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.
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.
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!
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
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?
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…
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!!