Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Home remedies

So I've been sick since before Christmas. It's either the same cold that has different personalities, or I keep getting new things before I get better.

In any event, cold medicine affects me in bad ways. With some I spend 48 hours in a complete haze and can't do things like drive, operate heavy machinery or walk without crashing into things. The day-time variety make me stay awake for several days. Usually I take the same cold medicine as the kids do - it seems to treat the symptoms without the side of crazy.

After a few weeks and several bottles of Triaminic Night-Time, I decided to experiment with some home remedies. Here are the results, for those who are interested (especially if you are pregnant or nursing and can't take any of the coma-inducing cold medicines!)

Experiment #1 - Apple cider vinegar and honey

Method - Mix one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey and one tablespoon lemon juice in a small cup of very hot water. Sip it, like tea, as hot as you can stand. The acidity of the vinegar and antibacterial properties of the honey are supposed to kill any infection in your throat.

Taste - Not too terrible

Results - Favorable. The mixture was soothing on a sore throat and seemed to lessen my cough. I took it right before bedtime and either the honey or the hot drink made me feel sleepy.

Experiment #2 - Straight honey

Method - Take one tablespoon of honey, like you would cough syrup. The honey is supposed to coat your throat and relieve that annoying tickle.

Taste - Delicious!

Results - Good. While doing nothing for a sore throat, it did help me quit c0ughing for a while. In fact, Little Man can carry on with a cough for a long time. I started giving him honey instead of cough syrup and it really did seem to help. Plus it's no problem getting him to drink it down.

Experiment #3 - Honey and lemon/lime juice

Method - Mix one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Heat it up and sip slowly. Let it sit in the back of your throat before swallowing

Taste - Quite tasty

Results - Excellent. This was soothing on a sore throat but mostly helpful for a cough.

Experiment #4 - Cayenne pepper

Method - Mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon clover honey and 1 cup of very hot water. Gargle 1 mouthful and swallow. The pepper is supposed to increase the blood flow to the infected area as well as ease the pain.

Taste - Strangely not so bad. It tasted like buffalo wings.

Results - Surprisingly good. My throat really did feel better. I tried to do it a second time but the water had cooled off and it was much, much grosser. Plus you should have some Blue Cheese dressing on hand to cool off your lips. The improvement held through the night and for the first time I did NOT wake up with a sore throat.

Experiment #5 - Cayenne pepper, honey

Method - Mix 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp lemon juice, heat as hot as you can stand. Spoon some into a soup spoon and very lightly sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Pour into the back of your throat. The spoon protects your tongue a little from the cayenne and the spice only hits your sore throat, not your taste buds. Hold in your throat if you can before swallowing. If you spit it out you'll get the pepper on your tongue.

Taste - If you do it right, you just get the lemon-honey taste. Don't let it cool off.

Results - This seemed to work the best for sore throat. I highly recommend

Other people recommended gargling with salt water. For some reason I can handle the cayenne pepper and the thought of salty water makes me think of being in first grade and losing teeth - it made me kind of ill. I didn't try it. Also I didn't try gargling straight cayenne pepper without the honey and vinegar. It sounded like certain death. Have any remedies of your own?



Hannah said...

I can't believe you gargled cayenne pepper. I think I'd prefer the sore throat. ;)

Carina said...

I love all of those. I especially love making a great herbal tea (usually hibiscus tea with a few minutes of steeped peppermint to help with congestion) and add plenty of honey and lemon. The hot feels great and I also think it helps the throat.

The Mathews Family said...

So I'm guessing the honey has some healing powers... hmmm. I agree with the first commenter, though, I think I'd stick with the sore throat! Hope you're feeling better soon.

Sudar Clan said...

I hope you get feeling better, never ending colds are the worst! Chelsey says to gargle hydrogen peroxide. I tried it and it was disgusting and it foamed a lot but I did notice my cold seemed to cease faster then usual. If you are daring go ahead and try it. It was something I said I would never do, the thought made me ill, but I was desperate.

jeri said...

Like I said, it wasn't that bad. It really did taste like buffalo sauce!

AzĂșcar, I need to try some of that tea! Where did you get the peppermint? That was another one of the health911 suggestions.

Tonight I put the teeniest dash of cayenne in the honey and lime juice mixture and that seems the best so far. I had the teeniest cough left and wanted to let the sore throat know that I meant business. The yummyness of the honey far outweighed the spicy aftertaste.

Ali said...

I agree, I will NOT do the salt water! It gives me the heebie jeepies just thinking about it.

Scott&Janae said...

Thats amazing. I'm going to try the honey bit next time I'm sick.