Hello all! Last week I wrote about 2 great remedies for colds and flu. Now we continue. Just a reminder: while there are fabulous remedies out there, as well as preventives, a well-balanced diet is the best way to fight a cold or the flu!
Tea is a great way to fight winter illnesses. Most importantly, like chicken soup in last week's blog, tea hydrates. Hydration, of course, is key to suppressing colds and flu. Both green and black teas have antioxidants which help build up immunity. Now, here's a way to add even more therapeutic punch to your tea:
Tea with Fennel Seeds
Fennel has been shown to be a natural decongestant. It seems to be especially effective in acting as an expectorant and soothing a cough. If you aren't familiar with fennel, it has a licorice-like flavor, much like anise. I personally have never been a fan of licorice. However, I must say that this past week I started drinking fennel tea just to give it a try and I am addicted! I find the taste is not so strongly licorice that it's offending, and yet enough so to make for a subtle, delightful flavor.
To make fennel tea:
By the cup: Add 1 tsp. fennel seeds to 1 cup of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain the seeds and enjoy!
By the pot: Add 4 tsp. fennel seeds 4 cups of water. Let boil for 5 minutes, then strain the seeds before you drink the tea.
Double the benefits: Add fennel seeds to your green tea so you get both the antioxidant and decongestant benefits! I suggest green rather than black tea, as green tea has a lighter flavor and will not overpower to fennel taste.
Mint's defining ingredient, menthol, is a great natural decongestant. It is helpful in opening up the sinuses, ridding you of that stuffy head feeling. It is also good for fighting chest congestion.
To make mint tea: When I lived in Israel, everyone drank "teh im nana," better known as "mint tea!" I became a big fan. So here's how to make it, Israeli style:
Simply boil up a cup or pot of tea. I think black tea is best, as its strong flavor compliments the strong taste of the mint leaves. Take a big handful of mint, put it in the tea, and let it steep. Delicious, refreshing, healing!
**Note: As a matter of kosher observance, mint leaves need to be checked for bugs. For direction on how to specifically check herbs, plus other fruits and vegetables, go to one of these websites:
Everyone knows that Vitamin C fights colds, right? Did you know that red peppers contain almost 300% of your daily Vitamin C intake??? The research suggests that it is best to eat the peppers raw to fully benefit from its goodness. Here's a simple and yummy red pepper salad recipe:
Red Pepper Salad
4 red peppers
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. raw unfiltered cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Chop vegetables and put into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
For an extra-healthy, cold/flu-fighting punch, add any of these:
**1 clove chopped or minced raw garlic (see last week's blog about garlic's cold/flu fighting properites)
**1/4 chopped raw onion (same benefits as raw garlic)
**1 tsp. hot chili peppers or fresh hot peppers (hot peppers help produce a sweat, which can help you "sweat out" a fever)
So there you have it, Part 2! Stay tuned for Part 3 of our Cold and Flu Busters series next week! Until then, adieu and a great Shabbos to everyone!
Tell us what you think! Post a comment right below!