Cold season is officially here, so when I started to feel congested with a slight tickle in my throat, my mother reminded me of her Triple Chile Concoction and I immediately picked up the ingredients at the Union Square Greenmarket. This is not a cold cure, however in my experience it definitely accelerates the process and shortens the duration of the cold. Note: This is not for those with sensitive tummies, delicate taste buds or date night plans!
If you're skeptical about effectively treating conditions with natural remedies, then you might consider that some hospitals are now writing green market prescriptions, according to a post on Prescriptions for Produce by q.equinox.com (my beloved fitness center's blog).
Minnie's Triple Chile Concoction:
- 1/4 cup organic honey
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 jalepeno pepper, washed and de-stemmed
- 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, washed and de-stemmed
- 1/2 Chinese lantern pepper, washed and de-stemmed
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon horseradish (substitute 1 radish or 1 teaspoon mustard powder)
Add all ingredients to a blender. and blend until smooth. For a smoother experience, strain the mixture, retaining only the liquid. I actually prefer to pulse my mixture so that it's roughly chopped and has a little texture to it, but that's only because I'm used to the taste and the experience. Transfer the mixture to a glass container with a tight lid, and refrigerate between uses. Take one tablespoon as needed.
If this is your first time trying a remedy like this, I would recommend a fresh orange juice chaser to help mask the taste and cool the heat. The acid in the orange juice can neutralize some of the activity of the alkaline capsaicinoids found in the peppers, which is what produces that feeling of heat. Also, I do not recommend taking this on an empty stomach, and if you're prone to heartburn or have an irritable stomach this might not be the remedy for you.
The main ingredient in this recipe are the chile peppers, which have been used for centuries in remedies designed to conquer the common cold. They automatically trigger the release of watery fluids in the mouth, throat and lungs and help thin down mucus, making it easier to expel. In this case, the peppers act as an expectorant.
Benefits of some the other ingredients include:
Apple cider vinegar – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral properties
Ginger and honey – well documented to help the immune system
Garlic – contains allicin, which is known to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial powers
Note: This is not a recommendation for medical treatment or intended as a cure. As always, refer to a medical specialist to treat health conditions.
I hope you escape the season without a cold. To your health!