I thought this would be a passing cloud, but my sniffles that started on Monday are still very much present today. And they’re worse than before! I guess all of my burning the candle at both ends is catching up with my body. I’ve developed a pattern of going to bed at 1:30 a.m., almost 2… and waking up at 7, 7:30. So I know I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep, for me anyway.

Yesterday, I went to interview a cool rasta by the name of Imanuel, who owns a vegan restaurant here in Miami. It’s called Garden of Eatin’. I told him I was sick and he whipped up a juice made of beets, carrots, celery, garlic cloves, ginger root, and cayenne pepper. And I had to drink almost the whole thing before his eyes. (He says that fresh made natural fruit juices should be consumed within seven minutes). Oh, it was awful. My nose started dripping like a faucet, my eyes filled with thick tears, and the drink burned all the way down to my stomach. BUT, it did make me feel better! Momentarily. Then I had to return to my air-conditioned office where we can’t open the windows, and I felt sicker than ever.

I got a decent night’s sleep last night, but now duty calls and I have to rise to the occasion. I’ve been guzzling Emergen-C, which keeps me hydrated and gives me some energy, but other than that I’ve avoided over-the-counter medicines so far. E-Fresh already advised me to try his home remedy, which is delicious to be certain. (Chinese food! Hot wonton soup followed by honey chicken to coat the throat).

What’s your home remedy, bellas and fellas? Or do you have a guaranteed-to-work cold medicine? Holla at your girl, I need to get well in a hurry.

Tomorrow, back to your regular Afrobella, I promise. I’ve got a stack of half-cooked posts that I’m not ready (or able) to serve yet.

