Everyday Asia

Home » Discovering difference » A sick chick’s top 5 global cold weapons!

A sick chick’s top 5 global cold weapons!

Global views


At the moment, I am feeling so miserable… all the posts I planned to write… let’s just say I can’t bring myself to finish any of them. And work stuff? Gaakh!


I have one of those yucky seasonal monsoon colds. You know the kind. Where you can’t go even a minute without blowing your nose, sneeze uncontrollably, ache all over and generally feel like you were hit by a truck?

And I’m running terribly short of a secret weapon from Indonesia – tolak angin.

Which got me thinking about how there is such an amazing range of ‘local remedies’ around the world to help ease your suffering when sick.

Now… we all know a cold simply takes its course so all you can do is find things that help make you just a teeny tiny bit less wretched while you wait to get better.

So here goes my wee list of top 5 commercial products to combat the crapiness of a cold.

Tolak Angin - Indonesia's 'secret weapon'

Tolakangin – Indonesia’s ‘secret weapon’

1. Indonesia – tolak angin

  • A wonder syrup of ginger, ginseng, honey, Echinacea, and other goodies like cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, fennel. Roughly translates as ‘reject wind’ it is a ‘cure all’ for what ails you.
  • Nothing is better to sooth a sore throat and ease your cold misery.
Karvol capsules

Karvol capsules from India

2. India – karvol capsules

  • Steam inhalation of menthol, cinnamon & pine oil, chlorobutanol among other stuff in a green liquid to shock open your sinuses.
  • Just snip the tip and dump the oil in a small basin of hot water. Face over the vapour with a towel on top to trap all those crazy steam-released vapours to infiltrate your nasal passages and throat. Inhale… even if you thought you would never breath through your nose again… after some time this too will become possible.
  • While only temporary relief, it does help!
NeoCitran... nothing beats to help you sleep when sick

Canadian NeoCitran… nothing beats sleep when sick

3. Canada – NeoCitran

  • Packets of antihistamine, decongestants and pain killers in power form with hot water
  • While I rarely take it, when I do it is only at bedtime – it temporarily dries up the dripping faucet (better known as ‘cold nose’) and knocks me out sufficient to snag a decent sleep. I think that sleep more than anything else helps!
  • Hint – you can get the British version LemSip in Singapore

Vicks VapoRub – Indian version

4. Americas & India – Vicks vapour rub

  • This automatically transports me back to my grandmother’s home in Brandon, Manitoba – when we would get colds she would rub this on our chest, back and a dab just below the nose
  • Can you believe this stuff has been around since 1894?
Fizzy vitamin C

Fizzy vitamin C

5. Mostly universal – Fizzy vitamin C

  • Sure its best to get your vitamin C from natural sources – lots of fresh squeezed OJ, amla juice (Indian gooseberry), lemons and the like… however sometimes that isn’t readily accessible
  • For some reason taking it in a fizzy liquid form just seems… well… better. I think it also supports the keeping hydrated thing too.

If this ad is to be believed, tolak angin is taking over Europe!

Anyone able to get tolak angin in the US? If these happy smiley people are to be believed, apparently you can…

Sick chick's global weapons to fight a cold!

Sick chick’s global weapons to fight a cold!

What’s in your medicine cabinet for colds? Anything from specific countries that just works for you? What happens when you run out…?

PS – No money changed hands – purely personal preferences rather than any professional promotion

PPS – I know there are scads of home remedies out there too!!

Related posts:



  1. The Vicks VapoRub was on my must-get list the last time I visited Canada and I got two large tubs of it. Love it! And I did miss having the NeoCitran handy a few months ago but there’s only so much space in the luggage.Hope you feel better soon. 🙂

    • While I do grab the LemSips from Singapore, it isn’t the same as the NeoCitran from Canada. So a box absolutely made it into our bag this trip – thankfully!

      As we can get Vicks VapoRub super cheap here in Mumbai, no need to stock up in Canada. 🙂

  2. Aw… Gute Besserung 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,660 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: