Use Your Kitchen, Not Your Medicine Cabinet!—Part 3: Symptoms

By Annette McEndarfer

So let’s think about our kitchens. Can you think of anything that you already use to treat a particular thing? Coffee maybe? Do you start your day with a cup of joe? Around 50 percent of Americans are coffee drinkers and the average coffee drinker consumes 1,095 cups a year. Most people probably haven’t thought about the fact that they are ingesting it to alleviate weariness, but I bet if they thought about it like that, most would agree they are. If we look to our kitchens instead of our medicine cabinets for solutions we will be amazed at the wealth of resources that are or could be there.
Before the cold and flu season begins, we make sure we are stocked up with things we might not usually have on hand like radishes, for example. There are some things we use from our kitchen that I have learned about from experience, books, and friends. Perhaps you’ve seen them flying around Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. I wish I could give credit where it is due, but, seriously, I’ve been using most of these for years, and they’ve just been things that I’ve gleaned and tweaked.

  • Eat fresh minced garlic on buttered bread at the first sign of a sniffle or cough.
  • Eat and drink things high in Vitamin C.
  • Try barley water for diarrhea (throw some barley in a pan with some water and let it simmer, then strain and sip).
  • Take ginger tea for an upset stomach (peel and slice some fresh ginger and let it steep in a cup of hot water).
  • Sip chamomile tea; it’s good for calming yourself, making it easier to rest.
  • Use saline spray (dissolve sea salt into warm water and spray into nostrils) for nasal congestion.
  • Peppermint steam is good for general congestion (put dried peppermint—you might have some in tea bags—into a pan of water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for just a few minutes. You can either let that fill the room, or put your head over the pan with a towel and breathe it in).
  • Decongestant recipe. My friend Martha shared this recipe with me years ago and it works every time. Blend 1 cup honey, 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 5-7 radishes, 1 small red onion, and 6 garlic cloves. Strain and store in the fridge. Take 2 tablespoons once a day or more as needed for congestion. Children can take 1 tablespoon.
  • Sore throat soother. Fill a jar half full with lemon wedges. Add an inch or two of freshly grated ginger. Add more lemon wedges. Cover all with honey. Let it sit for 24 hours and take a spoonful. This does not need to be refrigerated.
  • Homemade chicken soup with lots of veggies and garlic is comfort food for a reason.

I will be giving you a kitchen challenge next week. Join me for the conclusion of “The Kitchen Instead of the Medicine Cabinet” series.
With more than twenty years of homeschooling under her belt, Annette McEndarfer continues to teach her seven children on their small homestead in northern Maine where she also has the privilege of investing in the lives of other ladies.

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