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olufunke says:
May 16, 2007, 7:43 am
greetings bella, i'm wishing you health as i write this. at home (nigeria) we usually eat/drink hot (temperature and spice) pepper soup to cure the common cold. it almost instantly drains the nose and clears the throat. i'm sure variations are fine for this soup, so feel free to work up your own concoction--as spicy as you can manage! most importantly though, be sure to address the root cause--it sounds like sleep and rest are calling to you. so of course any external remedies are likely to be short-lived. much welless to you!
davina e says:
May 16, 2007, 7:46 am
Afrobella, this past weekend I was sick also with a terrible sore throat and running nose. I refused to take over the counter medicine. So I went online in search of home remedies for sore throats. I found a recipe that actually worked. It called for 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of honey, place all 3 ingredients in 16oz of water and drink. Also whenever I get sick I make and drink Ginger Tea. You can either boil the ginger root or the easy way out is to use the ginger spice. It burns a little going dowm, but it knocks the cold right out or atleat alleviates your symptoms.
Mrs. Lindo says:
May 16, 2007, 7:57 am
Bella, Whenever I have a cold, I take organic green tea and slice ginger root in it. I drink this tea all day and usually the cold is gone in 24 hours. Good luck!!!
bella says:
May 16, 2007, 8:05 am
Ginger tea!! That's what Mama Bella makes. GREAT idea, I'm going to make some right away. Olufunke, I'll have some super spicy chicken soup for lunch. Thanks for your suggestions!!
Rei says:
May 16, 2007, 8:50 am
Hi Bella, I stumbled upon using the lemonade from the master cleanse as a cure for sinus/nasal congestion. It's two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, maple syrup (but I switched to any sweetener when not actually fasting), and cayenne pepper in 8 oz of water. It gets the mucous out fast! I hope you feel better soon.
rastagalNJ says:
May 16, 2007, 9:23 am
My Jamaican husband insists that bush tea can cure anything but since there is no bush where we live, he settles for rum (Jamaican),lime and salt served hot like tea.
mochachoc says:
May 16, 2007, 9:41 am
Hhhm home made remedies are fine to help you cope with the symptoms but I'm afraid I do think over the counter stuff is far better. Nothing will 'cure' the common cold apart from your own immune system doing its thing. So my tip is to take it easy for a few days and eat and drink lots of immune enhancing foods. Go to the pharamacy and get some of that well researched over the counter stuff.
bella says:
May 16, 2007, 9:46 am
Do you have a favorite go-to over-the-counter formula, mochachoc? I've got Tussin, AlkaSeltzer fizzy tablets, and some other random stuff. But I need to stay awake and get work done, which is the problem!
Niki says:
May 16, 2007, 9:47 am
Last month, I spent my the entire weekend of my birthday sick. While nothing can really "cure" a cold, old fashioned chicken noodle soup (make it more soupy than chunky) loaded with cayenne pepper makes the symptoms more bearable. On the over-the-counter tip, TheraFlu (the kind you drink, not the pills)has forced me to get some rest when I am sick, and you end up feeling a lot better.
Peajai says:
May 16, 2007, 10:22 am
Bella, Cold medicines do nothing for me but make me sleepy. To me they are a waste of money. I usually get sick about this time every year, when the day is hot and the night is cold. However, since I have been drinking Bolthouse Farms C-boost Tropical Fruit Smoothie http://www.bolthouse.com/html/cs_cboost_n.html I have not gotten sick at all this year. Each 8 oz serving has 1200% of your daily value of Vitamin C that occurs naturally in Acerola Cherries and Camu Camu fruit. Your body absorps vitamins that occur naturally in foods much better than from pills and supplements. They sell this juice at every grocery store here in Ohio, in the refridgerator in the produce section. My grandmother would also ALWAYS recommend Apple Cider Vinegar for literally ANYTHING that ails you, so if you have a sore throat some Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey should help (like davina already suggested).
Courtie says:
May 16, 2007, 10:52 am
I just recently got over a nasty flu/cold that I got from my boyfriend. I had a lot of stuff to do and did not want to take o-t-c meds because they make me woozy as all get out. I took a couple of Airborne tablets, drank an absolute ton of water, and poured orange juice down my throat. I also made a spicy ginger and chicken broth and ate that. I chased the cold away in about 2 days.
Takiyah says:
May 16, 2007, 11:14 am
Sweat it out and stay hydrated... Say your cut your finger or suffer a physical injury. Do you notice how your body gets hot in the wounded area? From what I understand it's because your white blood cells are encouraged by that heat to increase in that area and expedite healing. When I'm not feeling too hot I usually increase tea intake, turn on my electric blanket, drink a ton of water/liquids, add a few more blankets and sweat it out. Increased vitamin C intake and prayer is also a must! I pray you feel better soon Bella! God's best! T
Bridgette says:
May 16, 2007, 11:15 am
I juice fresh fruit and veggies, drink lemon tea, overdose on water, and rest. Hope you feel better soon. I have two children and during both pregnancies I got a horrible cold. I didn't feel comfortable taking medicine while pregnant, especially since they only relieve symptoms not cure the cold.
mSsUnDrOp::::: says:
May 16, 2007, 1:04 pm
I have a bunch... for me they're cool, but may scare the faint of heart. Fasting: only 100% juice, pref fresh, and aqua. It allows the body to devote more energy to fighting the illness, which can be thwarted by having to digest heavy/unhealthy foods. Also, fireballs- raw honey cayenne, turmeric, and goldenseal. Make small, candy sized balls and swallow them. Ummm... mix goldenseal with water and snort the mixture; then blow nose. (The same can be done with sea salt.) An enema can alleviate then symptoms and span of almost any bug....
Ms. T. says:
May 16, 2007, 1:11 pm
1 samll cup of hot tea, add 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of lemonjuice, and a shot of whiskey. Drink, then get under a lot covers (so that you sweat) and go to sleep. By the time you wake up you should feel a whole lot better. This works for me everytime.
tysha says:
May 16, 2007, 1:13 pm
Some of my remedies are similar to some of the others. Like the chicken noodle soup, I don't know exactly why but it helps. Lots of liquids especially water, green tea and orange juice of your choice. A vitamin C tablet would not hurt even though you have the orange juice. I find I get over it faster that way. A little peppermint EO & shea butter under the nose helps for stuffiness. Of course rest and prayer. Get well soon Bella.
afrobello says:
May 16, 2007, 1:29 pm
