March 26, 2014

Need to remedy recent omissions

In my last column I shared my thoughts on old-time remedies for colds and the “bug.”

When I got into the newsroom the next day, Editor Lois Clermont said to me, “You forgot ginger ale!”

How could I forget ginger ale, one of the staples of our household when we were sick as kids and the first beverage I reach for when I’m sick now.

And, little did I know that I would soon be wishing I had ginger ale in the house because I got hit with a nasty “bug” and was in bed four days.

My dear, sweet husband, Toby, sympathized with my plight and went to the store at midnight to get me ginger ale and Pepto-Bismol, another sick cabinet necessity. Needless to say, he earned “brownie” points that night.

And how could I have forgotten chicken soup?

We always took it for granted that grandmother’s chicken soup was good for us, sick or well, but now technology has proven that it really helps when we are abed.

ABC News did a story on the results of an in-depth laboratory test on the science of the broth’s reputation to make us better. It found that the soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent side effects when we have a cold. Sometimes called Jewish penicillin, it has medicinal effects dating back to ancient times, and clears nasal passages with its steam.

Dr. Stephen Rennard, a pulmonary specialist at University of Nebraska at Omaha, tested his wife’s Lithuanian grandmother’s recipe that contained chicken, onions, sweet potatoes, parsnip, turnip, carrots, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. The recipe affected white blood cells, although he isn’t biologically sure why. He still declared the recipe his favorite.

On they recommend making one or all of eight natural cold and flu remedies at home. They testify that hot, steamy water poured into a bowl, mixed with shaved ginger, then inhaled with a towel over your head, will have the same effect as Vicks Vaporub in the bowl, my favorite.

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