Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Timberlina with canine companions

Timberlina with canine companions

Timberlina’s Eco-Tips for Defeating Modern Life

Eco-Tip 1: January Colds

What better way to celebrate this notoriously dark, dreary and not to mention sniffly time of year than with an ecological alternative to commercial cold and flu remedies to take whilst bundled up under the cosiness of one’s ethically sourced eiderdown, or (perish the thought) taken to work in a flask to show off to colleagues?

Pauvre moi! It’s week five of what people are calling Australian flu and I have been trying everything. Not least because this revolting infection has a habit of transforming itself on a daily basis; one day it’s coughing and sore throat, the next it’s sneezing fits and throbbing sinuses. Consistent is the sluggish tiredness. I’ve not done yoga for days and whilst I have a deep sexy and husky voice, next week I shall be back on stage singing Tomorrow from Annie and if I don’t shake this, Annie will sound like a shortwave baritone.

If I’m working when a cold flu strikes, my default is the notorious high strength cold and flu tablets; not the brands but the chemist’s own – they’re half the price and carry the same ingredients. I was also raised to take Zinc on a regular basis as a preventative, but even investing in high class off-the-shelf Zinc tablets from an independent health food shop at a cost of the GDP of a small country, I still got a bout of lurgy, not to mention annoyingly unrecyclable tablet packets materialising around the house, which is not a look for a green domestic godess.

Consoled by the fact that everyone appears to have this revolting infliction, it is now interminable to the point that Mr Timberlina and myself can’t bear the sight of each other, resorting to competitive sniping about who is the most ill and who fought the retched thing into the domicile in the first place.

In bygone years, my Scottish brute of a housemate, upon seeing I was hit by flu, appeared from the kitchen with a concoction involving lemons, garlic, ginger, chillis, honey and hot water. No liquor though. Like I said, what a brute!

All of the above work well as a soother; ginger and hot spice sooth the throat and nasal passages, whilst the lemons are loaded with vitamin C and the garlic keeps vampires away. Apparently anything with an ‘-ium’ at the end is good for colds (such as Magnesium), as is all yellow and orange fruit. I have also been recommended a mango and ginger smoothy. Note to self: mangos are best peeled in the bath.

Recently I’ve been into nasal douching. Or nasal irrigation. Also known as snorting cider vinegar, local honey and/or saline solution. The latter you can buy at the high street chemist in pressurised can form for the cost of a main course in a classy restaurant, which strikes me as ridicululous since you can dissolve a teaspoon of sea salt in half a cup of warm water and snort it in your own home for basically nothing. Add to this mix half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Allow the water to cool before you embark on what is referred to as nasal irrigation, a process of pouring the solution in one nostril so that it comes out the other. It is a veritable exercise in glamour. Look it up on Youtube: it will quite literally blow your mind and empty your sinuses. Be careful.

Whilst the saline irrigation felt like it worked, the sinuses have continued to annoy. My next door neighbour Alex alerted me to taking ‘shots’ of cider vinegar. I thought she meant quite literally ‘shots’ of raw, organic cider throughout the day. However, what it actually referred to was half a teaspoon of raw, organic cider in a cup of boiling (and filtered) water, allowed to cool. Then you quite simply pour a drop of this mix into your hand and snort it up one nostril at a time. This will also blow your mind, give you a brief head rush and make your eyes water.

This appeared to have more immediate affect if done throughout the day. I also accompanied the ‘shots’ with a hot toddy of said cider, (a healthy teaspoon) accompanied by a spoonful of local, hard honey, sipped throughout the day. This finally seems to be doing the trick, although I am still waking up with a dry tickly throat and raspy voice.

The bottom line with any illness, cold, flu or otherwise, is to nip it in the bud early. As tempting as liquor is – yes spirits do dry you out – it can render you feeling helpless amongst peers in a dry January and of course, one should consider the toxins. At least consider them.

As satisfying as all this liquid snorting and sniffing is, it would appear that I started it too late. I am therefore inclined to live in the hope that one day I shall wake up and be reminded of what it feels like to have a clear head and peppy voice again… with luck before Spring.

Here’s a couple of links to those slightly annoying, glib, typically American and heavily sponsored but nonetheless informative websites with all manner of alternative concoctions for sinus infections and colds:

Home Remedies For Life

Earth Clinic

Posted 08:03 Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018 In: Timberlina's Eco Tips


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. pinxie

    Looking to spend more time in Hastings, if majority of residents are smart and funny as Ms. Doubtfire I’ll have a grand time :o)

    Comment by pinxie — Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018 @ 16:23

  2. Timberlinae

    Mrs Doubtfire

    Funnily I too was munching a clove of garlic whilst I made my toddy- it does tend to blow your socks off which is sort of the idea, and like Zelly I am now very intrigued as to why garlic should not be taken raw.

    Conversely, my friend Liz swears that the first thing she does when she gets even a whiff of a cold is the stick one half of a raw onion on the sole of your foot, then cover it with a sock and sleep with it!! Frankly while repulsed I’m not entirely convinced, but they do say leaving out a sliced raw onion clears away cold germs in the air. Old wives tales? Who knows- perhaps someone else can shed some light, but what I do know is onions actually made a good air freshener if you have a nasty niff.


    Ms T

    Comment by Timberlinae — Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 @ 20:38

  3. Ms.Doubtfire

    I think the garlic clove I munched on was a super duper organic clove – but whatever it was it was far too strong to eat raw! Left me with a nasty burning sensation for quite a few days….I should have put it under the grill on a piece of granary bread coated in olive oil (as advised).Maybe I should have persevered with the Manuka honey and lemon.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 @ 19:52

  4. Zelly Restorick

    I’m intrigued Ms.Doubtfire, what happens if eaten raw?
    When I lived in Germany, I used to eat a lot of raw garlic – with cream cheese, salt and pepper and delicious bread rolls!
    What’s your experience?
    All good wishes and thanks for writing to HOT.

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 @ 11:55

  5. Ms.Doubtfire

    Do not make light of this affliction! It is a brute and appears unwilling to move on. All the remedies as recommended above are excellent but whatever you do, do not take the garlic raw! You must crush it and toast it first…you have been warned!!

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Jan 18, 2018 @ 10:14

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