Since winter is beginning this week, my family will likely start to catch colds and maybe even the flu. I don’t like to use medicine for little things. It isn’t that I never use medicine, I just prefer to allow my body’s immune system to get a work-out so it gets stronger. If it gets bad, I will take over the counter medicine to ease the symptoms.
But here are a couple of old-time home remedies that I’ve used in the past. These have all worked to help me feel better. The bold type will show what I used the “remedy” to treat.
Sore throat & nasal congestion
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of cayenne
Put in a cup and add very hot water. Stir and sip.
This is my favorite treatment. The steam from the apple cider vinegar seems to clear my sinuses. But the main use for this is the sore throat. I’ve looked this up and a lot of people say that the honey is what helps by coating the throat. Honey also has an anti-bacterial action, so that could also be what helps. But for me, the cayenne is was really helps. When I drink this, I can feel that cayenne in the back of my throat. It seems to increase blood flow, so maybe that’s what is happening. I guess there’s probably a shot of vitamin C in the lemon juice also, but I don’t think that would do much.
But a word of warning, the apple cider vinegar really stinks up the place. People will smell it all over the house.
Nasal congestion or chest congestion
Boil about 5 cups of water. Set the bowl on a table and add the water to it. Have a seat and lean over the bowl. Drape the towel over your head and the bowl. The goal is to allow very little of the steam to escape from under the towel. Breath the steam for 15 or 20 minutes. Breathe in through your nose for congested sinuses. Breathe through your mouth if the congestion is in your chest.
It is only 15 or 20 minutes, but it gets really boring under that towel. I try to listen to my MP3 player while I’m under there. It is a great time to learn something from a good podcast. For homestead and prepper related stuff, give a listen to The Survival Podcast, The Self Sufficient Gardener and The Self-Sufficient Homestead podcasts. Or if you are in the mood for something a bit more political, have a listen to Bad Quaker.
There are many treatments for headaches. I usually do not get really bad headaches, but even a slight headache can ruin the day.
Drink a Coke. For me, the caffeine really helps ease the pain. There’s a reason that it is in Excedrin pain medicine, it works. I drink very little soda, but I make sure that we have a couple of cans of Coke in the house just for this. I guess Pepsi would work as well, but I’m not a fan of Pepsi.
Lie down in a dark room with a cool, damp rag across the forehead. For me, this works when my headache was caused by eye strain or some stress. If I take a short nap, it works even better.
Rub the webbing between the thumb and index finger. This is an area that is used in acupuncture or acupressure. You want to feel the pressure, but it shouldn’t hurt. A couple of minutes of this and my headache is usually gone. Who knows, it could just be a placebo effect.
I haven’t tried this one, but know several people who swear by peppermint oil. Smear a little bit between your upper lip and nose. Others will smear some of the oil over the area that the ache is in. I imagine this works about the same way as Head On works, opening up the blood vessels.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. But I plan on making use of these traditional treatments more than I have in the past. As I come across things that work for me, I’ll post about them.