Foodie, heal thyself

Just as we tell sick docs, “physician, heal thyself,” why not admonish foodies to get themselves well by their own hand?

I tried that this week, after getting the sore throat followed by cold symptoms that is so familiar to me. This time around, while I reached for the cold medicine with one hand, I was whipping up food-based home remedies with the other.

Today, like magic, I’m feeling much better! It’s been less than a week, which means I’m healing about a week ahead of time. (Knock on wood–hopefully the fake oak finish on my plastic desk will suffice).

Here’s what I tried:

“Wallop You Well” Tonic
Gay Telese called Frank Sinatra with the sniffles “Picasso without paint, [a] Ferrari without fuel — only worse.” That pretty much described a friend of mine who made a living with her voice. And she swore by this remedy. Below is my take on it.

What you do: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 quart water or apple cider. Add as many slices of fresh ginger and pinches of cayenne pepper as you can stand (remember that they will become more potent with heating). Simmer 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons lemon or lime juice, preferably fresh-squeezed, and dissolve into this mixture a few tablespoons of raw honey. Drink slowly throughout the day.

The Magic Onion
It’s unclear where this one came from originally, but my nutrition counselor friend Ellen assured me it was worth a try. Though this is a folk remedy, she said, there’s a scientific justification for it–compounds in the onion help with absorption of vitamin C.

What to do: Chop one medium onion. Heat a few tablespoons of good oil (extra virgin olive, coconut) in a skillet and, when hot, add onion. Saute until soft, then eat with salt and pepper.

I personally cut mine with some steamed butternut squash. It contrasted prettily with the purple squares of onion.

This is kind of a given. I drank a variety, from green tea with honey to straight water. The one liquid I didn’t drink was coffee.

Now I just need to hope that I’ll stay well. What’s your favorite home remedy?


6 thoughts on “Foodie, heal thyself

  1. Chicken broth with lemon, cayenne pepper, lots and lots of garlic. Another take on your first remedy. But, I feel too crappy to make it now!

  2. Aw! I hope you feel up to making a remedy soon! But if you feel too crappy now, that’s probaby a sign that the best medicine is some rest.

  3. I’ll find that source for you one of these days, I promise! One of our presidents use to sautee up an onion (or rather have his cook do it) each time he felt he was in danger of getting sick. Just can’t remember which one!

    I have a couple favorites: ginger tea with honey and lemon (a BIG pot that I drink all day); fresh garlic cut up into whatever will help mask the taste (I find applesauce usually works well); and good old fashioned rest, lots of it. 🙂

  4. Mmm. Sounds… delish? I always have trouble with the rest thing. But I think my one full 8-hour night that week helped at least as much as the crazy home remedies.

  5. Home remedies are sometimes the best thing, Rhea.
    I try to make a “tonic” every night to drink before bedtime: mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (both organic, of course!) with about 3-4 ounces of water. Mix well; drink it all down. yum. They say this wards off many ills and evils. Who knows, but knock on wood, or Formica, it seems to be working and it tastes pretty good, too! Also, I love a fiery hot tomato rasam, too. Nice blog you have here. 🙂

  6. Whole cloves of raw garlic! May not make you very kissable, but you probably shouldn’t be sharing your germs anyway if you’re sick 🙂

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