Archive for the 'Cold and Flu Remedies' Category

Kitchen Health: Cinnamon

This Toast Can Lower Your Cholesterol!

I love cinnamon and have ever since I was small. The scent is so warm, inviting, and has even been found to boost memory, along with cognitive function! I guess that’s why remember Grandma’s cookies so well. Ok, maybe not, but they were so tasty.

I add cinnamon into different dishes you probably wouldn’t normally think of dumping it into. The spice has a wonderful way of bringing out the flavor of other ingredients, especially pork. Try a dash in spaghetti sauce or meatloaf.

Cinnamon has so many benefits to the body. A recent study found cinnamon in a ½ teaspoon dose daily can lower LDL cholesterol. It can also help regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Another great benefit is the ability cinnamon has in stopping yeast infections that are resistant to medication. Here is a short list of some other great things about cinnamon:

1. It’s full of manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber.
2. It’s an anti-clotting agent for blood.
3. Mixing cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey and taken every morning can give relief in sufferers of arthritis.
4. At Copenhagen University, a study has shown cinnamon reduced the growth of leukemia and lymphoma.

Wow. So many more reasons to love one of our most popular kitchen spices!

Posted in Uncategorized, Health, Arthritis, Chronic Illness, Cold and Flu Remedies, Diabetes, Healthy Eating, Herbs and Natural Remedies | 3 Comments »

Healthy Herbs:Rosemary

When my little girl began pre-school, I found out first hand how germs travel from child to child. Then they invade your home. I had no idea what to do to prevent this spread of germs once she was away from home and mixing with other children. Face it, most pre-school kids aren’t very fastidious about their cleanliness while playing. I know some older kids who aren’t either!

About a month after my daughter had been in school, I read an article on how rosemary can help prevent colds. Just plain old rosemary for cooking. Some people drank tea of the herb, but I preferred adding it to food my girl already ate. Rosemary tea just isn’t very appetizing, though it makes a wonderful addition to a bath for someone suffering from a cold or the flu.


I just sprinkled a pinch or two of rosemary into her eggs, along with different cheeses before heading off to school. Adding in some chopped tomato is also tasty and healthy. Just don’t tell the kids about the healthy part.

Another wonderful thing about rosemary is that it’s easy to grow. You can find rosemary trees at your local grocery close to Christmas in the floral department, though some carry them all year. Follow the instructions on the care tags and you’ll have a natural air cleaner that kills airborne germs. The scent of rosemary has been valued since before the Roman Empire!

Why not try some Rosemary Potatoes to get your taste buds clamoring for more?

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
2 large sprigs rosemary (about 1/4 cup of stripped leaves)
2 pounds unpeeled potatoes cut into 1 1/2″ chunks
3 cloves garlic, smashed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt.
Toss the potatoes with the rosemary, olive oil, garlic, and salt, then put them in a single layer in a shallow baking dish and roast uncovered for 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees, until they are browned lightly on the outside and tender inside. Serve immediately. These potatoes are terrific with chicken, pork or even hamburgers.
Recipe credit-

Posted in Health, Cooking, Cold and Flu Remedies, Healthy Living, Herbs and Natural Remedies | 4 Comments »

A Little Something For Whatever Ails Ya…

We are all slowly coming down with the flu.  Normally, one of us gets it and then passes it around the house. But, yesterday, all four of us started feeling that ache, that lethargy, that sleepy, cranky feeling.  That fluey feeling.  So, today, we all cozy up to my son’s famous homemade soup and some Sesame Street.  The cable guy came yesterday and we finally succumbed to introducing a television into our home.  Man.  Right now, with my ickiness sticking to me like the nastiest funk ever, I love love love television.  Love it. Love it. Love it.

My son’s soup is both a too-cold-to-play-outside tradition as well as an everyone is sick tradition.  He picks out the ingrediants from the fridge and cupboard and washes them and tells me how much to cut.  He is a pretty fine cook - he understands how to balance out flavors.  So - thought I’d pass along our family tradition of kid-made soup.  Our recipe usually goes a little something like this:

Two onions - sauteed in oil and a little butter in big soup pan

Add carrots, celery, mushroom, and whatever else suits your kid

Sautee all together (I usually add a little white cooking wine & garlic…)

Add vegetable broth and cut up potatoes and sweet potatoes

Boil until some of the potatoes are falling apart and then add one more cup of cubed potatoes and cook until those are just soft enough (this makes for a thicker broth - the first potatoes will serve as the thickener - while still being able to have some nice chunkier potatoes to enjoy)

Season to taste - my son loves to add a little bit of everything which, sometimes, makes the soup taste like the spice cabinet, but whatever.

This soup thing always makes our crappy days a lot nicer.  Thought I’d share. 

Posted in Health, Cooking, Daily Living, Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »

Sick of being Sick

Since we have all been sick these last few months - I have been doing some research about how be more preventative in my daily life.  There are so many foods that you can eat and so many little actions that you can incorporate into your daily life just to help you keep the bugs and flus far from you and your kids.  It is simple, especially with kids, to get caught up in the day to day rigamaroo of school, soccer practice, dinner, grocery shopping, potty training and work to forget to make the best decisions for your health.  We usually don’t think about it until we are sick.  Now that I am well again,  I have decided that I will get back to the thoughtful existence that I once maintained - the sort that kept me from getting every cold, cough and sniffle that fluttered by me.

One of my favorite ways to establish a healthier state of being, both mentally and physically, is with the almighty power of tea.  Not only do these herby embiberies create a soothing ritual if included in your daily routine, the right combination of tea and herbs can be exactly what your body needs to combat a nasty bug.

