Cure for the Common Cold?

I fully admit I deserve every last Kleenex's worth of the cold that descended on me sometime yesterday afternoon.

Tuesdays are slow for me and as it was particularly warm and I was feeling particularly puny and sun-starved, I hauled my Kindle up to the roof to read Kola Boof's outstanding collection of short stories about African women, Long Train to the Redeeming Sin while taking a bit of sun on the Hammock of Great Faith.

THoGF is not the sturdiest of outdoor lounging equipment and thus requires a certain amount of getting right with one's maker before commending yourself to its fraying embrace. Still, it makes for a cozy and picturesque reading spot, and it was there I made my mistake.

I mentioned to my Stateside friends, most of whom are frozen thanks to that polar vortex we've been hearing so much about, that if it made them feel any better, I had to put on a shawl to protect myself from the slightly cool Pacific breeze.

Surprisingly, it did not.

You sir, are a charlatan and fraud
A few hours later I started feeling the first ticklings of a sore throat and a bit of congestion. A few hours after that I'd lost my voice completely and had to resort to exquisitely bad pantomime and, when that failed (how does someone get "Let's watch King Kong!" from "May I have some hot water with lime, please?") typing things out on the computer for Hot Latin Boy to read. And he typed back

Today I'd like to hear your home remedies for colds. 

I prefer a big steaming bowl of Chinese hot and sour soup and plenty of tea with honey and ginger plus the occasional restorative whisky. Hot Latin Boy insists all things can be cured with honey, lime and tequila and his mother knows in her heart of hearts the only way to cure anything is to slather the patient with a generous layer of lard and then wrap them in banana leaves and let them steam.


  1. Oy vey. You do know she's total, total fraud, don't you? A colorful person, but a fanastist at best...

    As for colds and their ilk, there's a fab Egyptiang drug marketed as FluRest - basically a painkiller, an antihistamine, and a decongestant wrapped up in one succulent little pill. For a couple of hours, you're almost totally well, and at night you can sleep like a baby.

    Especially if you also incorporate my grandmother's recommendation, somebrandy with honey and lemon juice, hot.

  2. South American remedy. Juice of 1 lemon, spoonful of honey, 1 clove of garlic, 1 red chili, sliced open, grated ginger. Steep in hot (not boiling) water, Hold your nose and drink.

  3. Jessica Gilbert1/08/2014 3:48 PM

    Neti pot with sterile warm water (16oz water, teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda). And eat raw onions. Moaning and whimpering helps some too.

  4. I'm with ya on the hot & sour soup. If you can't get that, shake some Tabasco into bean or tomato soup. If you can get your hands on some zinc lozenges, I find them to be miracle workers with reducing the intensity and duration of colds. Whisky, yes regardless of what else you least it will help you sleep.

  5. Right there with HLB on the tequila remedy, but we also use Oil of Oregano with good results around our house. So, to recap - at our house when you get a cold, you are also reeling drunkenly around the place smelling like a pizza. Lovely.
    Feel better soon!

  6. In our house, it's usually a bowl of pho with lots of sriracha and sliced peppers, followed by a mug or two of Mandarin Orange Spice tea with a spoonful of honey and a very liberal dose of either Southern Comfort or (if you're me and still can't contemplate drinking Southern Comfort because of that one time in college) your favorite bourbon.

  7. Hot tea, with a bit of whiskey, and honey. Then get yourself to bed and sleep for as long as you can.
    That's all I got. Might not help, but it feels good trying.

  8. Whining. Sleeping. Watching terrible shows on Netflix. Any warm drink with any combination of the following: water, tea, lemon, honey, bourbon, whiskey, gin (yea, with Earl Grey...), hot pepper flakes, ginger. A kitty nestled near by. A HHB (Hot Hockey Boy) to bring me the things and ask how I'm feeling. Cool face cloth. Hot, steamy shower of unusually long duration. Nyquil in a shot glass.

    Feel better soon, Rhiannon. :-)

  9. Ah, I heard this one ascribed to Oliver Wendell Holmes (I think) and it works as well as anything else:
    You will need: a hat, a four-poster bed, and a bottle of whiskey
    1. Hang the hat on one of the posts.
    2. Get in the bed and look at the hat.
    3. Drink the whiskey until you see two hats.
    4. Sleep.
    5. When you wake up, the cold will be gone!
    But stop the guilt: I doubt the exposure to the cool Pacific breeze had anything to do with your illness, the incubation time is too short. I would suggest the viremia setting in CAUSED the puny and sun-starved feeling, and the need to spend the day in THoGF was simply the harbinger of your impending illness. You do not _deserve_ to be sick and did not earn your cold. (Unless you were licking doorknobs, then it's all on you.)

  10. 1) Ignoring it and hoping it goes away.
    2) Hot water with lemon and honey.
    3) House-made chicken soup from a Mexican restaurant (and for some magical reason they serve it with raw onions and a lime wedge, which makes it all the more perfect).
    4) Spicy chicken noodle soup from a Thai restaurant.
    5) Bacon sammiches.
    6) Napping on the couch with my lead dog curled up tucked behind my bent knees.

  11. Bourbon and Nyquil (not at the same time).

  12. Hot milk (or almond or soy milk) with one or two teaspoons of turmeric, a dash of black pepper, a cinnamon stick and some ginger (preferably fresh). Simmer for five minutes, remove ginger if you used fresh and cinnamon stick. Add honey (preferably raw) to taste. Works wonders and is really tasty!

  13. FluRest sounds like Actifed, which I haven't seen in the US since they moved all the *real* Sudafed behind the pharmacy counter. Great stuff.

    I think Actifed's magic formula was acetaminophen (Tylenol), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). I'll buy all the pills separately since I can't buy them together anymore.