Latino Home Remedies for a Cold

Do not disturb-flickr.com

Do not disturb-flickr.com

That could be me in that photo. I have on my flannel cheetah pajamas underneath. For. the. third. day. I’ll probably stay in them tomorrow too.

For the past three days, I’ve battled a sore throat and aching eardrums with an arsenal of homemade recipes. Now I have a full blown cold, red nose, and I’m out of steam.

Yup, I took the Mexican traditional Yerba Buena (Spearmint) leaves from my little garden pot, boiled the leaves, sip sip, took more cups of this with additional vitamin C and echinacea. 

My throat rebelled and got tighter, so tight that I  almost choked trying to swallow the tea.Maybe I used the wrong herb.

Another Mexican remedy is honey, mixed with lemon and hot water. It felt good–for about one minute.  

Figured I’d buy a stronger tea with a blend of eight types of herbs, including ginger and licorice, called Throat Coat by Yogi Teas. Worked better, for a short 10 minutes. I even tried the yoga pose they suggest, for better breathing, on the box. 

Yoga pose for colds-Throat Coat Tea by Yogi

Yoga pose for colds-Throat Coat Tea by Yogi

And then the ears rebelled and reminded me who’s who every time I swallowed. I refused to try the Mexican remedy my boyfriend suggested: a rolled up newspaper, the tip of the paper cone in my ear while he lights a match and blows the air into the cone, something like that.

As soon as he said “light a match,” I stopped listening. 

“Ok, well try tequila with lemon and honey.” I didn’t have Tequila in the house, so I couldn’t take a shot. But, I do believe in 7Up, my childhood remedy for most things that ail you. 

The next day, the throat eased up a bit. Then my nose started dripping like a broken down faucet, so fast I couldn’t get to a tissue fast enough and yep, down my lip my mocos dripped. I know yuk. 

For the congestion, I found my trusty indigo jar of Vicks vapor rub. 

Now that stuff does make you feel better, but you go around stinking like burned eucalyptus leaves. And you can’t put it on your red sore nose, it stings. I know that for a fact now. 

So today, feeling worse off, I sent my kid to the store for pharmaceuticals, tissue, more 7Up, and soup. After three texts, he got the right stuff. I swear kids can do 1001 things with an iPhone but can’t remember four ingredients to battle a cold.

But, he came through and I can breath now, and I change tissues every five minutes instead of one. 

I really wish I could say that homemade is better, but not in my case. Now I’m going back to bed. I’m sure rest, hydration, and menthol rub will get me better. At least I hope so. 





Categories: Health, Home remedies for cold, Latino culture, Mexican traditions

6 replies

  1. I grew up using the hot honey/lemon water combo. Now, I find that constant tea helps me better (my faves are green tea and chamomile). My mom likes to use this loquat cough syrup, but it's never really worked for me. My mother-in-law swears by tossing ginger into everything you eat to boost the immune system. I've heard, though, that the best cold relievers are plenty of rest and chicken soup. Hope you feel better soon!

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  2. Hmm, loquat cough syrup. We used to eat loquats off trees walking back from school. I do feel better today, thanks!

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  3. I’ve heard of the candle-in-the-ear remedy, too, only it involved kerosine.

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