It seems like when March does that whole “In like a lion, out like a lamb” thing – or in some cases, just cannot decide whether its Winter or Spring – that this time of year can be popular for catching a cold. Plus, if you read this month’s Spring Cleansing article and give it a go, you might also find you catch a little something as you cleanse which is common, since you are cleansing out mucous and deeply embedded toxins, but can also mean your body needs more support. SO I would like to share some recipes for cutting your cold time AT LEAST in half by supporting your body and immune system with exactly what they need. These are some home remedies that time and time again will kick your cold’s butt, and you will never need an OTC med again! All of the recipes for this month are aimed at lessening your time spent sick, and preventing you from getting sick in the first place! *Warning: Things that make you better do not always taste the best…just being honest! *NOTE* Before you jump right in and start using the remedies below PLEASE check to make sure none of these will interfere with any medications you are currently taking or plan to take. YES these are natural remedies; but Nature is powerful and needs to treated with care. They are just as powerful as medication, and in some cases MORE powerful. You need to do your research and make sure they are right FOR YOU! These recommendations are for a generally healthy population and may need tweaking for specific individuals.

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Garlic-Ginger-Lemon Tea ~5 Slices Fresh Ginger ~1-3 Cloves Fresh Garlic ~1/2 Fresh sqeezed Lemon ~1 tsp Honey All of these measurements can be adjusted to your personal preference – try to add as much garlic and ginger as your taste can stand for the most germ-kicking power. Place in a large tea mug. Add hot water. Drink as needed, until cold is GONE! Healing Chicken Ginger Soup My favorite blog to follow, Nourishing Meals, has the absolute best recipes for gluten/dairy/sugar free eating, so I am not even going to try to recreate the wheel here. The pictures are AMAZING on this blog…so please do not drool on your computer. Check out her Healing Chicken Ginger Soup. And her more recent recipe for Super Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup, which includes astragalus. Congee Basically a recipe for really mushy rice…I learned about this concoction in a cooking class at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. I learned it as a Salmon Congee with Black Sesame Seeds, but adapted it to be more “everyday” and AMAZING for a cold! (Ya know, when you really do NOT feel like cooking…) You can add chicken to use this as a gluten-free substitute for good ‘ol Chicken Noodle Soup or prepare a vegetarian version. Cook rice (a 1:1 ratio of brown and white works best) with about double the amount of water. (You can also cook rice as normal, refrigerate and then make the congee at a later time. I also like to use a couple cups of vegetable stock in place of some of the water.) As the water reaches a boil, stir the rice constantly until the water boils off and the rice becomes porridge-like. When it is a good consistency, add a little salt and pepper to taste, chopped fresh chives if available, chicken if desired (I might suggest baking/broiling the chicken first), and any other add-ins you might prefer. Continue stirring until flavors disperse and chicken is heated through. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Echinacea *One Of* My secret weapons…and this stuff is a weapon. Just add to the drink of anyone you dislike and it is payback in its best form. JUST KIDDING! The stuff tastes absolutely AWFUL – and yes you can get it in tea or pill form – but for some reason, I believe the liquid form is just more potent and works better. Or maybe I just like to suffer…no pain, no gain, right?! Add a dropper full of liquid Echinacea extract (or as much as the label says) to about 8 oz of water or tea and drink…quickly…in fact, just chug, so it passes right by your taste buds. Repeat as instructed by the bottle. Tea…Tea…And More Tea… That is right! Drink as much herbal tea as you can possibly stand! The warmth will keep your insides cozy, your throat coated, your body hydrated, and your mucus membranes flowing. A.K.A. running, snotty nose rather than stuffy, clogged nose. Feel free to use honey and lemon as you wish. Keep a check on the amount of caffeine you ingest, that is why I like to stick to naturally caffeine-free herbal teas, otherwise you are up and energized all day and night, when in fact you want the opposite…see below. My personal favorites are Gypsy Cold Care, Cold Care PM, and Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals. Rest…Rest…And More Rest… Yes all you overachievers out there – this means taking time OFF! Look at it this way: You can take 1-2 days off now, and go back feeling fantastic. OR you can force your way through 10-14 days feeling miserable. Your choice. Not to mention, if you push through and continue going to work, you will most definitely get someone else sick, who will probably push through and keep coming to work, who will then get someone else sick, who will then…you get the point. You just started an endless cycle of germy sickness – which you will most likely catch again because you did not allow your body the rest time to fight it the first time. Get it? And for those of you with children, I recognize a sick child throws a wrench in your work schedule, but please keep them home and allow their immune systems the time they need to rest, recooperate and therefore strengthen.

I hope these tidbits help to keep you healthy during the Spring time and your cleansing process if you choose to participate in one. Also, be sure to check out this month’s Essential Oils for even more cold-kicking power!