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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Honey and Lemon Cough Soother and other home remedies.


We've had a few weeks of colds, coughing, and runny noses here.  The past week the 3 younger children had Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease.  Not fun!  However, in comforting and treating my little sickies, I was thankful to remember some of the old remedies that help soothe symptoms.

When I was small and had a cough, sometimes Mom would mix some honey and lemon together and give me to help soothe my tickly throat.  I have used this a LOT the past few years.  Sometimes, even with over the counter cough medicine, we just keep coughing.  I think the throat just gets so irritated it just can't quit!  I mix this Honey and Lemon Soother together and then every time we start to cough, we swallow a small spoonful.  It really does soothe and coat your throat and soon, the coughing is under control.  I did a little hunting around on the internet to see how everyone else used honey and lemon.... and actually found that someone had done a study on young children (over 12 months of age) and if the child was given 2 tsp. of pure honey at bedtime it controlled the coughing as well as a cough medicine.  Interesting!  (and safer!)

Honey and Lemon Cough Soother

4 T. honey
1 T. lemon juice

Heat a few seconds in the microwave, stir together, put in a container.  If you're not using it right away, keep it in the fridge.

Another home remedy for chest congestion and coughing that Mom used was Vicks Vaporub.  Any Mentholatum product would work.  We now personally use Watkins Menthol Camphor Ointment.  Mom would rub that Vicks on our chest and neck, sometimes our upper backs... and then she'd put an old flannel cloth in the oven for a few minutes until it got warm, and wrap that around our neck and chest.  The heat warmed the Vicks and helped loosen the congestion.  The extra warmth was also relaxing and helped us go to sleep.  I also remember many nights that Mom would sit on my bed and lightly rub the back of my neck to help distract that cough.  I have such an angel Mother!  I am not nearly so patient when my children are sick.  Always room to improve.  

Other things we use when we're sick:

AIRBORNE!  I swear by that for heading off many colds each season.  We might still get sick, but the duration seems shorter when we use Airborne as soon as we get a tiny sore throat.  (I used to take echinacea and other herbs when I started getting sick, but Airborne is so much easier and tastier than what I used to use!)

Soda. (or Pop as it's called here in Idaho lol )  - a few sips of nice, fizzy, sugary soda help clear the junk out of the back of your throat and interrupt a coughing tickle.

Humidity.  We keep a cool air humidifier going when anyone is sick during the winter.  We try to keep the humidity in the house at around 45-50 % if we can.  If it is really cold outside and the fireplaces and heat are all going constantly, the humidity drops to below 30%.  I've read that if you keep the humidity up it allows your skin and other body defenses to work more efficiently to prevent illness.  Maybe this year I'll try to keep that humidifier going all winter long regardless of sickness or not!

Reflexology.  I don't know enough about reflexology to be an expert, but I DO know that massaging the right area on a foot can loosen chest congestion or lessen some sinus pressure.  It is interesting to me to rub my kids' feet when they're sick and see that the spots on their feet that hurt coincide with what the reflexology charts show as an area affected when they're sick.  You can find a reflexology chart HERE if you're interested in reading up on it a little.    If nothing else, it is relaxing (at least to our family) and increases your blood and lymph circulation to help rid your body of the nasty toxins that accumulate.

I know there are a lot of essential oils that treat and soothe as well.  I haven't gotten in to studying them yet.  Maybe one of these days I'll do more, but in the meantime, we will continue using the few home remedies for colds that we know are tried and true!


  1. Do you only use fresh lemon juice, or do you use the bottled stuff? Would it make a difference?