Battling colds and the flu, vegan-style
Updated: September 11, 2011
Although I don’t get sick often, I do have several store-bought remedies that I use in addition to using food to recover from a the flu or a cold. Because traditional over the counter cold and flu remedies aren’t an option (pretty much all of then are not vegan), here are some of the remedies I have relied upon in the past to do battle with the beasties. At the bottom of this post are some of the vegan store-bought remedies I have found that never fail to fix up both me and my family.
Note: This information is in no way meant to replace the care and advice of a certified medical professional. If you are pregnant, please consult your doctor or midwife for more information about what remedies are safe to use during pregnancy.
Facts – Here is a fantastic summary about the history of garlic and botanical, culinary, and medicinal facts about one of the most useful root veggies out there: Garlic – Stinking Rose or Revered Medicine?
Remedy – One raw clove, crushed, taken once a day (more than this may cause stomach irritation). I take raw garlic at night to avoid being too smelly the next day. I’ve been told this is a remedy still used in many parts of Europe to improve immunity and help speed recovery from colds and influenza.
Facts – Long revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its heating properties and used in Chinese traditional medicine for more than 2,500 years, ginger it a true powerhouse when it comes to the medical claims associated with it. In Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants, ginger “…[has] been found to successfully treat motion sickness, postoperative nausea, bacterial dysentery, malaria, coughs, and migraines….Gingerols, the chemicals responsible for ginger’s heat, are helpful in treating pain and fever, and its volatile oils may have a positive effect on cold and flu viruses.”
Remedy – Take one tablespoon of raw, minced ginger per day. Chasing it down with orange juice helps remove the strong flavours from your mouth and get it all down faster. You can also use ginger by putting a few slices of the raw root in hot water with lemon and agave nectar. Taken a few times a day, a fresh ginger tea will also help warm your body (in the case of a cold, that is) and keep you hydrated.
Facts – The benefits of green tea have long been touted by many Asian and Middle Eastern cultures and have received much hype in recent years for proven (and unproven) health benefits. As green tea is known for being rich in polyphenols and phytonutrients, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to down a few cups when you’re under the weather and under the covers.
Remedy – If you can afford it, buy a premium quality organic (fair-trade) Japanese or Chinese green tea to drink. Here is a list of the different types of Chinese and Japanese green teas. As green tea still contains caffeine, it might be good to limit intakes to two cups of tea a day.
Facts – There’s no doubt here – everyone know that eating your greens is important, and when it comes to being sick you can do no better for yourself than to eat as much leafy greens as you can get.
Because they say it better than me, visit these links to read all about the facts about these greens:
Remedy – There just isn’t any such thing as getting too many greens. Eat them any way that suits you best – raw, steamed, sauteed, or stewed.
There are times when I need a little more of a helping hand when it comes to defeating a virus. Here are the best remedies I have found that have never failed to kick the little suckers in the butt. All of them are available to order online, are 100% vegan. Check your local health food store for availability too.
Umcka ColdCare (available in liquid, chewables, and in various flavours)
Sambucol (there are several brands using a similar name to this one – watch out for those that use honey)
As with all remedies, do not combine any of these medicines in the same dose, and always leave a window of two to three hours between taking different remedies to avoid potential interactions. Always check with your doctor before taking these medicines if you are taking prescription medications.