Squashing a Spring Bug: Kvetching, Cold Remedies, and Recipes

Updated on March 22, 2017
BaizBlogger profile image

Claire, an ex-pat Montanan, ardent Progressive and former jeweler, rants to prevent herself from exploding.


Squashing a Spring Bug

Last night I rolled over, held my breath, and tilted my head toward the window. Was there a cat out on our balcony? No way—we're on the sixteenth floor. I exhaled, and floated back in the general direction of dreamland.

My gut tightened when I heard the high-pitched drone of a World War II air raid. Like the whine, this wail was coming from my husband's nose.

Less than a week before winter's end, when I was this close to declaring a victory on cold and flu season, I was under attack.

Flip Flop Four Seasons

Buds are swelling on the honeysuckles. I need my coat in every morning, but I forget it in odd places some afternoons. A few days ago, I had to dig out my Patagonia parka. A week before that, I was on the deck in a halter top and short-shorts.

My closet contains every type of outerwear you can imagine, because all over the USA, the thermometer is bouncing off both ends.

I refuse to catch a cold. Instead of running for covers, I've decided to stiffen my resolve...and go for reinforcements.

I open my medicine cabinet, nice and slow. I don't want any of those salves, tinctures, pills, and capsules to get the wrong idea...I'm not in there for the hard stuff. Not yet.

This stuff tastes so bad that it has to be good.
This stuff tastes so bad that it has to be good. | Source
The comparison is...irresistible.
The comparison is...irresistible. | Source

Goo Bomb

My secret defense? A three-dollar dose of lipospheric Vitamin C.

This goo bomb tastes so bad that I stomp my foot as I guzzle the slick, gelled (vegan, gluten-free) contents. I do this by inserting the whole pouch in my pie-hole and pulling it out out between my front teeth.

This method of delivery is...well, "off label."

Look at this gunk. You think it would taste better after I mix it in some inert liquid? I tried that. Once. It was like trying to swallow a lava lamp.

Dodging the Disease du Jour

I’ve been eluding the creeping crud since Halloween, dodging contaminated airborne particles like automatic weapons fire. I empty trash cans with tongs and cut away from crowded aisles at the grocery store. Snotty children make me shiver. I gather my books and move my seat at the library at the the second sign of a cough (hey, everyone's allowed to clear their throat).

In case of incidental exposure, I have girded my immune system with a litany of remedies, including the lipospheric grenade.

Take that, rhinovirus!

Male mound of misery
Male mound of misery | Source
The flag to hang off your bow, when your mate's chumming off the stern.
The flag to hang off your bow, when your mate's chumming off the stern.


In January, my husband got so sick that he jammed tissues up both nostrils.

This was no ordinary rhinovirus—this was a full-on walrus-virus: the man blubbered around our house wearing tissue tusks.

I kicked him out of our bedroom—for losing his health and his sense of humor. Don't feel too sorry for him; in our house, the sick person gets the remote, and veto power on NetFlix.

While he was under the weather, I washed my hands nine times a day. I also served him entire heads of baked garlic and a concoction of mushed up ginger root, cayenne, and raw honey strained through cheesecloth.

Garlic requires no culinary defense, and its health benefits are touted by that bastion of mainstream science, the National Institute of Health (NIH). Take a look at this double-blind, placebo-controlled survey:

Recipe # 1 - Idiot-Proof Baked Garlic

  1. Choose a head of garlic that's firm and bulbous. You'll need some oil, too. Splurge on the healthy stuff.
  2. Chop off the top of the teardrop shape garlic head with a sharp knife, so the 'meat' of the cloves is somewhat exposed, and the head sits flat on the bottom of your dish.
  3. Drizzle some oil on top of each exposed clove. Throw some herbs on there if you like.
  4. Put the head(s) in an ovenproof, covered dish that you've sprayed or wiped with oil (avocado oil is great--it's healthy and heat tolerant). Some people use aluminum foil, but that stuff is not healthy, and it's wasteful.
  5. Bake at 400 until the cloves brown (kinda like marshmallows) and puff out a bit. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Or, if you are baking something else (NOT cookies! No one likes a garlic gingersnap!), bake a head or two in your oven along with your meal. If you cook at 350, allow an hour or more for your garlic to bake.
  6. The cloves squeeze out nicely and they refrigerate well in a glass jar, submerged in your choice of healthy oil. You can eat them by themselves, spread on gluten-free crackers, or add them to another savory dish.

Recipe # 2 - Ginger/Cayenne/Honey Cold Repellent (aka The Liquid Fence)

Assemble ingredients:

  • Fresh, firm ginger root (about the size of an adult thumb). Peel it with the edge of a sturdy spoon if you feel ambitious (or if you are using a blender or food processor). Usually I skip this. Someone in my family has a cold, and I'm in no mood to sweat the small stuff.
  • About 3 T. raw, local honey (Do not feed to babies. Rare instances of botulism in infants).
  • Cayenne. Organic (duh). At least a spritz, but if you can take a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, it will have more kick.


  1. Mince the ginger root. I do this by hand, because I like to wield a knife. Besides, I like the smell and I hate to clean (and hear) food processors.
  2. Put the ginger root, honey and cayenne in a non-reactive, heat-resistant bowl (not copper). Add filtered, boiling hot water and let it steep for at least 1/2 hour.
  3. Strain it though cheesecloth. I have used old pantyhose, too, but be sure not to use pantyhose washed with fabric softener. I shouldn't have to remind you to use clean pantyhose, right?
  4. Drink up. Hot or cold. Sweeten as needed, dilute if necessary.

Sweet & Spicy

It's not just ginger that's good for you. Cayenne is high in Vitamin A, and it's well-documented that capsaicin helps break up mucous (ask any Jewish mother: it's the not-so-secret cold fighter in our chicken soup). Honey has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, and local raw honey helps fight pollen-induced allergies, too.

The Walking Infected, Flu Season, Anytown USA
The Walking Infected, Flu Season, Anytown USA | Source

The Walking Infected

At least my Abominable Kleenex Man had the decency to hole up (smelling like garlic and ginger) and let me nurse him back to health.

Some sick people participate in a weird ritual of martyrdom and tribal recruitment. Why are my neighbors hell-bent on making me sick? They are The Walking Infected.

“I’ve been sick for three days,” one of them told me, “I dragged myself out of bed with a fever, just to see you today.”

“Gee, thanks,” I said, disguising my recoil as a stretch.

NyQuil? No Way.

No way am I buying NyQuil. Putting that stuff in your bathroom is like hanging a sign around your neck: “Come and get me.”

I will launch more pre-emptive attacks—this time with echinacea, garlic, and zinc.

At the first sign of weakness in my flanks, I will down two disgusting packets of Vitamin C, twelve hours apart.

I will buy homeopathic remedies, I will wrap my chest in mustard-soaked linen. I will sit in the steamer until I sweat out five pounds of toxic water weight, but I will not buy the dreaded green fluid until I am so sick that the pharmacist takes two steps back at the very sight of me.

It's heartening to have this litany of healthy remedies at hand, because abandoning my holistic priorities for Proctor and Gamble would not just be a badge of shame; worse, my liver might never forgive me.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • jimmyglaughlin profile image

      Jim Laughlin 

      3 years ago from Connecticut

      I enjoy your humor. Being sick is the pits. I try to remember each year to get a flu shot, but do not remember some years.

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image


      3 years ago from Ohio

      This was a fun post! Thank you for the humor! My son was sick last month for two days and luckily, my husband and I did not get sick after. (Highly unusual, but I'm not complaining.)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)