Natural cough remedies that REALLY work... 

The Good Life Letter

Friday 25th November 2011

  • Natural cough remedies to send the phlegm packing
  • Cure a cough with original natural cough remedies
  • Results of the SAD survey make enlightening reading

I can't be the only one who has found it hard to drag myself out of bed on these cold, foggy mornings.

However, I'm glad I have shook off the duvet and made it downstairs because you, my dear readers, have made me laugh every single day!

I have been motivated to read my e-mails since writing to you about some of the natural cough remedies and crazy ways coughs and colds were cured in the past.

Well it certainly seemed to inspire the Good Life Letter readers because you have been mailing me your own natural remedies on how to cure a cough.

Some of them sound a little dangerous, for instance, Mr Nash of Topsham says his father used to swear by the following;

"To cure a child's cough pass it three times under the belly of a horse"

I guess Mr Nash is easily identifiable due to the hoof marks in his forehead!

Other cures for coughing like Tony's reply below, really tell the story of your upbringing;

"When I was evacuated to (Bilston), anyone with a bad cough, including me, was made to drink a mug of hot milk, with a tablespoon of goose fat, and eat a slice of toast... they only used 'sterry' (sterilised milk), so it was half a mug of sterry then the goose fat, all topped off with boiling water from the kettle straight from the fire. Also the toast was made on the same fire. I never liked it and would do all that I could not to cough while in the house."

I had an auntie who only had sterilised milk, and I still shudder at the thought of a cup of tea made with it!

Tony's cure for coughing story does have a happy(ish) ending though as he goes on to say;

"I'm not sure if there is a connection but I do like toast and goose dripping and a little black pepper [now]."

Sour little orbs of remedy!

T Alyn reminded me of one of my Nan's natural remedies, the clay extract kaolin. As a kid I had kaolin and morphine when my tummy was upset, kaolin compresses if I had a bruise and even as a toothpaste on one memorable occasion!

"Two words - kaolin poultice - used to strike fear and dread into me when I was a child. I don't know how my mother could have been so cruel, the lint and kaolin was heated to a high degree and one put on my back and one on my front, it was hell!"

One thing which did surprise me was the countrywide use of onions in various forms as a remedy. Now, I don't doubt the power of this potent allium when it comes to improving any health condition due to its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, but even for me there is a limit to what I'm prepared to do with an onion!

I'll leave that to your imaginations, but some of the less 'invasive' ways to use onions are the two below;

Edna told me about her throaty cough remedy:

"Finely slice one large onion, place in a saucepan with half-pint milk, a shake of salt and a good shake of pepper; bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 10/15 minutes (till (sic)onion is very soft), then eat like soup. Go to bed, sleep it off, with a hot water bottle for feet."

Whilst Rose says:

 "I would suggest, having been introduced to it by a friend who is a nutritionist, is the benefit of 'onion water' if one is unlucky enough to get the flu.  All you do is chop up and onion, cover with  water and simmer until soft; then puree it and drink. It tastes quite pleasant, whatever my family say! 

So ignore the mighty onion at your peril.

Finally, I was sent a cure that I like the look of, and will offer to try the next time I get a sniffle, purely in the interest of research you understand...

Phil tells me to:

 "Take a hat and a bottle of Scotch. Hang the hat at the end of your bed. Go to bed and drink the Scotch until you see two hats. Next morning you will be cured (or so hung over you don't care!)"

Ha the style!

By the way, my letter on Sunday is all about the perils of the deadly hangover, and a fantastic way to deal with it.

My SAD findings

A month ago I wrote to tell you about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and how easy it is to deal with a dose of the winter blues.

One thing I was keen to do was understand more about this condition, and also what your thoughts were.
The results of my little survey were really interesting.

1) 60% of you considered SAD to be a condition which should be respected and researched more, against 7% who thought it was just a fad. This is very much in line with my view of this subject, and completely at odds with the way our beloved NHS deal with it.

2) Nearly 50% of you thought that a SAD light box represented an investment in your health, however 80% of you didn't own one or didn't know anyone who did - despite nearly 60% of respondents saying they suffered from the condition, at least occasionally. There is something you can do about this you know!

3) Really interestingly is the fact that you all consider the role of nutrition and exercise important in helping to deal with this condition, as well as making an investment in light therapy. Once again, I happily endorse this approach and think a holistic view will always be better than looking for a single magic cure.

My sincere thanks to all of you who have contributed to the cold and cough remedies, and the SAD survey - it has certainly made my dull days a little brighter.

I'll be back on Sunday with that all important advice for those of you who are planning a wild Christmas, or think you know someone who could do with a bit of help with a sore head or two over the festive period.

Yours as always,





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