What can be done naturally for a cold with congestion when you're winter-bound and unable to get to your herbal store? Here are three different old Granny remedies you can make at home that have much value. These come from Eureka residents.
First: Finely dice or food process a large, strong yellow onion and place in a small narrow bowl or teacup. Sprinkle regular sugar on top and press down firmly. In a few hours, press a tablespoon open side up on top of the mash collecting the juice. Use as a decongestant and cough syrup. Some people add fresh garlic and/or fresh horseradish.
Second: Honey, lemon and a shot of brandy or whiskey (some add ginger). This is like a natural Nyquil. Remember in this remedy the alcohol is a medicine.
Third: Piping hot homemade chicken soup. Beyond the love factor, it really does help.
During the last winter storm I asked people online what favorite or family remedy do you make and use? The responses were really interesting, useful and some funny.
Piping hot Jewish penicillin A.K.A. chicken soup, was popular along with other hunger-prompting foods. Two that I thought were particularly delectable said homemade lentil soup with lots of garlic and then blackened chicken with lots of black and cayenne pepper. We have some spicy people in Eureka, apparently.
Drinks mentioned were warming and soothing if not downright top-shelf. The one which was alcohol-free was ginger tea made with real ginger root, lemon and local honey. This is to be sipped piping hot. Several suggestions included top-shelf liquor such as Maker's Mark bourbon with honey (I guess if you're sick you may as well go topnotch). One of the funny comments was that if you were out of brandy or bourbon just swap over to tequila — at a certain point you won't care.
On a more sensual side, the hot bath with epsom salt with a few drops of tea tree oil added sounded great. Of course you must add glycerine for the skin and then soak your ailment away. I liked this suggestion and wondered if one of the hot toddies sipped while soaking would be too much — no, too much isn't possible.
Finally, to improve breathing a touch of peppermint oil under each nostril (BAM).
Of course, I still suggest monolaurin at the earliest sign of colds or flu so be sure to keep a bottle in hand. I just love our Eureka family: what a great way to while away winter-bound hours.