Grant and I used to go a few winters without getting sick, but now it feels like we’re lucky to make it a few months without some kind of funk (thanks, kids!). We really try to avoid drugs even of the over-the-counter variety, so we’ve tried lots of home remedies. My favorites are raw apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, and this local garlic soup.
I think raw apple cider vinegar is a little bit magic. Whenever any of us are feeling a little sickly, I make a tonic with raw apple cider vinegar, and, maybe it’s just placebo effect, but it never fails to make me feel better. If I’m really feeling down, I drink this “tonic” three times a day. I’ve fought off many a sinus infection with this little remedy.
1-2 tbsp RAW apple cider vinegar (make sure the vinegar is raw…Bragg’s is a great easily-available brand)
1 tbsp raw, local honey
8 oz warm water
Warm up the water. Add the honey and apple cider vinegar and mix thoroughly. Drink up!
We sometimes drink the tonic in the morning, even if we’re feeling fine, just to fight off the germs. Check out this link for some of the benefits of raw apple cider vinegar.
If I wake up with a sore throat, I gargle a glass of warm water mixed with about 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I gargle the whole glass until it’s gone, and it seems to stave off the infection.
So after you’ve drank your raw apple cider vinegar and gargled your cayenne pepper, you need some nutrition and real food to help fight off the infection. Garlic has tremendous healing properties. I haven’t tried growing garlic yet, but I hope to set aside a bed for it next season. Our CSA always comes through for us with lots of local garlic at the end of the season every year. I first made this last year and froze it in small batches to pull out whenever any of us felt a stuffy nose or scratchy throat coming on. It tastes delicious and seems to fight off germs too – a win-win.
local garlic soup
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 12-15 garlic cloves, preferably local
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 7 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2 pounds potatoes, chopped into small cubes (I leave the skins on, but peel them if you're up for a little extra work)
- 1-2 tsp salt (depending on how salty your stock is)
- Heat the oil in a heavy pot. Be careful not to overheat the olive oil - I tend to keep olive oil to medium or so.
- When it is warm, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions turn translucent, about five minutes or so. Add the cayenne pepper and cook for just about ten seconds or so.
- Add the stock, potatoes, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat, and bring to a vigorous simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are barely softened.
- Once the soup is cooked, puree it in batches in a food processor or blender - or use a stick blender if you have one (I find stick blenders tremendously helpful and well-worth the expense for soup-making alone)
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.