By Susan Sizemore, FiftyForward Communications Director
With the COVID pandemic continuing and new strains surfacing, once again we are becoming insular especially with the onset of the cold weather. In addition to worries about the pandemic, the cold and flu season is here as well. A testing company recently confirmed the first known case of ‘flurona’ in Southern California, referring to the condition of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.
A couple of years ago (Jan. 2020), I posted a “Curious Q” on Facebook. At the time, the statement “sick as a dog” seemed appropriate because I was battling something fierce. I caught the bug from someone else who had been fighting “the crud.” In hindsight, I wonder if it might have been an early strain of COVID as the virus seemed very hard to fend off and even steroid shots and antibiotics (two rounds) seemed to do little. Time and rest were critical to improving my health.
Today, with the holidays behind us stress is still prevalent especially with the flu, coronavirus, and now flurona “out there.” It seems most appropriate to share some of the remedies that others offered to my plea for help.
My initial Facebook post said,
“With so many folks fighting colds and sinus issues right now, what is your solution to tackle sore throats, coughing? Seems like OTC solutions would be helpful, but medications have changed over the years.”
In the post I also shared that I had just written a story about aromatherapy and CBD oils, and offered a fair warning that some of their comments to my plea could be used in an article or blog in the future. I then thanked everyone for their insight and willingness to share concoctions/solutions.
Almost 3 dozen responses came in from friends and family across the county. This obviously struck a chord. Below are the suggestions. From essential oils (think doTerra and other brands), saunas, and whiskey to massages and sinus rinses, there are options for everyone. Please see below:
- “I completely believe in the power of the neti pot being used every day to prevent allergies and sinus infections and other respiratory problems. Essential oils also help. I also put Thieves and R.C. oils on the bottoms of my feet if I feel something coming on.”
- “Neti pot, humidifier running especially at nighttime in your bedroom, and honey for cough!”
- “A little Irish whiskey with honey is good.”
- “Steam room, neti pot, Vick’s VapoRub. Mucinex DM, and sinus drainage facial massages.”
- “Ditto on the neti pot and to eucalyptus essential oil…”
- “Dealing with major post-nasal drip and mucus. Have laryngitis and following my doctor at Vandy (Vanderbilt) and Vandy Allergy center: NeilMed sinus rinse, Zyrtec, Mucinex, Singulair, Flonase, Albuterol inhaler, steam showers, face steamer, tons of water, Vicks Vaporub, tea and honey, DM cough syrup… As much as I can and need. I also do HempWorx 500 CBD oil. occasionally. If it persists another week, I’ll do Prednisone/steroids.
- “Some people think a dry room is best, I think it’s important to keep the room moist and I use a humidifier with Vick’s VapoSteam liquid in it. I use a scrub brush on my face to stimulate my sinuses, Breathe Right, zinc. Lots of lotion. At night, Robitussin for cough and Chloraseptic for a sore throat. I will also use foot pads to detox. (You can find them on Amazon). Cranial sacrum adjustment through a chiropractor.”
- “We use natural supplements.”
- “Elderberry syrup is a must have at our house! And tons of probiotics and/or Kombucha.”
- “I have taken calcium with magnesium and zinc for years and felt that and the flu shot have kept me healthy. Also wash hands right away when I get home before putting groceries away. Like the neti pot, too, for opening sinus passages.”
- “Zicam (zinc. zinc. zinc.) It works for my kids and for me one time, but you have to catch it on the front end. My practitioner said if you’re already in deep and sick, it probably won’t help. I had the yuck for a couple of weeks. Had to go get a breathing treatment and a steroid shot. Not sure what the total answer is, but two months later, I’m in denial again!”
- “Acupuncture. In addition to the needle therapy, they offer herbal supplements. I’ve always found them to either prevent whatever cold us coming or shorten the duration. Also, infrared saunas. I use it a lot for pain management during marathon training. And the immune boosting is huge for me with all the travel I do. I hate taking drugs and am always looking for alternatives.
- “Oil of oregano. Walks. Vitamin C.”
- “3-4 marshmallows for sore throat, pineapple juice for cough, or for both I use a cup of very warm but NOT boiling water with 2 Tbsp each of natural honey, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.”
- “Vicks VapoRub.”
- “Start taking echinacea, zinc, and vitamin C at the first signs. Sip Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey to soothe the throat and cough.”
- “I take vitamin supplement, vitamins C and D, and elderberry.”
I also diffuse essential oils (to prevent, and a mixture if I do get a cold.)”
- “I have always taken vitamin C, eaten oranges, and made sure I got proper sleep. I take CBD for sciatica nerve pain, but, I believe a positive attitude and managing stress with meditation is my best medicine for staying healthy.”
- “For sore throat and cough – oregano oil gargle. The oils have literally been a life saver.”
- “Umcka and Elderberry and a hot Toddy…flu shot…wash hands a lot.”
- “Chiropractic care. Every two weeks. Activator method. Very seldom sick in the last 10 years.”
- “Gargle warm salt water. My grandad made a cough syrup of whiskey, honey, lemon and peppermint. It’s worked better than any OTC I’ve tried and a few doses will help break a fever. Hot toddies. Throat Coat/Throat Care, Gypsy Cold Care, and Echinacea Plus Teas are all good. I usually add a little honey to soothe, but they are good without sweetener. Sinuses rinses (the rinse kit is better than neti pot, IMHO) if there is congestion and/or drainage. It’s also good prevention against sinus infections (and colds with regular use). It helps year-round with allergies. I’ve had to use it as many as 3-4 times per day when sick and super congested – but typically 1-2 times a day is all you need. Fresh pressed/juiced juice – OJ, lemon, green apple, carrots and lots of ginger and a good thumb of turmeric. I have a juicing bible I can reference for more info … But the ginger is warm and opening and the turmeric is great for inflammation. The citrus cuts the mucus. For regular drugs, I love Mucinex D Max.”
- “If I feel any sinus thing coming on, I head to our sauna.”
- “Whiskey. For anything that ails you. It’s the Irish way.”
- “Garlic and tomato juice for me. Garlic kills everything.”
- “Vitamin C. Use buckwheat honey for cough. We also use gummy bears because the glycerin coats the throat. My mom’s remedy is a tablespoon of bourbon as needed for cough. You can use the Johnson’s baby soap with menthol in a hot shower to open your sinuses up.”
- “Dark, wildflower Tennessee Honey + whiskey + Robitussin DM + hot bath and a good book. Whatever combination works best. Experimentation is recommended.”
- “I encourage natural health alternatives!”
- “Gargle with warm salt water.”
Of course, vaccinations for the flu and COVID are a good line of defense against viruses. The CDC continues to offer guidelines for all of us as we navigate the new variants and whatever the future may bring.
A special thanks to my friends and family for their help and support with these suggestions and especially to Anne Paine, a longtime reporter and news guru, who felt this information was well worth sharing. There are certainly a number of new suggestions, combinations, and alternative treatments that others have found shareworthy. Here’s to finding relief when you need it most.