Tag Archive | cold season

Reason to Live Friday #21

It’s cold season. Yeah, duh. Right? But I’m so grateful for my health. And by that I mean, really truly grateful for me, McSweetie, and the kids to be healthy right now.


I thought I would enlighten you with my natural remedies for staying well during the snot season. Mucus glands are on overdrive. Phlegm is rampant. Amoebas are just floating around waiting to settle in your nostrils. Isn’t this all tantalizing?

So what I learned from my acupuncture doctor is that there are wonderful things in nature that can get you out of the phlegm zone so your body rids it faster and you don’t risk infections whether bronchial or sinus.

This is not me being all sanctimonious and in your craw about how healthy I am. Remember, this is the chick who eats seaweed, quinoa, but then loves a doughnut. I enjoy junk food. So do my kids. But we moderate the junk. For the most part we eat fresh, organic, ingredients. My focus is plant based as you might know, I haven’t had meat and dairy in many moons. This will be my first holiday season meat and dairy free. I have no idea how much will-power I will maintain.

Dairy is sort of the gateway for phlegm and mucus. It’s just the truth. So cutting out dairy has cleared me up immensely. I haven’t (knock on wood) had a sinus infection or bronchitis in a year.

So when you get the sniffles, don’t drown it in a bowl of ice cream. I know Mr. Ben and Mr. Jerry are very comforting when you aren’t feeling very well, but then the snot monsters get happy, and you don’t want that.

I used to just reach for the Sudafed. But once during a college lecture class, I thought I was going to have a heart attack, my heart was racing from the cold medicine. I know they’ve changed ingredients over the years. But I just don’t like the way they make me feel. Also, if you’re pregnant, breast feeding, or wondering what to give your child, those ingredients can be scary considering the FDA continues to change its mind about them.

What you do want to do is-  Get some fresh ginger root from your grocery store. (It is important to get the fresh ginger, not the dried or the kind in tea bags. My acupuncturist explained these are the wrong temperature for the body to fight what it needs to fight. It’s a Chinese medicine thing, just go with it.) Take a spoon’s edge and scrape off about an inch section. Cut it up or leave the chunk whole. Put it in a pot of water on the stove. Just a medium-ish saucepan will do. Let it come to a boil, then turn it on medium-low to let it simmer for a good 10 or 20 minutes. Pour some in a mug, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice – not crystals, not the juice that comes in that plastic lemon. Fresh lemon. Add some honey. Drink this all day. Drink the whole pot throughout the day. If ginger bothers you,  that’s what the lemon and honey for. Add it to some green or white tea. Drink plenty of water with it.

At night, I put a shot of whiskey or brandy in it. My acupuncture doctor didn’t tell me to do this. I tried it, and it soothed my aches, and helped if my throat was sore. Don’t over do it on the alcohol. Wine and vodka don’t kill a cold as much as we would want them to.

Soak in a hot tub of Epsom salts with Eucalyptus oil. It will clear your passages and sooth any aches.

Avoid raw or cold, wet foods while you are battling the phlegm bots. Have a warm bowl of oatmeal instead of a cold bowl of cereal. Don’t have a salad, have a bowl of vegetable soup. Avoid cream bases of course. According to Chinese medicine, the wet and cold foods contribute to your moisture levels. You want to think, warm and dry. Make sense?

Also, another kicker I add to my arsenal is Elderberry Syrup. I have purchased it at Whole Foods. I bet there’s all kinds of places to get it. It looks like cough syrup and you can give it to your kids. It tastes like jam. My kids complained about it at first, but they got used to it. When they start the sniffle dance, I give them a teaspoon and have them wash it down with some juice.

I swear it cuts the duration of their cold in half. I’ve used this for Emma when she has had to perform and started feeling run-down. She bounces back a lot sooner. I also take a spoonful of it when the kids are getting sick, to prevent myself from getting their crud. So far it’s worked.

Also, the ginger concoction is safe for kids too. I put extra honey in theirs and mix it with chamomile tea. Owen is very good at drinking it, Emma complains a little and usually just drinks juice. Oh well, I try my best.

If you do get hit with a nasty virus, consider acupuncture to clear up your sinuses and chest. I was able to avoid antibiotics the last time I had a nasty, phlegmy cough and I was relieved. Antibiotics can do miracles and in the case of strep throat and other bacterias, I believe in them entirely. But if you can keep your cold from becoming an infection, avoiding antibiotics is better in the long run.
So there you have it. My wisdom. I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV. Just kidding, I’ve always wanted to say that.