01 February 2006

Hot lemonade soothes a tickly throat

Last night, my six year-old son was awake with a not-serious-but-constant hacking cough (from the sounds of it, similar to what Whiffleboy's daughter suffered with). The usual remedies weren't helping. In a fit of inspiration (or perhaps it was desperation), I fixed him a cup of hot lemonade -- a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, and hot water -- which he sucked down right away, and within 5 minutes, he was asleep. Nice Vitamin C hit, too.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips

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I've been battling a sore throat and that's what I'm using and it's great :)

Hot lemonade is wonderful for sore throats. It's even better sweetened with honey instead of sugar, because the honey is beneficial for your throat as well.

I used hot lemonade to keep my voice together when I was singing in a professional choir.

I heat water with lemon juice, honey, and a piece of fresh ginger to make mine. Delicious and soothing. Unfortunately I can't get my kids to even consider drinking it!

It's not appropriate for small children, but for older ones and adults, the best sore-throat remedy I've ever encountered is gargling with dilute hydrogen peroxide -- plain old 3% peroxide ($1.99 a pint at the local grocery store) diluted with an equal volume of hot water.

It tastes awful and is uncomfortable to do, but wow does it ever work. Gargle with salt water afterwards if you're feeling a little raw.

I seldom need to do it more than once to wipe out whatever's brewing. As a bonus, it also really helps prevent bleeding gums when flossing.

ObDuh: It should go without saying that you do NOT want to swallow.

Hot lemonade works for upset stomachs as well. This was a basic home remedy on the Italian side of the family. For adults, the sore throat version includes a shot of whiskey--sort of homemade Nyquil (or as my dad calls it, the Hemingway cure).

We just microwave the from-concentrate kind for my husband when he is sick, still great. He prefers limeade, in fact. For me, I like feeling Drambuie burn its way down my throat - I am certain it is killing all germs in its path, and seems to have been working for me for years. Just a little shot, this is not a "purely medicinal" drunkfest!

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