Teri Vance: Cooking up remedies for the flu
I’ve nearly died twice now from this deadly flu (or it could’ve just been a cold, but it felt life-threatening). I came down with it in early December and thought I was fully recovered until I woke up Christmas morning with an eye sealed shut and my husband sleeping on the couch.
The Centers for Disease Control is declaring a flu epidemic and is saying we’re in peak season right now.
The obvious answer, and my recommendation to all, is a flu shot. But it’s not 100 percent preventive and not everyone can get the shot. Additionally, it behooves us all to strengthen our immune systems to fight off the bugs before they get us down.
With that in mind, I’ve been cooking up a pot of bone broth on the weekends. It sounds gross — and it kind of is — but leeching the minerals and collagen from the bones and cartilage is a great healer. Not to mention, there’s something satisfying about a pot of soup cooking on the stove.
I opened up the question on social media asking people their favorite home remedies for battling the creeping crud.
One of the most popular treatments is garlic.
“Garlic is a natural antibiotic,” said Linda Rhoades. “When I am sick I take two capsules (1,000 milligrams each) with every meal.”
However, it can have its drawbacks as Jeff Munson found when he used it over the holidays to fight off his flu.
“When you’re on the raw garlic, nobody wants to have anything to do with you,” he observed. “When you hear from folks you respect say, ‘Oh damn, what’s that smell? Garlic?’ It sort of throws a wet towel on Christmas and New Year’s.”
Bobbie Paul touted the benefits of the infrared sauna.
“Bacteria can’t live or grow when you use infrared,” she said. “I spent three days going for an hour at a time and now it’s totally gone.”
Emily Moore recommended a humidifier.
“The only thing that got me through that horrible flu cough, was having a warm humidifier/vaporizer within a foot or two of my face at all times,” she said. “And sleeping with lots of pillows so I’m almost sitting up.”
Many agreed with the soup idea, but there were variations on it.
Sharon Rosse went the traditional route.
“Stay well!” she advised. “Chicken soup is the best, plus rest.”
Liz Margerum deviated from the norm.
“Wonton soup,” she said. “Seriously, it’s way better than chicken soup and has magical healing qualities.”
Fortunately, we have several restaurants in Carson City that can cook you up a mean bowl of wonton soup. I’d add pho to that list as well.
Bill Husa took a traditional approach, with a twist.
“Homemade chicken soup with lots of garlic and kale,” he said. “Chase it down with some good Irish Whiskey (medicinal for the cough).”
He added, “I also was drinking lots of freshly made ginger water each night. I’m still kinda fighting it. I’ll likely just keep drinking the whiskey and see how it goes.”
I don’t endorse any of these remedies — particularly the whiskey — but feel free to try them out. It should not take the place, however, of a physician’s advice.
Next week, I’ll let you know the preventive measures people shared.
Until then, stay well.
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.