January is finally here. Cold and flu season will no doubt follow along behind like an old friend. After all the rushing around at Christmas my body certainly feels the stress of the December madness. Although, we have had cold’s and cough’s on and off since October in this house.
According to an article in The Guardian called ‘Antibiotics increase children’s chances of resistant infection’, a leading public health official has warned, that children are at a risk of contracting drug-resistant infections in the months after taking a course of antibiotics. Therefore I’m a little reluctant to visit the GPs for antibiotics.
Recently I have been researching natural medicines as I now have a better understanding of the effects food can have on our bodies. In this cough medicine I have been making use of honey, ginger, lemons and thyme. My research has lead me to find that these ingredients are fantastic for helping to ease a common cold.
Firstly, local honey is great at soothing a cough and cold. Studies have shown that honey can work more efficiently to calm a cough than over-the counter drugs. Honey has a brilliant stickiness that does an incredible job of coating and calming that irritated throat. Thanks to an enzyme added by the bees when they harvest honey, it also has antibacterial properties as well. Therefore taking honey for a cough may help to shorten how long you have the cough if it is due to a bacterial illness.
Ginger, the next ingredient, is often used to soothe sore throats and reduce coughing especially those caused by common colds. In fact, ginger works on the respiratory system to cleanse and heal. Its pungent warming action helps eliminate mucus from the lungs that may cause a cough. Ginger is also a natural muscle relaxer that can relieve spasms associated with intense coughing.
Lemon is a great ingredient for help the immune system and it also acts as a powerful anti-oxidant. It is high in vitamin C, in fact, the juice of one lemon contains 113% of the recommended daily allowance for an adult. Vitamin C helps the immune system. Lemons also have been shown to have very strong antibacterial and antiviral properties.
The final ingredient is thyme which is a herb packed full of vitamin C but is also a good source of vitamin A. If you feel a cold coming thyme can help you return to great health again. Thyme essential oil, which is obtained from its leaves, is often used as a natural cough remedy. In one study, it was used to alleviate coughing and other symptoms of acute bronchitis. With all of this in mind I put together a great cough mixture that has helped my sons cough enormously. It’s very simple and quick to cook. Well worth a try if you are suffering with a cold.
Makes about 200mls
- Saucepan with lid x 1
- Grater x 1
- Chopping board x 1
- Sharp knife x 1
- Sterile jar
- Local honey x 8tbsp
- Filtered or boiled water x 4 tbsp
- Ginger x 1 inch piece
- Lemon x 1 juice and zest
- Thyme x 8 – 10 sprigs
- Measure 8 tbsp spoons of honey and put in the saucepan.
- Then measure 4 tbsp water and add to the pan.
- Remove the skin from the ginger and using the zester grate into the pan.
- Next zest the rind from the lemon and again add to the pan.
- Chop the lemon in half and using the fork squeeze the juice out into the pan.
- Stir everything in the pan.
- Add the thyme sprigs and put the pan on a high heat.
- Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 15-20mins.
- Leave to cool completely.
- Pour into a sterile jar and store in a cool, dark place until needed.
Remember it is important to store your cough mixture in a cool, dark place until needed. I store ours at the back of the fridge. The medicine will last a few days and then it will begin to lose its nutrients the older it gets. I made a batch of this the other day and after about three days my son’s cough had cleared up. By the way, it’s also best to use local honey as, I believe it’s much better for the body. Personally I think this is a great little remedy that’s good for the body. As always, please enjoy.