Published 3/14/2008
by Eddy Robey M.A.
  Issue: 9.03
Seasonal Sniffles
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Spring has arrived early to this neighborhood. I'm the fourth person in my immediate area to contract the annual virus. It never fails. I get through the worst of winter, then just as the weather is full of sunshine, my house is full of tissues and the sound of sneezing.

Every mother has a personal arsenal of weapons to fight these ailments: most learned during childhood, some acquired through happenstance, and a precious few transmitted by other wise women. Yes, I know that last sounded rather sexist. Okay, there is probably a man somewhere who knows how to comfort a cold, and didn't learn that information from a woman, but I haven't met him. Medical science is fairly helpless when dealing with colds, which last the same length of time whether treated or not. My son, the physician, may be brilliant when dealing with more complex conditions, but when it comes to a cold, he must resort to the same homely measures I taught him.

Here are a few helpful hints for you. Naturally, some readers may disagree with my notions, and certainly all of you will have many more. However, since Springtime colds are rampant, and I have the balabusta bully pulpit, so to speak, it is hoped that some of these ideas will make the sniffles easier for you. Obviously, I have no medical qualifications, and strongly suggest that you check any ideas with your physician before trying them.

The greatest modern invention for dealing with colds is the coated or lubricant-treated tissue. There are several brands of these, and they're worth every penny. Any tissue seems soft for the first few sneezes, but after a while the silkiest of them feel like sandpaper on a tired nose. Using one of the treated types really helps. As an added measure, dab a tiny bit of petroleum jelly on your nose every so often, for extra protection.

The greatest old invention for easing sore throats is Slivovitz. No, I'm not a lush, and don't recommend anyone try to chug-a-lug the stuff. However, when discussing the use of spirits for medicinal purposes, Slivovitz definitely belongs in the hall of fame, so I'm going to tell you how to use it. Pour a small shot glass, which should be enough to last for an entire day. Once every hour or two, dip your tongue in the glass, then allow the vapors to clear your head, and slightly numb your throat. You don't need to actually sip it; a very small amount works just fine. It's very aromatic, and much more pleasant than either eucalyptus or menthol.

Hot spiced orangeade is a very nice way to get your Vitamin C. This is especially so, because although tea with lemon is tasty, everyone likes a bit of variety. To make the orangeade, boil a quart of water with eight whole cloves and three cinnamon sticks. Add one cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and sweeten or not, as you prefer. Using honey as a sweetener may be yummy, but won't help your cold.

The most effective way to treat a fever is with a cool bath, which will lower your body temperature almost immediately. Too many people bundle up and perspire heavily when they have a cold. This makes life very unpleasant for others who must be around them, and serves no healing purpose. Keeping clean and changing pajamas frequently, makes the viral experience easier on all who are involved.

Although chicken soup is wonderful stuff, and generally referred to as Jewish Penicillin, there is only so much which can be gracefully consumed by anyone. Since tomato soup is another great source for Vitamin C, I highly recommend it as at least an occasional substitute. Variety is important for those who have nothing to do save eat, drink, and blow their noses. Make sure you have plenty of ways to make forcing fluids as enjoyable as can be.

Zai Gesundt


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