Friday, January 2, 2009

Mayo Clinic Says Grandma's Recipe for Colds and Flu was Right on Target

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko

A recent study released by the Mayo Clinic found that good old soup and hot tea are, in fact, better for curing the common cold or flu, than the usual over the counter medications. Researchers studied the difference in severity and length of each of the illnesses, comparing use of decongestants and antihistamines versus Grandma's recipe--chicken soup and hot tea. You guessed it! Soup and tea was the winner.

The researchers found that decongestants affect sleep and often are not taken according to directions--with plenty of water. Without this important step, they really are not effective. Similarly, antihistamines tend to dry out the sinus drainage of many patients, which slows the course of the virus. As it turns out, runny sinuses may have a purpose--allowing the virus to run its course and get out of the system more quickly.

So, here it is, the prescription for a less severe cold or flu and a more speedy recovery. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably decaffeinated ones. Include hot tea throughout the day to moisten the sinuses and open them up to drain. The same goes for soup. Hot soup for lunch, snack and dinner will also help those sinuses drain, easing the congestion and allowing the illness to run its course.

Finally, avoid rich and fatty foods, which may upset the stomach or thicken sinus drainage. Dairy products are particularly known for the latter reaction.

You may be asking what's the cure for having only 1 can of soup in your pantry and no energy to go to the store. Make the soup now and freeze it. It will be there for that unwanted Winter visitor, a cold or the flu. Here are a few recipes to get you started. Chicken soup or Turkey with Rice--your choice:

With the holidays over, I'm finally back on track with my normal schedule. Monday I will review my post schedule, just in case you're watching for something in particular. Meanwhile, I have updated my upcoming posts at the bottom of the page. Check it out and see what's coming your way in January. Have a great weekend.

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