indian spices

‘Tis the season for sneezin’, and despite your best precautions, the signs have arrived: You’ve caught a cold. Along with sneezing comes a runny nose, sore throat, sinus congestion, annoying cough and an overall feeling of malaise. While colds often just have to run their course, people have been putting up with the common cold for many centuries, and each culture has a unique way of dealing with the symptoms so that you can feel better soon. The next time a cold has caught you, try these home remedies from around the world for faster healing.

Japan

Colds in Japan call for remedies that warm the body, with ginger and negi (green onion) being traditional ingredients in hot drinks and soups. Try Negi-miso-yu, a hot green onion drink. Just add 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion and 2 teaspoons of miso into a cup and fill with boiling water. Let steep until cool enough to drink; do not strain.

Russia

Russian grandmothers serve Gogol-Mogol to treat the common cold, an egg-based mixture that is particularly good for coughs. Beat 1 raw egg and 1 teaspoon of honey in a large cup until foamy; in a separate cup melt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in ½ cup milk. Pour milk mixture into egg mixture while beating well, then drink it while hot, taking small sips until it is gone. Drink it at night and wake up tomorrow feeling much better!

China

Ginger is a popular cold remedy around the world, and it takes center stage in this hot and healing citrus drink. Cut a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger into small pieces and mash them down with the side of a knife. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup (or more) of water to a low boil and add ginger pieces; simmer for 20 minutes. Now add the rind of 1 organic orange, chopped into pieces, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, strain and serve; if the taste is too strong, add a touch of honey to sweeten it up.

Vietnam

Vietnam’s favorite cold remedy is now a popular egg noodle soup that you can find oodles of in every big city in America: Pho. This broth-based soup is often served with bean sprouts, chili peppers, lime and Asian basil and can be ordered with beef, chicken, tofu or vegetables. To fortify your system and feel better following a cold invasion, choose the vegetarian version of Pho for the best results.

India

Ayurvedic medicine is India’s traditional alternative medicine system that uses plant-based treatments and dates back for thousands of years. Colds result from imbalance in the body and an overabundance of “kapha” energy. Combat this by taking a mixture of spices. Combine 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, black pepper, ginger powder and cardamom with 4 teaspoons sugar and grind to make a fine powder. Take half a teaspoon two times a day with water after meals.

image: Joi