Viruses and bacteria are the natural remedy to rid us of mucous. The little beasties love sugar, sweets and dairy products. Once we have indulged on rich food during the Holidays, viruses and bacteria invite themselves in.
To face the cold season, help yourself with Ayurveda, the ancient ways of India. If you have your favorite remedies that work well for you, keep them and add the followings if you wish.
The best soup to dry up mucus is barley soup. At the first sign of a cold, I prepare a warm barley soup with spices, mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes. I add some leafy greens and I let the soup do its job on my Kapha Dosha.
A tea to help your body: for each cup of water, add 10-12 basil leaves, 3 peppercorns, sliced fresh ginger or dry ginger, 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric, 3 cardamoms.
Bring to a boil and let it steep then pour the tea in your cup or thermos and add some raw honey if you wish. Sip this drink all day. Add more of the ingredients to the previous ones as you need to make more tea. I usually quadruple the quantities and prepare a thermos I make it once a day until my cold is gone.
To increase your immunity, I recommend this Indian jam made of ghee, herbs and spices. You will find it online or in Indian grocery stores. This jam has a very exotic name: Chyawanprash. One teaspoon every day will help you stay healthy.
Stay warm, bundle up, avoid unnecessary stress, (which always brings down immunity), remain active but get plenty of rest!
At the first sign of a cold, try this diet:
Cook with barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, polenta, couscous, wheat bran, muesli and raw oats in the grains category.
All lentils and beans, (except pinto beans, mung beans, and soy beans), are game to eat. Cook them with the spice asophidita (also called hing) to avoid bloating if you have the tendency.
Anything dry will absorb the mucus in the body, so eat dry cereals, popcorn, rye crackers, etc.
All leafy greens, except beet greens, balance Kapha Dosha, as well as the cruciferous veges: eat Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, broccoli, cabbage. Add to your menus, beet roots, carrots, potatoes, green and red peppers, small eggplants, lettuces, string beans, turnips, artichokes, radishes, dry corn, asparagus, garlic, onion, mushrooms, celery and winter squashes. (Except pumpkins and spaghetti squash.)
A small quantities of English walnuts, pumpkins and sunflower seeds are a great addition on a green salad.
Chia seeds are highly recommended. You may soak them in water. Chia seeds, high in omega oils can be added to anything: from soups to cereals.
Add eggs to your diet too.
Which oil to cook with? Use oil sparingly and put away olive oil until your body recovers. Instead, use a good quality of corn, sunflower or mustard oil.
Do you like breads? Favor sprouted whole wheat bread. They are wholesome and nourish your body well.
Beverages: lukewarm or warm water, and herbal teas such as:
Chamomile, ginger, lemon balm, Lemon grass, nettle, passion flower, raspberry, chicory, cinnamon, clove, alfalfa, hibiscus and jasmine.
What are the foods to avoid? (Just until you get better!)
Avoid tomatoes and by-products, seaweeds, avocados, tapioca, fruit juices and all fruits, including dry fruits which are very sweet. Put away vinegars, mustards, mayonnaise, limes or lemons. Also stay away from salt, and vanilla. (But all other spices, as well as mustard seeds, ginger, are a great addition to your dishes.)
Avoid rice, quinoa, white flour products and pasta.
Avoid sweets (except for raw honey, in small quantity)
Dairy products? Avoid them since dairy will create more mucus. Except for milk: boil milk and let it cool before you drink it. Use it in small quantity only. (On cereals in the morning for example.)
Put away black tea, chai and coffee for now. (Unless you are addicted to coffee and can’t do without getting headaches.)
I received my certification in Ayurveda in 2006 from Yerala Medical Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Kharghar, New Mumbai, India.