Sydney is rapidly sinking in a big’ol vat of the flu. Everywhere you look people are sick and as per acceptable and encouraged practice, they are all being-strong-and-pushing-through which translates literally to coming-to-work-when-they-should-be-home-in-bed-sharing-germs-with-their-cats-instead-of-with-me.
Needless to say after weeks of public transport with strangers coughing everywhere and meetings with workmates sniffling away, I woke up the other morning with a throat like sandpaper and a stuffed up nose. Great.
Having told roughly 23 people about this drink over the past few days I figured it was easier to simply post it and direct them here. I have no idea where I came across this cure but I swear by it and don’t even mind it anymore. Even RJ – who hates the stuff – specifically requests it when he feels a cold coming on as he knows it helps!
Other things to do to speed up getting better – aka tips from your mother.
Eat chicken soup.
They don’t call it Jewish Penicillin for nothing. This magical liquor has been proven to reduce the duration of colds. Something to do with the fat, or the enzymes or the steam – believe it if you wish, don’t if you don’t. You can of course go through the whole deal of making a roast and boiling the carcass for stock and making soup but for a quick fix try this instead:
- Dice 2 carrots, 1-2 stalks of celery, 1 brown onion and 3 cloves of garlic.
- Add to a medium-large saucepan with a splash of olive oil and a big pinch of dried Italian herbs.
- Saute over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1 boneless, skinless [or bone in skin on, whatever] chicken breast and enough water to cover all ingredients. If you have stock powder add a spoonful of that too.
- Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken, dice or shred with two forks and return to pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- Eat lots of it.
For a variation:
- Add 2 legs or thighs – bone and skin are fine here – with the breast and simmer for closer to 30 or 40 minutes, shred or dice before serving, discarding skin and bones.
- Add a handful of brown rice or pearl barley and saute with the veggies. Simmer 40-45 minutes until grains are tender. You may need to add more water as it gets absorbed.
Gargle with Salt Water and Camomile Tea – not together.
I have 5 kinds of salt in my house. The generic table salt [with iodine] gets used only to soak cuts and for gargling when sick. I’m not a doctor, there are as many sources that support this as those which deny that it works and I can’t be bothered to find one I like. Besides, my mom said it’s good so I’ve done it for years.
- Add iodized salt to water that is as warm as you can stand and stir to dissolve. The mixture should taste very salty. Gargle before bed, try not to drink anything right after as it will wash away the salt. Do not drink.
The camomile tea trick I just learned the other day. Same thing re sources etc, etc but ask almost any grandmother about this one, and hey, it can’t hurt.
- Brew a cup of tea using pure chamomile leaves. Allow to cool slightly and gargle as needed. Drink if you wish.
Do you have any natural cures you swear by… and can you send some my way? Now where are those tissues…
Chilli, Honey & Lemon Tea… or cure for the dreaded lurgy
- 1/2 tsp dry chilli flakes
- juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- dessert spoon of honey
- hot water
Stir together flakes, juice and honey in a large mug or glass. Pour over hot water and stir to dissolve honey. Let flakes steep 3-5 mins.
Strain if you wish. Drink warm. Add a bit more honey to taste if necessary.
- I originally made this using cayenne pepper but found that the powder sunk to the bottom of the glass and you had to stir the tea before every sip. This version came about when I was staying at a friends house and they had only flakes. I much prefer it.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I haven’t heard of the chamomile gargle but I will remember that one.
Just a few weeks ago I discovered honey and cinnamon. You mix it up 4 parts honey to one part cinnamon and have a teaspoon morning and night. It’s supposed to lessen a cold and keep you from getting one if you’re well. I haven’t been sick yet so it might work!
I love cinnamon so I’ll have to try that one!
Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy says
Great remedy JJ! Lucky for me, I got the dreaded flu a few weeks back…fingers crossed it doesnt return. If it does, I am coming straight back here to make this drink!
I only just emailed the other half to say I could feel a sore throat coming on and then I read this post. i will be tyring the Chilli, Honey & Lemon Tea as soon as a I get home tonight.
