I feel like I've been completely cut-off from the world for the last few days - I've been sick and sleeping since Friday. Being sick in the summer is really disappointing, but then again, it's good that it happened when I had already taken some time off for myself.
Anyway, I have a few big events coming up this week: my 10 year high school reunion dinner, a picnic reunion for the whole family, and I'm getting together with my best friend from high school who I haven't seen in years! If I don't get better soon, I'm envisioning showing up with a deep, raspy voice - or no voice at all.
I've been trying everything I can muster the energy to try to get better. I've had a lot of tea, hard candy for the throat, and soup in my life. I wish I could say everything I've tried is DIY and natural, but if I didn't have NyQuil, I wouldn't have slept a wink the last 4 nights. If anyone has a non-drugstore alternative, I'd love to know about it.
Through my research I've found 10 very promising and well-reviewed methods to help you get better when you're sick. Flu season hasn't even started yet, but bookmark this page in case you need it later on!
1. Tea has been my savior these last 5 days as its warmth soothes my throat. This recipe, Fresh Ginger Tea, is from the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books), via MarthaStewart.com.
2. Creature Comforts blog show us how to create a sweet little Get Well gift for our under-the-weather loved ones and neighbors, but just looking at it I know it would make myself feel better, too. Ez provides the full tutorial to make the Honey Lemon Throat Soother, which I will be making myself when I'm done writing this post!
3. Sucking on hard candies increases saliva production, which helps coat the throat and reduce the pain of a sore throat. Bakeaholic Mama shows us how to make natural cough drops with just honey!
4. Honey is good for making cough syrup as well - imagine it combined with the soothing power of peppermint. In this post, Homegrown and Healthy shows us how.
5. Warm, gentle foods have been wonderful to me. My favorite is homemade noodle soup. This recipe is everything I want it to be. If you eat chicken, use this recipe as-is; if you're vegetarian like me, hold the chicken and use vegetable broth instead.
6. Looking for a little more flavor in your homemade cough drops? Try this method with lemon and ginger by Redpath Sugar.
7. I've also taken more showers in the last few days that I did in the last month (or so it seems) because the steam just feels amazing. The clearing powers of steam can be enhanced with these homemade shower discs by Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.
8. A nurse once told me about this method, and I completely forgot about it until today. To clear your nasal passages, try a cayenne pepper tea via Serious Eats.
9. Another home-brewed tea option for you: lemon, honey, and rosemary tea recipe via My Darling Lemon Thyme. Thanks to my little herb garden, I have everything needed to make this.
10. As a cold remedy, MayoClinic.com lists "saltwater gargle" in its "What Works" category. The saltwater coats the throat and provides temporary relief for a sore throat. Others suggest that the gargling action loosens the mucus from your throat which causes irritation in the first place.
As always, consult your healthcare provider if you're unsure about any of these recipes. I am no medical expert, so I am not trying to give medical advice. These are just the at-home methods that I am comfortable using myself.
Also, if at all possible, get someone else to prepare these recipes for you. Rest and adequate fluids are just as important!