Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cold & Flu Buster (folk remedy)

It's cold & flu season and in case you didn't know this about children--they are disease vectors. Moms don't get sick days so I can't afford to get sick. Since I don't use drugs, my arsenal of cold & flu remedies is essential; my three main tools are the lemon ginger infusion, the neti pot, and bone broth. After my 2 week writing binge for my guest lectures during which I neglected my family & household and stayed up late, I volunteered in my kid's class and of course, picked something up. I've been fighting it off for a week now but it's very mild because of the neti pot nasal saline rinse and this lemon ginger infusion.

I got this lemon ginger infusion folk remedy from my mother-in-law one winter while suffering a dreadful cold. It's super easy to make and has helped me get over sinus infections, colds, strep throat, all without the use of pharmaceuticals. It falls under thuốc nam which means folk remedies distinguished from thuốc bắc which means Chinese medicine. Raw honey hasn't been refined which means the healing properties have not been cooked out and the sugar has not been simplified to pure glucose.

An ayurvedic neti pot for sinus rinsing which is super effective in preventing, minimizing and clearing up nasal viruses & bacterial infections (i.e. sinus infections, colds & flus). As someone who has had near drowning encounters in the ocean, it didn't sound like something fun to me when I first heard about this, but I was won over because 1) you do not inhale the saline water (duh!); 2) you can breathe through your mouth at the same time as you are rinsing; and 3) it helped me with reducing my seasonal allergies (when I used to get them in my eating wheat & dairy days) and with shortening the length of illness from respiratory issues. The key is in getting the right proportion of un-iodized table salt to water (do NOT use sea salt!!! The minerals will irritate your sinuses) and the right water temperature (very important: use filtered water!!! you don't want to be shooting algae up into your sinuses. If you do not have access to filtered water, boil the water at least 5 minutes and allow to cool to the desired temperature). I use 1/4 tsp of salt to 1 cup of water which is enough for one nostril and the temp has to feel very warm but not too hot to my fingers.

On to the remedy. 


You will need:

  • 2 quarts of filtered water
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 1 3-inch piece of organic ginger
  • organic raw honey or raw honey
  • optional sea salt (colored grey, pink, red, etc)
Fill up a pot with the water and get it started heating up. Wash & scrub the lemon to remove any dirt and residue. Slice it up and throw it in the pot of water. 

Remove as much ginger skin as possible, slice it up and toss in the pot.

Low boil for at least 10 minutes to extract all the Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory medicinal properties.

Discard the lemon; the ginger can be reused or not for another batch. Take a bite and see if it's still got some zing to it. Pour yourself a mugful and add honey to taste. My little twist on this remedy is rehydrating beverage or healthy "sports drink". (That's right. Gatorade is basically the same electrolytes as sea salt, citrus, and sweetener; make it yourself without the synthetic minerals, flavors and food coloring.) This is great for when you've got a fever or have been vomiting and need to restore your electrolyte/mineral balance. 

Drink as hot as possible for relief from respiratory illness. 

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