Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cures from you spice cabinet!

I am taking this article from the Jan. 16, 2007 issue of Women’s World magazine, pages 24 and 25. Disclaimer: As always, check with your doctor before treating yourself at home.

It’s cold and flu season again, and the way to avoid getting sick – or shorten the lenth of your symptoms if you do get sick – can be as easy as raiding your spice cabinet.

Sore throat? Try Oregano!
It can wipe out sore throat pain in minutes, says Gina Nick, N.D., author of Yogic Nutrition. How? “It has many of the same bacteria-killing ingredients found in over the counter sore throat sprays,” she says. RX: “steep 1 tsp. of the leaf in boiling water, cool, then use as a gargle. It’ll kill the germs on contact,” says Nick.

Stuffed Up? Try Peppermint!
Peppermint reduces nasal inflammation and relaxes inflammation and relaxes the airways. In one study, folks who inhaled menthol – a component in peppermint – felt dramatically less nasal congestion than those who didn’t. RX: Sip peppermint tea and inhale the steam, or put a few drops of peppermint oil on you pillow.

Chest congestion? Try Licorice!
The compounds in licorice soothe irritated membranes in the lungs and act as an expectorant, making it great for throat irritations, lung congestion and even bronchitis.
RX: Sip licorice tea, or take a 500-mg. capsule of licorice root (found in health food stores.)

Nagging cough? Try Thyme!
It has a therapeutic effect on the lungs and relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, says Debi Smolinski, N.D. In fact, thyme’s most active ingredient, thymol, is used in Vicks VaporRub. RX: Steep 1 tsp. of the dried spice in hot water, and drink as a tea.

Runny nose? Try Cinnamon!
This spice is an astringent that helps dry up excess mucus in the lungs and nasal passages. And it also boosts circulation, which brings a warming sensation to your hands and feet. RX: Sprinkle some cinnamon on toast, or put a cinnamon stick in your cider or tea.

Cold coming on? Try Garlic!
In a recent study, those who ate a clove of garlic a day were 60% less likely to catch a cold during peak sniffle season than their non-garlic counterparts! “Garlic is loaded with compounds that kill viruses,” explains Brian Clement, N.M.D., director of the Hippocrates Health Institute. RX: Eat a clove of chopped raw garlic a day, sprinkled over salads or on toast – or take a 500 mg. capsule daily.

Feelings chills? Try Ginger!
Ginger is loaded with more than a dozen antiviral compounds that specifically fight the rhinovirus, the most common kind of cold! It also helps stimulate circulation, which helps you feel less chilled. RX: Try ginger tea, available at grocery stores, or you can make your own by steeping sliced ginger root in hot water. Did you know? Ginger can also help you lose weight! A recent Australian study found that eating ginger can speed up metabolism by 20%.

Note from Lucy: I am the kind of person who likes to try natural cures before going to the doctor. I do my best to fight a cold and not let it get me down. I gargle with warm salt water (learned recently that sea salt it the best kind of salt to use.) I eat oranges or gratefruit and take Vit. C, Zinc and Olive Leaf to help fight the cold. I drink as much water as I can stomach and drink hot herbal tea with lemon and honey in it. I will make up some home make chicken soup and eat it till I am blue in the face. I am not going to let a cold get me down. My son will take Nyquil or Benedryl and go to bed, it seems to take him a lot longer to get rid of his colds. If you are inclined to go the “natural” route, you might want to try some of these home remedies. I know, I am supposed to tell you to ask your doctor first.

Have a great week everyone and stay away from colds.


At 5:37 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Oh MY G,I have almost all of those.
I'll give your natural remedies a shot.
I will check with my pharmacist beforehand, just to be sure it doesn't make it worse.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Sherpa said...

I'm a life long asthmatic, so I'm always looking for new ways for me to feel better when I have a cold--and the miracle cure that'll prevent the inevitable secondary infection I get after a cold--so I don't have to go to the Dr.

I already do many of the things you've tried (the first thing I do when I'm feeling a cold come on is make a pot of home made chicken-ginger(with fresh ginger) noodle soup. I gargle with antibiotics, I use my asthma medication-I only take cough expectorant(suppressant makes me feel worse after I use it because of the nature of the drug-but I do use benadryl sometimes at night because I don't want to keep my roommates up all night with my coughing)-I pound vitamin c, oranges, grapefruit etc-I eat garlic regularly in the food I eat. I try to get a lot of sleep etc. etc. but I'm one of those "special souls" that need a Dr. to help me get over bronchitis, strep and pnuemonia when I get a cold. Silly, weak, lungs of mine!

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Sherpa said...

Here's an article on npr about airborne. Interesting stuff:

At 10:02 AM, Blogger curious servant said...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving the comment.
Driving certainly is the big challenge (for the parent).

God bless.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger TNChick said...

Wow, and these work?

I'd have to make note of all this, for sure! Thanks for the great information.

... and yes, I still have Zoey.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Prag - I have used many of these remedies and it does help me and my family. I hope you give some of them a try.

Shepra - it is difficult when you have weak lungs and you probably need to be under the care of a doctor. It doesn't hurt to try natural cures, it could help.. I tried to give Bonnie a sample of airborne the other day and she wouldn't take it...she is hard headed most of the time.

curious - thanks for stopping by, good luck with Issac and his driving.

tnchick - glad to hear that you still have Zoey....hope you are feeling better.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I do some of these. Gargling with warm salt water is supposed to be a good expectorant. Don't know about cinammon, though, because I DO take that every day (for my diabetes) and you could run a mucous well into my sinuses and never run dry. (Hope that didn't sound too gross there.)

