Staying warm in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy

Tropical Storm Katia (NASA, International Space Station, 08/31/11) NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr

As the weather becomes colder, many of us who are still without heat are experiencing symptoms of overexposure to the cold. Early symptoms of a cold can include: Neck and upper back stiffness, body aches, sneezing, sensitivity to drafts, foggy head/slower thinking, lethargy, headaches… and of course runny nose.  I have listed below precautions that you may take to prevent getting sick:


  • Stay physically active.
  • Wear layers. Choose wool over cotton when you can. Keep your head covered (even indoors if necessary), wear gloves outside.
  • Drink hot water and eat warm and cooked foods. You can go to a deli, coffee shop, etc… to fill a thermos with hot water.
  • Try to avoid cold foods/drinks or salads.

Here is a list of warming teas:
Ginger tea: At the first sign of a sneeze, a chill or runny nose (or as a preventative), drink a cup of ginger tea and go to bed to sweat out the cold
Ginger and cinnamon tea: Perfect for those who feel chilled from being too long in the cold, and who are sensitive to drafts.

Recipe for ginger tea:
– Add a cup of hot water to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (or 2-3 slices) and sip it as hot as you can. If you do not feel better after one dose, repeat three times per day..( Some recipes add a dash of red pepper to this)
Recipe for Ginger and Cinnamon Tea:
– Add one cup of hot water to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Let it infuse (covered) for 5 to 10 minutes. Sip it as hot as you can, then go to bed. this can also be taken three times daily.

If you’re able to cook, here are some warming spices you might use:

Ginger, garlic, black or red pepper.
Basil, cardamon, cinnamon, bay leaves, chives, cloves, coriander leaves, cumin, dill leaves or seeds, fennel leaves or seeds, fenugreek, lemongrass, musturd seeds, nutmeg, oregano, savory, Sichuan pepper, star anise.

Warming seeds/nuts:
Chestnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, watermelon seeds.

Warming vegetables:
Carrot, chinese chives, leek, onion, shallot, spring onion.

If you have gas in the car, you may also visit your acupuncturist. Acupuncture (especially with moxibustion) can stop the progression of a cold and clear headaches, neck tension and body aches. It may take more than one session to clear a cold that has taken hold; but for those who get sick easily it can be a God-Send.

Take the best care!