Winter is a time for snowball fights, family gatherings, and cozy holidays. But it’s also a time of year when many people come down with pesky cold viruses. These non-life-threatening illnesses can put you out of commission for days or even weeks as your body tries to recover. If you still need to slop hogs and pull weeds, that’s a problem!
While there’s no replacement for visiting a doctor, there are ways to make your cold recovery more comfortable. Try these 4 homestead-friendly cold remedies to feel more comfortable if you’ve been struck down by a nasty cold.
Non-alcoholic hot toddy
A hot toddy is traditionally a hot drink with honey, herbs, and whiskey. I like to do a modified version that soothes sore throats—and the alcohol is optional.
Simply brew a bag of herbal tea (orange is my favorite). Add a small spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon to enjoy as many times as you like during the day.
If it’s nighttime, I add a splash of whiskey to help me fall asleep, but that’s optional.
Bone broth soup
If you raise livestock, you may have some extra bones lying about. Put them to good use by brewing high-collagen soup stock.
Beef broth is a popular option, but chicken is just as tasty. I have family who make venison stock and rabbit stock, which they say are pretty tasty, too.
The next time you have a lot of bones on your hands, make soup stock. You’ll need:
5 pounds of stock bones, ideally with meat on them
2 large onions, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 bulb of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the bones in the oven at 350 for an hour, until golden brown. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Roast the garlic separately in foil.
- Remove the bones from the tray and put them in a large stockpot with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Fill the pot with enough water to cover the bones.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to low heat. Allow it to simmer for at least 3 hours.
- Skim the fat as it cooks.
- After allowing the stock to simmer, strain the solids from the stock.
You can either freeze the stock or can it for long-term use.
Vitamin C helps our immune system fight nasty cold bugs. While it won’t heal your cold, it can potentially speed up your recovery time.
I like to drink high-citrus teas that contain rose hips and lemon peel. You can also enjoy any preserved citrus from the homestead to boost your vitamin C intake while sick. Just don’t go overboard on the sugary orange marmalade!
Eucalyptus shower melts
Stuffy noses are the worst. They make it difficult to talk, breathe, eat, and sleep. To loosen up my stuffy nose, I like to make DIY eucalyptus shower melts. You place these melts near the drain in your shower. They slowly release a mentholated eucalyptus scent that opens up the airways.
Here’s the recipe I like to use. The recipe calls for multiple essential oils, but I just use eucalyptus and it works great!
The bottom line
Winter is a joyous time of year, but it can also be difficult for your immune system. If you or a family member come down with a mild case of the sniffles, try these 4 home remedies. As always, listen to your body; if you feel like you need medical attention, talk to your doctor ASAP.