Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How To Make Your Own Cough Syrup
Avoid Dangerous Over-The-Counter Products

Over-the-counter cold remedies can be dangerous.
So try making your own!

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What's In Your Cough Syrup?
You can tell that it's cold and flu season by the melodious sound of hacking coughs in the supermarket, airplanes, schools, and in the office. A cough can disrupt your sleep and leave you exhausted. 

Most people think that over-the-counter medications are pretty safe and when faced with a never-ending cough, are desperate to try anything. But like many pharmaceutical drugs, the side effects can be more dangerous than the symptoms you are trying to suppress. Especially when you take too much. And when you can't stop coughing, sometimes it's easy to take a bigger slug that what is prescribed.

Many cough syrups contain DMX, or Dextromethorphan. Side effects of taking too much DMX can include:
* Blurred vision
* Confusion
* Drowsiness or dizziness
* nausea or severe vomiting
* difficulty in urination
* shakiness and unsteady walking
* slowed breathing
* unusual excitement, nervousness, restlessness, or severe irritability

In addition, some children do not have the enzyme to metabolize this drug so this becomes an extremely dangerous remedy. Many teens use and abuse cough medicine containing DMX to get high which can be fatal. If you have young children in the house, it's a good idea not to have these types of medicines in the house.

OTC cough medicines may also contain other ingredients such as acetaminophen. Around 80,000 people a year end up in an emergency room for acetaminophen toxicity which can lead to severe liver damage.

Make Your Own
Once again, mother nature comes to the rescue. With a few simple ingredients, you can make your own cough syrup with real health benefits and no dangerous side effects. This syrup has these healthful ingredients:

Onions are in the allium family. For centuries, they have been used as a medicine. Egyptian physicians recommended the onion for literally thousands of separate ailments.  Rich in the antioxidant quercetin (and other flavonoids), they stimulate the immune system, protect against oxidative stress, and act as a natural decongestant. 

Also in the allium family, garlic has been used throughout ancient history for its medicinal properties. Rich in the sulfur compound allicin, it bolsters the immune system and is a potent antibiotic. It has antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties as well.

My garlic harvest.

Although ginger is most notably used for nausea, it is a natural decongestant and antihistamine. It can warms the upper respiratory tract and is useful in treating symptoms of colds and flu.

Although many vegans avoid the use of honey in daily cuisine, it remains an important medicine due to its strong antimicrobial properties and wound healing abilities. These properties have been documented in the oldest medical literature. With respect to cough suppression, some believe it is as effective as dextromethorphan. It is also used to treat infections of the upper respiratory tract. 

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Here's a simple recipe for the relief of chess congestion and coughing. I make this in very small batches since it is best when fresh. Store in the refrigerator and make a new batch ever two or three days.Take as much as you need to control your cough. No one has ever OD'd on onions and garlic but I wouldn't advise going on a first date. 

Homemade Cough Syrup
[makes ~ 3 to 4 tablespoons]

Allow 8 to 24 hours for extraction. You can use an Instant Pot, yogurt maker, or just a warm spot in your kitchen.

1 organic onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated organic garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated organic ginger
1/4 cup raw honey

Peel the onion and cut in half vertically. Thinly slice the onion in half moons and place in a glass pint jar. 

Combine the garlic and ginger with the honey and pour over the onions. Mix well and push down so the honey is above the onion mixture.

Place the jar in your Instant Pot and hit the YOGURT setting. Cover with a regular lid and let sit until juice forms. If you don't have an Instant pot or yogurt maker, just cover the jar and place it in a warm spot in your kitchen. Either method will take 8 to 12 hours. If it doesn't get juicy enough, let it sit longer. 

Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a small jar. Cover and refrigerate until needed. It tastes better than you'd think, even with the garlic and onions! 

I hope this recipe brings you some relief.

I hated to waste the onion mixture, so I rinsed off the honey (not necessary) and tossed it in my Instant Pot with some beans. Pretty yummy.

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