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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Thermometers Don’t Go There:

By Vanessa Cano

If you made it this far through the winter without getting sick: Congratulations you’re a mutant. I bow down to you and your kind and wait for the day when you clearly will rule the earth with Spartan resilience. If you find yourself buried beneath a pile of soggy Kleenex; repulsive to the opposite sex; and doubting a team of specially trained government doctors can put you back together with six million dollars: You have contracted one of the strains of sick that all of us have been passing back and forth like a bad chain letter. Sorry, that’s the rules, you’re up-just sneeze real hard so your friend can have a turn.

While it is easy to lie there, waiting for death, wondering if you have bird flu, you know you don’t have time for this cold crap. You have school and parties to go to, gosh darnnit, there is a beer out there with your name on it! But don’t get your tissues in a bunch, sicky, we all know too much excitement can make you dizzy. Here’s a few home remedies that’ll help relieve some of your symptoms so you can sit back, relax, and milk this sick thing for all its worth.

A sore, scratchy throat is one of the most painful flu symptoms. While topical sprays and lozenges (especially those containing zinc, an immune booster) help give some relief, they don’t last very long. Double up on throat soothers. It helps to add gargling to the regime. A teaspoon of salt in a pint of warm water mimics the body’s natural saline content. Use every hour or so and you’ll be singing a tune in no time. You can also steep a teaspoon of chamomile tea in a cup of hot water and let cool until it is lukewarm. The chamomile helps relieve your irritated membranes. A squeeze of lemon juice into a large glass of lukewarm water can do the trick too. Last, but certainly not least, pour a spoonful of bourbon or whiskey into a glass of warm water and gargle with that. The booze will numb the throat or, if nothing else, make you forget your sick for a little while.

We all know that Vitamin C is supposed to help but did you know that garlic is also a useful antioxidant? In fact, a healthy diet of garlic pills will help to decrease the growth of a flu virus, shortening your stay in sickbay. However, if you want to stick with the C, take it in doses of 500 mg four times a day, especially right before bed.

Tea helps. Not only does tea aid in soothing your throat, it is also great for clearing your sinuses, lungs, and relieving minor aches and pains. To keep your lungs clear, drink ginger tea. Take 2-3 healthy looking slices of raw ginger and add them to boiled water. Try this with garlic cloves too. If you’re feeling crazy you can add the garlic and ginger together. You can make your own get well teas by going to your local coop/granola store and buying echinacea, yarrow, elder, and St. John’s wort. The general rule is one teaspoon herb per one cup of water, ten minutes steeping time for herbs, and twenty minutes for roots. You can mix two to four of these herbs/roots with echinacea and goldenseal. Drink 3-6 cups a day. For those of us who are cat lovers, you might try brewing some catnip tea, it can help reduce a fever.

While you are sick, remember to drink lots of fluids, especially those that yield a high vitamin and mineral content because the probability of your appetite being shot is high. If you’re having trouble breathing, break out the humidifier or take a long, hot shower. It helps to soak your feet in hot water if you are suffering from sinus congestion and head aches. No matter what your favorite remedy is, the flu is still going to have to run its course. So, save your energy and stay hydrated. Enjoy this time to yourself and let others pamper the hell out of you. After all, you’re the sick one, you deserve a little tender loving care.