Growing up in a caribbean home, homemade remedies were never in short supply. My sisters still bristle at the memory of having to drink some
of the bitter teas my mom practically forced down our throats in an effort to treat our latest stitch, ache or pain. They were gross, unappealing and truth be told, downright nasty.

But they worked! 

To this day, those simple, cost-effective treatments are what I use when I start to come down with the sniffles. Now these treatments are in no way meant to replace traditional doctor-prescribed medications.  But they have proven effective for what has ailed me over the years. And since we are now in the midst of cold seaon, I thought I’d share some of the tried and true methods for keeping fevers, sore throats and phlegm at bay.

Ginger Tea for sore throats: Whenever I have a sore throat or signs of one, I run to the nearest grocery or produce stand and buy a piece of ginger. Wash thoroughly and grate the ginger so that the root starts to resemble ribbons. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and drop the grated root into the pot. Turn off the heat and let it steep for about two minutes. Strain and and drink the liquid as hot as you could stand it. Repeat. Full disclosure: This is NOT a pleasant feeling, but it will soothe your sore throat.  Video demonstration here. 

Horehound and Mullen for Phlegm and stuffy chest: Remember those bitter teas I referenced earlier? Horehound is perhaps one of the worst offenders. But it works wonders for congestion and loosens phlegm. Mullen, which has no taste at all, helps expel the vile chest occupier. Bring a pot of water to a boil and throw in about a handful of loose horehound tea and a handful of mullen. (Tea bags will work just as well.) Turn off the heat and let it steep for a few minutes. Hold your nose and drink. Try and drink at least two or three cups per hour, depending on your degree of sickness.

Lemon Grass Tea for fever: This is perhaps one of the more pleasant remedies for a not-so-pleasant sickness: the 100-degree plus fever. This is perhaps one of nature’s best treatment for breaking a fever. Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in a handful of loose lemon grass tea. (Again, tea bags would do in a pinch.) Turn off the pot and let it steep for a few minutes. Drink it as hot as you can stand it along with an aspirin.

Once again, these treatments are not intended to replace medicine. I strongly encourage regular checkups and medical attention for conditions that are far more advanced than those previously mentioned. For more natural home remedies, pick up a copy of “Back to Eden” By Dr. Jethro Kloss. Get well soon!!


Dave Jordan is a Emmy nominated journalist in Kansas City, MO. When not chasing down stories, Dave enjoys spending time with friends and taking in local attractions. He also enjoys visiting his hometown of NYC and visiting relatives in the Caribbean. 

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