We have enjoyed a longer than usual beautifully warm summer here in the UK. Now the weather has grown colder these past few days and the weather forecast predicts this will be the worst winter in decades with record-breaking snow in November! It’s hard to believe but better to be prepared than to be caught unawares. I have yet to do my summer clothes change-over to autumn. I will definitely have to go up in my attic within the next few days and start bringing down all my winter sweaters and coats.
Cold weather often means a lower resistance to colds and flu so it is also time to start stocking up on herbal teas and ingredients to keep the chill and damp out of the body and do our best to keep colds at bay. I was ill a few days ago with a throat infection and a bit of laryngitis. I had mug-fills of my favourite hot drink for colds. I juice half a lemon into a mug and grate some peeled ginger root and add a bit of honey then stir until honey is dissolved.
Mmmmm….it really is delicious! Lemon is rich with vitamin C and boosts the immune system. Ginger also boosts the immune system and aids in the absorption of nutrients in the body while honey reduces throat irritation, sooths a cough and is anti-bacterial. From this basic tea drink, I will also sometimes add some of the following:
- a bit of thinly sliced garlic clove (its full of anti-oxidants)
- a bit of fresh hot pepper or some black peppercorns (helps to warm you)
- Peppermint leaves (kills bacteria and viruses and breaks up phlegm)
- cinnamon (anti-oxidant, fights bacteria and is also warming)
- cloves (relieves upper respiratory infection)
Another hot drink that is good for cold weather is to add some cider vinegar and honey to hot water. You can then add anything from the above list to taste.
Juicing is still a great way to get nutrients and anti-oxidants into the body. However, I often find it too cold for me and prefer hot drinks. No matter! Just juice some apples and gently heat with some cinnamon and cloves. If you are worried about too much fructose being taken in, you can dilute it with some hot water.
There are also some good ready made teas I like to keep on hand. Yogi makes some really good ones. They have one called Cold Season Tea which supports upper respiratory tract health. It has an unusual kind of taste which I really like…hard to explain and may not be for everyone. Breathe Deep Tea also supports respiratory health and has eucalyptus in it. Eucalyptus is great as a decongestant. It is also anti-inflammatory and an anti-bacterial. Yogi also has a tea called Throat Comfort which I haven’t tried but am planning on ordering it. Their Mayan Cocoa Spice tea is a nice one for warmth, chocolaty flavour without any guilt.
Cold wintry days may be fun at times but often it can be a source of stress especially when you are getting up and it’s still dark, it’s cold and you have to travel to work. I think its important to be prepared for the up-coming winter and try to find ways to be positive about it. Make sure your hot drinks are ones that you really enjoy. Drink them mindfully and slowly. Close your eyes and smell the fragrance. Breathe deeply and smile within.