Avoid the flu, try something new

Chae Park and Shivani Bhatnagar

Honey and lemon are frequently found in cold and flu medicines because of their ability to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Lemons are also known to help detoxify the body of impurities.

Bring water to a boil and add a spoonful of honey. Either squeeze half a lemon or place two slices inside. For additional relief, add a little bit of minced ginger to also improve circulation. Make sure not to heat up the honey because this will kill the beneficial organic compounds. Ginger helps prevent chills, fever and excessive sweat by improving blood flow and maintaining normal blood circulation. It also has essential elements such as chromium, magnesium and zinc.

Steep two tablespoons of freshly shredded or chopped ginger in hot water for cold and headache relief. Native to South India and commonly found in Asian dishes, turmeric is a natural painkiller and antibacterial agent. Turmeric inhibits the COX-2 enzyme, which is responsible for inflammation and pain. Its antiseptic qualities stop the growth of microorganisms and infections as well.

Mix turmeric and salt in a glass of water. Gargle small amounts for 30-60 seconds each. For a quick cough relief, slice a lemon in half and dab it in a mixture of black pepper and salt. Suck on the lemon to stimulate circulation and mucus flow. The salt diffuses mucus inside the body to quickly alleviate wet coughs. Considered the golden spice for its exotic aroma and health benefits, saffron is a spice derived from the saffron flower in India. Saffron helps improve circulation in digestive organs to flush out the impurities. It is also believed to maintain body temperature to prevent colds.

Sprinkle some saffron in warm milk for protection against seasonal cold and flu. Headaches are often early symptoms of the cold and flu. The caffeine in coffee reduces swelling of blood vessels and intensity of headaches.