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I habe a cowd... wid a stuffy nose

Beside chicken broth (which I've brought to work) what food related home remedies are your favorite to keep a nasty cold at bay?

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  1. I make a "jelly" out of raw honey, thinly sliced lemons and fresh ginger. I keep it in my fridge in a mason jar and then add a dollop to hot water to sip on. Soothing and invigorating. When I am really stuffed up I add a few dashes of sriracha or other kind of hot sauce.

    Any spicy soup works for me too, especially a chicken based one. My local Asian place sells what they unattractively call "boiled wontons in broth" which in fact is a heady concoction of pork filled wontons in highly seasoned and very spicy chicken broth surrounded by bean sprouts.

    (BTW- I think there are tons of these threads out there with lots of good ideas_

    1. Another classic is Garlic Ginger Soup. It's a pretty good bet for taking the "nasty" out of a nasty cold.

      While on the ginger train, I also like an infusion of crystallized ginger in hot water with a bit of honey.

      1. combine (in a large ceramic mug):
        juice of one lemon
        spoonful of honey
        hot water to 2/3 full
        large glug of brandy or bourbon

        stir, consume

        repeat as needed

        4 Replies
        1. re: kcshigekawa

          I'm with you on this one, kcshigekawa. My father was an old time apothecary, and swore by this remedy. He always said you needed to drink it as hot as you could tolerate it, and chug it as fast as you could, then get into bed with lots of covers and sweat it out. My theory is that, essentially, you pass out and just sleep through the worst of it. If it works, however, don't knock it!

          1. re: kcshigekawa

            even if you don't pass out, the honey and lemon are soothing, the steam helps open things up, and the brandy sure doesn't hurt anything -- at the very least, it might help you sleep!

            1. re: kcshigekawa

              I concur however I have found Grand Marnier to be the perfect liquor for the job!

              It also works well on tooth aches till you can get to the dentist!

              1. re: jrvedivici

                @ jrvedivici: Southern Comfort isn't bad either : )

            2. I recobbed eatig healthy stuff dat you do't dormally like sidce you cad't taste adythig adyway

              1. Spicy food can open the sinii sometimes. But my favorite, more of a prevention measure, is equal parts of very cold, very dry sparkling wine and freshly squeezed OJ.....

                1. No food can keep a cold at bay, of course, but we all have our favorites that make us feel better while we have one. Mine include old fashioned tomato soup and grilled cheese. Chicken soup is a close second. Any soup is a good idea. My other favorites are citrus fruit, hot tea (especially the Twinings lemon and ginger one), hot chocolate and anything with melty cheese. Random but it's what works for me.

                  1. Went to dinner with colleagues one night -- the two of them both had a horrible summer cold, and I was suffering mightily from my seasonal allergies (I'd taken everything I could safely take and still could barely breathe). The three of us were a pathetic mess.

                    So went out for sushi and ate the hottest stuff we could find, then put wasabi on it.

                    Didn't last long, but at least we could breathe for a little while.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I'll have to keep wasabi in mind for the mr. He has an allergy for every season and even looking at a pack of Benadryl makes him want to take a nap. The other stuff generally doesn't work.
                      This might just be a good trick for some temporary relief!

                      1. re: alliegator

                        it only lasts 15-20 minutes -- but it's nice while it lasts!

                        You might also look into, and discuss with his doctor, using a neti pot -- washes out the sinus passages and helps reduce inflammation -- and it's all drug-free.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          He does the neti pot, also. It's an odd thing to watch. Thanks for the tip, though---and I'm sure he'd enjoy that precious 15 minutes from the wasabi on a rough day!

                          1. re: alliegator

                            It is odd to watch -- and the first time you do it, you'd swear you're going to drown yourself...but it all works out, for the better!

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              The first time, I helped him out the best I could and was so freaked out! Drug free is always better, though.
                              Oddly enough he does like all sorts of horseradish type heat, but not so much the usual chili heat. I think when spring comes, the Japanese place down the street will be getting a bit more business from us :)

                    2. sipping fresh ginger slices steeped in hot water
                      Cinnamon oil on the back of the neck & chest
                      Ginger hard candies for the throat
                      chicken broth with a split garlic clove
                      citrus teas cold with lots of ice to nurse a fever
                      bag of frozen peas to the forehead for eye strain

                      1. I go super garlicky on my meals when I feel the onset of a cold. You could try roasting some garlic and adding it to hummus as a snack.

                        As for something that eases, I go for ginger, honey, fresh orange juice and hot water.

                        1. Thanks! I've got the honey, ginger and lemon slices here at work with my chamomile tea... (no bourbon for working hours)
                          I think pho is in order for lunch today
                          (I brought a ham sandwich but it's jut not appealing to me right now)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cgarner

                            No bourbon for working hours? Where do you work, as a prisoner in a gulag?!? That's heresy. Whisky is the only proven cold remedy that I'm aware of.

                          2. A few things I've used and sometimes when my hayfever allergies flare up.

                            Spicy Carrot and Ginger Soup
                            Tom kha kai
                            Miso Soup with lots of mushrooms

                            A glass of fresh local Florida Farm OJ
                            Lemon herbal tea
                            Lemon, whiskey, honey for a sore throat

                            Lamb Vindaloo with naan and raita (spicy plus the yogurt for health)
                            Italian Beef
                            Baked Lemon and dill fish
                            Garlic lemon butter shrimp

                            1. jook (asian style rice porridge) add shredded chicken if you want.

                              gargle with warm salt water (ugh, but it works) not only soothes a sore throat but keeps it from starting/getting worse.

                              1. Pho with extra chile garlic sauce

                                1. Hot tea with lemon (no milk), honey, and some booze - brandy, bourbon, whatever you like.

                                  1. Tom yum goong. Opens up the head a bit and warms the belly. And it's still a nice light meal, so it's great if you're like me and get your nasty colds mostly in the summer :/

                                    A big spoonful of honey is good to moisten your mouth a bit after it's been hanging open for hours on end so you can breathe. God, I hate that.