Powerful Home Remedy for Coughs and Colds

12/11/2012 12:24 GMT | Updated 13/01/2013 10:12 GMT

All my recipes are about eating delicious food that is also good for you and supports your body. So this week, having been hit by a nasty cold and cough, I thought I would share with you this natural remedy that has kept me out of bed and still functioning, while some of my colleagues have been house bound for a week!

Prevention being better then the cure though, it is always advisable to eat a healthy diet high in fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses, which will help your body fight off common colds and coughs. Avoiding certain ingredients can also be hugely supportive to your body's immune system. For years now, I have all but cut out refined cane sugar and dairy, having noticed a huge difference to my energy levels and over all health when I swapped them for more natural and healthy alternatives, like maple syrup, soy/rice milk etc. (For a list of some of these great natural alternatives you can have a look here.


At the time (almost 10 years ago), I was probably in the minority of people eating that way, but now I am delighted to see a huge movement towards eating mindfully and an awareness of how the foods we eat have a direct impact on our overall health and well being.

Since changing they way I eat, I have noticed a dramatic decline in the number of colds and coughs I get, from up to 3 times a year, to now only once every one or two years. When I do get them, I am quick to act, making sure I avoid alcohol, sugar, dairy and coffee at all cots. Instead I make myself a batch of this potent tea, which keeps the virus at bay so I can carry on relatively unaffected.

Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, Onion and Cayenne Pepper Tea

While this may sound like the surest way to achieve bad breath, these potent ingredients have powerful anti inflammatory, anti fungal and detoxing properties that will be a great support to your body when fighting off the first signs of a cold. The sulfur contained in onions and garlic can kill and inhibit an astounding amount of bacteria's and viruses, so it is well worth putting up with the strong smell.

My sister Jessica Bourke, (a nutritional therapist), has posted some great information on the benefits of each of these ingredients here.

Makes enough for a medium/large thermos flask, or several cups of tea.

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 inch piece ginger, grated (no need to remove the skin)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 small red onion, chopped finely

Large pinch of cayenne pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a thermos flask and fill with boiling water. Seal and leave to infuse for half an hour and then sip throughout the day. If you don't like the pieces floating around you can strain through a sieve.

For a selection of great 'guilt free' recipes using naturally healthy ingredients, click here.

'The Guilt Free Gourmet' cookbook, full of indulgent and good for you recipes, is available here.

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