Wellness Wednesday: cold and flu fighters in your kitchen

It seems that after last weekend’s burst of hot weather, Melbourne’s summer is over – and with autumn have come the ubiquitous colds, flu and general lurgies that lay a large percentage of the population low for days at a stretch. Normally I sail through the change of seasons in full health* but even I succumbed to whatever it is that’s going around, with a sore throat, sniffles, and just not feeling 100% for a few days (basically, mild symptoms of the bug that is knocking other people out). I probably got off lightly because I’m fairly healthy to start with, or maybe it has something to do with my intelligence level, if the Japanese expression “baka wa kaze wo hikanai” is true: it means “silly people don’t catch colds”!

Anyway, I was intelligent enough to make myself some soup and throw in several cloves of garlic towards the end of the cooking process, and I also boosted my intake of greens and tried to get a bit more sleep than usual. But yesterday I was talking to a workmate who swears by a remedy which she got from her naturopath, most of the ingredients for which are probably already in your pantry.



  • raw grated ginger
  • ground turmeric
  • honey
  • garlic
  • lemon juice and pulp
  • cayenne pepper

What you do: combine all the ingredients (the quantities are up to you) in two cups of water. Simmer together until the mixture is reduced to one cup and drink. And feel better in no time!

My workmate also recommended chopping up half an onion, putting it into a bowl and spooning honey over it, then covering the mixture and putting it in the fridge for a while. You then drain the juice of the onion and the honey and drink it “like you’re drinking a shot” (apparently the honey covers up the taste of the onion). This also sounds pretty potent, doesn’t it?

What I like about both these remedies is that not only are they natural, they are made from items which are quite likely in your kitchen cupboard already so you won’t need to leave the house when you are feeling – to put it bluntly – like crap. My photo is proof: I’m housesitting for my mum right now and after a bit of digging around I found everything in both recipes except for the raw ginger (but she did have the powdered kind) and the lemon – and if Mum hadn’t ruthlessly chopped bits off her lemon tree in an attempt to get rid of some kind of gall waspy thing then I could have just gone and picked one from the backyard.

It feels a bit weird posting these as I’ve never tested them personally (and hopefully won’t have to), but if you’re coming down with something nasty give them a go and tell me what you think!

(Side note – look at the label on the turmeric bottle. Does it look just *slightly* older than the other two spice bottles? The use-by date is 2000, which from memory is around about the last time Mum cooked yellow rice. Hmm. I think a future Wellness Wednesday might have to look at decluttering kitchen cupboards!)