By Lynn Difley
It’s the winter season and even though I know you are washing your hands frequently, and keeping your immune system strong with lots of fruits and veggies, you may find that you are a victim of this year’s cold or flu. If you’re down, don’t let it get you down. I have some great ideas, in keeping with our current theme of bargain deals, for some home-style remedies that will help you fight off the bug, or at least lessen the suffering while you are under the weather.
Lemon and honey. I’m sure you all know this one, but maybe have forgotten it under the influence of television ads advising you to buy their products. Mix up equal amounts of lemon juice and honey, heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds (just until warm) and swallow a spoonful at a time. The lemon dries up congestion and the honey coats a raw and achy throat. You can add the lemon and honey to tea and benefit from the added hydration, or swallow slowly to ease sore throat and quiet a cough. For adults, you may have a recipe that calls for adding a bit of brandy–it helps sleep and is an old time relaxant pain reducer.
Salt water. Mix ½ cup warm water with ½ teaspoon salt to soothe irritated throat and help clear out nasal passages. Use a neti pot, or bulb syringe to breathe the liquid into one nostril and out the other. It dries up nasal passages without causing irritation. Salt water makes a great gargle; it clears up the throat, and encourages healing blood flow to the area. It also is great for inflamed gums or canker sores. Rinse the mouth well with salt water and spit it out.
A rice filled sock. Yes you read right, take an old sock–what a good way to use up one of those un-matching pairs–fill it with rice (use the white rice you no longer eat because you switched to healthier brown rice) sew it up and you have a wonderful heat pack. Stick it in the microwave for a minute or two–making it comfortingly warm but not too hot. Put it right on your painful sinus pressure to relieve and reduce the congestion. Use it on sore muscles, a tender lower back or neck, or stick it in your bed, right by your feet when you climb into bed- saving you the expense of an electric blanket and offering the warm snuggly comfort of your soft rice sock.
And the ultimate gramma remedy, warm chicken soup, bound to cure any cold, cough or nasty virus hanging around your motor home. Stay healthy.