed, drinking tons of water and sleeping a lot instead of pushing myself.  Believe me it works.

Next time you feel a cold coming, get the upper-hand and try all the above. And I’ll leave you with one last little tip. If you have a sore throat that is distractingly painful and you lose your voice, I would recommend an herbal Throat Coat. Traditional Medicinal tea makes a great throat coat. Steep it and throw in some honey, you’ll feel noticeably better right away. It’s my quick fix if I need immediate relief. I wish you all a natural victory in this upcoming war on colds!

And here’s a recipe that will cure whatever is ailing you!

 

Winter Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups peeled and cubed winter squash
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (for more health benefits, use bone broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound low fat cream cheese, cubed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil and butter together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and saute the onion till translucent. Add squash, broth, thyme and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.

In a blender, puree squash mixture with the cream cheese (in batches) until smooth; return to the saucepan and heat through, BUT DON’T BOIL!

Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Leanne Ely is a NYT bestselling author and the creator of SavingDinner.com, the original menu planning website, bringing families back to the dinner table for over 15 years.

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