Grandmother Knows Best: 6 Scientifically-Backed Remedies to Survive Winter

Temperatures in India are on a steady decline and winter has set in with cardigans, mufflers, sweaters, and monkey caps around. Unfortunately, this is also the time when most of us get a common cold, cough, flu, and have joint pains. Interestingly, in this season most of our grandmothers charge into the kitchen and prepare natural remedies in a secretive sort-of manner. While we may have avoided these kitchen-remedies our whole lives, we may need to pay heed to them now, as even science says that our grandmas were right. 

Desi foods by grandmothers provide wonderful concoctions of nutrients and immunity, which are beneficial for the entire body, so we tell you the best home remedies for surviving winter.

  1. Cold and Cough: Sniffles, sneezes, fever, and body aches, the common cold can be quite a downer during the party season.

Grandma’s Remedy: Heard about the magic potion called ‘kaadha’? It is made with two power ingredients pepper and turmeric. The latter is known to increase mucous secretion, which helps flush out the harmful bacteria. Plus, its antibacterial properties help fight the infection. Pepper is also antibacterial and contains vitamin C for boosting immunity. 

  1. Immunity Issues: Has it happened to you that despite wearing all possible layers of warm clothes, you still manage to catch the flu? This indicates a problem of low immunity. 

Grandma’s Remedy: To strengthen your immunity, consume a combination of ginger juice [2], basil (tulsi) leaves, and a teaspoon of honey. Ginger has anti-inflammatory benefits and is anti-bacterial to help the immune system fight better. Basil leaves increase natural antibodies and T helper cells in the blood, thereby increasing immunity. Similarly, honey also has antibacterial properties that help strengthen your body from the inside [3]. 

  1. Chest Congestion: A common winter complaint is that of wheezing, sore throat, and sleep difficulties due to congestion of mucus in the chest.

Grandma’s Remedy: Heat cow’s ghee in a pan and add a few garlic cloves to the same. Massaging this gently on your chest will help you fight chest congestion. The usage of cow’s ghee is part of Ayurvedic treatment for relieving cold-like symptoms, while the intense aroma and antioxidants in cloves provide relief from chest congestion. [6]    

  1. Joint Pain: If your morning has started with muscle cramps, backache or knee pain, try this before you pop that pain killer.

Grandma’s Remedy: Have a spoonful of turmeric with ghee or turmeric milk. Curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that ease the pain, reduce swelling and ensure smooth functioning of joints. Additionally, the fat in milk or ghee helps make turmeric more effective when consumed.

  1. Digestive Problems: Suffering from constipation or indigestion due to party season binge? Do not be in a hurry to gulp down tea or coffee early in the morning. 

Grandma’s Remedy: Have warm water with lemon juice, which would work to clean the digestive tract and also eliminate fat. Lemon flushes out the toxins floating around your GI tract and also relieves the symptoms of indigestion. [8]

  1. Dry Skin: The dry weather tends to absorb the hydration and moisture of the skin, leaving it dry and dull. If you don’t take care, you might also see a few signs of aging in the form of wrinkles.

Grandma’s Remedy: The problem of skin dryness can be solved by using curd. It is rich in lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid that dissolves dead skin cells and helps replenish new ones. [9]

References:

  1. http://www.ijddr.in/drug-development/cold-and-flu-conventional-vs-botanical–nutritional-therapy.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424551/
  4. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0656/a638abdfa284b83455b83d11f953d648dad5.pdf
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5553043_Polyphenols_and_Antioxidant_Properties_of_Almond_Skins_Influence_of_Industrial_Processing
  6. http://www.imedpub.com/articles/the-versatility-of-cow-ghee-an-ayurvedaperspective.pdf
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27213821
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223119/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22152494