Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What Ails Me

Yeah, there’s something going ’round.

In the final two days of our Texas road trip, I have been hit hard by a virus – no, not the computer kind but the conventional sort. It’s not fun. I have severe nasal congestion, a vicious sore throat, a horrible headache, a neck so hot and stiff that I can barely turn my head, a fever, and an achy-all-over feeling.

But there’s nothing really to be done – this is a virus, so antibiotics aren’t going to do anything useful. I just have to treat the symptoms and get plenty of rest.

In the conventional medicine department, that means I’m taking ibuprofen (pain relief, fever reduction), pseudoephedrine (decongestant to make breathing easier by shrinking nasal tissues), and diphenhydramine (antihistamine, dries up excess secretions in nasal passages). I’m using menthol-eucalyptus cough drops for topical relief – they aren’t medications as the U.S. medical establishment defines them, but they do soothe tissues.

Other remedies I stand by include green-chile chicken soup. Scientific studies have shown that chicken soup does indeed have a therapeutic benefit, not just from the steaming vapors, but also from the aromatic compounds that come from onions and garlic – they have a mild antibacterial effect. Adding green chile to the soup does two things: First, the chiles have the power to clear congested nasal passages. Second, green chile is loaded with Vitamin C, which is supposed to boost the body’s immune system in dealing with viruses.

Other remedies include such things as herbal teas. The one I’ve found most useful this go-round has been a blend in which the main ingredient is thyme, and which also includes fennel and licorice root. Yes, the standby for upper-respiratory ailments is Echinacea, but that tea wasn’t effective for me this time around. Yeah, to revisit the Rolling Stones, thyme is on my side.

And then there are various folk remedies. One of my favorites has been hot lemonade: Put equal amounts of lemon juice and bourbon into the bottom of a large mug, pour in boiling water, add a blob of honey, stir, and serve. Now, pL has given me a bottle of Becherovka for Christmas, and he tells me his Czech mother-in-law swears by it for whatever needs a remedy. I’ll be checking that out, although I would like for anyone out there who has experience with Becherovka to give me suggestions about the best way to administer it.

4 Comments:

Blogger Pat said...

Hang in there ... I'll try to remember to get water (for tea) and decente cerveza.

Tue Jan 03, 04:10:00 PM MST  
Anonymous pL said...

The Becherovka is really more for stomach problems and the like. For the sort of ailment you are suffering from here, Slivovice is really the better choice. And it's not just my mother-in-law, it's the whole country that swears by it, to the point where there is one brand of Slivovice called Penicillin!

Wed Jan 04, 02:35:00 PM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

We got 750 ml of Slivovice for $23 U.S.

Thu Jan 05, 01:32:00 PM MST  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Well, slivovice does seem to work. It's rather like Saurian brandy.

Fri Jan 06, 07:44:00 PM MST  

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