Sound like a recipe for a marinade? Not in this household. At least not right now.
I have been sick for about a week now which is crazy, because I don’t get sick often. First I had a really mild case of mastitis. No good. And the second round of sickness – sinus infection. Since I’m still nursing, I am hesitant about using antibiotics since they get passed on to Jude. I don’t want to have him exposed to antibiotics before he really needs them.
Enter the ingredients in the title of the post. Garlic, salt, lemon, ginger, honey and apple cider vinegar. I have been turning to these things to try and go the natural way of getting better. So what do each of these things do?
Raw garlic actually has a compound called allicin that works as a broad spectrum antibiotic. You have to take it for several days in order to get the full effect, much like you would a prescribed antibiotic. The compound is very heat sensitive, so when I take it, I peel whole cloves and then cut them up into pill sized pieces, swallowed them whole using a big glass of orange juice to mask the flavor. The good thing about garlic is that your body will not build up a resistance to it, as it will with other medicines. This worked a miracle on the mastitis that I had. I woke up feeling fine the next day! I have also heard that garlic oil can help with ear infections. Thankfully we haven’t had any of those around here, but I’m logging that tip away for the future.
Salt. Actually, I mean, the neti pot, which involves salt water. I’ve known about these for awhile, but haven’t invested in one because I haven’t had sinus problems since before I was pregnant! For around $8, you can pick up a dishwasher safe, plastic version of the neti pot. There are ceramic versions out there but they aren’t dishwasher safe. . . and convenience is an issue for us. OK, so what is it? You fill it with lightly salted warm water (in my case, it came with packets) and use it to irrigate your sinuses by pouring it in one nostril and letting it drain out the other. It sounds weird, kinda like you would drown, but you breath through your mouth during this process and it just works. The saline helps make an inhospitable environment for bacteria and viruses to grow, the warm water helps remove excess mucus and remove any irritants (like pollen or dust), so you can breath easier!
Lemon, ginger and honey. This has been a great tea for me. I boil water, chop up some fresh ginger and let it steep for a while – 15 to 20 minutes. Once that’s done, I pour it into a coffee mug with the juice from one lemon and a couple good squeezes of local honey. It’s tasty, a bit spicy and the steam helps clear your head a bit. Good stuff. I should probably go make another pot of that now! The lemon has lots of vitamin C and ginger and honey also help boost the immune system. I think it would be good even when you’re not sick – the ginger can help sooth an upset stomach as well. Ginger helped eased my nausea when I was in the first trimester of pregnancy.
And apple cider vinegar – it seems to do everything, doesn’t it? I’ve been drinking a couple tablespoons of this stuff in a glass of water for the past week or so. Not tasty, but it seems to help! It helps thin out the mucus so that you can get better quicker. Apparently, this works best if you start taking it right when you think you might be getting sick, sipping a couple teaspoons (not tablespoons) in glasses of water throughout the day, but it can help if you take tablespoons of it in water during the infection as well.
Now, I know that natural remedies aren’t the best for everything – sometimes you really do need medicine to get better! My thought process is that I should go ahead and try some simple home remedies first because none of these things could hurt me, and then if necessary, get the antibiotics later on! It’s cheaper, for one, and it reduces the possibility of being over-medicated.
What about you guys, do you have any home remedies that work well for you?