What I'd like is an herbal remedy for a mild case of obesity. Seriously. I think some of your suggestions (black licorice, peppermint) would make a good appetite supressant (sp?).

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave - eat about seven almonds 30 minutes before each meal, it is supposed to suppress the appetitie. I have been eating the almonds and drinking more water and it really helps. Keep taking your cinnamon. I just ordered some Organic, Virgin, Coconut Oil to start taking twice a day. You take 2 TBLS. twice a day. I ordered it from Tropical Traditions and will give that a try. I have a friend that swears by it. I also have a friend that has told me about essiac tea. We are going together with two other people to order that and it is good for leveling out the blood sugar....Email me and I will give you the webpages for both.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Oh great One said...

What great tips! I read somewhere that Cinnamon is good for Cholesterol too. I add it to dishes whenever I can!

At 4:52 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Great Advice Lucy! There is a natural product called Citricdel..It is a true WONDER! That is what I use all the time as a preventative and if the worst happens, I use it heavily...! ALL natural...the basis is Grapefruit Rind, plus a few other things like Echinacea...! Thanks so much for yoyr visit! And do vote for Whitney! I hope she wins.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger SusieQ said...

Thanks for the "spicey" advice. I didn't know some of this.

Oh Great One mentioned that cinnamon is also good for lowering your cholesterol. I knew that and, so, I sprinkle some in our oatmeal (also good for lowering cholesterol).

My husband and I use the Airborne product. We think it helps. Probably the most effective way to avoid catching colds is good hygiene practices such as washing your hands, not touching your face with hands you have not washed, and simply staying away from people who do have colds. When either my husband or I come down with a cold and the other is healthy, we sleep in separate rooms for a while.

Oh, and yes, as Lucy says drink lots and lots of water when you get sick. It helps.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

My daughter is fighting off a Summer cold and sniffing peppermint :o)

I wonder if liquorice allsorts count for chest colds LOL :o)

At 4:13 AM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

I too love natural cures! thanks for all the info Lucy, great post! I gotta print this one.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Merle said...

Hi Lucy ~~ Some great cures there, thanks for sharing them with us. I have printed it out. Prefer natural cures, before medical ones. Have a nice weekend, take care, Love, Merle.

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Sherpa said...

Lucy, Thanks. Tell Bonnie that I like airborne. It doesnt taste all that bad, and its a good immune quickstart.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

I believe the thing about garlic killing off cold bugs...It kills everything, even "The mood" when you've got bad breath--Ha! Ha!

Oh yeah, and Dracula is allergic, so no vamipres when you've got garlic around.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Oh Great One - Cinnamon is a wonderful spice with multiple home remedies.

oldlady of the hills - Citricdel sounds like a good home remedie. I know that gratefruit rid has lots on natural vitamins in it. I will look into this one.

susieq - Cinnamon is a wonderful spice. I have started putting a cinnamon stick in my herbal tea. I found airborne on sale a Krogers yesterday and I will have to go back and buy it. I have now had two recommendations for it, so it is worth a try. Washing your hands and drinking lots of water is always recommended..

michelle - good luck to your daughter with her summer cold.

live, love,laugh and Merle - I always go for the natural cures first.

sherpa - Bonnie is suffering with a cold right now. I will try again to have her go buy some airborne and give it a try. She thinks I am crazy for trying all the natural things first but I am the one that rarely gets a cold and when I do it doesn't last as long. Thanks.
merle -

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

leslie - Garlic is a wonderful fighter of bacteria. It has multiple cures and has been used for centries. I love the stuff and try to eat a clove a day or at least cook with it often.

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

I can't say I've tried those!

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

I saw this in Women's World mag too and I'm glad you posted it. Many people don't know about these wonderful herbs and spices.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger DayByDay4-2Day said...

I love liquorice cough drops.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

jean-luc - give them a try next time you get a cold.

mountain mama - glad to see you again. I thought I had lost you for a while there. I love that magazine.

daybyday4 - 2day - Everyone in my family loves liquorice but me. I suppose I will have to try those liquorice cough drops....

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Patti said...

Cool! I can cook with medicine!

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said...

cool suggestions. muchos kudos!

At 1:22 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Great information, Lucy.

The thought of oregeno in my mouth is nasty, however. I have used pure grated ginger before. It does work.

Have a good week.

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous texasblu said...

I am a natural medicine kind of girl myself - we don't go to the doctor unless we really HAVE TO. However, as one who suffered for years with asthama, the min. I hear a wheezing cough off my kiddoes are whisked to have their chests checked out - twice I've had to deal with acute asthma attacks, but thankfully they were isolated events and neither child is tortured like I was. :0)

Do you do essential oils too?

At 1:22 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

patti and frank - thanks for the visit. Yes, herbs are multipurpose.

Barb - I love using ginger. I peel the skin off and put it in a cup of boiling water and let it sit for a while, then I sip it. It will do wonders for an upset stomach....

texasblu - I LOVE essential oils.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Brooklyn Frank said...

that oregano thing didn't work for me. :(

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

brooklyn frank - sorry it didn't work out. I still like to gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat.... Good luck

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Rhea said...

Well, I sure have a lot of spices lying around, and since I don't use them much in my cooking, here goes....

At 11:26 PM, Blogger NoSurfGirl said...

Essential oils are nice, too. I do the garlic/cayenne capsules when I feel a cold coming on. :) Garlic is also a natural anticoagulant.

TAG, by the way.

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

goodness you are popular!!


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