Yesterday I mentioned the biggest guns in the home-remedies arsenal – Garlic and Cayenne Pepper.
Today’s post is not to educate you about the benifits of these two powerful bombs, nor to convince you to invite them to your next sniffle party. There’s plenty of other places you can read and get facts and opinions on that. No, I’m just here today to tell you how to actually take them without blowing yourself up.
Seriously. Cayenne pepper is hot, people. And raw garlic can knock someone over from 8 feet away. That’s why their great for when you’ve got a cold because – no, wait. That’s not the purpose of this post. It’s all about How To today.
Getting Out the Big Guns
For this you need a thick, tasty, gulp-able substance like applesauce or yogurt. A nice, thick-yet-smooth applesauce is great here. Spread a bit of sauce on a small spoon, leaving a small dent in the middle similar to the crater you make in your mashed potatoes for your gravy. Next sprinkle a 1/8 tsp. or less of cayenne pepper carefully in the dent. Then add a small pile of minced garlic. (Not crushed – don’t use your garlic press – the results are way too juicy. Just chop it small with a knife). Now, carefully cover your land mine with another bit of applesauce, dabbing it about to cover all the garlic and pepper. Now just swallow it down. DO NOT CHEW. The great thing about this technique is that, if in fact a little pepper sneaks out to burn you as you swallow it down, the yogurt or applesauce both have a great soothing effect on the burn. Just take another spoonful to help wash it down.
This technique is my preferred method as I have no heat tolerance whatsoever. (BBQ sauce makes me sweat, people) If you’re careful, you won’t feel or taste a thing. You can take cayenne in capsule form, but it tends to explode when it hits your stomache and this can be really uncomfortable.
This works for kids as long as they understand the instructions to swallow it whole. I tried it with Jesse and Claire yesterday and left out the cayenne. Claire chewed the garlic, poor girl, but got it down. Jesse tried to swallow, gagged, and got about half of the garlic down. Hooray! He really appreciated the bowlful of garlic-free applesauce I gave him after for a treat.
Yesterday I also mentioned my mother’s ‘hoopty-poops’ – a concoction in liquid form that you could really benefit from if you could get it down. I make a similar tea that’s great when you have a sore throat and want to treat it directly. The nice thing is you can usually make this with what you have in your spice cupboard, but it’s a really great tonic for sore throats, coughs, and colds in general.
Start some water boiling and throw some garlic, ginger (fresh or dried), honey, lemon juice, and whatever else floats your boat, in a mug or quart jar. Add a pinch of cayenne – only as much as you can handle. For me, this is a few grains! But the more the better. Pour your boiling water over the top and let it steep until it’s cooled off enough to swallow. Sip, gulp – whatever you have to do to get it down. This is gonna benifit you all the way down, but I will tell you it tastes rough and does not feel pretty.
I would use this technique this week, except I know that cayenne and garlic would bother my nursing baby. This is what I call desperate measures, a direct shot to an infected throat.
This is another powerful but potentially disagreeable way to take garlic. Again, great for directly targeting that sore throat or swollen tonsils. I tried this today, hoping it wouldn’t upset Seth’s tummy.
Peel a clove of garlic. Pop in mouth. Suck. Simple. Stinky. Effective. You can feel the powerful, antibacterial juices hitting your throat and burning away the enemy. Yes, you will have terrible breath. Yes, you all need to be very glad we are having this conversation via computer and not face to face, for I have been sucking on a clove for two hours. But you may really be thankful for the results. I’ll let you know how it goes for me.
Have you ever tried home remedies? What to you do when you get a cold?