Beating The Winter Cold

Over the years, after becoming increasingly more health and body conscious, I now know the signs that a cold virus (or something similar) is on its way.  My normal indicator is that the glands under my collar bone start to ache and twinge.  This is absolutely fool proof for me, they will ache and then around 2 days later, symptoms set it.  Well, I should say, symptoms used to set it, before I took premediated action to use that pain as a warning sign and then do something about it in the 2-day window my body has given me.  Over the past couple of years, this has worked, and if it does turn into a full-blown cold (let’s face it, no one is completely bullet proof from these viruses) then it has been reduced significantly.  Below I will tell you my cold survival methods, they may work for you, I know we are all different, but you never know, they could be worth a try too!


Whatever happens, as soon as I am feeling a cold virus coming on, I don’t drink any alcohol (except for my hot toddy – more about that below).  So, if there is a night out planned, I either un-plan it or drink water.  Alcohol in large quantities is so damaging for your immune system to work and fight effectively.  I’m pretty sure that’s why so many people go down hard in January, not only is it because the virus is more widespread, but most people have been drinking more than usual over the Christmas period and stripped their immunity to its core, making it harder to fight the virus once it enters into their system.  The only thing I do drink (that has alcohol), is my hot toddy, (I will have one before bed), which consists of:

  • Hot Ginger Ale

  • One whole lemon

  • Honey

  • Irish Whiskey

  • Ground Cinnamon & Turmeric

This seems to be very medicinal for me and helps me a lot, my husband is the king at making this and its perfect.  That little bit of alcohol wont’ strip the immune system, but will be enough to work in harmony with the other ingredients to help stave off the virus getting worse.

Drinking more fluid, like water, is also critical for me.  Keep flushing out toxins, hydrating the body (especially if there is mucus build up) and just fuel yourself with vital water to keep your body running properly so it can get on with the job, letting your glands produce the white blood cells to kick the colds arse.

My magical morning drink: now this drink is a drink that I have first thing in the morning, with or without a cold.  But when I have the onset of symptoms, I up my dosage to around 3 drinks a day.  This is what it is:

Hot water

1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of honey

1 whole lemon, squeezed with pips removed

Use a spoon and leave in your mug to continually stir the drink to ensure you get the powder on the bottom of the mug.

Turmeric and cinnamon work in harmony together because of the anti-inflammatory properties they offer.  The honey and the lemon are both natural antibacterial agents and act like a natural antibiotic.  This drink is incredibly soothing and its my miracle cure, hence why I take it daily and then up it when the going gets tough.



A few years back, I would have headed straight to the junk cupboard for comfort food when I started to feel unwell.  Well not any more my friend!  Here are some staples that I use to attack the virus in its tracks:

Homemade Chicken Soup

I have been perfecting my homemade chicken soup recipe for the last few years and now eat it all through autumn and winter.  I knew in the past that it makes you feel good, but I wasn’t sure why.  It turns out that when mixing chicken, carrots, onions and garlic, and heating them in the hot chicken stock, lets off some sort of chemical reaction that can apparently fend off the flu (there is probably a very scientifically, accurate explanation but my description is as good as we get on that front, sorry).  All I know is, it works!  Here is the recipe (apologies in advance if you are not a meat eater):

When making a big batch to freeze (I like to do this once a month):

  • Sauté loads of white, chopped onion, loads of diced carrot and tons of chopped celery

  • Throw in enough garlic to kill a horse, some dried or fresh thyme, salt and pepper.

  • Boil the kettle and dissolve enough chicken stock (the amount varies on how big your pan is).

  • I like to add pancetta into mine, so fry some and stick it in

  • Once the stock is in here, I let it simmer for ages, and then I add some chicken from a large roasted bird (we normally take it from that Sunday’s roast dinner).

  • Once I’ve seasoned again and its all cooked through, I turn off the heat, let it cool, bag it up, pop it in the freezer to be reheated later.980E9543-5608-41C8-9820-8AB9724B73F3


The Papaya normally makes an appearance when I start to go down quickly (well, someone goes and gets me one from Sainsbury’s).  I had no idea that the papaya is one of the most powerful fruits when it comes to fighting a virus.  How I came to know this is an interesting story.  One of my good friends was travelling in Cambodia and unfortunately caught the Dangee virus.  She was so unwell, was admitted to hospital and was facing a blood transfusion if her blood platelets didn’t rise.  So, I spent an hour, here in the UK, doing a distant Reiki healing treatment on her.  During my meditation, my guide clearly showed me the papaya fruit.  Straight after, I googled it and low and behold, the healing properties it offers (particularly for a virus) are astounding.  I told my friend this, who also backed up my claim as she told me a friend who lived locally to her in Cambodia also mentioned this very fruit when dealing with the Dangee virus.  So there you have it, as well as eating loads of fruit when you are coming down with something, aim for this particular one!

Non-processed foods

Even if you don’t feel like cooking, give your body a fighting chance by having a freshly cooked dinner.  Food is so healing, its our life force, and if you are putting crap into your body, your cells won’t have the tools equipped to regenerate and to produce the white blood cells to fight the virus.  So I’m talking veg, pulses, protein, low fats, good carbs, you name it, if it offers you a health benefit, its not too late to put it in your mouth.



So this is key.  KEY I tell you!  Good food and drink mean nothing if you don’t get at least eight hours sleep if not more when you are poorly.  Sleep is by far the best healer for your body.  As soon as you feel the feeling of the cold coming, when possible, eat dinner and go straight to bed.  You will be amazed how you feel the next day.  You may not be completely cured but your symptoms should lesson.  If you need to call in sick, then do.  I know its not always possible, but sometimes you have to listen to the body and by acting in the first instance will starve off later infection like a chest infection or worse.

To add to this paragraph, I stop exercising (running) when I feel my gland telling me that a cold is on its way, because I do not want to stress my immune system anymore.

Prevention is better than cure

What I have noticed over the last few years is that, as I have been so mindful about the food I eat, my lifestyle choices, the fact I put my physical health first, is that my chance of contracting a cold has been significantly reduced and if I do start to get it, it gets warded off quickly or I don’t go down too hard.  I’ve noticed that I get two bad ones a year, and both are a couple of days after the two mind, body and spirit events I run.  On those days, I am very stressed, I sit with many people to read for them (sometimes up to twenty in a day).  I feel like its no coincidence that I get sick after this, stress has such a bad impact on our immune system.

So I guess what I’m saying here is, look after yourself, your immune system is you silent partner that you need to nourish so it can act on your behalf when the going gets tough.  If you look after yourself now, you will reap the benefits later.

Until next time,



Who am I?  I am Tanya, an almost 40-year-old psychic medium, professional tarot reader, reiki master and author.  I run a Holistic Practice at my home town in Essex and I love to teach the Positive Law Of Attraction and to write about my really awesome experiences during my crazy yet amazing spiritual journey!  Find me at: (FB: @OraHolisticWellbeing) (FB: @Tanya’sTarot)

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