Thursday, January 20, 2011

Helping Kat's Kids Kick their... eh, Kolds. Pardon Me, I Kouldn't Help Myself.

There's a lot of coughing and sniffing in the house, courtesy of Kat's boys, both of whom are here today. What can a fellow do but whip up some soup? I found this recipe, and substituted sweet potato for half the carrots, because we were running out. It came out very tasty.

This potful is not just good food though, it's medicinal.

We all know about orange juice and colds, but what about the carrots and sweet potatoes I threw in there? Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants, which can help with healing. Beta-carotene is particularly good for the health of mucous membranes, which become irritated and inflamed during a cold. I don't know if there's scientific evidence for that particular connection, but it's worked for me.

The most healing ingredients, in my opinion, are those meant to strengthen the flavor though. Onion has been used as a folk cure for centuries. Early American settlers recognized its curative qualities well, and modern research has revealed that sulfur compounds, which create the strong flavor, are responsible for many of its healthful properties. Onions work effectively as decongestants, and they have antibacterial qualities too. Then there's ginger.

In China, ginger has been known for its healing properties since ancient times. It's known to reduce fever, relieve pain, kill bacteria, and it also has a sedative effect. It's easy to see how it's associated with longevity, if only because it makes you feel a bit better.

And I the nutmeg... well, it's used in cough syrups, so it's pretty well known as a decongestant.

So there we are. If this doesn't reduce the sniffing, I don't know what will! I feel a little tickle in my throat myself, but I seem to be fighting it off. I'll just take a double dose, and I'll be fine. Mmm..

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