Ah… spring has finally sprung! We’ve awaited its arrival with great anticipation these past few frigid months. When the snow was falling, all we could think about was warmer weather. But with warmer weather, comes everything that’s involved with it – good AND bad!
The bonfires are popping up, friends get together a little more often, fishing gear is brought out and picnics and cookouts are planned. On the other hand, the trees are gaining their foliage, grass needs cutting and all kinds of allergens lurk at our doors. I’m sure most people are already well aware of this. I know I have been, with my itchy, watery eyes and sneezing has almost become a competition at our house.
One thing I’ve always been known for by my friends and family is coming up with home remedies for just about everything. From researching things that would help my son when he was first diagnosed with autism, to the common cold, I’ve been asked time and again for my recipes, so I thought I would include a few here. Hopefully they will be of help to someone, or maybe even a few people.
For A Cough
First and foremost, my most requested recipe is one I learned from a youtuber to whom I am subscribed, Herb Mentor. You can see that video for Garlic Ginger Cough Syrup here. It’s what started it all for me!
The recipe is quite simple… 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup honey, 5-6 cloves of garlic (either minced very fine or put through a garlic sieve), 1 teaspoon of grated ginger (use the root, it’s better than the powder in this recipe), and a dash of cayenne powder. Mix it all together and store it in the fridge in a tightly covered container. It should last a few months, but can be used right away.
As they will tell you in the video, if you want you can strain out the ginger and garlic pieces, but let it steep in the liquid for at least 24 hours, so that all the medicinal properties will be present in the syrup. Both the honey and the garlic have strong antibacterial properties and can help soothe a sore throat, and also helps with bronchitis. It does wonders to get rid of those deep coughs that just don’t seem to go away.
Another one of my “go-to” remedies is for itchy, burning, watery eyes, and I’ve even seen this help with the pink eye. Simply take a chamomile tea bag, moisten it and wash your eyes with it. The relief is felt almost immediately!
Chest and Sinus Congestion
Chamomile tea bags also come in handy for this next remedy that I use quite often. My children even ask for it specifically when they’re terribly congested, especially in the sinuses. This works for loosening and getting rid of nasal and head congestion.
Get out your chamomile tea bags – about 5 of them is what I use – and put them in a medium size pot and start them on a heavy boil. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, remove the pot from the stove and set it on a counter or the table.
Lean your head over the pot and cover your head and the pot with a large bath towel. At first, it may be so hot and steamy that you have to leave a bit of an opening for some of the steam to be released, but as soon as you’re able, seal it off so that all that steam stays under that towel with you. Just breath in deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
Within about 10 minutes, you should feel the congestion starting to loosen and will be able to blow your nose and be rid of a good lot of it. Sometimes, if I’m incredibly congested, I will first have a bowl of soup or something I can sprinkle well with cayenne powder, as this is a great stimulant and starts breaking the stuff up even before you start the steam treatment. If I’m not mistaken, I remember hearing that cayenne powder fights and kills 41 types of bacteria that can cause congestion!
I am also a huge fan of herbal teas, but sometimes I don’t have all the fancy herbs that some recipes call for. When I’m starting to feel a cold coming on, or if allergies have me sneezing and coughing, I turn to what I usually have on hand…ginger, garlic, honey, cayenne and turmeric.
You can mix some or all of these, steep them in a cup for about 10-15 minutes, and it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel. And as far as turmeric goes, I am NEVER without it in my cupboard! It’s medicinal properties are incredibly powerful and yet probably the least known. In India, I’ve heard, it is used much the way we have always used antibiotic ointment. On scratches, abrasions, cuts and so forth.
These are my go-to recipes, and I hope that should you find yourself in the position to need them, that you will try them. However, as with any kind of home remedy advice, do talk to your doctor first. Some herbs can interfere with medication you may be on, so do be safe!