Winter is coming!If you are not already, soon you will be walking around with a blocked nose, sore throat and watery eyes. And then, you’ll be ready to do anything to be able to breathe again. But you don’t really like popping pills or drinking that cough syrup.So, what do you do?What if the solution to all your winter problems could be found in your own kitchen?Most of the herbs that we often use as taste-makers have medicinal properties that can help prevent that cough and cold. After all, isn’t prevention the best form of cure?Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)Yes you might have often used black pepper to accentuate your dishes and add that extra flavor. But, black pepper can become your best friend during winters!It is an anti-spasmodic spice which means it helps relieve muscle spasms and improves muscle relaxation. It is also anti-arthritic so it helps decrease stiffness of the muscles and joints while increasing the blood flow in these regions. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, it also helps in curing cold and cough.Just add a pinch of black pepper to a tablespoon of honey and have it. The congestion in your chest will vanish in no time!Why the Winter Cough Just Doesn’t Go Away and When To WorryGarlic (Lahsun)You might not prefer garlic in your food but you should keep garlic close during winters. It is known to increase immunity and keeps you protected against infections.\n\nBeing a natural antibiotic, garlic can help protect against harmful bacteria and viruses related to colds and flu. Dr Rupali Dutta, NutritionistThe compound Allicin present in garlic is known to help lower blood pressure.10 Ways to Get Rid of the Winter Weight Before it Even Piles OnTulsiRemember how your grandma insists you chew a tulsi leaf every morning, especially during winters? Because grandma always knows best. Tulsi is believed to be the best natural remedy for colds.Tusli has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-infective properties that helps strengthen your immunity and protect against respiratory ailments.Dr Rupali Dutta, NutritionistMake a concoction with some tulsi leaves, ginger and honey for cold-free winters!Soup for Thought: This Winter, Learn to Slurp Them Right!Cinnamon (Dalchini)Love winters but can’t get rid of that scratchy throat? Cinnamon to the rescue!Drink some cinnamon infused water and see how it works wonders on your throat. Boiling cinnamon sticks and inhaling the vapors also helps relieve chest congestion.The compound cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon makes it a great anti-fungal and anti-bacterial herb. It also acts as a great digestive tonic and reduces inflammation in the body.Stay Hydrated In Winters With These Easy Tips Mint (Pudina)No, mint leaves are not just for decoration in your cocktails! Mint’s strong odour helps open blocked airways, allowing relaxed breathing.For patients with asthma, mint can be extremely useful in winters. Mint helps in the expulsion of phlegm and clears chest congestion, so asthma patients can find it easy to breathe. Mint is also known to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.Enjoy a cup of mint tea everyday during winters!Adrak-Chai vs Green Tea: Experts Weigh in on Rujuta’s CommentsGinger (Adrak)Your favourite adrak ki chai might be a life-saver this winter!Ginger’s anti-histamine properties make it an effective ingredient to treat allergies. It is also helpful in treating stomach ailments and other digestive issues.Ginger boosts your immune system and can be used as a home remedy for colds and cough. Ginger juice along with some honey can relieve sore throats and cough. Dr Rupali Dutta, NutritionistGinger also acts as an analgesic and can also help with those stiff joints. It improves blood flow throughout the body and reduces inflammation. It keeps the body warm by dilating the blood vessels. This in turn protects your body from hypothermia during extreme cold weather.Cardamom (Elaichi)Apart from being a taste-maker, cardamom is a great herb for the cold season. Consuming cardamom pods has a warming effect on the body as it is also known to increase the blood flow in the body. It clears the respiratory tract which prevents any congestion and also provides relief from headaches.Cardamom is rich in anti-oxidants and helps in curing digestive disorders. A cup of hot cardamom tea daily will help you maintain vitality and keep your energy levels high during the cold winter days!