You know the feeling, that itch in the back of your throat, the tingle in your sinuses that says you’ve got a cold coming on?  It’s at this point that I start downing the Airborne from my stockpile in hopes that it will work some voodoo magic (which, honestly, I can’t swear to ever having happened).  When I start to feel like I’m getting sick, or even that one of my kids is coming down with something, I’ll do almost anything to stop the illness from progressing.  This feeling of desperation begs the question, What would I do to avoid it?  Well, here’s one (hard core!) krazy couponer’s strategy for staying healthy all school year.

This is one of the cheapest remedies for warding off colds and the flu.  Not only  is it inexpensive to make, but most families will have many of the ingredients on hand. Assuming that it works, it will save you mounds of doctor co-pays.  We have three children, so you can just imagine the savings for our family.  So why am I thinking about cold remedies already?  Well, the school year just started, and we all know that’s how those nasty viruses spread so quickly.  This recipe will need to be prepared four weeks before using.  Last year I waited way too long to make this and regretted it.  Not this time around, though…I’m going to be ready!

Benefits listed by ingredient

  • Ginger helps ease digestive discomfort and provides natural anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Cayenne has antioxidants that support the lungs, and the capsicum thins mucus, allowing you to expel it easier.  It will help with sinus congestion and coughs.
  • Onions also help remove phlegm and are extremely high in antioxidants, which help the body fight free-radicals and boost the immune response.
  • Horseradish will not only clear mucus but has a mild natural antibiotic effect.
  • Rosemary has the ability to disarm harmful toxins and flushes them from your body.
  • Sage fights against several infection-causing bacteria and soothes pain from sore throat.
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin, and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine.  It also has malic acid, which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. It’s been known to be helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, and a host of many other ailments.  Beware – Not all apple cider vinegars are created equal!  The best type of apple cider vinegar to use is one made from cold pressed, organically grown whole apples, to which no chemicals or preservatives have been added, which contains the “mother of vinegar”, and is not pasteurized.

Cold Kicker Ingredients:

¼ cup ginger root, freshly grated
¼ cup onion, freshly chopped
¼ cup horseradish, freshly grated
¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
4 cloves of garlic (but I use 6)
2 Tbsp. ground cayenne pepper
organic apple cider vinegar to cover (Bragg’s is a great brand)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a quart size mason jar and fill to the top, leaving 1 inch headspace.
  2. Shake daily for 2-4 weeks, then strain, squeezing out all the liquid.
  3. Rebottle and use 2 tablespoons as needed.

How to Store: If you get all the particles out, you should be able to store this on the counter or in the pantry for up to 6 months.  To play it safe, I keep mine in the refrigerator.

We happen to like the taste, so we drink it straight up.  We’re pretty hardcore.  Well, not so much…it just tastes like spicy salad dressing.  One of these days I’m going to try it on chicken.  Some people mix it with a hot cup of water and honey.  Others have been known to add it to chicken broth.  It works either way.

This has been a guest post by Jackie from Clifton Park, NY
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Natural Cold Kicker Remedy: Not for the Faint of Heart