As a busy dad of three, our pal Ricky Willis A.K.A. Skint Dad knows all about the woes of winter illnesses, and has some cheeky tips to help keep them on ice – over to you, Ricky!
As winter approaches and the weather turns from a gentle breeze to a bitter blast, the Skint household is full of cold.
Whether it’s just bad luck or we genuinely all have weak immune systems, for the last couple of weeks one or more of us have been suffering from constant sneezing, a runny nose and a total feeling of being run down.
We don’t usually take much in the way of medicines (unless it’s absolutely necessary) and much prefer to try homemade remedies instead, which sooth the throat, warm the tummy and start to relieve congestion.
So, without further ado, here are a bunch of beautifully easy cough and cold remedies we use to get us through the winter months.
Honey, ginger and lemon tea
An all-time classic, honey, lemon and ginger tea is also a favourite in our household and one of the reasons we always have either a lemon in the fridge or lemon juice in the cupboard.
Take a small chunk of fresh ginger and grate it in a mug, add in a squirt of lemon juice or a few slices of fresh lemon, and a big teaspoon of honey. One that’s done, top it up with boiled water, give it all a stir and sip away.
Even if it doesn’t cure all illnesses, it sure does taste good!
A total must on the menu is chicken soup. Whenever you are under the weather you should stay hydrated and filling up on warming soup is easy to do.
Not only is it delicious and nutritious but the warming soup will help with congestion. Again, you’re not going to have a magic cure but it always makes me feel better.
[While we’re on the subject of soup, check out this haul of hearty soup recipes put together by Laura.]
Instead of using a traditional hot water bottle, why not turn to a homemade rice sock. They are so easy to make and will be a welcome ease for any pain.
Simply fill a (clean) sock with rice and secure the open end. You could even add essential oils or lavender into the sock. When you want to use it, pop it into the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes and then cozy up with it.
Energy boosting ice lollies
Now you may think I’m a bit silly suggesting something freezing when you’ve got a cold but I think it works.
An ice lolly is cold and soothing on the throat and can be made easily at home.
For ease just add fresh orange juice to a lolly making kit, or pack out with other fruit juices to boost your nutrients. They are great for kids too as they think they’re getting a treat!
Instead of running to the shop and grabbing a pack of lozenges, why not consider making some of your own? If you’ve got an itchy and dry throat, sucking on a soothing sweet can really help loosen things up. Plus making them can take your mind off being ill…
Just use a mixture of ginger, sugar and honey to get a sweet treat. Check out this money saving guide to making them here.
A stitch in thyme
When people in Germany get the sniffles, they often reach for a humble sprig of thyme, and for good reason. Those little leaves are packed to the brim with cough-relieving compounds. Thyme flavonoids relax your throat muscle which can in turn reduce your coughing. Thyme also helps reduce inflammation.
To make a soothing cup of thyme tea, mix two teaspoons of crushed leaves in a cup of boiling water and cover the top with a cloth or saucer to stop all that herby goodness from evaporating. Let it steep for ten minutes, strain and enjoy.
If you’re feeling under the weather try these easy to do remedies, pull up a blanket, try to stay hydrated and visit your doctor if things don’t get any better.
If you do go to the doctor and you’re prescribed a medicine, it’s always worth seeing if you can get it cheaper over the counter. Check with the pharmacist who will be able to give you the best advice.