Years ago when I worked in the Field before coming into the Office and Planning I was on an Emergency Response Crew that was called out to a fire. I don’t want to go too far into a tangent and frankly I don’t know how much I can say given the terms of the Workers Comp Settlement but basically ever since then I have suffered with numerous respiratory conditions. Chronic sinus infections, ear infections, sore throats, headaches, etc… It ebbs and flows going from bad to worse; sometimes when it gets really bad – I call it my respiratory flare up – it’ll knock me off my feet and I’ll have to take a few sick days. Which is what happened recently.
As the years have gone by I’ve discovered several techniques and treatments that have helped me keep my condition under control and most importantly get me back up on my feet after a flare up. Of course here’s the mandatory disclaimer I’m not a doctor and I’m not prescribing any type of medical treatments and I highly recommend talking to a doctor before doing anything. This is just me sharing my information about what I do and what seems to work for me in my specific situation. Ok with that out of the way…
How I Treat My Sinus & Respiratory Problems
The greatest source of healing comes from the body’s own restorative and healing processes. For the most part, aside from antibiotics & surgery, most medical treatments deal with the symptoms of disease and not the root cause of the problem; it’s the body itself that heals the underlying illness. So the most important thing to do is give the body time to rest and drink lots of water it’s the body’s detox mechanism.
My Spanish Hot Toddy is my go to treatment the first couple days once I start to feel some sinus pressure or a tickle in my throat.
First I start with a high quality herbal tea full of natural immune supporting herbs. My favorite is the Traditional Medicinal Seasonal Sampler Box (Cold Season that is) and I always start with the Gypsy Cold Care tea. It has Elder Flower which has been used for centuries due to its antiviral and antibiotic properties as well as being packed full of antioxidants. A study from 2009 in the Online Journal of Pharmacology and PharmacoKinetics showed:
Elder flower extract is very effective in treating flu symptoms. Participants experiencing three or more flu symptoms were given four doses daily of elder flower extract at 175 milligrams, while others were given a placebo. After just two days, 28 percent of the elder flower group were no longer experiencing symptoms and 60 percent had significantly less severe symptoms, while the placebo group showed no improvements in symptom prevalence or severity.
Also packed with Yarrow Flower and Hyssop which have themselves been used for ages as medicinal treatments for respiratory illnesses.
Organic and pure raw honey has numerous antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Add to that its powerful antioxidant immune strengthening abilities that can even eliminates allergies in some cases. And lets not forget it has a delicious sweet taste that goes wonderfully with this tea.
Traditionally, brandy has been used as an effective means to relieve respiratory issues, such as coughs or sore throats. The strong alcoholic content can help eliminate bacteria and loosens up phlegm and mucus, thereby acting as a type of expectorant. The anti-inflammatory properties in brandy can also help soothe the irritation that causes coughing and sore throats. Not to mention for hundreds of years, brandy has been relied on as a traditional solution for the common cold or flu. The natural warming properties of brandy, mixed with its relaxing quality that induces healthy sleep and the antibacterial nature of alcohol, all make this delicious liquor a great boost for the immune system by eliminating pathogens that may be in your system and boosting the immune system with the help of its antioxidants. I typically use a mid-tier Spanish brandy for something like this, a Cognac or other high end brandy would be a bit of a waste in this circumstance.
I use organic lemons because I put a few slices into the toddy along with the juice. Lemons are full of antioxidants and vitamins. Not to mention the juice adds a subtle fresh & tangy flavor to the drink.
I add a small amount ground cinnamon and ginger. Both of these spices have extensive antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal properties while strengthening and supporting the immune system. I prefer to use the a tiny bit of ground because then you actually ingest them and get the full effect vs a more limited flavoring only effect. Just a little goes a long way in the flavor department so be careful not to overdo it but they do add subtle exotic complexity to the taste.
Spanish Hot Toddy Recipe
- 6 oz. Hot Water
- 2 oz. Spanish Brandy
- 1 bag Traditional Medicinals Herbal Tea
- 1 tsp. Organic Raw Honey
- 1/8 tsp. Freshly Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Ground Dried Ginger
- Juice of a lemon with 2 sliced rings
- Using a large oversized coffee mug place the tea bag, hot water and all the ingredients except for brandy into cup and cover for 8-10 minutes to allow everything to steep.
- Add brandy and stir to incorporate
- Drink and savor