Monday, January 14, 2013

Superstitions, Folk Remedies, and Other Cures for Colds and Flus

Wintertime sickness is still lingering in our household.  It started right after Christmas and the coughs, sniffles, and tiredness are still hanging on.  I haven't been at work for a week, and I'm almost starting to miss it....but just a teeny tiny bit...

Ever since I was little, every time I got a wintertime cold, the cough seems to hang on for weeks....even months.  I remember missing a couple months of school when I was about 7 due to bronchitis, and got sick every winter and usually on every family vacation.  Although I do have a history of bronchitis and asthma as a child, it's virtually nonexistent since I've become an adult.  But every bad cold I get seems to reignite the past lung problems and I wind up with a cough that could be mistaken for an 80 year old lifelong chain smoker.

Since I've started eating a much cleaner, organic diet, and even more since going gluten free and working on my food allergies and other health issues, I've slowly been getting healthier.  I don't get every single cold that goes around, but this one managed to hit me hard and fast.  

I tried so many different things when I first started feeling like I was getting sick...vitamin c, zinc, juicing, washing my hands, anti-bacterial sanitizers, raw honey, staying at home, not eating out, eating warm foods like soups and bone broth, lots of garlic, lemon juice and coconut oil....anything I could think of to try to keep my immune system up.  But too many long, cold nights....too much indulging in foods I shouldn't....and I got sick.  

For the past week I have rotated my time between the couch and my bed.  Sleeping on and off all day and night.  Trying different folk remedies.  Eventually giving up on strictly the natural approach and living off Nyquil and way too much Netflix as well. Trying to keep the cravings for junk food away.  

(Does anyone else crave disgusting, crappy food when they are sick?  Or is that just me?)

My gym has a eucalyptus oil steam room.  I did manage to make it there on Sunday morning when the gym was empty and let my body try to sweat out the sickness.  I was very concerned that I would cough up a lung while I was in there...and the fact that I can't bring kleenex in there was of great concern.  But I brought a ton of water and a couple small hand towels for any sort of coughing catastrophe that could happen.  I did feel much better after doing that, but was extremely tired and slept most of the day afterwards.  

My sister said that one of her go-to-cure-all remedies is a hot toddy.  On Saturday evening while we were watching the 49ers game, I decided to give it a try.  I searched online and found many different variations, and decided to create my own version. I drank two of them and slept very well that night and woke up not feeling like I had been hit by a fleet of semi-trucks.  So did it cure me?  Who knows.  But I did feel better the next day, so I'm going to add it to my arsenal of natural cold remedies.   

Honey Lemon Hot Toddy

1/2 of one organic lemon
2 shots of Honey Whiskey 
Boiling water
Spoonful of raw, local honey

In a large mug, add juice of a half of a lemon.  Cut the juiced lemon half into 4 pieces (discard seeds) and add to the mug.  Add 2 shots of honey whiskey.  Fill the mug with boiling water.  Stir in a spoonful of honey.  Drink while still very hot, but don't burn yourself.  Drink entire mug before it cools down. 

***Be sure not to mix this with any cold medicines....always read the warning labels about mixing alcohol and medication.****

What do you do to stay healthy during cold and flu season?  Are you strictly a vitamin and chicken soup person?  Nyquil and trashy daytime TV?  Or a mixture of the two?  What are your favorite cold remedies?  

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