Towards the end of the year Bangalore is deliciously foggy and cold(ish). Suddenly the filter coffee tastes better, and the post yoga breakfasts are to die for. Everyone is motivated to fit into a little black dress and the energy is at an all time high. But this is also the time when many miss classes because of the common cold, sore throat or fever.
It finally happened to me too. The other night I got my yearly cold. My eyes watered, my nostrils got sensitive to the smallest speck of dust and I started sneezing up a storm. Regardless of how much I try and keep my immunity up, towards the end of the year those Sneaky Sniffles manage to get to me.
What to Do About Those Sneaky Sniffles
- Ginger. I drink ginger infused water in earnest. Water infused with herbs is a great, easy and cheap way to detox your system. During the winters I stick to warm water with ginger. I find all the other spices too ‘cold’ for my constitution. If I’m out of ginger, I just stick to warm water.
- My special tea. When my immunity is compromised I turn to my trusted organic black tea, although I’m actually a filter coffee person. I brew all the spices I have with a vengeance. Some of these spices are: cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and ajwain (curcumin seeds). I found a forgotten jar in the back of my cabinet. Although honey is high in calories, it feels great on a throat that feels like it’s lined with asphalt. I throw in a few tea leaves as well. Currently I use the Korakundah Black Tea (100% Organic, single estate).
- Brandy with hot water. Most people don’t believe it when I tell them my parents gave us a tiny dose of brandy and it worked like magic. We slept well and woke up healthy. This is a staple up in the hills, chilly evenings are better with a soothing glass of hot brandy between your hands. Sometimes I spoon some honey into my glass. The other night I found a bottle of Old Monk, but no brandy. Good enough, I thought. And it worked the magic of my childhood.
- Spicy food! This is the time to have that really spicy curry/dal/sambhar. I add lots of ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli, hing (asafoetida) to whatever is cooking and viola! you have an awesome cure for the common cold. Let food be thy medicine.
- Jal Neti. Because when the sniffles come, nothing flushes away the irritants better than warm water with rock salt. If you’re not doing Jal Neti, you don’t know what you’re missing. Do yourself a favour and drain those sinuses. You’ll end up preventing wrinkles too in the process.
- Sleep. I broke into my liquor cabinet, brewed the different decoctions, imbibed everything … all by 8 pm. I didn’t have the mind space to read or watch something. All I wanted to do was snuggle under my warm blanket and wake up to a clear tomorrow.
…. and wake up to a clear tomorrow I did. The hour was deliciously early, even the birds weren’t stirring yet. I brewed another cup of tea, and rolled out my mat. And all was well with the world again.
If this post helps your encounter with Those Sneaky Sniffles, let me know!