“The flu epidemic of 1918 infected something like a third of the world’s population,” I remarked, sitting with my friends over coffee. “From what I’m hearing, seems like we’re almost back to that. Maybe we’re in the middle of an every-hundred-years flu.”
“I don’t know if we’re at a third,” Monica said, “but I did hear the ERs are packed, something like a 100 people waiting. And people are dying of flu complications at unusually high numbers.”
Everyone at the table had a house full of hackers. I took it as an opportunity to find out a few new remedies for coughs to share with the group.
At the Kelly home, we push Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy, assuming we can get our patient to take it ($6.99 for 18 lozenges at Walgreens). I also encourage the Emergen-C 1000 mg Vitamin C drinks, with electrolytes to help with hydration ($9.99 for 30 packets at Sprouts). Daily my people take the probiotic acidophilus (Yum Yum Dophilus, $25.99 for 120-count at Sprouts) to fight possible infections and promote general health. And B & T Cough & Bronchial Syrup helps clear up coughs ($12.99 for 8 ounces at Sprouts).
“As a general immunity builder,” said Bernice, “we use raw garlic. I find it will often get rid of a cold within a day or two or keep it from starting once you feel yourself getting sick. Take a clove, smash it or chop it, wait ten minutes so it reaches maximum potency, put it on the back of your tongue, and swallow it down with a glass of water. Do this once a day for several days.”
“Dayquil or Robitussin,“ suggested Lorraine. (Vicks Dayquil Severe Cold & Flu Relief, $8.99 for 12 ounces at CVS; Robitussin Severe Cough + Sore Throat, $12.79 for 8 ounces at CVS.)
“Hylands Defend Cough and Cold homeopathic,” suggested Nicole ($8.99 for 4 ounces at Sprouts). “Also an herbal tea called Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals with a heaping teaspoon of honey.” (Throat Coat Tea, $6.64 for 16 tea bags on Amazon.)
“My first line of defense is Ricola cough drops with herbs,” said Cherie ($3.29 for 21 drops at Sprouts). “If I don’t have to drive anywhere, also a hot toddy. My recipe is strong black tea, a generous splash of brandy, and a teaspoon each of lemon and honey.”
Maire recommended two kinds of honey for their strong antioxidant properties. “Manuka or buckwheat honey, raw unfiltered,” she suggested. (Dutch Gold Pure Buckwheat Honey, $12.02 for 16 ounces on Amazon; Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey, $20.89 for 8.75 ounces on Amazon.) “If you put the honey in tea, wait a bit for the tea to cool before adding the honey so it doesn’t cook the honey,” she added. Maire also added in some tea suggestions. “Mullein Tea, Bronchial Tea, or Thyme tea, brew one quarter thyme in water, have it no more than three times a day.” (Celebration Herbals Mullein Tea, $7.10 for 24 tea bags on Amazon; Gaia Bronchial Wellness Tea, $15.98 for 20 tea bags on Amazon.) Lastly, Maire recommended Breathe Respiratory Blend essential oil from DoTerra ( $26.66 for .50 ounces at doTerra.com).
“My best old-school remedy,” offered Suzanne, “is to slather Vicks VapoRub on the chest and neck area [$7.29 for 1.76 ounces at Walgreens]. Lay in bed, cover area up to and including the nose with a blanket and breathe in the vapors with deep, calm breaths. Or put a teaspoon of Vicks in the bathroom sink, fill with hot water. Put your head down and breath in the steamy vapors. Make a tent over the sink with a towel and put your head under the towel to get more concentrated vapors.”
“For the scary-sounding croup,”offered Cathy, “something which you should keep on hand in an odor-proof, stable-temperature spot are these homeopathic remedies: Aconitum Napellus, Spongia Tosta, and Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum, all in 30x potency [$7.99 for 250 tablets at Sprouts]. Give them in successive order at 15-minute intervals, no eating or drinking 15 minutes before or after. Two doses of Aconitum under the tongue, then two doses of Spongia Tosta. Then, if necessary — in that there is no change in the child — give two doses of Hepar Sulphur. This usually does the trick. As always with homeopathy, as soon as the baby seems to feel better, stop giving the remedy.”
“Hot chamomile tea with honey and lemon,” touted Sarah. “Honey and lemon are essential. Clears the sinuses up on the spot and cuts down on coughing.”