While coughs and colds can strike at any time, the prevalence of these ailments increases with the onset of cooler weather. This is not helped by houses that are closed up to prevent heat escaping, working in air-conditioned offices and sharing your daily commute with others who are coughing and sneezing. Several of my work colleagues were off sick for a number of days last week but I managed to avoid succumbing. I have managed to stay well despite having a sore throat about 10 days ago.
I felt less than stellar this morning when I woke and I have some minor cold symptoms so I slid back down under the covers for another 30 minutes and then caught the later train to work.
There are many and varied cough and cold drugs available but sometimes some simple home remedies can be just as effective, especially if you start as soon as you notice any symptoms.
Here are some of my favourites.
Warm lemon and honey drink – I am sure it is no coincidence that our lemon trees are laden with fruit just as the first of the winter ailments strike. Freshly squeezed lemon juice, raw local honey and topped up with boiling water. Sip to soothe a sore throat and just feel better all over.
Apple cider vinegar – mix 2 parts of water to one of vinegar and gargle at the first sign of a sore throat. If you are feeling brave you can add a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar to your warm lemon and honey drink.
Calendula ointment – you can make your own. There are plenty of recipes like this one but I still have half of a small jar that I bought some years ago. It is a useful addition to your first aid kit and is great for a red, raw nose that is often part of the deal when you have a cold.
Home-made ‘Vicks Vaporub’ – I found the recipe here. I have not made it yet but it is definitely on the ‘to do’ list. Some people swear by rubbing it on the soles of your feet. Pop on a pair of socks and then climb into bed.
Disposable handkerchiefs – worn out pure cotton sheets can be ripped into squares for use instead of tissues. They are much softer on your tender nose than tissues and can be discarded after use.
What tips do you have to ward off the evil bugs?