Hope it helps, this winter is brutal for the flu!
Boiling hot milk with two pinches of turmeric and a spoon of natural honey. The turmeric is anti-bacterial and reduces inflammation (so it works on allergy related sore throats too).
Boiling hot clear chicken soup poured over a tsp of grated fresh ginger and one tablet-worth of dried tulsi (Indian basil-it’s purple) and allowed to steep then squeeze half a lemon/ lime into it before drinking.
Get well soon.
Also wearing a mask on public transport helps. You can smirk at all the sick people over the top of it. They should be the ones wearing masks but what the hey. *Japan is awesome like this*
Thanks for the tips. Can’t quite bring myself to do the mask thing but turmeric is now on the list 🙂
leaf (the indolent cook) says
Thanks for the tips! I’ve never heard of the chamomile one. For me, I get lots of ginger and garlic in me. I think it does help!
Yeah, I’m dosing the garlic like mad!
SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) says
These are all great tips! I just do NOT understand why people go to work when they’re sick. The world won’t stand still while they get well. I love the sound of this tea. Do you ever add ginger? Love it when I’m sick.
thyme (sarah) says
I am loving your blog! We are trying so hard to eat ‘whole foods’ with low glycemic indexes (or whatever that is called). I’m now attracted to recipes that try to replace sugars, dairies, flours with better ingredients…and here you are. We just made waffles with sweet potatoes last weekend and this week was sushi rolls with quinoa (instead of white rice). I am having so much fun and we all are seeing the health benefits too! Can’t wait to try out some of your recipes!
Thanks so much Sarah, glad you have you here. Loving your photos as well – beautiful!
Sara (Belly Rumbles) says
All three of us in the household have the lurgy. Different stages, but wow I wish I had this remedy last week. Will be making some up tomorrow!
I can totally vouch for this remedy!! JJ kindly let me know of this magic potion when I was home sick a few weeks ago and I lived on the stuff for three days straight – I also added fresh chopped ginger because my mum assures me ginger solves all ails! Glad you shared this one JJ! (although you’rs is much more photogenic than mine was 😉
Lovely combination! My grandmother used to give me hot tea with honey and lemon whenever I had a cold. I loved so much that ever since the I just have my tea with honey and lemon. It’s a great littley home remedy to fight the cold!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I’m about to give this one a go. I feel the sneezes coming on and I refuse to let them stay. Have already od’d on honey and cinnamon!
Karen S says
Hi there, I make a smoothie in my blender that really works for us.
Add a small amount of water into bottom of blender, maybe half a cup.
Throw in a couple of stalks of celery, one chopped up apple and a clove of garlic. The first time I made this I used two cloves of garlic. After a few minutes I could feel my chest warm up. Very powerful. Now I add a small clove and find that it works just as well. Take it at first signs of a cold. Enjoy!
Just found your site love the tea recipe I certainly will be trying this. I also have a soup recipe that I have been using for a few years and if I have it once a week then I don’t get the flu or a cold or at the least I get a milder form. And I used to catch everything and it would go into pneumonia because I had a low immune system. I don’t eat chicken because I keep them as pets for the eggs, but after doing that I couldn’t eat them anymore.
Now I make a soup using tumeric, chilli flakes, black pepper, swiss boullion, finely chopped onion, leek (frozen or fresh), spinach (frozen1 cube), ginger and garlic (ice cube), basil and oregano. add a few veggies and a small can of tuna if you eat fish, sometimes I use bacon. I have a version of this once a week and no more colds – touch wood.
If you do get a cold a recipe I got from my mum involved chopping up an onion layering it with sugar and leaving it then drinking the juice. Its good for a cough sore throat etc. I keep trying to add mullein and thyme though or marshmallow. Elderberry and honey jellies are also very good for preventing a cold.
I think though if you have certain spices (tumeric, ginger, cinamon, chilli flakes, black pepper) and herbs ( oregano, basil, thyme etc) as well as onion or leek on a regular basis then it will improve your immune system and your general health. I also find nettle and lemon tea or dandelion tea is very good for you as they are cleansing and detoxifying.
Take care all.