20 October 2009, 11:17
Recently, I was stricken with the death plague. Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was about a week of major congestion, epic nose-blowing escapades, a wicked cough & a voice that belonged to a cartoon crocodile smoking a cigarette. It was not fun, & despite being in a warm house (& hardly ever leaving it), wearing lots of clothes & eating good meals, I couldn’t seem to shake it.
...Until I asked my Twitter
fiends friends for help, of course! The ideas poured in thick & fast, & I decided to give a whole bunch of them a try. Here’s what I did & what worked best. Hopefully they will help you too!
Eat a clove of raw garlic
Okay, not the most delicious thing, & it makes you stink. Not your breath, interestingly enough — but pretty much as soon as you swallow it, the smells starts to leak out of your pores. It’s quite funny really! It is excellent for keeping away vampires, obviously. So the best way to do this one is grab a clove of garlic, peel it, chop it into little pieces & swallow each piece with a big gulp of water like you were taking a pill. I swear that of all the things I tried, this did the most good. I did it twice, over two consecutive days, & I am convinced it took me from 20% health to 75%.
Liberal applications of Vicks Vaporub
Another stinky solution, yes, but it totally works! I rubbed it into my neck (front & back) & then wrapped up in a scarf. I also applied some to my chest & to the bottoms of my feet, & then put on big thick socks. You can’t really overdo Vicks, so don’t be afraid! I put it all over myself just after my raw garlic treatment & drinking my magical potion (see below!), & then climbed into bed (with my scarf & socks on), turned my electric blanket on, & slept for 5 hours. It was so good!
Put arnica cream wherever you’re sore
Typically when you’re sick, your muscles ache too. While a bath is probably the best cure for this, I was, at the time, staying in a house which didn’t have one. (Sacrilege, I know.) So the second-best thing to do is rub arnica cream into your sore muscles. Arnica is what they put on horses when they injure muscles, so you know it has a bit of oomph! Have someone loving rub it into your back, & thank me later.
Make yourself a magical potion
This one would be most fun if you were wearing a big black witches hat at the time, but if you can’t manage that, just pretend. My magical potion consisted of the juice of one whole lemon, two tablespoons of Manuka honey, two dissolvable painkillers (like Aspirin or Disprin), a big whack of ginger grated right into the cup, a generous pour of brandy, & a whole lot of boiling water. Stir it up & drink it down. If it gets cold, you can always microwave it. It would probably be a good thing to make a big batch of it & just sip it throughout the day, but I imagine you might get a bit blitzed. If that’s okay with you, go for it!
Easier said than done, sometimes, I know, but if you can manage it, get as much sleep as you can. Sleep is the time when your body is actually able to heal you up & fix you, so, to put it simply, the more sleep you get, the healthier you’ll be. If napping during the day is a luxury you cannot afford, just go to bed way, way earlier than usual. Isn’t your health worth more than an episode of The Girls Next Door? I thought so too!
Take insane “cold & flu” pills
Ideally the ones people use to manufacture crazy drugs from (i.e. the ones which contain pseudoephedrine). They tend to work the best. I haven’t taken cold/flu medicine in America, but my #1 recommendation in New Zealand is Codral. Nurofen Cold & Flu used to be my saving grace during winter, but they recently changed the formulation & it just doesn’t work like it used to. Boo. So anyway, pop some of those, they will make you feel human again. At least for a little while. But don’t take them forever, because you’ll build up a resistance while simultaneously destroying your liver. Gross…
Take your vitamins
A good multivitamin should be part of everyone’s daily routine, but if it isn’t, now’s a good time to start. Echinacea is great in large (& I do mean large) doses, & you should load up on some of those fizzing vitamin c tablets, too!
Stick your head over a steaming bowl of hot water
This is one of the best ever ways to clear out your sinuses. It’s also really good for your skin but that is just an incidental bonus! Boil the jug & pour it into a big bowl. Then stick your face over it, & throw a towel over your head to trap all the heat inside. The idea is to breathe in as deeply as you can. It will clear up any congestion you have very quickly. If you have peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil on hand, a drop (just one!) of that added to the water will work miracles too.
It seems like everyone gets sick when the seasons change! What’s your #1 tip for curing the death plague? Your tips will definitely help out a sniffly nonpareil somewhere around the globe!