Medicine Balls and flu bomb recipes are essential during the colder months of the year!
Every winter as the cold creeps in, so do the stuffy noses and sniffles. My kids come home all bunged up and I know that soon enough the whole house will be plagued with another cold.
It’s difficult to know what to drink when you have the flu as you don’t want to make matters worse by drinking fizzy drinks when you have a sore throat for example!
This year I decided to concoct my own medicine ball recipe. Partly to soothe the poorly kids and partly to prevent it spreading to us! I’m not one for medication, i’d rather use natural cold and flu remedies that take medication.
Medicine balls or flu bombs as they are also known, have been a life saver in my house, as soon as i feel a cold coming on i rustle up a batch and give it to the whole family – they’ve grown to love it!
Making your own medicine ball at home is fairly easy, and there’s a good chance that you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
If you find that you’re missing an item and you’re feeling too under the weather to head to a store, feel free to swap things out!
S.O.S Medicine Ball
- fine strainer (optional)
- kettle or pot to boil water
- Garlic press (or just crush with a large knife)
- 1 knob ginger grated
- two cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch chilli flakes to taste
- 1 sprinkle black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh spearmint leaves
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup hot green tea
- Grate ginger and crush garlic cloves
- Add ginger and garlic to green tea to brew and infuse
- Stir in honey
- Stir in cayenne powder until fully dissolved
- Add black pepper, chilli flakes, and fresh spearmint leaves
- Leave to brew for up to five minutes
- Feel free to strain out any remaining pulp
This recipe can be a little intimidating to some. Crushing up garlic and ginger with honey isn’t always a winning combination, especially for kids- it can be quite pungent!
If you or your little tykes are reluctant to try out my S.O.S flu bomb, you can swap out the ingredients for preferred foods or add a teaspoon of sugar to make it sweeter!
Garlic may seem like a very unenjoyable addition to a hot drink, but you’d be surprised by the how garlic and lemons taste when mixed together – it’s quite delicious!
If you need something to sweeter, a garlic and honey mixture with a squeeze of lemon may be better suited to you. Always opt for a Manuka honey as that is what has the healing properties.
Due to the major health benefits of eating garlic, it is sometimes advised for those who don’t enjoy garlic to just eat raw garlic for colds.
A garlic clove is only small so could be consumed in one mouthful, rather than infusing your drink with it – you’ll still receive the benefits but without having to endure the taste for a long period of time.
With so many self-proclaimed ‘health gurus’ promoting their essential oils and supplements, it can be tough to determine what your body is actually in need of when you’re feeling rough. I thought I’d include a little list of the health benefits of my ingredients list.
How to Make an Essential Oil Flu Bomb
Having a blocked nose is not only uncomfortable but can be extremely annoying – it can cause headaches, stop you going about your normal activities, cause dry skin and much more.
Essential oils can come in very helpful when you have a cold or the flu. A vaporiser is an excellent and inexpensive investment for when you or the kids are unwell. Add some peppermint oil to the vaporiser and it will help with congestion as well as sore throats.
My husband often suffers with chest colds so we purchased some eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil and rosemary oil. These three essential oils for chest colds work a treat! We change them throughout the day so he doesn’t get bored of the same scent!
Vaporisers can also be used to enhance sleep, add some lavender oil and place beside your bed and you are more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Vaporisers and essential oils are mostly child-friendly but be sure to always check the labels!
*Tip – Essential oils are often in pure form, you have to dilute them in water before using.
Flu-Fighting Ingredients and Their Benefits
These handy cold bomb ingredients will enhance your health and help to fight off winter flu. But what are the benefits?
- Green Tea is full of antioxidants that help to fight off viral infections, soothes sore throats and gives you an energy boost.
- Garlic is full of antioxidants to stimulate immune system to work harder, can reduce cholesterol and improve heart health. Using garlic for colds is commonly advised as it not only helps you recover faster, it increases your immune system to prevent you becoming ill again.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce cold and flu symptoms.
- Stock broth soothes sore throats and is high in sodium to draw fluids into the body.
- Turmeric is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Cayenne lowers body temperature by stimulating sweat glands and reduces congestion by stimulating mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses.
- Lemon is naturally high in vitamin C (did you know garlic is all high in vitamin c?!) and eases sore throat symptoms, which is why it is great in a flu bomb or hot water if you have a sore throat!
- Apple cider vinegar is a probiotic with an immune boosting effect and is acidic enough to thin mucous in the throat, easing congestion and coughs.
- Honey soothes the throat and has antibacterial properties.
- Spearmint is rich in antioxidants and can loosen congestion. Spearmint is a great essential oil for flu!
When to Take a Flu Bomb
A flu bomb or cold bomb is helpful when you feel the symptoms of flu might be coming on. Make sure you’re aware of flu symptoms so you can spot it early when it reaches your kids or you!
People who catch the flu may only experience some of the symptoms above, or you may have a mixture of pains and fatigue.
How Often Can You Take a Flu Bomb
As Flu Bombs don’t have any prescription medicines in them, you can drink as many as you like! However drinking excessive amounts of some of the ingredients in a flu bomb, such as cayenne pepper, it can lead to other issues such as stomach upset. So try to enjoy a flu bomb every 3-4 hours to reduce symptoms.
Starbucks Medicine Ball: Winter Warrior or Waste of Money?
For some, the idea of making a flu bomb at home derives from hearing about the Starbucks version. Starbucks originally had their flu remedy as an item on the secret menu, but it was so popular that they made it permanent. You might have heard people refer to it as the ‘Cold Buster’ or the ‘Medicine Ball’.
What Is the Starbucks Medicine Ball?
The Starbucks medicine bomb is made up of hot water, steamed lemonade, Teavana jade citrus mint tea, peach tranquility herbal tea, honey and optional peppermint syrup. I’d avoid the optional syrup when making your cold bomb.
This Starbucks version of the flu bomb isn’t all bad; the honey and green tea are included in my own recipe after all. However, the steamed lemonade and peppermint syrup are potentially going to do you more harm than good. If you’re feeling particularly low energy, you might benefit from from the glucose boost.
Personally, I won’t be heading out to pick up a Starbucks flu bomb any time soon. There’s nothing particularly diabolical about their recipe, but I don’t see it staving off a tough flu and it is much cheaper when you make it at home, simply follow my recipe above to create your own Starbucks medicine ball.
If you’re experiencing cold symptoms like sore throat, this might line your throat with a little sugar and help you to speak. However, if your house is plagued with a really nasty virus, you’re going to need a tonne of antioxidants that just aren’t found in steamed lemonade.
How to Prevent the Flu
1) Flu Bombs/Cold Bombs/Medicine Balls
Of course, flu bombs and cold bombs should be near the top of your list for preventing and soothing flu symptoms.
2) Take Time to Rest
Taking some time off school or work is essential when you have the flu – it’s important to allow your body to rest.
3) Try to Ease Congestion
When you’re trying to rest and recover from the flu, congestion can make it hard to sleep or relax.
If you don’t want to take a decongestant, hot liquids such as soup and tea may help to clear your head.
So, What to Do When You Get the Flu?
Cold and flu season is usually pretty rotten, especially in families with lots of kids passing viral infections on to one another. The best way to combat your symptoms is with plenty of rest and lots of fluids.
My flu bomb recipe will help to ease some symptoms, and is probably good at preventing sickness spreading. It might not be as tasty as the Starbucks rendition of the flu bomb, but the natural ingredients of my cold bomb will be better for you in the long run.