Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Remedy or rubbish?

The change in season has brought tornado warnings to the tri-state area as well as an overall uncomfortable-ness to my ears, nose and throat. Don’t get me wrong; I love this transitional period from summer to fall. September is my absolute favorite month. (Side note - Justin and I have a theory that September is the best time to travel anywhere in the world. We haven't been proven wrong yet.) Here in NYC, the temperature is a perfect mid 70-something and the sticky humidity of August is mostly gone. But something in the air is wreaking havoc on my ENT situation. And this has me thinking, which natural remedies are BS and which really do work?

So without further ado, let’s play: Remedy or Rubbish?

Gargling with salt water - Remedy or Rubbish?

Chugging orange juice when getting sick - Remedy or Rubbish?
Despite a few studies that suggest that large doses of vitamin C may reduce the duration of a cold, most of the scientific evidence finds no benefit. Taking high doses of vitamin C is not recommended... High doses of vitamin C may cause headaches, intestinal and urinary problems, and even kidney stones.
Chewing on the (pickled) ginger that comes with your sushi roll - Remedy or Rubbish?
I’m not sure about evidence proving its effectiveness, but my yogi friends agree that it can’t hurt. And I’ve read that in general ginger is good for you. It can boost immunity and much more. 

Sipping tea with honey - Remedy or Rubbish?
Personally I think it helps. And The Times agrees. This article explains that hot steam is soothing, and that tea with honey can alleviate symptoms of the common cold.

Using a neti pot with filtered water - Remedy or Rubbish?                                       
I’ve used my neti pot a few times. At first it was very weird and a little scary. But it does help lubricate the sinuses.
*Don’t be alarmed by the death by neti pot horror stories in the news as of late. Just be sure to use FILTERED water, not tap. (Neti pots sold at drugstores come with saline packets to disinfect your H2O.)
“If you talk about the general population, there are more common things to be aware of and worry about than a scary amoebic infection,” said Dr. Hagen, who is also the editor of “The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies.” “It’s an opportunity to remind people to be cautious and use good cleaning approaches and maintenance of their neti pot. 
Ingesting Emergen-c at the first signs of sickness - Remedy or rubbish?
First ingredient = fructose. Not worth it, and not necessarily natural. Also, there is some controversy surrounding Emergen-c’s main components. 
Be well!

P.S. Here are a few reputable remedies recommended by my Ayurvedic expert coworkers. I’ll be trying them ASAP and will report back on my verdicts…

Drinking a cup of hot water with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar
My friend Jonelle swears by its overall healing properties.

Using nasya oil
Apparently it does wonders for the nasal passages. I found this article online.

Taking probiotics on the reg, and especially when you feel a cold coming on
Reuteri is the strand my friend Brian recommends. Probiotics are said to be the first line of defense against congestion et al.  

Chewing on cloves
Cloves are supposed to have analgesic properties. I’ve been told that chewing on cloves produces the same effect as sucking on lozenges: they numb a sore throat and help clear sinuses. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot!

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