Last week I was hit with the ol’ cold and flu that sweeps nations at the turn of the season.
I’m a classical singer (and a bit of a health freak to boot!), so I certainly ‘ain’t got no time’ for any common illness (quality English, I know). I’ve got practice, performances and work that doesn’t afford sick days, so I always try to rid these health set-backs in three days flat. Yes, I literally take it as a challenge!
There’s always a few good tips to follow to succeed in this:
Firstly, Vitamin C powder. Powder is more concentrated and effective than the usual tablets everyone wants to take. Take two, or three large teaspoons of powder throughout the day. You’re body will love you and it helps with so many other aspects of your health as well.
Secondly, sleep…obviously. I’m not an early bed go-er at all, so I don’t necessarily get any more sleep than usual (unless I’m very sick), but it does mean I try to stay at home as much as possible.
Thirdly, eat well: fruit, veggies, meat, soup and minimal dairy to avoid congestion.
Finally, take my tea buster to send your cold and flu to kingdom come!
What you’ll need to make 500ml:
Hot water (obviously)
1/2 Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder (Or fresh. I only have powder in the house most of the time.)
3 Tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
(The flavour with this ratio of ingredients will pack a punch, so back off on everything, if you want to make it milder.)
Lastly, you’ll want a decent flask, or canister to store it in and nurse it, wherever you may go. I swear by this little baby from T2. It has a great stainless steel in-built filter, it stays hot for hours and it’s the perfect shape and size to pop into your bag.
Now, to make this brewing concoction…
“Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” (Ok, enough Shakespeare, Grace!)
Pop the kettle onto boil.
Slice your pepper. I use half a pepper, but they always vary in spiciness, so beware!
Put the pepper in the filtered part of the canister, or straight into the base. Up to you. (The flavour, and therefore nutrients, come out much stronger if you put it straight into the base, where the hot water is going to go.)
Peel a bit of the ginger and dice it.
Slice your orange and lemon in half and juice.
Pour it in.
Then add three tablespoons of your apple cider vinegar.
Don’t forget your turmeric powder.
And best of all…
Beautiful raw honey. Now, I don’t have a brand for you, because, lucky for me, this batch came from my brother, who has a few bee hives. Any health food shop generally has it and it’s so much better for you than the generic, cooked brands – cooking the honey kills the enzymes, minerals and antioxidants, which is what you don’t want!
Anyway, treat yourself to a tablespoon of that (or to taste).
Top it all up with hot water.
Finally, twist the lid on the canister tightly and shake!
Before I wrap this blog up, you may be wondering why have I thrown all these ingredients in?
Lemon: High it vitamin C, holds antiviral and antibacterial properties, alkalizes the body (which makes your body in a better state to fight infection), plus breaks down congestion.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Like lemon, alkalizes the body and breaks down congestion.
Garlic: Contains ‘allicin’, which converts to compounds that help fight viruses.
Cayenne pepper: Relieves sore throats and it’s mega congestion annihilator!
Turmeric: ‘Curcumin’ is its chemical compound, and contains anti-fungal and antiviral properties, it fights free radicals, which affects the immune system, prevents viral replication and protects viruses from spreading to other cells.
Raw Honey: Fights off bacteria and respiratory infections. Reduces the symptoms of a cough and sore throat.
And the orange juice? Just for a bit of fruit intake, flavour and vitamin C.
These ingredients are serious superfoods and contain a lot more benefits beyond helping the common cold. Have a read into each one. It’s amazing!
Like I said, my measurements for this recipe are for a strong kick of flavour and nutrients. Tweak it and any of the doses to your liking, or take some of the ingredients out. All that matters in the end is that your feeding your body with some serious antivirus combatants.
Curl up with our favourite Netflix, sip and enjoy!