Surviving winter with natural remedies

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If you did not grow up in The Netherlands and/or if you’re younger than thirty years old you probably don’t know ‘Klazien uut Zalk’ (Klazien from Zalk). When I was about ten years old (around 1989/1990) Klazien, a seventy something grandma from the country and her natural remedies were quite a hit. She was on TV and made a little book with the best tips from nature. Now that I have been studying Nutrition and Holistic Health for a while, I suddenly thought of Klazien and asked my mom if she still had the book. And that was a really good idea. Most of her tips are really good in this season of virusses, colds and the flu. Would you like to get rid of your symptoms the natural way? Then do read on!

Colds & coughing
Klazien has a recipe for apple tea from England: wash one apple and cut into thin slices. Put in a mug and pour on boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes and your apple tea is ready. By adding some (slices of) lemon this drink is also good for getting rid of a fever and by adding a bit of honey* in your tea your throat is getting soothed as well. This drink is not only a good remedy for your cold but it also works calming and it makes you sleepy. So true for me. I drank this twice at night and I fell asleep real peacefully afterwards.

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Mucus & coughing
Do you happen to have holly in  your garden? Holly is a natural remedy for a lot of things. To get rid of mucus, you can steam over a container filled with boiling hot water and some holly (cleaned and cut into pieces). You can also make holly tea. It has cleansing properties and cleans your body from the dirt caused by your flu. The tea is also a good remedy for a regular cough, for rheuma and for a weak digestion.

Other herbs for a cold
Basil, thyme and lavender are all good for colds. You can make tea with them. The last one, lavender, also works really well in combination with mint if you have a cold. This is what Stef Mintiens writes in his book ‘Herbateek: Neem je gezondheid in eigen handen’ (translation: take your health into your own hands with herbs). Thyme has mucus dissolving properties. It does not matter if you use fresh or dried herbs. They both work well. You do need twice as much if you use fresh herbs.

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Natural diarrhoeals
Mintiens also talks about a couple of foods that work really well to stop diarrhea. You usually have most of them at home. And that’s the beauty of natural remedies: it’s not only much healthier, it’s also much cheaper. No need to buy expensive pills and sprays. To stop diarrhea: water cresss, curcuma, rhubarb and blueberries work really well. You can also make a toast from rye bread or eat cooked white rice or unripe bananas. For children a rice milk or carrot juice, both to drink, work really well. And hey, you can drink this yourself too!

To stay in shape
How do you stay in shape when you have been beaten down by a virus? There are several ways: get a bit more vitamin C inside your body by eating (raw) red paprika or kiwis. Fresh soups are also a good idea. You can just make a broth or you can add fresh veggies as well. Don’t cook them too well. And there’s always the green juices. Don’t throw away the skins and the pulp because that’s where the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are.

What do you think of your kitchen as a possible medicine cabinet? Do you trust in food and herb remedies or would you rather buy something at the chemist?

*Do not use too much honey. Honey is a form of sugar and it promotes inflammation in the body. 

 

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