Wednesday, October 2

Kicking A Cold, Weetzie Style

How I kicked my cold's ass before it even started; in the hippie-dippy way.

I get sick a lot. I mean A. Lot.
In my last year of substitute teaching, I literally got sick every two weeks. Cold, Flu, Bronchitis, Cold, Head Cold, Flu, Strep, Cold.  It was ridiculous.

But I've always fought my illness-induced misery with bottles and bottles of cold and flu medicine. While my beau has always chastised me for it, I've always been more focused on feeling okay than getting better.

But no more.
Due to a possible work opportunity (finally!) and family health issues, me getting sick right now is NOT an option.
Enter my sister at a family get-together this past weekend, and my mom's statement "Oh, she's just got allergies."  Not.
Within 24 hours I was practically feeding her cold medicines and nasal sprays, all while breathing in all her plague germs at night in my parents' 60 degree household.

Come Sunday morning, my throat hurt and my head ached. Damn. Damn. Damn. Among my other stresses, as I said, getting a cold was not an option.

So I hit up the hippie store.
A handful of packets of Emergen-Cs, Echinacea Root, Echinacea Herb, Elder Berry, and Ginger Soother, and I was ready to go. To this arsenal I added honey, white vinegar and "hot honey".

My battle plan:

Three Cups of Cold-Fighting Tea per day.
Morning & Night= Echinacea Root + Elder Berry + Boiling Water + Honey
Afternoons= Echinacea Herb + Elder Berry + Boiling Water + Honey

2-3 Emergen-C drinks per day.

Gargle White Vinegar twice a day (morning & night)

Swallow Hot Honey 3-5 times per day

One Ginger Soother on my worst day (day three) and again on forth & fifth day, just in case.

I also cut out a chunk of my sugar, dairy & caffeine intake, junk food, and tried to drink mostly water, tea, and pure fruit juice. I also got a lot of exercise, but that wasn't intentional, though I'm sure it helped.

I started this on the afternoon of my first day of symptoms.
On my second day, I felt worse. A cold was definitely coming.
On my third day, I felt much worse.

Then, on my forth day, I felt much better. Better than even the first day!

Considering my illnesses always last between one and three weeks, this was a huge improvement and I felt crazy successful. Plus everything had been done naturally, with a steady schedule of immune-boosters, antioxidants, and bacterial killers!
How very Weetzie!

So, having told of  my adventure, you're welcome to stop reading, but I'll list what I used and why for each ingredient beyond the jump.

My Arsenal:

Echinacea: This herb/root is said to boost your immune system, prevent colds, and possibly reduce the duration of a cold. Considering I shut my cold down before it even had time to get to my sinuses, I'd say that last statement is true. The only difference that I could find between the herb and root is that the root is stronger; much more potent (so herb is better for young people).
By itself, echinacea tea pretty much just tastes like any other Herbal tea; a little like a minty chamomile. Good with honey but nothing special.

Elder Berry: Another good immune-system-booster that's supposed to be great for colds and flu. I'm really glad the lady at the store recommended this. Not only do I think it really improved my fighting chance, it made the tea taste much better! It went from herbal water to a yummy berry tea.  You can get both this and the echinacea in pill form, but they were crazy expensive! So I stuck with little packets of herbs.

Note: I picked up about a half ounce of each of the above, and wrote down the directions for each {for tea, 1 tsp dried elderberry into boiling water, 1/2 tsp Ech root, or 1 tsp Ech herb}. It was cheap to get the small amounts from the bulk section, and lasted me almost as long as I needed it to. I drank these teas every day, but was warned NOT to use echinacea for too long, because your body can become sort of immune to it and it stops working.

Emergen-Cs: These little drink packets have been a go-to for me during the winter months ever since I was a teenager. Packed full of vitamins, minerals, and immune boosters (like 1000% of a day's Vit C!) it's a good extra punch to use. And most of them taste pretty okay/good. I like the cranberry one, and I think they had a tropical one too. I just have to watch out for the ones with Stevia/Sucralose: yuk.

Vinegar: Ah, vinegar, you strange healthy, sour liquid. Gargling vinegar is like gargling salt water, but with a stronger kick, I believe. The best to use are White, Red Wine, or Apple Cider. Anything too sweet won't work.
It's great for sore throats. It hurts like hell, but kills lots of bacteria. Gargle, spit, repeat. I then rinse my teeth with a little water because they feel weird, careful to only get the water on my teeth. Very good for you. If it's too much, though, use warm water with a bunch of salt instead.

Ginger Soother: I discovered this drink over the summer, and love it. It's sweet with a kick, and I found that drinking during a sore throat was very refreshing, and really good for it. The ginger and lemon kill bacteria while the honey soothes. Really worth it.

"Hot Honey": I found this on a Pin last year, and used it a lot when I had strep last spring. It's not for the faint of heart or pallet, but it really seems to help. It's a mixture of honey, cayenne pepper, and minced garlic. Weird, right?
The garlic and pepper kill bacteria, the garlic and honey boost your immune system (the honey especially when allergies are a problem) and the honey both soothes the throat and helps coat it with the garlic and pepper. What you do is take a spoonful and hold it in the back of your throat for as long as you can before swallowing. It burns! But although the garlic punch to my tastebuds is a bit much, I always feel a little better once the heat clears up. It really helps.

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