As the the winter weather begins to sneak in, so do colds, coughs and congestion. Ugh! Ayurveda, an ancient science that’s been around for thousands of years, recommends natural treatments and kitchen remedies to balance out the body and reminds us to take really good care when things start to go off track.
Simple kitchen remedies are some of my favorites because they are just that, simple! And, who has time for the complicated stuff, especially when you’re down and out for the count?! I’ve been using my favorite two cold busters whenever a cold is coming on as they help me kick the cold out of my system a bit faster and with a little bit more ease. Plus, they are quick to prep and I always seem to have the ingredients available at home which is a major plus.
According to Ayurveda, colds are always an imbalance of both vata and kapha doshas (it’s the vata time of the year, after all!). vata is in charge of the immune system and kapha is in charge of the respiratory system. That’s why, in the vata season, it is easy for us to be thrown off balance and get sick. Along with the shift of season, which is tough to navigate in itself, too much stress or a jam packed schedule (all vata imbalances) can contribute to cold season. Then, built up kapha turns into sneezing, coughing and running noses. Some of these stressors we just cant help right off the bat… but, we can take really good care of ourselves.
So, besides the usual recommendations like drinking plenty of water (make sure its warm or hot to aid your digestion!), getting plenty of rest and eating well… the Spicy Tea and Spicy Honey recipes (see below!) can help us out big time. Even kids love the taste of the honey mix – so you get major bonus points with that one!
Heating spices (think: ginger, cinnamon, cloves..) along with raw honey burn away the heavy qualities of kapha or mucous in the system and help boost our immunity. Plus, they aid digestion which can become a little slow and sluggish when we’re sick. Always a crowd favorite, the combo of a spicy tea (trust me, it has a serious kick to it!) along with a honey mixture will not only treat your cold, satisfy your taste buds but also smell up your kitchen in the best way!
Put a few tsps of raw honey in a bowl & mix in a generous amount (1/2 tsp-ish) of turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and ginger (powder forms until honey is dark brown); take a small spoonful a few times each day.
1 whole lemon
2-3 inches fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp clove
2 tsp raw honey
a pinch of cayenne
brew everything together in 16oz hot water for 5-15 minutes & sip!
*remember these are kitchen remedies so you can tweak the quantity of spices, honey or water to your liking!
As an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Emily works with (mostly) women 1×1 to remedy common imbalances such as skin and sleep issues, digestive discomfort and hormonal imbalances by using diet, lifestyle and herbal remedies. Emily is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, 500hr certified yoga teacher and Ayurvedic yoga specialist. A lululemon athletica ambassador and a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). Emily is based in Boston.
Photo Credit: Joyelle West Photography