When I fell asleep in the car on the way home from Cambridge last Wednesday after delivering a lecture to a group of psychologists, I suspected I might be cooking something nasty. (Chris was driving!)
I went into work the following day, but gradually started to feel worse. I'd taken some elderberry elixir in with me in a dropper bottle and tried to follow Kiva Rose's suggestion of a dropperful every half hour, but I probably missed several doses as it was a busy day and kept forgetting. I'd also got my trusty mixed cider vinegar and honey which was very comforting.
Everyone I contacted that day had either been away from work with a nasty virus, colds or throat infections. It doesn't help that all our offices have air conditioning which frequently overheats, so germs flow continually throughout the floors. The length of time people were ill also varied, but the common tale was between one and three weeks.
Thankfully, the workshop I'd been booked to deliver yesterday was cancelled, so after two nights with very little sleep, I took a day off to potter and generally look after myself. Chris was also complaining he might be succumbing to my cold, so I made us both some "cold" tea (elderflower, mint and yarrow) with elderberry honey. My problem with cold tea is that I don't like it. When you don't like something, it's difficult to make yourself drink it. The elderberry honey made it drinkable, but I've gone back to sage cider vinegar and honey, with added elderberry elixir, which is just wonderful!
When my nose first became blocked I tried some sage cider vinegar with horseradish honey, but it didn't seem to help very much and was quite sharp.
I've also made some chicken soup - simmering the whole chicken for 5 hours with an onion, half a head of garlic, thyme, sage, a bay leaf, a slosh of lovage cider vinegar and black pepper all covered with cold water. I started it off on Thursday evening before my piano pupils arrived, then took the flesh off the bones, removed the herb stalks and bay leaf and added 3 carrots and potatoes. This was all whizzed up in the liquidiser when soft and half of the soup is now safely in the freezer ready for doling out to famished children or relatives.
I kept the long chicken bones and put them in with some lamb rib bones the butcher gave me when I bought the chicken. To the bones I added 4 stalks of celery, peppercorns, thyme, a bay leaf, an onion and a leek, together with some more lovage cider vinegar and put those on to simmer for another five hours. The mother of my piano pupil commented on the wonderful smell coming from the kitchen and seemed surprise when I told her I was only making stock!
Today I've removed all the bones, herbs and peppercorns, fried some bacon and added a carrot, 6 tomatoes and returned the stock vegetables to the pan with the stock, these will cook for thirty minutes, then I'll whizz them and probably seive them as well to remove the tomato skins and hard bits of celery.
I'm just hoping all these remedies will reduce the length of my misery and enable me to deliver Monday's workshop in Goole.
sorry to hear that you have been unwell. As I was reading through your posting, I was thinking to myself "wonder if she has thought of using---", only to read on a line or two and you had ! Even the most important one of the chicken soup. Except you didn't mention echinacea.
Hope you are feeling better now.
Re: Pampering a cold
November 29 2008, 11:04 AM
whisky, whisky and more whisky, so much more comforting than the traditional sage tea. Of course you could always stick Balm of Gilead up your nose to help your breathing, but nature in her own clever way has arranged things so that it is dormant during the cold season. Then there is Hydrastis, but using that will get all the greenies jumping up and down squealing about the environment in spite of the fact that it grows like a weed here. There are substitutes, I believe Macleaya and Sanguinaria have many of the same properties but their alkaloids are pretty toxic and so I feel that folk remedies should be eschewed in favour of whisky and aspirin
Pampering a cold
November 29 2008, 4:40 PM
I remember many years ago being told that if you treat a cold it will last about 10 days, and that if you don't treat a cold it will last about 10 days.
I tend to drink what ever takes my fancy, sometimes rum and black, sometimes sage and honey or what ever and try to make sure that every one around me feels guilty at not making a fuss of me. lol
Re: Pampering a cold
November 29 2008, 8:16 PM
Whiskey would be ok if I actually liked it! Plus I think Chris might have something to say if I started on his beloved collection of single malts! The only malt which hasn't burnt my entire throat is Aradur - not one of the most outstanding.
Thankfully I am a lot better than I was. I spent Monday swigging elderberry elixir and sage vinegar - one of my favourites, although I would have to add honey and lemon juice to ordinary sage tea.
I used to use echinacea a lot, but now, since I have trouble keeping purpurea and most of the pallida fell foul of the slugs last spring, I tend to add the aerial parts when I'm making elderberry cordial, rather than tincture it alone. Maybe one of these days I'll have enough to sacrifice the roots as well.
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