Cold & Flu Home Remedies
The Cooking Cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins, shows us how to make some cold and flu home remedies.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Richard E. Collins, MD
The Cooking Cardiologist®
Susan Buckley, RD
South Denver Cardiology Associates
1000 SouthPark Drive
Littleton, CO 80120
Soup is family, healing, and tastes of home. It is not a surprise then to believe that Chicken Noodle Soup is also medicinal. The properties of soup are not only warm and hydrating, but chicken noodle soup provides good liquid calories, the fat has only more recently been removed by this century fat restrictors. Some researchers say it is the steam that fights the colds and congestion. A pulmonary researcher at The University of Nebraska studied the effect of this soup on white blood corpuscles, cells that fight germs. With the soup on board, those fighting neutrophils showed less chance to congregate, a factor for less inflammatory reaction. Yet, the cells were still able to affectively fight those germs. So bring on the flu season, but with a blanket, warm fire and a cup of grandmother’s chicken noodle soup.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2″ slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock, reduced fat. Organic is best if purchased and lower sodium.
8 oz. dried egg noodles
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and sauté for 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened, but not brown. Pour in the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaf and noodles, simmer until noodles are tender, add chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
For the vegetarian alternative version, substitute the broth with No Chicken Broth® or vegetable stock. Add 1 T poultry seasoning. For the chicken, replace with Quorn, a chicken substitute made from mycoprotein, found in the frozen section (alternative meats).
Serves 8. Serving size, 1 ½ cups.
Total calories: 240, fat 6.7 g, carbohydrates 15.3 g, protein 27.1 g.
Vapor Rub for the Chest
My mom always prescribed a Vicks VapoRub and a sock pinned together around the neck to “cure” chest congestion, sore throat or nasal stuffiness. Vicks VapoRub is the icon of America. It is not suitable for children under 2 years. The ingredients on the bottle state that it is petroleum based product with turpentine. Here is a non-petroleum based vapor rub that is pleasant and soothing!
2 ounces jar of unscented Shea butter
1t olive oil
20-30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops peppermint essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
In a small sauce pan, heat the Shea butter just until melted and add the olive oil. Cool and add the essential oils. Stir to blend and return the oils to the jar. Cap and cool. Use a teaspoon of vapor butter on the chest. Do not place in the nostrils or contact with the eyes.
Tiger Balm also works well with menthol and camphor.
Avoid using the essential oils on infants and children under 2 years of age.
Soothing Throat Gargle for a Sore Throat
Remember, a persistent sore throat with high fever, swollen neck glands and white spots on the tonsils requires immediate attention. A sore throat with the usual cold symptoms can be helped in a variety of ways. Prevention Magazine lists three common home remedies:
- Coat the throat. 1 tablespoon honey in warm water with a lemon slice will help to lessen symptoms.
- Rinse and relieve. Gargle with salt water. ¾ teaspoon sea salt in 1 cup warm water (use distilled or bottle water to avoid chlorine).Add 4 drops of licorice root (avoid licorice root if you have high blood pressure) and 2 drops lemon balm to the water. 2 ml of slippery elm added to the gargle is also good for the throat. Gargle every 2-3 hours, being sure to rinse the mouth with plain water to remove residual salt in the mouth. All of these products are available at Whole Foods or Natural Grocer’s.
- Prevention. A dry climate or exposure to irritants can cause a relapsing sore throat. A humidifier does wonders. Avoid inhaling hair sprays, toxic fumes and smoke.
This gargle is for adult use only.
There are numerous hand sterilizers on the market. Research has shown that while somewhat effective, mechanical hand washing with soap and rinsing well is the best method of reducing germs.
2/3 cup 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol
1/3 cup Aloe Vera gel
1 t olive oil
20-30 drops of essential oil of choice, lavender is my favorite.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Using a funnel, transfer to a pump bottle. Label and date. Use as necessary. Not for internal consumption. Keep out of reach of children.
Use not intended for infants and children under the age of 2 years.