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11 Strong Spices to Fight the Cold and Flu

14 December 2023

Cooler temperatures don’t just announce the arrival of winter. They also signal the start of cold and flu season. It is the time of year when we rely on our immune systems to protect us from seasonal colds, flu, coughs, and other illnesses. It’s possible to boost your immunity through natural ingredients, such as the 11 spices in this article.

These spices contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other properties that can strengthen your immune system to fight ailments. As consumers look to avoid getting sick this cold and flu season, including these spices in your product line is a great way to stand out from your competition.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is heralded as king in the world of immunity-boosting spices. This distinctive and vibrant golden-yellow spice is made from a dried and ground tuber, which belongs to the same family of plants as ginger. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, behind its bold hue and healing properties.

Certain studies have shown that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. Consequently, some people use it to reduce joint inflammation and pain in the colder months. Turmeric also strengthens the immune system, improves blood flow, and has anti-cancer effects.

2. Ginger

Ginger is renowned for its warming effects and anti-nausea properties. Thus, it’s a widely used (and highly effective) natural remedy for quieting upset stomachs. A little ginger goes a long way, whether your nausea is from a nasty flu or morning sickness.

Additionally, ginger is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral because of its high gingerol content (a phytonutrient). Consuming ginger can boost your immune system and nourish your body with essential minerals like magnesium, chromium, and zinc.

3. Garlic

Garlic is a pungent, versatile spice that is an essential component of countless recipes and products. It also helps prevent colds and the flu and reduces the severity of your symptoms and the duration if you get sick.

There is some evidence that garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic contains allicin, which has sulphur and is responsible for its distinctive smell and taste. Allicin also gives garlic its medical properties. 

4. Cayenne

Cayenne is a type of spicy red pepper, often used to bring a kick of tantalizing heat to Mexican and Spanish dishes. It’s rich in vitamins, particularly vitamins C and A, which are powerful immune boosters. A teaspoon of dried cayenne powder contains 15% of your daily vitamin A requirements.

Additionally, cayenne aids digestion, relieves headaches, and clears congestion. Capsaicin, one of the main chemicals in cayenne peppers, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It may also help lower blood pressure levels.

5. Black Pepper

Black pepper, made from ground peppercorns, is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Consequently, this warming household spice is a home remedy for fighting the common cold and the flu. In addition, black pepper is rich in vitamin C, which naturally boosts the immune system.

In Ayurvedic medicines, black pepper alleviates cold and cough symptoms, such as chest and nasal congestion. Furthermore, Indian households mix black pepper with honey to create a natural cough suppressant.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a deliciously earthy and sweet spice that combats colds and flu. It’s packed with antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants like cinnamaldehyde (anti-inflammatory) and polyphenols (which support your immune system).

Cinnamon has been used for centuries to relieve cold symptoms and soothe sore throats. It also reduces blood pressure, relieves aching muscles, regulates blood sugar levels, and improves digestion.

7. Fenugreek

Throughout India, fenugreek alleviates cold and flu symptoms and supports immune function. It is an antiviral known to ease sore throats, relieve asthma, lower cholesterol, and reduce fevers.

Fenugreek contains immune-boosting saponins, flavonoids, and alkaloids. Additionally, it’s rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, such as vitamins A and C, iron, zinc, and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining a healthy immune system.

8. Cloves

Cloves are the unopened flower buds of the Indonesian clove tree. In ground form,  it is sweet and aromatic. They also possess various medicinal properties.

Although most known for being a natural remedy for toothaches because of its antiseptic and analgesic properties, cloves can also help fight colds and flu. They are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Cloves are also rich in vitamins C, A, K, B6, and B1.

Indian Ayurvedic medicine uses cloves to treat respiratory and digestive problems.

9. Cardamon

Cardamon (black cardamom, specifically) is known to help relieve cold, flu, and cough symptoms. Its anti-inflammatory properties mean that cardamom can improve respiratory health and reduce swelling of the mouth, nose, and throat. Cardamom is also touted as an antibacterial.

Additionally, cardamom contains vitamins like riboflavin, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, and manganese. Consequently, consuming cardamom helps support a healthy and robust immune system.

10. Horseradish

Horseradish powder is an intense and sharp spice that offers various health benefits. It’s a natural antibacterial that combats infections. It also possesses high sulphur levels, which helps clear sinus passages and combat mucus. Consequently, horseradish can be hugely beneficial for easing the symptoms of colds.

In addition, horseradish is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The high vitamin C and antioxidant content help create a robust immune system. Horseradish also contains zinc, manganese, and potassium.

11. Cumin

Lastly, cumin is a flavourful spice that can help strengthen your immune system. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and a range of vitamins and minerals. For example, cumin is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium. The high iron content is particularly significant for supporting your immune system.

Additionally, it’s a great source of antioxidants.

Cumin has also been used to tackle respiratory ailments and nasal blockage symptoms. 

Hela Spice: Custom Spice Blend Manufacturers

Hela Spice is North America’s premier custom spice blend manufacturer. We also apply our extensive industry and ingredient knowledge to food product development. Our specialty combines consumer insights with high-quality manufacturing to create best-selling and irresistible products.

Contact us today to learn how to integrate immunity-boosting spices throughout your product line to appeal to consumers this cold and flu season.

To discover our custom spice blends at Hela Spice, visit us at www.helaspice.com or contact us here.

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