3 Inexpensive Cold and Flu Fighters

Call it genes or luck, but when I was little, I rarely got sick. Our doctor visits were 15 minutes, once a year. If I had a sore throat, Mom said to drink a lot of water and wait it out. If we were tired, go to bed early. Every remedy was very natural and in hindsight, my mom deserves an award for her preventative care. On the occasions we were sick, a small bit of Tylenol, a good Disney movie, and a nap in the sun were a sure cure.

As I’ve gotten older, it seems the gene power is running low. I’ve had the same cold strain twice and another strep throat-like incident in two months. Here are some excellent remedies for those ailing days as the winter weather wanes.  All are natural, cost-effective, and easy to assemble.

1)  Miracle Tea: This is a “tea recipe” I recently stumbled upon. Not only is it medicinally soothing, it also has a great, earthy flavor.

Relieves Symptoms: Sore Throat, Stuffy Nose, Chills

Ingredients: 2 cups water, 2 TBSP honey, juice of 1 small lemon, 1½ TBSP minced fresh ginger, 1 peppermint teabag, ½ to 1 tsp. of Echinacea extract

Method: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, and drink.  Adjust measurements of ingredients to taste, following directions on the Echinacea bottle.

Serves: 2 cups of tea


2)  Lift-Off Soup: This soup was first introduced to me while staying with a lovely host in Dublin, Ireland. This hot soup was served with some toasty buttered soda bread and a right cup o’ Irish tea. I wasn’t sick at the time, but it sure cleared out my sinuses!

Relieves Symptoms: Stuffy Nose, Chills, Sore Throat

Ingredients: olive oil, 1 small yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 white potato, 2 carrots, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste, water

Method: Drizzle the bottom of a soup pot placed over medium heat with olive oil. Add diced onion and garlic, cooking until aromatic. Add bell pepper, potato and carrots, cooking until bright. Season with cayenne, salt, pepper. Add water up to 1” inch above the vegetables, and cook until they are al dente. Take the pot off the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes. Blend the soup in batches, then reheat to serve.

Serves: about 4 cups

3)  Chapped Nose Balm: If you’ve got a runny nose and are training for a marathon, sooth your chapped nose with this rub. (Feel free to change the essential oils to suit your preference, as you will be smelling them directly.)

Relieves Symptoms: Chapped nose and lips

Ingredients: 2 TBSP coconut oil, 2 drops jojoba oil, 2 drops lavender, rose, or myrrh essential oil

Method: Mix all ingredients, and rub a small amount around chafed areas as needed.

Makes: 2 TBSP of balm