In spite of it catching up with you, I admire your body's ability to keep going on so little sleep. I too need more than 5 hours worth, and trying to work with less is no guarantee that I'll actually wake up.
Monica says:
May 16, 2007, 1:30 pm
2 shots of whiskey and get into a steaming hot bath. You need to sweat out the sickness. This will also clear up your sinus. Also, you must take the dreaded and extremely nasty Nightquil. Take that at night. Don't forget to take 2 vitamin c pills. Drink lots of water. Stay in the bed. Do not go to work until the worst is over. Tell your husband to not breathe on you. Chicken soup and crackers for food. Try and get your husband to make it from scratch. Hope this helps.
Laura says:
May 16, 2007, 1:36 pm
I stick with zinc to shorter the duration of a cold, and my friend Connie's recipe of I'm Sick Tea to deal with the symptoms. For about 4-6 cups tea (depending on how strong you like it): 5-6 bags black tea 1/2 lemon 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 thumb-size piece of ginger Into a pitcher, peel & split ginger, squeeze lemon & then chuck the whole half in, and add brown sugar, teabags, and hot water. Brew 4-6 minutes. Consume. I love this stuff. Another friend has a recipe that involves boiling grapefruit halves. She says it tastes vile but works like a charm. I've never been so sick that I've been willing to try it!
KamikaK says:
May 16, 2007, 2:24 pm
Hope you feel better soon Bella! I love Echinacea pills and tea. They always make me feel better. I've taken them at the onset of being sick and sometimes after a day or two after noticing sickness. They've worked each time.
kat says:
May 16, 2007, 2:37 pm
I had a really bad fever and my boyfriend got Zicam. I know you don't want over the counter products but this I must say REALLY work. There's different kinds but the best one comes as pre-filled on a spoon. All you have to do is stir it into your beverage and that's it. Trust, it really works!
Queenshawtii says:
May 16, 2007, 2:38 pm
Zinc speeds up and eases cold symptoms. I usually take 1-2 tablets before bed. ALso Theraflu the type you put in hot water and drink always has worked very well for me. It Never tastes good so i usually add honey to mine. For portable relief i usually use Aleve or Advil tablets the varieties for colds and more recently comtrex, these all work well for me.
Queenshawtii says:
May 16, 2007, 3:02 pm
^ *zinc speeds up healing
tan says:
May 16, 2007, 3:44 pm
Bella, I hope you feel better soon. Drink lots of tea (ginger, black, green) and most importantly get some rest. I sleep like a cat and if don't get in a full 7 hrs. I get sick. So squeeze in as many naps as you can.
Dad says:
May 16, 2007, 4:08 pm
All of those remedies, I am not 100% sure about. Rest and lots of liquids (no spirits) are usually the best bet. A common cold can really nash you up, so I have an idea about how you feel. I was very surprised a few months ago when a very experienced Medical Doctor told me that for decades he had been cynical and sceptical about using vitamin C tablets that some of his patients insisted on taking; and when he could not get rid of his cold, he decided to try some. He is not sure whether it helped on that occasion or not, but he has been taking them continuously since and has not had the common clod for over a year. Imagine that. You could also check out Relator's calypso about ''bush medicine''.
TOO TOT says:
May 16, 2007, 5:19 pm
HOT TODY always works for me. Also lots of lemons. They are pure Vit. C.....Cut one in half , squuze the juice in a cup...drink it and follow with a cup of water! Also Whole foods has this great Immune defense stuff, but you have to take it at first sign of symptoms. Feel better chica
Lizzy says:
May 16, 2007, 6:33 pm
Heat some castor oil (3 tablespoons(yes ewwww) and melt some rock candy or mints in it to taste, add a little whiskey, heat it all and then drink warm and then go to bed. You will wake up feeling wonderful, no cold or flu
TheBeautifulOne says:
May 16, 2007, 7:41 pm
One word, one remedy: AIRBORNE. It works within minutes! I don't have to lay in bed and let it play itself out, so this does the trick for me. I see why it made millions of dollars! Ciao Bella!
cassandra m says:
May 16, 2007, 8:00 pm
Chiming in with the recommendations for Thera Flu. There are nighttime and daytime formulas if you are sensitive to the ingredients. Theraflu and zinc tablets got me and my cold-addled head home from Denver once without the usual discomfort of colds in pressurized areas. Another thing that helps (and I think can be a preventative in the winter) is saline nasal irrigation. I've used this recently to help dry up the sinuses. It is something of a mess, so I do it in the shower. And just sleep. Stop keeping those crazy hours and let your body catch up some. Feel better soon!
Eni's Girl says:
May 16, 2007, 10:20 pm
Hi Bella, I hope you feel better really soon. I am on the same page as KamikaK. Although I use the liquid version of echinacea in tea - not the greatest tasting stuff but the tea helps to dilute the strong echinacea flavor. After a day of drinking it, I usually feel much better.
bella says:
May 16, 2007, 10:31 pm
Ugh, I made some of that master cleanse lemonade and I think I used too much pepper! But I took lots of your advice today, and stayed hydrated with lots of tea and vitamin C and I took zinc as well. Don't have any echinacea, I'll go to Wild Oats this weekend and get some superhealthy stuff. Right now, I'm sipping fizzy Alka Seltzer cold remedy, and finishing up my post for tomorrow. But I'm super sleepy, so I'll get to it in the morning. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom, everyone!
suburbanbushbabe says:
May 17, 2007, 12:57 am
except for the garlic, that juice sounds awesome. Juice some more and have a little every morning. Sudafed 12-hour (with the pseudoephedrine) and Airborne do the job for me. Airborne is like Emergen-C but it works better for me. Echinacea is a great preventative but unfortunately doesn't work during the cold.
Mary says:
May 17, 2007, 3:25 am
Echinacea, and zinc lozenges from Walmart. It works every time for me. Takes about three days.
byrdparker says:
May 17, 2007, 11:20 am
use the shower soothers http://www.pfizerch.com/product.aspx?id=531 everytime u shower , at night , rub your body down with vicks wrap yourself in a tight in a blanket , turn off all ac and sweat it out . Next day u feel 100% better. and always drink fresh fruit juice , and no dairy . absolutely no dairy , i cannot stress that enough .
pets says:
May 17, 2007, 11:51 am
Check your friendly pharmacist who can recommend something. You should also be taking zinc tabs daily and swallow tabs with the soluble vit c (emergen-c or redoxon). If you may be at risk for hypertension some over the counter meds are not for you & you would need to tell the pharmacist OR see a doctor or check out www.webmd.com or "The Doctors' Book of Home Remedies" which is compiled by Prevention Magazine.
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