During winter I try to use herbs and fresh foods in ways to ward off colds and allergy issues. Rosemary Gladstar has a number of beneficial recipes including this - Fire Cider
. This is one of the concoctions that I discovered a few months ago and love. It's not for the faint at heart - it does pack a punch, but if you try a small amount of it with warm water and honey initially, you just may enjoy the benefits it offers.
I have sinus/allergy issues pretty much all year, but during the winter, when colds are at their peak, I tend to be more prone to sinus infections. I use this to not only try to ward off illness, but to help clear the congestion if it does set in. A pantry staple.
1 part chopped onion
1 part garlic
1 part horseradish root (peeled and chopped if fresh)
1/2 part peeled and grated ginger
Enough apple cider vinegar to cover
cayenne pepper, to taste (add just a pinch)
honey, to taste
Combine enough of the first 4 ingredients to halfway fill either a pint or quart jar, depending on how much you want to make. Add apple cider vinegar to cover and add a pinch of cayenne.
Let the mixture sit in a cool, dark place, for 3 weeks or so. Strain and discard all solids and add honey to sweeten slightly.
Drink it plain, make a tea with it, or use it as a salad dressing or to top steamed veggies or rice.
It's strong, so taste just bits of it until you are used to it. Ingredients can be adjusted to your taste.