With the fluctuating temperatures of our Ontario spring, feeling under the weather is almost inevitable. Stock up on these local plants, sold and served throughout the Greenbelt, to soothe your cold and flu blues.
Oregano: Culinary herb and, when distilled into an oil, can soothe stuffy noses. Image: Wikipedia, 2014.
Sage increases circulation, meaning it speeds up your body’s ability to flush out those snotty germs! Good circulation also relieves swelling so you need not cry through those puffy eyes! Have it in tea, or freshly chopped into some brown butter with sweet potato (which is high vitamin C!) ravioli. You can easily grow sage indoors, so you always have it close by. Try plants, seeds, or dried herbs from local business Richters Herbs.
Lavender is calming so put some in your bath, in a sachet under your pillow, or into hot water to make a lovely floral tea. When you feel icky, lavender gives you rose-tinted glasses. Weir’s Lane Lavender and Apiary, who grow in Ontario’s Greenbelt, sells handcrafted glass aromatherapy glass pendants that get the job done perfectly.
Eucalyptus isn’t native to Ontario but Balsam Fir is a great, local alternative that works much the same way. It clears the passages for easy breathing. Pine also acts the same way to obliterate stuffy noses and phlegmy throats.
Oil of oregano is no good on pizza because this spicy oil is strong stuff, and you only need a drop in a big glass of water to punch those colds outta the park. Learn more about this specialty crop with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Lemon and honey “tea” is a simple, hot concoction that has been passed down for generations because it works. The vitamin C in lemon boosts your immune system into high gear. Honey (such as local and delicious Dutchman’s Gold honey) coats the sore throat and fights off bad bacteria. Having them served up in a mug of hot water when you’re in bed with a good novel is highly recommended.
Raw garlic fights off bad bacteria so if you can, add a clove of the stuff, crushed, to everything until you start feeling better. If garlic really pumps you up, there’s a garlic festival in Niagara in September!
These tricks make dealing with cold or flu seem like you’ve taken a week off work to pamper yourself! Sleep a lot, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, and wash your hands often. Get well soon!
Food Writer & Guest Blogger