When cold and flu season comes around, most of us tend to run for the nearest pharmacy for immunity boosting vitamins and medicines. But for hundreds of years, Indian spices have been used to ward off infections and boost immunity against viruses. Here is a list of the top 8 anti-viral Indian spices that can help keep the flu at bay. There are a number of dishes with great benefits of spices which now available in every Indian Restaurant in Chingford.

Turmeric

If you’ve ventured lately to a coffee shop ran by staff with neatly pruned beards and man-buns, you most likely would have noticed a new item on the menu – Turmeric Latté. Recently crowned as an immune boosting superfood, turmeric has been proven to hone a number of medicinal and anti-ageing properties which include anti-inflammatory abilities and protection from free radicals.

Ginger

Another common and delicious hot drink ingredient, ginger is one of the most health boosting spices on the planet. It’s from the same family as turmeric and is readily available in a variety of convenient supplements such as capsules, oils and teas. Ginger has an abundance of immune strengthening effects including the ability to fight off flus and colds, aiding digestion and reducing nausea – including morning sickness.

Garlic

Not only used to keep vampires at bay, garlic has also been used as a preventative for the common cold and can help your body to fight off other viruses such as HPV, the flu and viral pneumonia.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is not only a tasty table staple, but sprinkling a dose in your dinner can help combat coughs, colds and help calm chest infections. This fragrant spice is rich in antimicrobials and antioxidants to help your body clear out viruses and free radicals.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has to ability to bring out wonderful flavours in both sweet and savoury dishes, but did you know that it can also fight infections, inflammation and help damage tissues repair itself quicker? The main  immune boosting compound is polyphenol which has helped cinnamon earn its rightful place in the group of superfoods.

Fennel

Love it or hate it, this liquorice flavoured herb has been shown to prevent viruses multiplying and can stop them from attacking our bodies’ healthy cells. Fennel is rich in anti-viral properties and helps boost immunity and calm inflammation.

Oregano

Oregano is a versatile herb that has been used in many dishes all across the world. It is related to the mint family and contains an abundance of the anti-viral compound called Carvacrol. This compound also has a great effect at reducing the power of stomach flus and respiratory infections.

Clove

The humble clove is jam-packed with antioxidants that defend your body from free radicals. By exterminating free radicals, clove helps your body to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Clove has a potency that can also be used to treat stomach flu, toothache and sore throats.

Although modern medicine is a miracle at fighting illness and disease, spices and herbs can greatly have an impact at helping our bodies to flush viruses out or prevent them from taking hold in the first place.