I dunno about anyone else, but I for one am so over this cold that I’ve been fighting for nearly a month now. I feel like I have tried everything and this has morphed several times. This weekend started off with us nearly crawling through the door after work and curling up on the couch for our Harry Potter Marathon. Not wanting to miss out on the fun filled weekend we’d planned we broke out the chocolate frogs, jelly beans and pumpkin pasties; but most of it felt like chewing slightly flavored wax. My head just feels like a block of congestion and my ears keep popping. Whenever I feel this stuffy I like to mix up a batch of saline drops that my mum use to make for us growing up. Par for the course when I asked her how to make it years ago she just said “oh just mix a bit of salt and baking soda in warm water until its dissolved.” No amounts or anything, so whenever I make it its usually really strong but really clears everything out. This time around I guess I added way too much of something so I finally looked up a good recipe and an explanation as to why it works. I also had an inspiring moment back in the fall while reading (Prisoner of Azkaban?). A cold was going through Hogwarts and Madame Pomfrey was giving everyone Pepper-up Potion which was effective but made you smoke at the ears. I wondered if there was such a thing really, having read that cayenne had some good health benefits, and low and behold there is! – Well sort of, there are a bunch of recipes out there and the one that I’ve finally tried this week is really simple (I don’t know if I would say its magic but it definitely helps).
Sea salt has a bunch of properties and benefits that aid in fighting and relieving cold symptoms. It naturally helps build up the immune system so the body can fight off colds. it is also Alkalizing, or balances the acids in the body which lead to illness. So having some homemade chicken noodle soup or taking a soak in an Epsom salt bath are classic remedies for cold and flu season.
Baking Soda is another ingredient that balances the acids in your body and can be used for pretty much everything from cleaning to cooking and/or baking. It has long been used to battle colds by mixing it in water and drinking as is. (Both of these ingredients are good for soothing the inflamed tissue in the nose that make it feel like your nose is stuffy but when you blow nothing seems to come out.)
Simply simmer water and dry ingredients until dissolved and let cool, administer with a nasal aspirator.
8 oz of water
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (my mum never used sea salt just the girl with the yellow umbrella and it always seemed to work out, so use what you have I’d say…also add 1/4 tsp to make it an isotonic mixture (matches the amount of salt in your body) or add 1/2 tsp to make a hypertonic mixture which will help unblock a lot of mucus.
1/2 tsp baking soda
Madame Pomfrey’s Pepper-up Potion
Cayenne Pepper warms the body and stimulates the release of mucus from the respiratory passages.
Honey aside from being a natural cough suppressant honey is an anti inflammatory and expectorant. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. There is a lot of hype about raw honey versus regular honey, personally I prefer raw honey and I have come to understand that this comes out more solid than the other form but I’ve also seen liquidy honey marketed as raw. Honestly I’m not going to get on my soap box and rant about which is better and all that but I am going to swear by wildflower honey versus clover or orange blossom or any other kind. It’s just my preference, go with what you have on hand (as long as its not that high fructose honey flavored stuff which I really can’t say is good for anyone)….if you happen to be vegan I’d say you can substitute Pure Maple Syrup (on this one I’m going to remain firm real maple syrup, not log cabin or aunt jemima ) it has a lot of good benefits like being an antioxidant and having zinc and magnesium (both play an important role in strengthening the immune system).
Apple Cider Vinegar again with the balancing of Ph and acids in the body.
Begin by simmering:
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1/4 cup of water
for 3 minutes. Add:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tbs raw honey
Simmer for 2 minutes, let cool and take 1 tbs 2x a day or as needed.
Another good remedy is Elderberry ( I found chewable tablets at a vitamin store once and they did the trick). You can also buy Elderberry Syrup in the cold and cough section at your grocery store (Sambucol). I prefer tea with a bit of honey and this is my brand of choice:
It always makes me think of this scene:
Baby Bat just got turned onto these, they are softer on the nose than regular tissues (or her sleeve). You can find them at the grocery store or the drug store.