October 8, 2009

Getting Through Cold and Flu Season

A bit of a hiatus in post-writing lately, since I was laid low by a nasty cold virus. This presented the opportunity and inspiration to make lots of soups, but then I was too tired to type up the recipes. So over the next couple of days I will be adding posts for a delicious chicken-brown rice-escarole soup and a ginger-beef-shiitake soup (both with homemade bone broths - yuuum!) - as well as a creamy winter squash and apple soup. I was almost good as new within a few days, which I attribute to consuming copious amounts of the two bone-broth-based soups, along with:
  • Lots of raw garlic. I showered chopped garlic over everything I ate, plus chewed raw cloves (yes!).
  • Herbal tea. Two new favorites: Yogi Tea's Throat Comfort and Chamomile, with tons of fresh ginger juice and lemon.
  • Echinacea tincture. A couple of dropperfuls of alcohol-based tincture (apparently alcohol is vital to draw the good stuff from the echinacea) every 2 hours for the entire duration of the cold. I think it would have worked even better if I had started 2 days earlier, at the first hint of getting sick - but I waited until the sore throat kicked in.
  • Warm salt water and grapefruit seed extract gargle. This was great for soothing my sore throat. Grapefruit seed extract is naturally antimicrobial and is also good for early cases of strep throat and tonsillitis. However it's extremely potent and can burn mucous membranes if applied full-strength. Mix 2 to 3 drops in 3 ounces of warm water for a gargle (also check directions on the GSE you purchase), plus a teaspoon or so of salt. Gargle every few hours.
  • Plenty of rest (this should be #1 on the list, really. Without rest, the other techniques won't be nearly as effective.)


  1. I've been steaming my face twice a day - very helpful - as is all your advice!

  2. Yes - steaming is great too. This time around the only steaming I did was over the soup pot -but I think that worked pretty well actually! A chicken soup facial...