More Cold Remedies

Here in Western Pennsylvania, spring is just around the corner, but like this seemingly unending winter, the common cold will not go away. I thought I would add to my list of home cold remedies. Most of these items are already in your kitchen.

More Cold Remedies

Oregano
More Cold Remedies, Oregano
Cold Remedies, Oregano

Francisca used oregano in her snakebite remedy. It is also good for many other ailments, including the common cold. Oregano tea is helpful in loosening phlegm and soothing coughs and asthma. Make oregano tea from either dried or fresh leaves. If you don’t have any oregano plants hanging from your rafters as they did in Le Petit-Courty, you probably have a jar in the spice cupboard. Place a teaspoon of dried leaves in a mug and add boiling water. If you can find fresh oregano at the supermarket, be sure to buy organic. Tea made out of insecticide-laced oregano will not make anyone feel better. Use three teaspoons of fresh bruised leaves. Allow the leaves steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Breathe in the vapors as it steeps, then add a little honey (also adding additional antioxidant properties) and lemon juice, and enjoy your natural remedy.

Apple Cider Vinegar
More Cold Remedies, Vinegar
Pittsburgh’s own Heinz Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar, especially unfiltered vinegar with the mother, is a powerful cold remedy. A few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon honey mixed in a cup of water will knock out a cold. Enjoy this sweet-tart concoction several times a day. Some add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper for additional anti-inflammatory benefits and an added kick.

Ginger
More Cold Remedies, Ginger
Ginger Root.
Image courtesy of wikipedia

People have used ginger for thousands of years to expel toxins in the body. Ginger’s natural anti-inflammatory properties will soothe your throat and warm your body to chase colds away. You need about a two-inch piece of ginger root. Peel and thinly slice and add to about four cups of water. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, and then strain into mug. Ginger is naturally sweet, so taste before adding anything additional, but a squeeze of lemon, cinnamon, and honey also add flavor and benefits.

Sources:

Weiner, Michael A., Earth Medicine, Earth Food. MacMillan Publishing Co, Inc. (1980) Print
http://www.naturalnews.com/042226_common_cold_natural_remedies_apple_cider_vinegar.html

Dry Skin

This time of year, those of us who live in cold winter climates deal with dry itchy skin as an unpleasant fact. The residents of Le Petit-Courty did not enjoy a forced air heated environment, nor did they bathe every day, or even every week for that matter. As a result, they probably did not suffer with dry skin.

The combination of heated dry air plus the drying effects of bathing wreaks havoc on our skin. There are many ways to help with these dry skin issues.

Oils
Oils

Turn down the heat. Heat makes your blood vessels dilate, so keeping your house cooler has an anesthetic effect. For the same reason, when you bathe, use warm, not hot water, and follow each bath with moisture to hold the water, not the oil, into your skin. To maximize the effects, apply the moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

Expensive moisturizers and creams are not necessary to keep skin supple. Petroleum jelly or baby oil is just as effective. Actually, any kitchen oil, sunflower, peanut, or canola oil will help with dry skin. Keep it in the shower and apply before drying. If your skin is overly sensitive, get rid of that soap, go to your pantry, and get the oatmeal. Tie some steel cut oats in a cloth, dunk it in water, and use like a scrunchy.

Add moisture to your air. If you have a wood burner, place a pan of water on the top, just be sure to keep children away to avoid accidents. A small humidifier by the bed will also help.

On rare occasions, dry skin may result from a vitamin deficiency, and boosting intake of Vitamin A and C, the group B vitamins, and Zinc may help. Severely dry skin may be a signal of thyroid disorder or lymphoma, however, and a doctor should evaluate any scaling, or wrinkling.

Sources:
Tkac, Debora. The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Thousands of Tips and Techniques Anyone Can Use to Heal Everyday Health Problems. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 1990. Print.

Reader’s Digest Foods That Harm Foods That Heal. Surry Hills, NSW Reader’s Digest, 1997 Print.