Hot stuff can beat the Bugs

We certainly know when winter has arrived when it’s been unusually cold even in parts of Queensland and northern NSW.  On a recent work trip to the more northern areas I was expecting to be toasty warm morning noon and night.  Not so, the days were often lovely warm 18-20 but the nights especially in one place I was staying at were in the low single digits.  The places I was staying definitely were not geared up for the cold and each night I employed all sorts of tactics to try and stay a bit warmer (not very successfully).

The result – I managed to take home my share of the nasty cold virus going around the retreat centre.  Normally I manage to say ‘pass’ but this time I was just so cold at night despite all my efforts that my immune system said, ‘naaaah, time for you to pay more respect …..”

Window Display of Autumn Harvest Foods

Winter Warmer Foods

So many people have asked me at my clinic over the years for a simple and easy recipe to help alleviate or even at times prevent the cold virus taking hold.  This is one of the ways of helping yourself.

If I had been home or somewhere where it was possible I would have made my  Bug Blaster decoction.  It’s a ripper for nipping those colds in the bud most of the time.  If you can get to it early and combine it with adequate rest, staying warm at all times, keeping especially warm in the feet, kidney’s area (lower back) and head, as well as having a 3 – 4 mg  (in divided doses throughout the day)  of vitamin C a day this can often help you to overcome something nasty before it takes hold.  It’s not going to work all the time, nothing does as far as I can tell over the decades of clinical practice, but it’s well worth a try.

It’s also very useful to keep your digestive powers at their maximum, sometimes a challenge when away from home.  Unfortunately I forgot to take my favourite probiotics (see : ) with me which didn’t help my case.

In addition, it is useful to have this even if the cold bug has bitten and settled in, as it warms your whole body and you can feel alot better.  The fresh or dried herbs you add to the decoction can vary according to your needs.  Here is my base recipe for your to try.

Wendy’s Winter Warmer Bug Blaster Herbal Drink

(….and if you are concerned or pain persists please see your health practitioner)

Ginger root

Base stock:

Fresh ginger root – approximately 8 cm piece sliced thinly or 2 x teaspoons powder (I find the fresh preparation more effective and tastier).  Ginger is a warming remedy as well as helpful for the digestion and also can help with the aches and pains from the cold virus.

Fresh Tumeric root thinly sliced (or 1 heaped teaspoons powder) Curcumin longa .  Tumeric root is reputedly anti-inflammatory and helps with liver function as well as being warming.

If you can cope with some fresh garlic (and you are not allergic to it!) then it’s good to add 2 – 3 crushed garlic cloves as well.

in 8 cups of water.

Simmer this with the pot lid partially off for 10 minutes.  It should have reduced by about 1/4 by that time.

Take off the stove.  Add which one or more of these herbal remedies in fresh or dried leaf form. *

Herbs to add if you can source them:

A few examples:   Catmint leaf (nepeta cataria) – 1 heaped tablespoon of fresh herb, or 2 teaspoons dried herb. Catmint is calming and also good for helping feel more comfortable with fevers.

Lemon Balm leaf (melissa officinale) –  dose as above. Lemon balm is calming and can also assist relax more so more sleep is to be had.

Thyme leaf (thymus valgaris) – dose as above.  Fantastic if you have a cough with the other symptoms.

There are many other herbs you can add, these are just a good start.

Allow the decoction which now has the herbal remedies in it to sit for 10 minutes.

Add:   1/2 to 2/3 teaspoon of honey and 1/2 a lemon juice to each cup.

Consume warm to hot in temperature sipping 1 cup every 3-4 hours.

It is really useful to put the whole lot in a large thermos, wrap the thermos in a woollen blanket or space blanket so that it is still warm later in the day.

NB:  If you don’t have the herbs just do the decoction without these, it will still be really useful. The honey and the lemon added is a real winner.

Happy sipping and keep warm!  Wendy Dumaresq. 


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