The Crud A-Z
|Standard disclaimers, please: These are cold and flu remedies for adults, not kids. We're not doctors, the FDA may not approve (or they may approve now, recall later), watch out if you're pregnant, have allergies, be sure to do your homework, ask your doctor, et al.
As frequent flyers know, 'something special in the air' can be an old airline slogan or a hazard warning. Airborne was designed to ward off a cold when you're stuck in a crowded environment like an airplane. It's got herbs you've heard of (Echinacea) and some you haven't (schizonepeta).
Bigelow, 414 6th [8th/9th] 212.533.2700, always seems to have the perfect thing for a cold. At the moment, you can get a Naturopatch — camphor, peppermint, lemongrass, and eucalyptus oils in a patch you put on the front side of your shoulder. Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath, with mustard, rosemary, wintergreen, eucalyptus, and thyme, is good for a serious schwitz bath.
Ever since 2nd Ave Deli closed, we haven't come to any conclusions as to what bowl should wear the crown for the city's best Jewish penicillin. We're leaning to Katz's, but we welcome your votes.
Elderberry syrup has long been used to treat flu symptoms — it may reduce severity and duration. Sambucol black elderberry extract is available at Vitamin Shoppes and elsewhere.
Among ginger's uses, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, is relief from chest congestion. Here's his remedy: tea with ginger and cayenne.
Jamba's Coldbuster, with its 2000% of Vitamin C, goes down well when you're down for the count. Multiple locations around the city.
Kleenex makes an anti-viral tissue with a moisture-activated middle layer designed to kill cold and flu viruses.
We always trust the Brits when it comes to colds, and their Lemsip is a case in point. Available at Myers of Keswick, 634 Hudson [Horatio/Jane] 212.691.4194, this lemon drink, which you make with hot water, seems to take the sting out of a cold.
NyQuil used to inspired devotion among frequent cold catchers as the best ticket to dreamland. But since they changed the formula (no more pseudophedrine) lots of people think it's just not as good.
Ocean and Ayr are two brands of nasal saline spray — which soothes and moisturizes nasal membranes, counteracting the dryness of New York apartments in the winter.
Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy that's used to reduce the symptoms of flu: fever, chills, aches, and pains.
Ponaris was developed by NASA for astronauts en route, this nasal emollient, available at drugstores, relieves nasal congestion, dryness, and post-nasal drip. It's made up of oils of pine, eucalyptus, peppermint, cajeput, and cottonseed. We couldn't get through a winter without it.
If you're bellying up, House and Garden's 1973 recipe is a classic:
2 or 3 ounces dark rum
Twist lemon peel
Sweet cider or water
1 tablespoon sweet butter
Put the rum, lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves in a pewter tankard or any heavy 12-ounce mug that has been rinsed in very hot water to warm it. Heat the cider or water to the boiling point and pour into the spiced rum. Add the pat of butter and stir well. Grate a little nutmeg on top. A cube of sugar may be added as well.
Tea, of course. But here's one you might not know, courtesy of Prevention: Boneset-Yarrow Tea. Used by Cherokees for over 3,000, it helps break a fever.
Plenty of people believe in C, though many doctors discount it. Ester-C, a formulation of the vitamin, is said to be absorbed more quickly and is easier on the stomach than plain vitamin C.
A Chinese blend of herbs and other compounds (it includes honeysuckle and forsythia) said to fight an oncoming cold.
A thorny one: lots of people swear by Zicam. But the makers paid out $12 million last year in a class-action lawsuit to settle a claim that Zicam could cause permanent damage to the sense of smell.
Zinc in Cold-Eeze and other such preparations, may cut down the duration of your cold.