Monday, February 6, 2012

So I have a cold! Let's see what Grandmas around the world have to say!

Not the greatest timing to get sick. I am starting my 4 day instructing week and I am sick. Boo Hoo.  It hit me before my first Friday night class, so I have been trying to sweat it off.Taking lots of Vitamin D and garlic and drinking lots of fluids as well. I won't let a little cold stop me. Studies do show that the more active you are the less likely you are to get sick. More reason to up my one day a week workout to 4 days a week.

Here are 7 cold and flu remedies from around the world. Benefit from the wisdom of moms and grandmas all over the world with these home remedies for cold and flu symptoms Enjoy!

Home remedies are universal

Most of us remember our parents or grandparents administering home remedies for cold and flu symptoms when we were kids—maybe it was tea with lemon or sitting in a steamy bathroom. As an adult, you probably still call on those tried-and-true treatments for comfort when a stuffy nose and sore throat are making you miserable. Perhaps you’re even wondering what other cultures do when the sniffles hit home. If so, read on for a sampling of cold and flu relief tips from around the world.

1. Japan

Grill umeboshi (pickled plum) until it’s burnt, pour very hot green tea over it, then drink to reduce a fever, says Reiko Kuroda, a Japanese ex-pat living in Boston. Other home remedies for cold symptoms that she swears by: Grating lots of ginger, adding lemon and honey and dousing it with hot water, then drinking it to clear up a stuffed nose. For a sore throat, “add minced Japanese leek and minced ginger to miso paste. Pour hot water into the mixture and drink it,” she says, adding that the miso is to make it palatable rather than for therapeutic benefit.

2. South Africa
“My grandmother claimed garlic was like a natural antibiotic especially for upper respiratory infections and illnesses,” says Montreal-based Nilanie Moodley Fletcher who hails from Durban, South Africa. “She would grind fresh garlic and add [it] to soups to create a cold tonic,” she recalls. Other tricks from her grandmother include inhaling a mixture of turmeric and boiled water to clear up nasal congestion, and for coughs she administered a potent cough syrup of half black pepper and half honey. “It actually does work,” Nilanie says.

3. North America

A Crow medicine woman recounts this Native American natural remedy for the common cold to medical anthropologist John Heinerman in his book, Folk Remedies from Around the World: Add two tablespoons of chickweed herb and mullein leaves to a quart of boiling water. Stir, and steep for 30 minutes. Drink warm, one cup every three hours. Rest the entire day, and you’ll feel better the next.

4. Scotland

Graeme Dunn, who grew up by the sea in Prestwick, Ayshire, says, “Hot Rum and Pep—rum and peppermint—are a seaman’s cure for colds. My grandfather was a Royal Marine and that’s what they were given on the ships.” Other Scottish cold cures include drinking nettle tea and going for a walk to get sea air.. “Not mountain air, not any kind of air. Has to be sea air. If I was congested, I'd be unblocked right away. Maybe it has something to do with the salt in the spray,” he suggests.

5. Serbia

Ivana Miletic, whose family is from Belgrade, Serbia, says her mom makes a caramel drink to relieve cough and bronchitis by “slowly melting three tablespoons of sugar. Once melted and the colour of caramel add a cup of milk; keep on low heat, stirring continuously until it becomes a smooth drink. Drink it as hot as you can handle,” she describes. Miletic's says her mom also recommends Serbian tea to treat the common cold and chills. “Slowly melt two to three teaspoons of sugar; add a few drops of water, a cup of plum brandy; once melted drink it hot,” she says.

6. Colombia

“Stinky things” clear the nostrils, according to the Tayrona tribe who live in highlands of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northwest Colombia. In his book Folk Remedies From Around the World, Heinerman recalls seeing a tribe member clear his stuffy nose by taking regular whiffs of a sachet containing a pungent mix of crushed garlic, broken bay leaves and coarsely ground nutmeg.

7. China

A practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) might prescribea the herb astragalus by tincture, pill or even injection to boost your immune system and reduce cold symptoms. If you grew up in a Chinese household, you are probably familiar with pak fah yeow, which literally translates as "White Flower Oil." It’s a brand of clear oil that is China’s version of Vick’s VapoRub. Composed of wintergreen, camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint oils, it’s commonly rubbed on backs and chests to relieve chest congestion and cough and under noses to relieve stuffiness.

Any remedies you would like to share? Please comment. I need all the help I can get!

By Helen Racanelli

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