Monday, February 6, 2017

Home Remedies for Colds and Flu

Fighting Winter Illness the Natural Way

If your life is anything like mine right now, you or someone you know is sick and you're probably tired of running back and forth to the store to restock your medicine cabinet. Unfortunately I don't have any miracle cures for you, but our Mid Century ancestors held firm to the reliability of these home remedies. 

DISCLAIMER: This is not medical advice. Do not give any alcoholic beverages to children or mix alcohol with medications you may be taking. 

1. Hot Toddy
The Hot Toddy can be traced way back to Britain (where it was consumed cold) and Scotland (where it was consumed hot) and has long been believed to prevent and cure colds and flu. A concoction of hot water or tea, lemon (for vitamin C) honey (to soothe) whiskey (to numb) and sometimes with a stick of cinnamon or a few cloves, was certainly a tasty treat on a cold night, but does it actually work? 

According to the medical community, hot alcoholic beverages can help to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu by relaxing the body, widening blood vessels and clearing nasal passageways. All these can help the body to heal quicker, but the drink itself is not a cure and will not prevent illness. 


Add to a mug of hot water or tea: 
1 tsp of honey
1 1/2 oz whiskey
1/2 oz lemon juice (or more to taste)

Cinnamon stick

2. Just Plain Liquor

According to the "Medical Men" of the 1950's, "pure and wholesome" whiskey was the only way to fight the dangers that come with getting the flu. 

While liquor will relax you and widen your blood vessels, like with the toddy, it's probably not a good idea to lie in bed and get hammered while you're ill.... Right?

3. Chicken Soup
OK, we've all heard this one, right? As a child, within seconds of a single sniffle, my mother would be pouring gallons of salty noodle water down my throat.

I can't say with any certainty if I felt any better afterwards, or if I just fell into a soup coma, but according to Dr. Stephen Rennard, it's the real deal. Just like a Hot Toddy, the steam from soup can help clear congestion. Unlike a Hot Toddy, chicken soup also has anti-inflammatory properties, they're just not sure why.

If you're currently lying in a bed of misery without mom or grandma around to whip up their famous homemade soup, you might be happy to know that canned soup works just as well, if not better, than homemade. How convenient is that?

4. Garlic

My grandmother swore by garlic, in fact, she would eat entire bulbs of it raw like a normal person would eat an apple.

Turns out grandma isn't always wrong, and neither are old wive's tales, because garlic is a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

Eating the garlic raw is key (right again, Nana) but if you find chewing on a garlic clove to be a bit much, try chopping it up and eating it in a spoonful of honey, or spread on a piece of toast.

If you still can't handle it most health food stores sell garlic in capsules!

Does your family have a traditional home remedy? Have you tried any that have worked for you? 
Let us know in the comments below!

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