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By Yariv Barsheshat February 11, 2009

The Long Road to Health and Happiness

In today’s world, it seems as if people are always looking for easy fixes for their various aches, pains and illnesses. Just walking through the aisles of a pharmacy, you can find pills that claim to cure just about anything. Admittedly, I am among the people who, perhaps, rely too much on modern medication. Let’s face it, everyone knows that Advil is “tough on pain” and that Pepto-Bismol cures everything from upset stomachs to, well, you know. Nevertheless, there is something redeeming about using natural and traditional remedies when you’re sick. In fact, I still use my mother’s home remedy for getting rid of colds today.

The first and most important part of this cure is a large bowl of chicken soup with rice. The soup should be lukewarm, and not too salty. As I drink the soup, the soothing liquid relieves the soreness in my throat and opens up my sinuses. I must say that for me, there is nothing more satisfying than having my nose unblocked. I have very fond memories of sitting in front of the TV, watching my favourite cartoons, and having my mother come and check on me and bring me endless bowls of her delicious soup.

The other part of this cure is a lukewarm cup of mint tea, sweetened with honey. Once again, the warm liquid helps soothe my throat, but, as well, it helps get rid of my headaches and fever. When I am at home with a cold, I like drinking my tea under my warm comforter on my bed while reading a book or watching a movie. It is a truly relaxing experience to be able to sit in bed, sip tea, and enjoy a good read. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has not had the opportunity to do so yet. After having my soup and tea, I find that my cold will dissipate within the next day or so.

I think that the most important part of this home remedy is not so much its exact effectiveness, but the experience of the remedy itself. One can argue that a cold will go away without any treatment whatsoever in a couple of days, but I believe that the whole activity surrounding the remedy heals my spirit as much as my body. In fact, I enjoy the whole experience so much that in some sense, I look forward to getting colds. That is not to say that I enjoy being sick. I simply crave the enjoyment that I get from taking part in a complete healing process. It is true that cough syrups such as Buckley’s and Robitussin are quite effective in getting rid of many of my cold symptoms. However, they are nowhere near as satisfying as my mom’s traditional remedy for colds.

I guess realistically, I am never going to give up on modern medication. Its convenience and effectiveness are just too much to ignore. Nonetheless, I will still anxiously wait for the next time I can lay under the covers, read some books, watch movies, and enjoy a nice, warm bowl of chicken soup with rice.


The photograph is taken by Pengrin, under CC BY-NC 2.0


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    March 22, 2009

    Hey Yariv,
    I think you were right on the money with this piece. I really enjoyed it. I found it very well written and appropriate for today’s society where all we want are quick fixes. I absolutely love my grandmother’s homemade chicken soup, although I prefer it with small noodles. I find that it clears my mind because I always get an added stress that comes along with being sick, and I experience my mind opening and relaxing when enjoying chicken noodle soup. An ingredient I find effective in tea is ginger with honey. I love the combination of the two and I have experienced quick recoveries drinking it. I really appreciated your piece; it was very descriptive and personal.  It reminds people to put away that common cold pill and go with the old fashioned way of curing those dreadful colds. I would like to know if you think that exercising while you are sick can help rid a cold? Or do you believe that relaxing and being lazy, letting your body heal with time is the best way of relieving it?

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