Ingredients for cold remedy - lemons, oranges, honey, ginger, spirulina

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Ingredients for cold remedy – lemons, oranges, honey, ginger, spirulina

 


Ingredients:

  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Honey
  • Ginger
  • Spirulina (Suitable for Vegan & Vegetarians)
  • Whiskey (optional)

 

When you wake up with aches and pains shivering. When you can’t stop sneezing and coughing. When life gives you lemons – make lemonade….of sorts.

This week, for me, the warning signs were there – swollens glands, itchy eyes, weird muscle pain, sore throat, dry cough, endless involuntary nasal explosions* – the dreaded realisation that I had succumbed to a bad cold.

Of course I rang my mammy looking for sympathy:

Drink plenty of fluids – take honey and lemons

Good advice – I should make the greatest Irish mammy mocktail ever (you can add whiskey if you want). Here is my step-by-step guide. It is rough and ready because hey when you have a cold things have to be simple.

*Simplex crossword clue – answer: sneezes

Step One – Juice Lemons & Oranges: 

Juicing lemons

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Juicing lemons

Juice one lemon and one orange and add to large jug. Lemons and oranges, like other fellow citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Ascorbic acid is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood. Lemons and oranges contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoid glycosides commonly found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator.

So, juice these delicious fruits and you can throw the rinds into the jug for added flavour and goodness too.

Step Two – Grate Ginger:

Grating ginger

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Grating ginger

 

Grating ginger

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Grating ginger

Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger adds a special flavour to this herbal remedy drink. Ginger has been in use since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent, and anti-microbial properties. The ginger root contains health benefiting essential oils that help improve the intestinal motility and have been anti-inflammatory, painkiller (analgesic), nerve soothing, anti-pyretic as well as anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown that it may decrease nausea induced by motion sickness or pregnancy and may help relieve migraine headache. This herb root only has 80 calories per 100 g and contains no cholesterol.Nonetheless, it composes many essential nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-5 that are required for optimum health. Furthermore, the herb also contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Happy days! – so grate some of mother nature’s painkiller and add it to the jug.

Step Three – Add Spirulina:

Spirulina

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Spirulina

Spirulina is a 100% natural and highly nutritious algae superfood which boasts an absolute host of benefits for helping you get back fitting fit and healthy. This tiny one-celled algae has been hailed as one of the most nutritionally complete food supplements around, and is used widely in the prevention of disease. At around 65% protein, spirulina forms what is known as a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids required by the body for great health. These amino acids provide immune system support, facilitate vitamin, mineral and hormone transport around the body, and also help in the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure. Plus, its high levels of chlorophyll aid in the removal of toxins from the blood and boost the immune system. Other key components of spirulina include calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 plus folic acid, vitamin C, D, A and E. It is also a good source of potassium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, sodium and zinc, the benefits of which include anti-aging effects, healthy nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

Step Four – Add Honey:

Ginger, Spirulina & Honey

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Ginger, Spirulina & Honey

Spirulina is quite a bitter sharp flavour so adding honey balances this out. But taste is not the only reason for adding this ingredient. Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide. Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners. Honey helps with coughs and is effective  in relieving nocturnal coughing allowing proper sleep.

Step Five – Just Add Boiling Water & Get Well Soon!

Herbal drink, cup & tissues

Photo credit: Eleanor Mannion – Herbal drink, cup & tissues – all you need for a full recovery

Just add boiling water and enjoy this homemade cold remedy. Add whiskey if you feel like it and you are further guaranteed a good night’s sleep. This drink is full of what your body needs to get back on its feet. Until then lie on the couch, watch a movie  and get well soon.

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