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Cough and Cold Remedies

Try some of these recipes for homemade cough and cold remedies:
Ginger Tea
  • 1 inch or so fresh ginger root, sliced thin or grated
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon, sliced (peel & all)
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • ~2 c water
  • Very generous spoonful honey

Place water, ginger, lemon, & garlic in saucepan; bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer gently for 20 min. Strain into mugs and add lots of honey. The tea *will* get stronger if you let it sit! Most invigorating!

The garlic adds a bit of bitterness, but the honey masks that. This tea is very soothing to the throat and warms and opens the chest and nasal passages. Plus there are all those vitamins and other good things! I now make this tea at the first sign of a cold, which helps me fight it off. I find it more effective than the commercial hot lemon remedies, and of course cheaper!
Contributed by Kim Goddard, pacific_treefrog@hotmail.com

Old Fashioned Mustard Plaster
Helps relieve chest congestion due to colds.
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Lukewarm water

Sift together mustard and flour in a bowl. Slowly add just enough water to make a paste. Spread the plaster on a piece of muslin big enough to cover chest. Cover with another piece of muslin.

Make sure the skin is dry. Place the mustard plaster on the chest. Check frequently and discontinue if there is any kind of allergic reaction. Remove when skin begins to turn red, usually after 10-20 minutes, and don't leave on any longer than 30 minutes at a time. Then rub the chest w/ petroleum jelly to keep the heat in. Treat twice daily until congestion clears up.

NOTE: For children, reduce amount of flour to 6 tbsp.

Simple Cough Syrup
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup warm water

Combine lemon juice and honey in a bowl. Slowly stir in the water. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator - take 1-2 tbsp as needed for cough.

To soothe a sore throat, add 1 tbsp of mixture to a cup of comfrey root, chamomile or rosemary tea.

Cranberry Soup
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 2 cups water
  • Honey to taste
  • 1 tbsp potato starch

Heat cranberries and water together until cranberry skins open. Strain and add honey to taste. Bring mixture close to a boil, then remove from heat. In a separate bowl, mix starch with 2 tbsp cold water. Slowly add this mixture to the cranberry juice - stir vigorously.

Return mixture to heat and bring to full boil, stirring until it thickens and becomes slightly transparent. Store in refrigerator in a covered container. Serve w/ warm cream. Soothes colds, and is a good source of vitamins C and B.

Hyssop Cough Syrup

Licorice flavored, soothes sore throats.

  • 2 tbsp dried hyssop (f tops) or 1/3 cup fresh hyssop (chopped flowers)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp aniseed

In a saucepan combine honey and water. Stir until the mixture is consistency of pancake syrup. Bring slowly to a boil (over a medium heat). Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

Use 1-2 tbsp water to moisten the dried hyssop. Crush the aniseed. Stir both into the honey. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and allow to cool. While the mixture is still a little warm, strain into a jar. When completely cooled, screw on the lid. Should keep for 1 week.

Glycerine Lemon Cough Syrup
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp glycerine
  • 2 tbsp honey

Heat the lemon by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Add the glycerine and honey. Take 1 tsp as needed.

Marshmallow Cough Syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp chopped dried marshmallow root

In a small saucepan, bring the marshmallow root and water to a boil. Recuce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid into another saucepan (should result in about 1 cup). Over a low heat, slowly stir in the sugar until it becomes thick and granules completely dissolve. (Stir in more water if the mixture becomes too thick.) Remove from heat and stir in the orange juice. Transfer to a container and allow to cool before covering tightly.

Wild Cherry Cough Syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (scant)
  • 1 tsp wild cherry bark
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp chopped dried marshmallow root

Make a decoction of the cherry bark and marshmallow root. (Boil in water for about 4 minutes. Steep the mixture with the cover on the pot for a few minutes.) Slowly stir in the sugar and cream of tartar, simmer until the mixture becomes thick and sugar granules completely dissolve. Transfer to a container and allow to cool before covering tightly.

Lemon Cayenne Throat Soother

Mix 1 tsp honey with 1 tsp lemon juice and dash of cayenne pepper. Take like cough syrup. This does not prevent cough, but does relieve throat pain in two ways. First, the honey and lemon coat the throat. Second, the cayenne pepper brings blood cells needed to fight off infection to the throat area.
Contributed by Beth, designsbyfisher@inteliport.com

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