The Common Cold: A Royal Pain In My Butt

Okay, so, I’m not actually THAT sick. I started sneezing Saturday night, and I did something I almost always do when I feel a cold coming on: I popped 3 ibuprofen and 2 benadryl, drank a big mug of hot tea and went to BED. The benadryl helped me sleep, but I still woke up with a sore throat and a pretty stuffy nose. I skipped coffee for two reasons: one, tea always feels better on my throat, and two, I was out of coconut milk. Now, Sundays are grocery days for me, but we’d had a huge storm, and it was below freezing outside, so I wasn’t even sure I was going to go grocery shopping.

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Forgive me, New Englanders, most of this was gone by morning.

So I spent most of the morning on the couch, watching bad television and browsing the internet, drinking Black Dragon Pearl tea from Adagio.com. The Hubs decided he would share his magical Canadian elixir, Buckleys! My mother-in-law brought us a bottle when she came for Thanksgiving. Proof it’s magic: The Hubs was taking it when he found out he had pneumonia a few years back, and our doc took one look at the ingredients list and told him to continue taking it along with his antibiotics. Ha! So around 7 I took a dose of it. And within 30 minutes I almost felt normal!

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Sorcery! Wonderful sorcery!

So I thought I would write a few words about fending off common illnesses. Over the years, I’ve received a plethora of advice for the common cold: take vitamin c, take zinc, take hot showers, etc. I’ve tried them all, and to be honest, I’m not sure any of them work, but I know that drinking hot liquids (sans dairy products) makes me feel better and helps ease congestion. Clear broths, hot tea, even warm water with honey and lemon can help. Studies have even proven that chicken soup helps even more than other hot liquids. Rest and keeping warm are a few others.

For nausea and motion sickness, what works the best is ginger tea. You can buy ginger tea in regular tea bags, or if you have fresh ginger at home, just throw a couple of slices into boiling water and let steep. Even the MythBusters concluded that a ginger pill was the only thing that prevented motion sickness without any side effects!

I’m sure most people know that aloe is a great way to soothe a burn. It’s an anti-inflammatory and the gel-like texture protects those sensitive nerve endings from exposure to the air, which can cause them to throb.

To soothe aches, pains, stiff joints or menstrual cramps, make a homemade heating pad. I use an old athletic sock filled with rice. There’s a great tutorial here, but the only stipulation is that I never heat the sock more than 1 minute or else the rice starts to smell burned. Maybe I have a powerful microwave. Here’s mine, modeled by Bingley!

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So what about you, dear readers? Any wonderful home remedies that you’ve found tried and true? Let me know in the comments!

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5 comments

  1. Hot tea, water, more tea, more water! I also make a great chicken noodle soup whenever anyone in this house is sick. It just helps. I think the most helpful thing people can do to care for themselves is rest. So many of us feel the need to push through an illness when resting for just a couple of days can make a world of difference.

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  2. For sore throat and congestion: “tea” made from ginger and honey. That’s eased my sinus infections when I’d already tried every medication known to man and none of them helped.

    For upset stomach, soda. Remember- you used to have to buy this from the pharmacy for a reason. It will either settle my upset tummy, or make me puke when things are truly horrid. Either way, nausea thwarted without hours of waiting. (Though, the prior is what I aim for.). I actually don’t like soda, but I keep some in the back of the fridge for emergencies. Helps clear reflux-congested sinuses, too.

    For yeast infection or other bladder related issues – vinegar shots. They’re utterly disgusting, but they do help clear up infections pretty quickly.

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  3. Its gross but letting an uncoated aspirin dissolve on a canker sore for a minute and then rinsing with water works. It does have to break apart so it may take longer but you don’t need to sit there with nasty aspirin in your mouth for 10 min. I do it at night and its gone in the morning.

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  4. I’m a believer of good old fashioned Vick’s Vapor Rub. I slather it all over my chest, and then put on warm jammies. A couple of years ago a friend told me of another trick with Vick’s: rub it into the bottoms of your feet, and then put on a pair of socks. I was skeptical until I tried it! It really helps break up congestion…go figure!

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