The facts Any hot liquid can help break up congestion, but tea has extra benefits. It contains compounds called theophyllines, which open up airways and ease breathing. So curl up with a mug of your favorite green, black or herbal tea, and soothe your scratchy throat while you ease your stuffy nose.

The latest Chamomile tea might be especially powerful: People who drink five cups of it daily have elevated levels of hippurate—a by-product of plant compounds that may have antibacterial properties—according to a report in the January 26, 2005 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

My husband used to make it our routine to cozy up with a pot of hot tea, an old Bob Dylan album and each other every night.  It was a good reconnection time and, if we chose the right tea (green, especially) we were also being proactive in our preventitive remedies.

In the same Vegetarian Times article about the tea, soup is mentioned in the same accord.  There is something very exciting to me about food being healing - when prepared with the right ingredients and in a kitchen that oozes love, it is hard to imagine anyone ever being sick again.

So, here’s to better times and to a healthier 2006!

Posted in Cold and Flu Remedies, Herbs and Natural Remedies | No Comments »

Treating the Untreatable

This last week has been murder on me and my six year old son. He has been home all week with what I thought to be just a bad cold. By Wednesday evening, he was vomiting and had chills. Everyone but me and him escaped it. I was in the same boat by late Wednesday evening.

So what do you do when you and your kids are stricken with something that only time will work out? Well, your kids have the luxery of rest and plenty of relaxation to cure them quickly. There are also some clever tricks of the trade that ease their discomfort - my son thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time in his bed with a few favorite magazines and books.

And what about you? Well, you know, parents aren’t allowed to take sick leave. But, I was so lucky that my husband could take most of the day off and let me sleep it off. But that morning I was trying my best to keep up with the diapers and breakfasts and the other flu victim in the house. It is important to remember to use those same clever tricks for yourself as you would your kids. Keep yourself hydrated. Lay down as much as possible. Let the kids watch movies until their little hearts are content if it means you get to sleep for the duration of Finding Nemo. And, when possible, ask for help. Had my husband not been able to come home I was completely ready to make my best friend take my well child with him for the day so that my son and I could wallow in our ickies together.

Today we are better. We kept our fluids going and actually had some soup and crackers for dinner last night. Things are looking up. My son is back at school and I am still a little flu-ey but not at all as dismal as I was yesterday. Here’s to healthier times!

Posted in Daily Living, Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »

Stomach Bugs and Popsicles

My daughter has had the stomach flu for about two days now. It is always difficult when kids this small feel ill. We want to know where it hurts and how we can help and, unfortunately, they can’t tell us. My husband and I have kept to all the tried and true tricks of the trade: Applesauce, Pedialyte, crackers, popsicles and lost of rest. She has really enjoyed the popsicles - it is really about all I can get her to take. If you have it in you (though, with a sick baby, it may seem a bit unrealistic) you can make your own and then you don’t have to worry about anything (sugar and other unwanted fillers) making them worse for the wear. If you combine the right stuff, other than assisting in rehydration, you can actually help aide your wee one back to strength and health. For example, yogurt is extremely beneficial in phase two and three of a stomach bug. Once they are well past vomitting but still don’t have much of an appetite the yogurt is easy to digest, bulks up their loose stools, has been shown to prevent diarhhea (all those little helpful active cultures) and gives them calories for strength. Including it in the “recovery” popsicles may be a good leap back to a happy and feelin’ good baby.

Posted in Parenting, Cold and Flu Remedies, Herbs and Natural Remedies | 3 Comments »

New Concerns About Another Flu Vaccine Shortage

Although it’s really too early to tell, Jon Brodkin, of the Daily News Tribune, reports that some officials fear there will be another flu vaccine shortage.

(Massachusetts) State health officials are warning the influenza vaccine supply could be similar to last year’s, when an early shortage of flu shots caused widespread public concern and forced regulators to place strict limits on who could be vaccinated…

…”It is possible that the total supply of influenza vaccine in the U.S. will be similar to last year,” the DPH wrote. “Because the status of the national supply of influenza vaccine is not known yet, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is not yet able to inform providers about their allocation of state-supplied influenza vaccine.”

Full Story

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72 Hour Hold

The Baltimore Sun reports on a new novel about a mother’s struggles with her daughter’s mental illness - and a mental health system that fails them. Victoria A. Brownworth writes:

The detail in 72 Hour Hold will resonate for anyone who has dealt with mental illness and the mental health system, and illumine that world for anyone fortunate enough to have escaped it. Several years ago, when a close relative was suffering from mental illness, Campbell formed her own chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in her Los Angeles neighborhood. Of particular concern for her is the closeted nature of mental illness in the African-American community, an aspect she addresses through Keri’s ex-husband and Trina’s father, Clyde, a black Republican with an attitude about mental illness that is similar to Cruise’s. Clyde disbelieves anything is wrong with his daughter until something cataclysmic happens.

Full Story.

Buy 72 Hour Hold, By Bebe Moore Campbell.

Posted in Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »

Adults, Kids Urged To Skip Flu Shot

The flu vaccine has been hit hard this year, because a large batch that got contaminated. Officials are urging those who are not in the high-risk group to skip getting the vaccine this year.

With 46 million doses now unavailable, the government says the 54 million flu shots left from a rival firm should be reserved for youngsters ages 6-23 months, people 65 or older, anyone living with babies younger than 6 months and others in high-risk groups.

I would strongly urge anyone who is not in the high-risk group to heed this call. Otherwise, they may inadvertently be putting either a baby, or an elderly person in grave danger if supplies run out.

Full Article (Via

Posted in Health, Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »