November 17, 2019

Healthiest Winter Spices To Keep Colds & Cough At Bay

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A list of world’s healthiest winter spices that help to build your immunity system and fight winter diseases!!

Winter spices good for cold. Indian Kadha Herbal Spice tea in a white cup

Healthiest Winter Spices To Keep Colds & Cough At Bay

The smell of cinnamon and cloves filling feels like Christmas and cold winter nights.

With the onset of winter, you know that winter germs are not too far away.

The best defence against a cold attack is to ensure you are taking the right foods that build up your immunity.

Cold and flu being a viral infection, means there is not much a doctor or medication can do to help.

It takes its own sweet time to make an exit.

By adding certain spices and herbs into your daily diet you are less likely to fall ill and even if you do, the chances of you recovering are better and faster.

Why Should You Use Winter Spices

With the advancement of medicine, many of us have forgotten the use of natural remedies that can help us ward off regular health ailments such as indigestion, aches, coughs, colds and flu.

Research and studies show that anti-viral medicines and jab do little to improve or shorten the length of occurrence.

The ancient study of Ayurveda has advocated the use of spices as effective homemade remedies to strengthen our immunity from inside.

Spice and herbs have high antioxidants and antimicrobial properties which naturally enhance their medicinal properties and provide resistance to fight against diseases.

Besides adding flavour to food, stocking of on these winter spices will help you and your family fight those annoying winter blues!!

What Are The Best Spices Good For Cough and Cold

Here is a list of warming spices according to Ayurveda that are best to fight cough and colds.

This list of spices, help to give relief and minimize symptoms associated with the onset of cold such as runny and stuffy nose,  sore throat, irritation.

I speak from the experience of adding these chosen spices for cold winter months into our everyday meals.

And the best of all is that you can find these spices in any supermarket. They are common spices that can be easily bought.

My children and family rarely fall ill during seasonal changes and even if they do, feeding them soups, stews and spice teas provide a quick heal.

Here are my recommended Top 7 spices that are good for colds and coughs:

Turmeric

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Researchers have been studying the numerous benefits of Curcumin compound present in turmeric.

It is said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer properties.

Turmeric helps combat cold and cough, especially effective if you suffer from dry and painful cough.

The anti-inflammatory properties also help in soothing sore throat.

You can read the benefits of Turmeric and tips to use it for cooking here.

How to add Turmeric to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

The benefits of drinking turmeric milk is many and it is so easy to make.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric to warm milk, add honey and drink up for quick relief from cold symptoms.

Turmeric can be added to eggs, marinades, fish, meat, curries and stir-fries for not only making the food look appetising but also beneficial.

Cinnamon 

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Perhaps one of the most popular and commonly used spice in any cuisine.

Cinnamon helps to stimulate blood making our body warm.

It is a good cold reliever and expectorant. It helps to reduce congestion, dislodge phlegm and dry runny nose.

How to add Cinnamon to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

Add a stick of cinnamon to warm water and bring to boil. Drink 1/2  cup of cinnamon water with a teaspoon of honey 3-4 times a day.

Alternatively, you can also use a pinch of cinnamon powder to warm water and drink with added honey.

Add a pinch of cinnamon to muesli, milk, cereal, stews and soups.

Cloves 

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Cloves have the most amount of antioxidants per gram.

Ayurvedic medicines rely on cloves for curing or as a remedy for most health ailments.

So you know you are getting your antioxidant fix if you add just 4-5 buds of cloves.

Cloves also act as an expectorant and help clear stuffy nose.

Inhaling few cloves wrapped in a cotton cloth helps to clear a blocked nose.

You can read the benefits of Cloves and tips to use it for cooking here.

How to add Cloves to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

Make a soothing tea with cloves and cinnamon and drink with honey, 2-3 times a day.

Add cloves to rice dishes, stock and dessert.

You can also use clove oil for salad dressings.

Black Pepper 

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Other than containing antioxidants and antibacterial properties, black pepper is rich in vitamin C. And we all know what that means.

Vitamin C is the cold-fighting Ace.

It helps to alleviate chest congestion and blocked nose.

How to add black pepper to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

Black pepper mixed with honey is an age-old cough syrup across Indian households as honey serves as a natural cough suppressant.

Black pepper can be added to any food items, from vegetables to meat, fish and even drinks.

Try buttered toast with black pepper. You will be amazed by the taste.

Simply crush them directly onto any savoury food.

Chillies & Paprika 

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Capsaicin present in chilli peppers is known to have many health benefits.

The heat generated from eating chillies helps to decongest and clear nasal passage.

A word of caution is to avoid eating chillies if you have throat infection as chillies can irritate the already inflamed throat.

How to add chillies to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

Just like black pepper, chilli can be added to any food items.

Add it to your pasta dish, avocado toast, eggs, marinades, oil, salad just about anything for a spicy hot kick.

Ginger 

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Technically not a spice but ginger powder can also be used in place of fresh ginger. (although I prefer the real thing as it has much more to offer)

It has anti-inflammatory capacities and helps in fighting throat and chest infection.

Ginger also inhibits the growth of toxins and helps the body to absorb essential nutrients strengthening our immunity system.

How to add ginger to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

Ginger is a perfect spice to use to make many festive treats such as ginger biscuits, ginger cake, soups etc.

Add a stick or teaspoon of grated ginger to your stews, marinades, curry or even omelette.

Fresh ginger tea is a sure shot winter pleasure.

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Apart from being an instant flavour enhancer, green cardamoms are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
Belonging to the ginger family, it helps to warm the body and keep cold and cough symptoms at bay.
Eating and inhaling the aroma of green cardamom is said to clear nose and chest congestions, while the citrusy fresh aroma of cardamom helps to uplift your mood.

You can read the benefits of green cardamom and tips to use it for cooking here.

How to add green cardamom to food  to relieve cold symptoms 

Green cardamom is a versatile and flexible spice that can be added to dishes.

Add whole or powdered cardamom to rice and lentils based dishes.

They can also be added to enhance the flavour of stews, marinades and broth.

Winter spices good for cold

Homemade Kadha (Indian Winter Spice Tea for Cough & Cold) Recipe

Kadha is a spice tea based on the principles of Ayurveda that uses winter spices  & herbs to combat coughs and cold.

It is a very common drink in many Indian households and is considered as one of the best natural remedies for cold.

Drinking a cup or two of warm kadha everyday before bedtime or even during the day helps to build your immunity system and protect your body against seasonal infections.

As with most recipes, each kadha recipe differs.

A traditional kadha recipe will use the Indian Holy Basil, known as Tulsi, but since it is not easy to find basil outside of India this alternative recipe works just as well.

I like to make this kadha drink for my family and my daughters love to drink it.

It uses simple whole spices that you can buy everywhere if you do not have them already.

Indian Kadha Drink Recipe

Ingredients for making 2 cups of Kadha 

Water – 4 cups

Cloves – 8

Fresh Ginger – 1 inch, cut into circles or smashed

Cinnamon – 1-inch stick

Black peppercorns – 10

Honey – 2 tsp

Method 

  1. Heat 2 cups of water in a pan.
  2. Crush or slightly pound the spices in a mortar or pestle, add them to the water and bring it to boil. ( I avoid crushing the spices if making for my children as it can get too sharp to taste)
  3. Once the water comes to a boil lower the heat and continue to boil for another 10 -15 minutes until the water is reduced to half.

Indian Kadha in a pan recipe

4. Remove from heat and add a teaspoon of honey before serving.

Indian Kadha Herbal Spice tea in a white cup
Cold and Cough Fighting Indian Kadha Herbal Spice Tea

To Conclude

With the onset of winter, I do not think there will be any family devoid of cold bugs.

Although it may not be possible to totally avoid the cold bugs adding winter spices to your meals will help in fighting them much quicker and get faster relief.

You do not need to do anything special or make extra dishes to add these spices. They can easily be added to your steaks, pasta sauce, soups and stews.

Making any of the listed winter warming spice tea is one of the easiest and natural remedies to leave the red nose thing for just Rodolf :-0 !!