It’s cold season

I had been suffering this past week with a low-grade fever, cough, sore throat and headache. The over the counter meds were helping to keep the fever at bay and relieve some of the headache pressure but was making me feel light-headed and wasn’t doing much for the rest of my symptoms. That’s when I headed over to Pinterest to find a concoction to help with my sickness. I wasn’t looking for an instant cure but just something that would help ease the symptoms and make it more tolerable.  I could not believe how many pins there are for this topic, the internet is filled with literally 1000’s of home remedies for colds. I had two main goals in mind as I read each one, the first was to find one with items I already had in my home and second; to find one that I could manage to get down without vomiting! Low and behold there were 3 ingredients that would continually come up with nearly each search; honey, lemon and cayenne pepper.

Before going forward I decided to briefly research each ingredient to determine if they really were meant for my symptoms. With this I discovered the following:

Honey

According to Ariane Cometa, MD, who describes herself as a holistic practitioner says “If you’re suffering from a cold or something going on in the throat or upper airways, getting on board with honey syrup will help fight infection and soothe membranes.” [found on webmd.com]

Recent research has suggested that honey is just as effective as — if not better than — over-the-counter cough medications. In the study, published in “Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine” in 2007, parents rated honey better than no treatment for their children’s coughs. However, further studies are needed to compare honey’s efficacy to that of traditional cough medicines. [found on livestrong.com]

*NEVER give honey to children under 1-year-old!

Lemon

Lemon is an excellent fruit that fights against problems related to throat infections, due to its well-known antibacterial properties.

It helps to break fevers by increasing perspiration and are loaded with vitamin C, which is known to support the body’s natural defenses and may help shorten symptoms. Lemon (and lime) juice is reported to decrease the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body and reduce phlegm. [found on webmd.com]

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper may relieve fever and lower your body temperature by stimulating sweat glands. A key ingredient in the cayenne pepper is capsaicin. As the active component of cayenne pepper, capsaicin stimulates the cooling portion of the brain known as the hypothalamus, according to “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods,” by Michael Murray, N.D. The spice also stimulates the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses, states Murray. Congestion may decrease because mucous thins and liquefies when you consume cayenne pepper.

*Cayenne pepper may aggravate a cough in people taking ACE inhibitors, although this effect is linked to topical capsaicin creams; still, you may wish to consult your doctor before using cayenne or other peppers medicinally if you use ACE inhibitors. It may also decrease the effectiveness of aspirin and stomach-acid reducer. [found on http://www.livestrong.com]

Some of the “recipes” suggest adding these ingredients into your soups for example – sprinkle cayenne pepper into your soup or the more popular adding it to hot water to create a soothing drink. I prefered to drink it as is and it worked fine.  *As always with anything new, please ask your doctor before trying.

2 tbsp. honey

1 lemon

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

I did this twice a day and I used roughly the above amounts; but you’ll want to adjust by taste. I found that it was very soothing on my throat, helped with the congestion and eased my cough.

Have you too ever wondered if home remedies for the common cold really work? What have you tried to quiet a cough or sooth a sore throat? Here’s to good health, cheers!

Blessings~ Danielle

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