A couple of years ago I was getting sick all the time and finally went to Bastyr to get some help. They told me to do two things that have really been helpful when I start to feel cruddy. The first thing was to make a hot drink made with ginger, garlic, cayenne, and lemon and drink it every day for 5 days. This drink didn’t initially sound good to me as a drink, but when you aren’t feeling well it actually tastes like pure heaven and feels great on the throat. The second thing was to do what they call the “wet sock treatment” before going to bed. This treatment sounded like a weird hippie cure to me (granted, I AM a hippie) but I was still skeptical. However, I have avoided several colds by following these instructions so I hereby bequeath them unto you. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. I have included the information about an herb they also recommended, but I don’t recall using it so I can’t give my opinion about it.
Hippie cure #1 – Immune Tea
In a 1 quart jar add:
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 inch minced ginger
- Juice of 1 lemon (for citrus allergies, add ascorbic acid instead)
- Pinch of cayenne
Let this concoction steep for 20-30 minutes and sweeten with honey to taste. Drink 1 quart each day for 5 days until symptoms go away.
Hippie cure #2 – Wet sock treatment
Take a shower or bath as hot as you can stand it. Immediately dry off and dress very warmly (sweatpants and sweatshirt).
- Take 1 pair of cotton socks and soak them completely in cold water. Wring out so they don’t drip and put them on.
- Put on a pair of thick wool socks over the cotton socks and go directly to bed to avoid getting chilled.
- Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the socks are dry in the morning.
The point of this treatment is to increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.
Sourced from: Dr. Douglas Lewis N.D., Bastyr Center for Natural Health
Hippie Cure # 3 – Russian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
The last thing they told me to do was take the herb Russian Ginseng to support my immune system. I don’t think I ended up taking this herb, but I will list it here anyways in case I want to try it in the future. Here is a link to an article that provides some more information about this herb.
- 1/4 tsp twice daily. Don’t take after 4pm.
- After symptoms resolve, only take 1/4tsp once daily.