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Day 194: Frugal remedies for the common cold

Like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! I won't let my illness keep me from enjoying life.
In her case, performing as a burlesque dancer. In my case, blogging and watching Tour de France!

So, I'm still sick. But a little less sick, I think. It's the sort of thing where I think I need to just sleep for about 48 hours and let my body do its own thing.

Can I also say that I am officially tired of searching for good images of sick people? There just aren't that many to choose from. With that in mind, here's a picture of someone who is not sick!

Not only is she not sick, but she is also FABULOUS and in PARIS!!

In the meantime, you guys have been giving me such great advice, I wanted to make a compilation so everybody can see all these great remedies for a sore throat/runny nose. (Not that I have either of those, really - I have swollen tonsils and swollen neck, and according to the internet, the only cure for that is to wait about a week).

Oh, but first, in my fever dreams last night I dreamed I was on a shopping spree! I dreamed I was in a drugstore and about to buy a stuffed D.W. doll (from "Arthur") - and I felt so bad, because I'm on a spending fast. Somehow, though, my sleep shopaholic brain made me think it was a good idea. I woke up before buying it though, so I hope eventually my dream-self realized that's not the sort of thing I'm supposed to be buying when on a spending fast. (Spending fast/ sick week update = $0 spent so far! Hooray... ish.)

Do a quick Google search, then thank me for not posting an image of water dribbling out of someone's nose. It's surprisingly hard to find an image of a Neti Pot not "in action"

OK, nobody recommended this to me. But ages ago, I guess I entered a contest which I won, because a Neti Pot arrived in my mailbox earlier this week and, when I got sick, I figured I'd give it a try.

Now, I can see how this whole thing might be useful if your nose is stuffed up (and my sinuses were clogged up earlier, and maybe this helped?) but the whole thing is kind of creepy. Like, you take distilled water and then add the special Neti Pot pharmaceutical-grade baking soda mixture (I got two of those free with my Neti Pot). Then, you tilt your head and pour the solution up your nose. The scariest part is when you're just pouring water into your nose and IT'S NOT COMING OUT ANYWHERE. "Am I drowning my brain?" I wondered, as I kept pouring water and nothing happened. Eventually, it starts coming out yur other nostril. And then you switch sides. And then you blow your nose.

Frugality: not great. Even once you've got your Neti Pot, they recommend that you need to buy their special sachets of pharmaceutical-grade baking soda and salt, which could get expensive. It's more environmentally friendly than Kleenex, though. But so are handkerchiefs. So the jury's out on this one.

2. Oil of Oregano

I bet there's an extra-frugal way to grow oregano and then make your own oil of oregano.
That gets you frugal bonus points, for sure.

Put 2-4 drops in a glass of orange juice once a day as soon as your throat starts to hurt and take for a few days. Carla at 1/2 Dozen Daily claims this is a miracle worker!

Frugality: pretty good. A thing of oil of oregano costs about $20, and if you're just using a few drops at a time, this should work out to be pretty inexpensive. I guess you need to keep buying orange juice, but that's not too costly (esp. if you get discounted oranges and make your own DELICIOUS FRESH SQUEEZED JUICE). Also, this sounds weirdly yummy.

3. Garlic!

As Buffy and Willow know all too well, garlic has the added bonus of repelling vampires.
Even ex-boyfriend vampires who go all evil.

Peel a clove of garlic and chop it up into small pieces, then put them in a glass with about 1 inch of water and drink it. Apparently, not the most pleasant taste, but Sunny Day says it helps get rid of whatever cooties you have.

Frugality: really good! I totally have garlic (... I think?) and water is always free, so I bet I can try this out sometimes today. And I really like garlic. Although, if having garlic juice tastes really awful, I could always just have garlic bread or something else garlicky.

What other home remedies do you guys have for what ails you?


~Carla~ said...

Glad you're feeling better! :) And yay on the no spends, even if you did have to catch a virus to do it! :P lol!!

Thanks for link-up, I swear by the Oil of Oregano. My dd and I use it and a bottle lasts well over a year!

The Broke Sensualist said...

I second the Oil of Oregano. I've had my little bottle in my medicine cabinet for a few years now and it's still potent. No need to get your hands dirty by making your own.

Get well soon!

Harri @ TotallyMoney said...

That Neti Pot is seriously freaking me out.

Apparently elderflower tea is great for colds too. It tastes yummy and it's not too expensive either.

It's obvious but always worth remembering that branded paracetamol and ibuprofen are outrageously more expensive than the non-branded stuff (i.e. a 32 pack of nurofen can cost you £5 here, while a 32 pack of ibuprofen will set you back £0.79). And, according to my doctor parents, the two contain exactly the same ingredients. One is no more effective than the other.

I hope you're not feeling too grotty. Get well soon!

Anonymous said...

While the Neti Pot is definitely different and takes some getting used to, I know a number of people who swear by them for allergies or colds - including my mother. You don't need to buy the special sachets - table salt in warm water works just fine. Very frugal.

Funny how being able to breathe helps you get well faster. At least, that's what Mom tells me. :)


Annabelle said...

Ooh, thanks for the tips, guys. My illness has spread into my nose, so I may need to give the Neti Pot (and all it's creepiness - seriously, do a Google image search and be totally skeeved out) another go.

Once I had the strength to walk further than a block away, I will totes stock up on oil of oregano and elderflower tea (even the name sounds yummers)

And Harri, that's totally true about name-brand medications. I don't know what it is that makes me prefer brand-name Advil, but you're right. It's way cheaper to get the store brand.

minako said...

Garlic and Milk. Even better than with water because it helps you sleep too.

Crush a couple of cloves of garlic with a knife and put in about 1 cup of milk on the stove. Heat it up slowly, stirring a lot. Get it to just boiling (STIR and don't heat to fast or the milk will burn which is gross!) and then strain it into a mug.

I have a couple of friends from India who swear by this, and I don't do it as much as I should, but it helps every time. Especially with the sleeping.

Annabelle said...

@minako - eeewwwww, really? That sounds really, really gross. But somehow, knowing it's an Indian recipe, makes me trust it more. I usually try and avoid milk when sick, which also makes it sounds weird. But anything's worth a try!

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