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Oct 20, 2011 10:27 AM

Home remedies for colds

Have a cold, desire something hot and soothing for the soul. Any good soup recipes that are simple to prep and cook? The thought of buying store bought msg soup is not at all appetizing and I dont have the energy to make spend hours laboring over the stove to make a chicken soup right now. Any sick day remedies are much appreciated right now!

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  1. Since you don't have the energy to cook Jewish penicillin (chicken soup), get a chunk of fresh ginger. Peel and slice part of it, and brew some ginger tea.

    1. Hot peppers are good for breaking up mucus/phlegm, if you're at that stage. You don't want to do a lot of active prep and cooking so without knowing what ingredients are available, my only suggestion is to spice up whatever you do have. Before retiring, I was a mail carrier. If I was working through a bad cold, I often stopped at a Chinese restaurant for a container of hot and sour soup for lunch. It fits the bill when you don't have much appetite and can't face the prospect of a heartier soup.

      Do you have chicken breasts on hand? I like to microwave poach them - just cover with water with seasonings added. Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (no salt or MSG) turns the water into a delicious broth. I'd add some diluted Better Than Bouillon to it. Remove the meat, dice, and reserve. Then cook some barley or other starch in that broth, adding onion and other vegetables when the barley is half done. When vegetables are done, add the meat back in and adjust seasoning.

      1. Juice of 1 lemon, cup of boiling water, sugar to taste, 2oz bombay saphire gin.
        Repeat as necessary.

        1 Reply
        1. re: porker

          I do this too, but with honey instead of sugar. Sometimes I don't use gin (although it really is best with gin). Sometimes I squeeze some fresh ginger through a (very clean) garlic press and mix that in too.

          I used to have a friend who swore that the moment she felt a cold coming on, she'd take a shot of vodka and would be cured. I think the idea is to sterilize any bacteria that may be growing in the back of your throat. It sounds like it may be too late for that, but I doubt it would hurt, either...

        2. Ditto the ginger tea. Add lemon and/or sweetener to taste. Drink it and plain water -- keep hydrated.

          Ditto Better Than Bouillon, although it is high in sodium -- 1 teaspoon = 28% daily amount. But you can add shredded chicken (get a rotisserie (could be high in sodium as well), freeze the carcass to make stock, then freeze that when you're feeling better), add in a spoonful of cooked pasta or any grain, a spoonful of cooked vegetables, and water it down as necessary.

          Indian grocery stores carry bottles of eucalyptus oil. Pour a teaspoon or so into a pot of simmering water, TURN OFF HEAT, cover your head and pot with a towel and inhale the fumes. It's very helpful for lungs, throat, sinuses, general cold symptoms. I've found it's cheaper than Vaporub brand.

          Also, don't forget gargling with warm salt water. That's absolutely my first defense at the sign of any throat tickle or sneeze. As salty as you can tolerate and as many gargles as you can stand in a 10-minute session :)

          I guess my point is, if you can get the symptoms under control, you'll have a better appetite and can eat healthier. Take care. This is too early to have a cold :(

          1. Not necessarily a "soup" per se...however you boil it in a pot on the stove and drink it from a why not? :)