Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Home-made cold and flu remedies

On Sunday I noticed a few people coughing and spluttering away in rehearsal. So I thought I'd post a few of my favourite sure-fire ways to help get a sore throat back in action.

Keeping it to yourself!

First of all, keep the bugs to yourself if at all possible. Cover your mouth when you cough, use tissues, and if you're infectious, stay away. Wear gloves when you're out, and wash your hands regularly, so that any time you touch your mucuous membranes you don't pass the nasties on.

Honey and lemon drink

Put 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a teacup. Fill to 3/4 level with boiling water and stir until the honey has dissolved, then top with cool water and stir to mix uneven temperatures. Sip slowly.

Garlic, ginger and honey drink

(May work or not - but wil certainly keep away vampires! Hehe)

Place 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root, 1 clove of well-mashed fresh garlic, and two tablespoons of honey into a teacup. Fill to 3/4 level with boiling water and stir until the honey has dissolved, then top with cool water and stir to mix uneven temperatures. Sip slowly.

Echinacea, vitamin C, and B group vitamins

I'm not a medical doctor, so I'm not supposed to show you my face on television (oh - hold on, that's a dentist. Morning Rob!) - I mean, dispense medical advice. But if you're going to buy echinacea, go to reputable health store and buy the product fresh in liquid form, not as dry tabs, which have about as much usefulness as eating bark chips. I find that echinacea reduces the length and severity of colds by quite a bit, as well as stops me catching the bugs in the first place. Looks like the BBC agree.

As for vitamin C, I think you're better off eating fruit - and it is far tastier. There are some good quality juices available. Cranberry and strawberry juice (and their respective fruits) both have high C content, and are delicious.

B vitamins are also reputed to bring back people back to the land of the living from over the River Styx, a.k.a. Lurgiland. Foods high in B vitamins include oats and offal. Maybe the Scots knew something with their porridge and haggis, eh? So tuck in to those sheep's stomachs and don't be shy about it! (Or have a bowl of porridge with some dried fruit).


Schnapps is the unfailing cure for any concert, guaranteed to kill off any bug with its near-lethal levels of alcohol. I've left this cure-all to the last, so I wouldn't scare you too much. It works, but it isn't for the faint of heart.

I find that Peach schnapps works best. The night before the concert (at least 24 hours so start early), scull schnapps liberally in shots. Be sure to judge it so you drink enough to lubricate the throat but don't intoxicate the brain! Well, not too much ;-)

On the day of the concert, drink copious amounts of warm water. Avoid all dairy products, chocolate, and anything greasy. Eat fruit, porridge and haggis (yum).

Your voice will survive. If things are really nasty, take some schnapps as a mouthwash but do not drink it - the last thing any concert needs is giggly choristers. Especially in the tenor section.

I find that this is a dead reliable cure-all for even the nastiest lurgy and, teamed with Danish drinking songs and good companions, is an enjoyable way to beat the bugs.


Leta said...

Thanks, Leanne, that's really good.

It reminds me of a neigbour we had in 1984 while living in the (then) homeland of Venda, north-east corner of South Africa next to the Kruger National Park, who believed that if you have a cold you should wrap your head in a woollen scarf (it MUST be 100% wool) 24 hours of the day to keep it warm. That somehow kills the nasties.

It sounds a bit like "Ripley's Believe It Or Not"!

vindalle said...

Also, what is really good is to steam your face with hot water, nothing in it, in either a steamer (if you have one), or, alternatively,get a bowl and half-fill it with hot water, put your face over it, and place a towel over your head so it falls around the bowl, and keeps the steam in. It sounds ridiculous, but it works! Hot water with no additives is the best! I'm pretty keen for the schnapps idea though!

daharja said...

Hi Leta,

I'm assuming that the neighbour advised peole to leave breathing vents, or that remedy might have killed more than just the nasties.

I've heard some really bizarre cold remedies in my time, and only posted the ones that I find actually work - or are fun ;-)