It seems like everyone around has been sick with a cold recently, so we thought it our duty share another recipe involving our favorite golden broth formula that’s helped numerous friends and family fight so many colds. The broth is infused with all kinds of anti-inflammatory and mineral-rich ingredients that are said to be immunity powerhouses – think ginger, turmeric, black pepper, garlic, kombu, shiitake, bay leaf, and more. It also tastes deeply nourishing and delicious, and has the most beautiful color. There are so many ways it can be served, too. Drink it on its own, use it as a base for dahl or curry, or very simply pour it over noodles and top with some seasonal vegetables, like in this recipe.
Today we are also sharing some natural cold remedies that we find to be powerful, especially when employed during the very first signs of a scratchy throat.
This stuff is serious! It’s both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, and works wonders when taken consistently during the first signs of sickness. It’s incredibly potent and should be diluted with a carrier oil (I use this one), and it burns quite a bit when going down. You do get used to it though. I usually hold it under my tongue for about 15 seconds before swallowing.
Salt Water Gargle
This is an ancient folk remedy that’s still prescribed by modern doctors…enough said. If I wake up with a scratchy throat, I make a point of gargling with salt water every few hours, which feels incredibly soothing, helps take down any swelling, thins down mucus build up, and more. I use the ratio of about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 glass of water.
Sang Ju Yin
Sang Ju Yin is a Chinese herbal formula recommended to us by our acupuncturist. I’ve had a few instances, where it completely healed me of an early cold. I’m a total convert now, and make sure to keep it on had at all times.
Vitamin C All Day
It’s great to eat Vitamin C-rich foods during cold season, but I find that supplementing with lots of Vitamin C is especially helpful when showing the first signs of a cold. Since you can’t really overdose on Vitamin C, I take it very often, about every 1-2 hours when fighting a cold. Just a warning that taking a bunch of Vitamin C can cause an upset stomach, which doesn’t happen to me personally, but I know that it’s a common side effect. I also make sure that I’m getting sufficient Vitamin D, either from the sun or supplements.
The natural antibiotic that’s in everyone’s kitchen! I know a lot of people who will chew on a whole clove of garlic when they start feeling sick. I’m not brave enough for that, but I did realize from Trinity’s self-care interview that you can just swallow a whole clove or garlic like a really large pill (how did I not think of that?). My tip is to choose a very small clove of garlic, since they can be pretty uncomfortable to swallow, and to score it a tiny bit before swallowing. I also recently tried Amanda’s trick of putting a clove of garlic in my ear (kind of feels like iphone headphones), which really wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it would be, and it helped.
The link between our gut health and overall health is undeniably strong. I try to uptake my intake of things like sauerkraut, kimchi, and other living foods when feeling under the weather.
For me, the worst part of having a cold is the stuffed and runny nose. Once my nose starts down this path, it doesn’t stop for at least a week, and it’s total agony. Rinsing my nasal passages with the help of a neti pot right before bed makes a world of difference when I’m sick. I’m also currently on the market for a nice, handmade ceramic neti-pot. There’s so many good ones on Etsy!
Diffuse Essential Oils
Purify the air in your living space and show some love to your nasal pathways and throat by diffusing pure essential oils. It’s helpful to have an ultrasonic diffuser (I have one from Saje), but you don’t have to have one. You can heat up a pot of water, drop some essential oils in the heated water, and stand over the pot, inhaling the steam. Or you can put some essential oils on the floor and walls of your shower while taking a hot shower, which will give a similar effect to the diffuser. My favorite essential oils to breathe in during a cold are: eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon.
Up your intake of turmeric any way you can! Make the recipe in this post, or try our Turmeric, Carrot and Ginger Remedy, or Fresh Turmeric Moon Milk. Check out Diaspora Co. for some super-potent, organic, heirloom turmeric powder.
Hydrate and Rest
These two are such no-brainers, but sometimes none of the other stuff works, and you just need to go to bed early, sleep in, and drink liters and liters of lemon water in between. I love rubbing some vetiver essential oil on the soles of my feet before bed for deep, quick relaxation.
What do you do to help your bod fight and heal when you feel a cold coming on? We’d love to hear!
- 1 tablespoon neutral coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 small yellow onion - chopped
- sea salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 1½-inch piece of fresh ginger - minced
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 2 dried shiitake caps
- 2-inch piece kombu
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups purified water
- 1 small or ½ large butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 broccoli head
- juice from 2 limes - divided
- 10 oz rice noodles
- cilantro - for garnish
- toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds - for garnish (optional)
- Warm the oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onion, salt and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and turmeric, and stir around for 2 more minutes.
- Add shiitake, kombu, bay leaves, water and more salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. If you have time, turn off the heat and let the broth infuse for another 30 minutes. Remove the rehydrated shiitake caps, slice, and return to the pot. Remove the kombu and discard.
- Add butternut squash to the pot, adjust the heat back to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Add broccoli and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add half of the lime juice. Check for salt, adjust if needed.
- Soak the rice noodles in well-salted hot water according to the instructions on the package. Drain the noodles, divide between plates, and ladle the soup over the noodles. Squeeze more lime juice over each bowl, and garnish with cilantro. Optionally, drizzle with some sesame oil and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.