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5 Cold-Killing Spices Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

5 Cold-Killing Spices Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

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As winter blasts the U.S., the local pharmacy is dispensing various chemical cocktails aimed at curbing the symptoms associated with the common cold and seasonal flu virus. The pharmaceutical companies certainly benefit during the cold winter months, but their relief is costly — and not guaranteed. In fact, some medications often produce side-effects that are just as bad or worse than the original symptoms.

So, what natural options are available? The answer may be as simple as a glance in your spice cabinet.

Good nutrition is essential for a healthy life. As the adage states, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A well-thought-out diet, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, will bolster your immune system. Whether sprinkled on as a garnish, used to create a flavorful broth or sauce, or even steeped in a tea, this list of cold- and flu-fighting spices can keep you healthy and happy this winter.

1. Turmeric

Dress up your farm-fresh eggs, create a tangy dip, or spice up a side of rice with a dash of turmeric. Produced from the roasted rhizomes of the turmeric plant, turmeric powder stimulates the immune system, reduces inflammation, balances blood sugar levels and aids the digestive system, all of which are important aspects of fighting off the common cold or seasonal flu.

2. Clove, nutmeg and cinnamon

This trio is most often associated with baking fall and winter “goodies,” and with warm, soothing drinks; however, they also work well together to aid the body in resisting infectious illnesses prevalent during the holiday season. These spices are antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agents. The addition of nutmeg also has the added benefit of being an anti-depressant, which is helpful to calm the wintertime blues and relieve insomnia, although caution should be used by only including small amounts of nutmeg to any recipe.

3. Ginger

5 Cold-Killing Spices Hiding In Your Kitchen Cabinet

Ginger. Image source:

Although ginger is used with the popular fall spices listed above, it also works to aid the digestive tract — relieving nausea, reducing bloating and gas, and overall working to relax the digestive tract to promote healing. Ginger also provides extra support for the immune system and further relieves inflammation due to irritation or infection.

4. Oregano

Not to be limited to Italian dishes, oregano can be sprinkled on eggs, salads and meats, enhancing your immune system by acting as a powerful antioxidant. It contains multiple vitamins and minerals, giving it helpful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Oregano also provides relief from inflammation, particularly in the upper respiratory tract, which is more vulnerable due to the drier air found in the colder climates.

5. Thyme

Well known in ancient times for its medicinal properties, thyme is most effective against respiratory infections and intestinal distress. It boosts liver function, increases immune function and clears the sinuses — the breeding ground of many respiratory infections.

For many of us, these spices are staples in our cabinet, only to be pulled out for special recipes and not considered based on their medicinal properties. Yet by incorporating them into our regular diets, we can increase our chances of staying healthy during the winter months.

What is your favorite spice for health? Share your tips in the section below:

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  2. Cayenne can clear up your sinuses, and may prevent those nasty germs from getting a start. I try to ingest about an eighth of a tsp. per day to fight off the stuff we get exposed to in public. So far so good in not catching a cold or flu in the last couple of years.

    • I am sure cayenne is good in your food, but I would not snort cayenne into your sinuses.

      • It’s not necessary to snort cayenne pepper to get the sinus clearing effect. Just put it on food, and it will loosen up the stuff in your nose. It sure does that for me. I started using more of it, and with more foods a few years ago, along with other immune boosting supplements and herbs. This was after the worst flu I had ever had. Haven’t had the flu or a cold since then. Gonna keep using all these immune boosters.

        Two or three years ago I started eating more salads too. I don’t own my own property, so I buy bags of salad at the store, and keep them in the freezer till I’m ready to eat some, then I just take a portion, and put the rest back in the freezer till next time. Since I live alone I can’t use up a big amount of greens fast enough to keep them from spoiling unless I keep them in the freezer. This method works well for me, as I find the fresh, crispiness of the salad, straight from the freezer more appealing than one eaten at room temp. Ialso take handfull’s of frozen bagged veggies out to eat them still cold, as again, I like how refreshing they are that way. I’m not fond of veggies, but this method gets me to eat more of them, which is another way of boosting my health.

        Big Pharma keeps trying to poison us with their drugs, and their friends in the food industry keep trying to poison us with all kinds of food additives, and pesticides, so do whatever you can to defend yourselves by boosting your immune system.

  3. You can put a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric in anything -sauce, chili, yogurt, even your morning veggie juice, and more…

  4. Sage is our favourite for stomach troubles, steeped as in tea ( but don’t add tea leaves!) This saved me from ingesting anything harmful to combat morning sickness.

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