Getting to the root of cold-symptom cures

By Ayesha Chugh, March 12 2015 —

The common cold is tedious and spares no one. As the cold season continues, everyone seems to have a remedy or quick fix to get healthy. If you’re tired of hearing the same old “lots of rest” and “eat chicken noodle soup,” here are some not so common remedies from around the world that can help cure cold symptoms.

Turmeric
In India, turmeric is used to help you regain strength through its
anti-oxidant properties. Turmeric is a plant from the ginger family and a key ingredient in many Indian recipes. Receive the full benefits of this spice by combining it with a glass of warm milk or tea.

Turnips
Turnips are used in Iran as a remedy for colds. Turnips are high in calcium and vitamin C. They can also be used as a blood purifier to help with cold symptoms and can be ingested either by steeping bits into tea or simply eating mashed.

Onion juice
Stemming from old Israeli folk medicine, onion juice is used to provide instant relief from sinus congestion. Onions have a chemical compound called quercetin, which fights histamines due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces swelling in your nose and relieves congestion. To make onion juice, slice an onion in half and place it in a bowl. Then add some sugar and honey to allow the onion to release its natural juices.

Ginger
In Japan, ginger is used to clear the sinuses and other microcirculatory channels in the body, all of which tend to inflame during a cold. To gain the full benefits of the root, grate ginger into boiling water and inhale to relieve congestion.

Garlic
Aside from warding off vampires, garlic has many health benefits. It contains allicin, which has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that help the body regain its strength during a cold. In Morocco, it’s common to have a garlic-stuffed omelette. In Mexico, the root is put in tea.

Spicy foods
Spicy foods are known across cultures for providing relief for sinus issues. In Mexico, some people eat habaneros to clear up their sinuses. In Thailand, the famous Tom Yum Goong soup is filled with ginger and chili peppers to open nasal pathways. The compound capsaicin, found in chili peppers, thins mucus providing relief that helps to clear sinuses.

Rum
Any university student should be pleased to hear about this remedy. In Scotland, hot rum is combined with peppermint to create a drink known as the seaman’s cure for colds. The alcohol in rum dilates blood vessels, which can help the body deal with an infection by clearing mucus membranes. However, rum is only beneficial in small amounts. An excess will lead to negative health effects, like a weakened immune system.

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