Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Natural remedies for those winter ills

So you all probably remember when I had pneumonia back in November.

At the time, the doctor told me that it was probably caused by my sick students coughing on me when I already had an allergic rhinitis. Darn seasonal allergies.

Well, in a perfect world, sick children stay home and don't infect and reinfect their teacher.

Alas, parents have to go to work, and children come to school sick. It's kind of a dead giveaway when they come to school all perky and then suddenly droop 4 hours later when the Tylenol Cough meds wears off and the fever and cough kick back in.

So what's a teacher to do if she wants to be able to function?

Believe me, you never realize how much energy it takes to keep 27 darlings learning until you don't have the energy to do it!

I have a love/hate relationship with medicines. Although I do appreciate what they do for us, I react badly and usually have to take either a kid's dose or half the adult dose. Not as effective, but at least I don't feel like I need to unzip my skin and crawl out.

I have to admit, I don't usually fall victim to the bugs going around the room. 20+ years builds a lot of immunity.

 Coughs have always been my Achilles heel, and this  year, my perennial coughers have gotten to me.

So I've been searching out natural remedies. Today I'm going to share my two favorites and ask for any of yours.

#1 - I know this has been around awhile and isn't totally "natural" but it's awesome!
One of the kindergarten aides mentioned to me that her school nurse used to keep a huge box on hand and dispense to all the adults who came in sick.

I had my daughter pick some up. First I tried the Pina Colada flavor. Yum! The Meyer lemon (shoutout to MaryJane) was also delicious. But I settled on the Cranberry Hibiscus when I bought the big box. The flavor reminds me of the punches my mother used to make for parties. All the vitamins and minerals actually make me feel like I have a fighting chance of making it til spring!

#2 - Ginger

I'll admit, fresh ginger always kind of scared me. I wasn't exactly sure how to pick it out or what to do with it.

But in my desperation for something to help the endless drip, I saw a recipe for ginger tea that promised great results.

I overcame my fears :) and bought some ginger. Just a little piece at first.

I peeled it, sliced it, and boiled it for ten minutes. Then I drained it, let it cool a bit, and drank the liquid. Can I say MIRACLE? By the next morning, I felt so much better!

Here's where I admit that I never actually liked the taste of ginger in anything but cookies. But fresh ginger - that I really like!

If you're less a fan, you can add some honey or lemon.

You're supposed to drink the liquid three times a day.

So what do you do when the dreaded winter bugs strike? Head to the medicine cabinet or the kitchen cabinet? Drugstore or grocery store?

Let's share some ideas.


  1. Like most people, I'd rather prevent a cold than cure it. That said, I was down and mostly out with a doozy of a cold all through January!

    I went with the most basic route of all - plenty of fluids and rest. Lots of hot tea, chicken soup, Downton Abbey, and cross stitching. :)

    I also drink what's known in the Trim Healthy Mama world as Good Girl Moonshine. A drink made with Apple Cider vinegar, lemon juice, and ginger. Fresh is the best! I also add raspberry zinger tea to give it a delicious raspberry/lemonade flavor.

    I'll have to try the Emergen-C for those Sundays when I have nursery duty. Lovin' on those little ones seems to be where I pick up the most germs. :)

  2. I can take most over-the-counter meds. While I had the awful December into January cold, I survived off of Mucinex and Mucinex-D. But I also drank lots of fluids and made chicken soup. I sometimes buy the vitamin C drops to sooth the throat as well as boost immunity.

    I actually keep ginger on hand to grate into water (along with lemon slices and sometimes cucumber slices or mint leaves). I also use it in recipes. I almost always have fresh ginger in the fridge!

  3. I've also been checking out this website, and she shared a recipe for throat lozenges.

  4. Thanks for sharing your ideas, ladies. I'm feeling pretty lousy again tonight. Every time I think it's gone, it resurfaces a day or so later.

  5. Mary Cate, since my medicine cabinet is in the kitchen, I do both. ;)

    I'm not a big medicine person either, so whenever my throats gets scratchy or I feel like I'm trying to come down with something, Airborne is my weapon of choice. Four to five times the first day usually knocks things out. If not, I keep going. I'll also make up a pot of chicken soup with extra garlic and red pepper flakes. It makes me happy.

    Like you, I'm not a big fan of ginger, except in baking. Never had true fresh ginger, but for as many times a story I've tried it, I cannot develop a taste for pickled ginger. Bleck.