Friday, November 21, 2014

Old Timey Cold Relief

     My niece called me tonight asking for "old timey"tips when you wake up from a nap with sudden symptoms that feel like a cold.  She was out in public today and people were sneezing and coughing around her and after a nap at home she felt achey and had a slightly sore throat.  Not wanting to come down with a full blown cold, she called for some "old timey" tips.  She's in New York, out of arms reach and she's thirty, so who is she calling old timey??  lol

     So, let's begin with Midol.  Midol is a staple in her medicine cabinet and once a month is not the only time to take it.  I have had guy friends who swear by Midol as a reliever of hangover pain.  It's all around better for aches than just an aspirin, so start there.  

     If you have a problem with Naproxin, there is an inexpensive alternative at stores like Family Dollar and Dollar General, Target also has a $4 bottle of the same combo pain relief.  A generic or store brand combination tablet.  This is a tablet with aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine.  

     For the sore throat, do not over treat.  Too much spraying and squirting can burn the throat.  Start with a gargle of antiseptic mouthwash.  Dilute it if needed to keep from stinging the throat.  Pain is not gain in the soft tissue.  IF you are very tender, put a good dollop of honey on a spoon.  Deliver it past the taste buds of the tongue to rest for as long as you can hold it at the back of the throat.  

     Follow the germ killing treatment above with throat soothing tea.  You can make peppermint tea by dissolving a peppermint hard candy in hot water.  Keep some peppermint hard candy nearby all winter long.  If you have a sore or itching throat take a peppermint.  There is no point using cough drops to soothe an itch if you don't have a cough.  Why medicate a symptom you don't have?

If you are staying in and want a relaxing tea, dissolve a peppermint in a cup of chamomile tea.  Chamomile can ease a tension headache.
    If the cold keeps coming on or if you start coughing, find a bottle of birch beer or a botanica.  Birch beer from the bark of the birch tree is a fun remedy, Fanta makes it and so does Polar.  First, it doesn't taste bad, it's served cold which is refreshing to the sore throat and the birch bark is a natural source of acetaclyic acid (aspirin) and dextromethorphan.  Yup!  the cough suppressant from mother nature.  If you can't get birch beer locally, find a botanica or an herb shop and get yourself some birch bark.  You can make birch bark tea.  Also, be prepared to take a nap, and do not drive while under the influence of birch bark.
There is no difference between the name
brand and a generic except the price

Get yourself to a dollar store.  In the medicine area they offer a blue ice product for slathering on to sore muscles.  Blue ice is just menthol.  It is made to dissolve into the skin so it is quite light and just smells wonderful.  Take a drop on your finger and apply inside your pillow case to inhale as you sleep.  You can apply some to the corner of a bandanna and seal it in a zippered bag and keep in your purse or briefcase.  You can use this bandanna folded in a triangle and tied around your face just like a robber in the old west movies.  While you are breathing in sinus opening vapors, you are placing a fabric barrier between you and a cold harsh wind or a subway train full of coughing wheezing sickos!  Also, when the other passengers smell the menthol they will think you are sick and steer clear of you, so it can also put distance between you and germy people.  I roll my bandanna and hang it around my neck in the evening at home or if I want to vapor while I sleep.  

     Since my niece lives in New York City, I know it is cold outside.  I suggested she buy orange juice or cranberry juice in glass bottles.  She has a window in her bedroom on the opposite wall from the radiator, so the window area is cold.  A glass bottle on the window sill touching the exterior glass will keep the contents cold through the night.  I suggested this so she didn't have to go to the kitchen ( I know she's barefoot) to keep herself hydrated with fruit juices full of vitamin C.  I feel we are all better off taking our vitamin C through fruits and juices than pills.  Just don't drink from the bottle.  A:  That is just gross and B:  Germs breed even in cold so, just don't.  

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