Monday, December 8, 2008

Easing My Own Cough

I've had this cough for a week now. It's worse in the morning when I wake up, and at night when I lie down to sleep. For a couple days I had chest pain with it and at times I could even hear a rattling in my lungs when I breathed and/or coughed. So it's been a fairly deep chest cough.

I haven't gotten really sick with it, have even tried to do too much at times--like getting ready for, attending and hosting a neighborhood Christmas party on Saturday, as well as seeing some herbal clients and doing the usual mom things. I think I haven't gotten really sick and I've been on a good path of recovery due to a few things I've done, however. The list follows:

One, I saw my chiropractor earlier in the week before the cough even showed itself. He found a spot on my back, lung area, that needed to be adjusted (he uses one of those metal things that "pop" and release tension). I'm sure his releasing that spot has helped the gunk in my lungs flow better in the first place.

Two, I've been drinking lots of hot water with honey and lemon in it. Maybe three large mugs of this a day, interspersed with my favorite hot black tea a couple of times a day. Honey itself, especially if it's local and minimally processed, is very good for viruses and bacteria. It's anti-biotic and even doctors around here recommend it instead of cold medicine for kids (now that the FDA has banned cold medicines for kids).

Three, I made up and have eaten most days a chicken soup with our 24-hour simmered bone broth, onions, garlic, celery, carrots and a bit of chicken meat. I seasoned only with salt and lots of pepper, and added a scant tablespoon of barley miso paste to the bottom of my soup bowl. Miso is a salty fermented paste common to Asian diets. It's nutritious and added a lot of flavor to the soup. You're not supposed to cook it, just add it to your soup bowl and stir it in the hot soup where it melts.

Fourth, each night before bed I've been drinking a small amount (maybe a shot) of my Elderberry Liqueur. The recipe for that is in my Elderberry post. The liqueur is very warming and soothing to the throat, and it just plain tastes good. It really quieted my cough before bed.

Also, the Elderberry is a premier remedy for treating colds and flu viruses because it prevents viruses from "spiking" on healthy cells, therefore shortening the lifespan of viruses. As I said in my Elderberry post, I was taught by my teacher Matt Wood to think of it as a "tubular remedy", clearing the tubes of the body as in the respiratory and digestive "tubular" systems.

And finally, I've rested every chance I could. This is not easy to do when the lists are long. However, I took at least one or two good naps this week, and yesterday I sat and watched movies, read or knit all day and didn't leave the house or do any chores at all. Of course that leads to feelings of guilt or unworthiness in many of us, but I did my best to overcome those feelings and just say "I'm sick and I must get well!"

And so I am. Those are just some simple, inexpensive ways to protect and better your health this winter. Honey, lemon, hot beverages, chicken soup, Elderberry and rest. If we can just remember to do those things we may not need more intervention much of the time.


Mon said...

I'm so glad you've taken time to rest. For me that's Numero Uno health advice. I don't how many tinctures or teas you take, if you don't rest, it's an uphill battle all the way.

Get better chook.

Anonymous said...

You inspired me to buy some elderberry syrup! My husband is just dragging this cold along with him and can't seem to shake it. He's exhausted from coughing too much at night and keeps having phlegm lurking around. I recalled reading this post, and also Weleda's Blackthorn elixir -- which isn't sambucus but has some similarities and is a good tonic. And then I recalled my local grocery store having elderberry syrup! It's got some other immune boosting stuff like propolis and time I'll try just the straight stuff. We're all taking shots of it once a day because I feel like we could all use a little kick to get out of this last cold.

I remember seeing wild elder bushes in northern California -- they are so beautiful! Also they were an important resource for pioneer settlers, having so much vitamin C. I'll have to see if they grow around here...maybe we can do a little wildcrafting this autumn.

Nancy said...

we've tried elderberry tea, but I just wanted to tell you about an awesome remedy for coughing and bronchitis. It's called Core Myrrh Blend, and it worked wonders for us, especially for my son who has diabetes and a compromised immune system. It really did the trick--anyway, love your blog. A friend just sent me over here. :)

Herbal Tonya here said...

Funny to be reading this entry now. About a month ago I had this terrible cough I caught from my 5 year old. It had me good for 4 days...i had no energy (physical or mental) I drank liquids galore, hot lemon, ginger and sage honey. It got deeper into my chest. As i Iay coughing so hard one night that I felt sure I would break a rib or pull all my muscles when I remembered I was an herbalist and I COULD do something about it!! First I drank a hefty dose of California Poppy tincture and then reached for my dear friend Elderberry (syrup) added some grindelia, elecampane and a little horseradish (for the sinus) congestion and within 10 mins was fast asleep and woke up feeling great! and did not need another dose.
It is all about remembering our herbal allies!