Monday, March 10, 2014

My Cold Remedy

So the prevailing theme this year has been for me to catch a virus (or 2) every time I'm on a relaxed rotation - at least since the winter season started. It's a not an uncommon curse of pediatrics that we seem to catch things from our patients all through the first year.

On Clinic in December I'm pretty sure I caught 2 back to back.

I've been on my current Advocacy rotation not even a week and when I got home from clinic on Saturday I immediately began running a fever. This morning it seems to have progressed to the phelgmy stage, and I'm holding out hope maybe the fever won't return because I have things to do.

So where does the modern wisdom fall on cold treatment?

Basically, you can take meds if you feel they help. Be really careful about combining them though because active ingredients can overlap.

Often Cold & Cough preparations are just combinations of things you already have, like tylenol with a decongestant like phenylephrine and a cough ingredient like guaifenesin. Generics work just as well as name brands for most people and are typically cheaper.

The best remedy for me though is this:


Mug of Magic

8 oz. hot water
4-7 g honey (1 tsp or a little less. Or more. Follow your heart)
Squeeze of 1/4 fresh lemon
Optional: sometimes I add an herbal tea bag like mint or chamomile. Chamomile has natural anti-inflammatory properties and we do commonly recommend it to patients. Manzanilla is the same thing.

I heat my water to 160 degrees with the electric kettle - well below boiling, and that way it's hot but never burns me. You could boil water and then let it cool though. Combine it all in a mug, don't worry if you have some lemon seeds in there, just try not to drink them.

The lemon cuts through the mucus, the steam helps air travel through your nasal passages and the honey coats your throat. (Strict vegans could definitely use agave here with similar effect, or maple syrup.) The vitamin C in the lemon is of course good if you're deficient, though the whole "piles of vitamin C" for a cold thing isn't really true.

Yesterday I drank 4-5 mugs of this, took some ibuprofen for my fever and body aches and was feeling pretty ok with everything on board. 

Being sick is terrible, especially because it's when you finally have time to do things you were looking forward to, so I'm hoping to get over this one fast.

Also, my sisters are arriving tomorrow, can't wait, this is no time to be laid up.

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