It might always feel like “that time of year,” but the beginning of fall and entry into winter is, in general, when the dreaded cold season begins. Fall colds result in sniffly, feverish, unhappy people being forced to miss work and other commitments due to bugs that just don’t seem to ever want to go away. Though an arsenal of cold-fighting meds exist in local pharmacies, more often than not these products are not vegan and are loaded with ingredients you don’t want to ingest no matter how bad you are feeling. For cold remedies that actually work without loading up on chemicals, try these recipes and alternative medicines.
Feed A Cold
Unless you have a full-blown stomach flu (and if that is the case, go to the doctor!), you’ll still have at least a bit of an appetite, so feed your cold with healing and warming foods that contain immunity-boosting and healing properties. There is, of course, the under-the-weather mainstay of miso: Try Feel Better Miso, Vegetable Stew with Red Wine and Miso, or just steam up some vitamin-rich veggies such as broccoli or kale, and pour on some easy Shiitake Mushroom and Miso Gravy.
Got a Vitamix or a high-powered blender? Raw soups are an amazing way to pack in the vitamins without destroying any of the ingredients’ immune-boosting enzymes, and after trying a few recipes; you’ll develop a keen instinct for complementary raw soup ingredients. Start with raw recipes such as Twice the Tomato Soup to use up the last of this year’s crop of heirloom tomatoes, or Garden Greens Soup for Vitality. The queen of vegan soups herself, Robin Robertson, brings us cooked soup recipes such as Faux Pho and Barley Soup with Porcini and Dill to pass onto our loved ones to make when we can’t fathom the thought of climbing out of bed. You can always repay the favor later!
Food As Supplements
Many foods have been shown to legitimately fight invasive flu and cold bugs. Among these are garlic, oregano (most effectively in its potent oil form), ginger, green tea, leafy greens, mushrooms, carrot juice, and lemon.
Touted as not only being a cure for a sore throat but also a natural antibiotic and strengthens the immune system, garlic-lovers usually won’t hesitate to munch on a clove of the allium-family vegetable in the name of health, but those who shy away from garlic might be hesitant. It’s a popular remedy in Europe that many swear by, but no matter how crazy for garlic you are, when you’re already feeling under the weather, it’s best to keep your raw dosage to a maximum of one clove a day in order to avoid stomach irritation.
Ginger is a great addition to soups and raw juices, and its warming effect does wonders for the old “sweat-it-out” cure. Ginger has also been widely used in ancient forms of natural medicine such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. When your cold starts to affect your digestion and you find yourself having a hard time tolerating certain foods, a half-inch piece of sliced fresh ginger dropped in a cup of hot water is an effective tummy-taming cure. Green tea has been long-touted as an immune booster, and with its many antioxidants, even the most skeptical natural medicine naysayer can’t deny its healthfulness. Try it with a teaspoon of agave nectar for a comforting cup of tea.
Leafy greens can be added to soups, dried mushrooms can be used to make stock, and fresh shiitakes are a nice addition to soups. If you have a juicer, tonics such as apple-ginger-carrot-garlic-lemon will boost your vitamins and send you on the road to health.
We’re not going to lie, sometimes you’re going to need the aspirin, or even the antibiotics, but there are definitely other options to consider if your doctor doesn’t yet having you going down that route. Nature’s Way Umcka Cold Care is vegan, as is Sambucol, and New Chapter’s Blockade. When you just begin to feel a cold just coming on, don’t be afraid to take some oregano oil. As spicy and potent as it may taste, many people swear that it’ll kick a cold before it even has a chance to bring you down.
Hydration and Sleep
Finally, there is really no substitution for both rest and water. You might feel like a hero ignoring your symptoms and soldiering on, but it’s widely known that taking the time to sleep and constantly hydrate is the most effective way of truly conquering the common cold. So chug a bunch of water, keep sipping that tea, turn off your alarm clock, and we’ll see you when you’re healthy!