Winter may be over, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need relief for colds before the temperatures drop again! If it does happen, you can always rely on this spicy, summer tonic that’s full of immune-supporting, wellness-boosting phytochemicals like turmeric and ginger, both of which are said to be powerful anti-inflammatories. “Ginger has been used in food and medicine for millennia and may play a role in the early stages of colds and coughs,” according to registered dietician Rachel Fine, who also owns To The Pointe Nutrition, an NYC nutrition counseling organization. One study even showed that fresh ginger hindered the formation of plaque and some respiratory tract infections.
Known for combating inflammation, turmeric—as well as curcumin, turmeric’s active constituent—actually has considerable antimicrobial properties. In order to help with curcumin’s bioavailability—the rate your body is able to metabolize and then absorb nutrients—turmeric is at its best when combined with fat (coconut oil for this case, but coconut milk is another possible pairing) and black pepper (known for increasing absorption by as much as 2,000 percent).
For rounding the remainder of this recipe out, you need Manuka honey, which, as a probiotic, is said to have antibacterial properties; a dash of cayenne pepper, which will boost blood circulation while helping ease runny noses; and lemon, given its high vitamin C content, “which is believed to help reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold if ingested routinely during the cold season,” Fine said. You can look at this turmeric tonic as a leveled-up, super lemon water.
- 1 teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of Manuka honey
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- Squeezed juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 12 ounces of boiled hot water
- Using a favorite mug, mix together the black pepper, the turmeric powder, the Manuka honey, and the cayenne pepper, stirring until a paste has formed.
- Add the grated ginger, the coconut oil, and the lemon juice, stirring until these ingredients have combined with the rest of the mixture.
- After bringing it to a boil, pour the hot water on the lemon/spice juice mixture, stirring until well blended. Alternatively, you can try using an Aerolatte for making the tonic frothy.
Drink between one and three cups each day after you’ve taken on a cold. Along with extra hydration, rest, and a notable slow-down, you will hopefully start to feel better soon.