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Olba’s Pastilles in the USA

Olbas Pastilles

I just spotted Olba’s Pastilles at my local Sprouts supermarket. Different packaging than the British version, but certainly the same herbal lozenges we all know and love when you’re feeling under the weather!

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Man flu

I’ve mentioned man flu briefly in a previous post. But I feel it is my public health duty to dedicate a full post to this malady.

For the uninitiated: “Man flu is a crippling and debilitating disorder indiscriminately striking down male members of the human species without warning. The illness is often referred to pejoratively by female members of the species who are in fact immune from the illness as man flu is now known to exclusively attack the XY chromosome carrier. If Man Flu is kind enough not to kill the infected party it will definitely leave him weak, sick, hurting everywhere and in dire need of TLC.”

Sound familiar? Check out www.manflu.info. It has been created to provide assistance for the men who are hapless victims of man flu (and the women who love them).

A hotter toddy

Photo credit: F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal

Photo credit: F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal

Is it just me or is this cold/flu season hitting particularly hard?

I suffered the better part of November with a lingering cough that I couldn’t kick (although I would’ve kicked it hard, wearing a pair of steel-toed Doc Martens, if I could) – and the more people that I talk to, the more I realize that this is one monster of a cold going around. But never fear … there are remedies! Good ones! In this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, a suggestion for an outstanding one went something like this:

Hot Toddy

In a large cup, combine 1 spoonful honey, juice of 1/4 lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, small dash of cayenne (optional but recommended) and the tea bag of your choice. Stick 3 cloves into 1 small lemon wedge and add to the cup. Pour in a slug of bourbon, as much or as little as you like. Fill cup with boiling water, stir well and let steep 5 minutes. Savor slowly; repeat as necessary.

Yes! Cayenne and tea jazz up this classic recipe. The writer suggests Earl Gray, Chai, ginger tea or, indeed, chamomile, if you’re seeking a little sleeping solace. I have whiskey in the house, but no bourbon (and I do think that Jim Beam would be a delightful choice in this scenario), but now have a good (and health-giving) reason to buy some.

If you try this recipe, please tell me what you think!

Airborne and Berocca

So it’s been a ridiculously busy week for me and I’ve been nobly fighting off the beginnings of a cold for several days now.

My battle plan is simple: at first signs of a cold, I drop an Airborne in a small cup of water, wait until it stops fizzing and drink. This vitamin-packed tablet always seems to stave off a cold for me if taken early.

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