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feeling sick? drink this

October 3, 2010

A week ago, I got the flu shot.

A couple days ago, I got the flu.

Well, maybe not the flu, but I’m coughing and sneezing and achy and whiny and emotional.  I’d like to blame my cold on the recent shift in weather, or on my friends and coworkers who have been battling their own fall flu symptoms.  But I have a sneaky suspicion that bicycling home from a concert at midnight in the pouring rain may, quite possibly, be the culprit.  (It was a really good concert.)

Throughout college, I was roommates with opera singers who could not, under any circumstances, ever get sick.  You could wave goodbye to your career in belting out Mozart if your primary instrument was out of commission for a couple weeks at a time.  So I picked up a couple tools on how to get better fast.

1. At the first sign of a cold, start pumping your body up with Emergen-C, Airborne, and this magical homeopathic remedy called Cold-Eez — and take this stuff religiously.  Cold-Eez never fails to limit my cold to 3 days or so, as long as I start taking it the first day of a cold.

2. Gargle with salt water 3 times a day.  A study recently covered by the New York Times supports Great Grandma’s old-time remedy.

3. Drink lots of fluids: water, orange juice, tea, brothy soups, and hot lemons (see below for recipe).

4. Take hot baths to ease achy muscles, take naps, and watch old cartoons.

5. Listen to your President: wash your hands, and don’t go to school and get everyone else sick.

This recipe is always soothing when I’m sick.  It tastes sweet like lemonade, and it’s more flavorful than tea when your nose is stuffed up and you can’t taste much.  The lemon has vitamin C, the ginger soothes an upset stomach, the hot water raises your body temperature to fight off the cold, and the honey calms an itchy, sore throat.

hot lemon

juice from 1 lemon
3+ T ginger juice (see below)
hot water
honey to taste

Put everything in your favorite mug. Drink up.  Put on The Office or Looney Tunes and fall asleep on the couch.

ginger juice

large ginger root, peeled and cut into chunks
3+ cups of water

Add 2 cups of water to the ginger in a food processor or blender, and puree for 3 minutes.  Strain the juice over a mason jar or bowl with a cheesecloth, and squeeze out the juice from the ginger.  Return the ginger to the food processor and add another cup of water.  Process as before, and strain.  When the ginger has given up all that it’s got, discard.  Will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

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