Coughs, Colds and Comfort – Hydration

For the last two weeks our little house hold has been consecutively struck down by a nasty little cold.
First DinoGirl, then Husband now myself, then still Husband.
True to form DinoGirl gets a little fever, runny nose, a few sneezes, doesn’t want to eat and then the next day its almost all over except she is left with a cough and phlegm in her system for about another week after. Around this time Husband gets it, after feeling like he’s been fighting it off for a week already.
And because of his shocking sinus issues already, it compounds the symptoms and makes his cold a thousand times worse and goes on for double the length. A true Man Flu.

Then while DinoGirl is almost over hers and Husband is towards the end of his, that’s when I get it, usually after one of us has jinxed us and said something like “oh well it’s good you haven’t got it yet”.
Almost immediately my nose starts to run. Every time.

I have had it on and off for the last two weeks.
Yuck. I don’t get the sinus-y stuff like Hubs but I get the body aches and headaches and sore throat.
Husband is a dripping tap and is literally blowing his nose for the entirety of winter, and then also spring.

So I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help out at these woeful times and to help comfort us all.
Over the next few posts I will give ideas, recipes and tips on my Winter Flu Fighting methods!
They don’t always keep the colds away but they certainly help in minimising and containing them and help in getting through them.

My first post is about HYDRATION.

Obviously, drink lots of water, as it helps to flush your system. I like to think of water as the oil or WD40 for our organs, keeps them well lubricated and helps keep them working at their best.

It’s a great thing to drink a glass of room temperate or warm water with fresh lemon juice in it first thing in the morning before you do anything else.
It helps to wake your organs up after their little rest (cause while we sleep, while our body keeps working, our organs do have their own version of ‘rest’ too and slow down a little, so you gotta think about waking them up too!).
Having the water warm or room temperature means it won’t be such a shock on your system as cold water. Imagine having a cup of cold water thrown on you while your still resting in the morning… That would be a shock! You would tense up and get cranky- think of your organs like that too. They would act the same.
I’d probably punch someone.

But I digress.

Tricks to help you drink more are keep a bottle of water with you as much as you can, a glass or bottle of water on you desk at work. I find of its there, you’ve drink it. Choose water over pre bottled juices or sugar drinks.

Teas can be wonderfully comforting, hydrating and certain herbal blends can help certain ailments. Good quality herbal and white teas can really help fix your wagon.
White tea- but isn’t that just black tea with milk in it, I hear you ask?
No, it’s is actually its own category of tea and leaves.
White tea is very young green tea leaves, picked very early off the tea bush. There is very little processing, they are left to wither in natural sunlight and then lightly processed to prevent oxidation. They are the ‘purest’ form of tea leaves.
Their name – white tea – comes from the silvery grey/white fur still on the leaves due to them being very young and often some of the leaves haven’t even unfurled yet into a leaf shape.
And isn’t everything that is a baby fury and soft? Puppies, kittens, ducklings, even freshly born babies often have a soft down still on them.
The benefits of white tea are wonderful.
It is full of antioxidants and has the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea leaf. It also has the lowest amount of caffeine, only containing around 1% caffeine.

(NB:Contrary to what some people believe, green tea DOES have caffeine in it, it is just a much lower amount than black tea or coffee.)

Antioxidants are the soldiers of our body that fight off free radicals in our body to help keep us healthy and help prevent a lot of age related diseases. Also, antioxidants have anti aging properties and are great for your skin.

So white tea helps with your health and fighting of nasties in our system – win! It tastes very mild and delicate in flavour and needs to be brewed delicately too. Fill a ratio of 3/4’s boiling water and a 1/4 cold water in your cup first, THEN add your infuser with your white tea leaves and leave for about 2-5mins.
This is also a perfect way to brew green tea to stop it from burning and going bitter, bit just let the leaves steep for around 2 minutes.

Herbal teas can be wonderful too!
Some of my favourites for battling a cold are Lemongrass and Ginger (I love the T2 blend), which is dried lemongrass and ginger pieces – not to be confused with ‘lemon and ginger’ flavored tea. Serve hot with a little dash of honey and maybe a little squeeze of lemon juice to help soothe a sore throat, break up phlegm and mucus and warm you up.

Hibiscus is also wonderful for sore throats as it is rich in antioxidants and personally I have found the fact I am drinking something rich in antioxidants that goes straight onto my throat always seems to ease and help a sore throat.
It’s is very tart, almost like a grapefruit and a rich, dark pinky, red colour.
It is also beautiful as a base for iced teas on hot days. Hibiscus tea is also believed to be very beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

Rooibos is my next favourite for fighting colds and flu’s.
Again, Rooibos is jam packed with antioxidants! But is naturally free of caffeine. It’s needle like leaves are a burnt orangey red colour and require a very fine mesh infuser so the leaves don’t leak into your cup.
It has a similar taste to black tea, just not as strong and a little sweeter.
It also can be drunk with milk, like black tea, or on its own as a herbal tea.
(NB: once you add milk to any tea or coffee, it immediately cancels out/kills off the antioxidants present in that tea. So If you are really wanting the health benefits from your tea drink it ‘black’, on it’s own. Also, green tea or white tea is to never be served with milk, it’s a big no no, it is not processed or ‘designed’ to be drunk with milk. The flavours don’t match and it would be like eating your cereal with a nice dash of tomato sauce…. Just no.)

There are some beautiful flavour blends of all of these mentioned teas.
Drop into your local tea store or jump online as search for some tea companies.

As many of you know I have worked for Australian tea company, T2, on and off (before and after baby) for around three years in total. Working for them I have developed a life long love and passion for tea (and tea cups and teapots), and I genuinely love educating people about the amazingly delicious and healthy variations of teas that are out there.

Another little, well known, favourite is Chai tea.
And not to be confused with a chai latte that is usually made with an artificial powder or syrup.
You want actual black tea leaves chai.
The real, chunky spices are beautifully warming on your system and all of the spices have health benefits, like cinnamon- its great for lowering blood sugar levels. I add extra ginger and cinnamon pieces to my chai, as I like it stronger and more zingy.
Again, beautiful with honey, served with or without milk.

Generally when you have a cold, you need a good rest to help fight it off.
There are many teas that can help you relax and promote sleep.
Try herbal blends after your meal and when your getting ready or bed like chamomile, lavender, peppermint and some beautiful blends that contain a selection of herbs perfect for drifting off to sleep.
My personal faves are Chamomile and two blends from T2, Relax and Sleep Tight.

Hope this has helped in anyway and look out for my next post on more things to help get you through the winter months.

Happy Sipping,

Liz x TJC x

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