Monday, December 15, 2014

Steamed Orange Cough Cure: Does It Work?

Here's the thing - remember that 3 days ago I wrote about trying out this strange folksy remedy with a steamed orange to help with my incessant coughing?

I tried my first steamed orange on Friday afternoon. I overdid the salt so I ended up with a saltier orange "juice" - the water that pools under the orange after steaming. I don't know what that's called but I call it juice since it is the water plus orange juice plus salt. I ate the orange pulp and drank up the salty juice. It was so salty my eyes were tightly shut as I drank it up!

Busy Saturday, Peppermint & Carrot 

On Saturday I was out and about starting from 9am. I was in a 3 hour workshop in an air-conditioned room and boy was it bad for my cough! My cough was definitely affected by extreme cold. I had to drink copious amounts of hot water to still my itchy throat. This was one of those coughing fits which was so bad that I teared up and my nose turned red. I had some relief by applying my Young Living peppermint essential oil, neat on the base of my throat.

(I never leave home without my peppermint essential oil - it's a life-saver for common colds, tummy aches, coughs and more! I once used it to repel flies at the Old Town Kopitiam outlet in Banting. I was so upset until I realized I had my trusty albeit expensive peppermint essential oil. Opened up the bottle and the flies all flew away! My parents were amazed.)

And more hot water! Luckily the event organizer had a thermos of hot water!

I didn't even feel like eating the curry puffs and cheese cake, tempting though they looked. My friend gave me another tip - actually a couple of friends started recommending all sorts of things to quell my coughing.

Kat told me to try soursop juice. (Where to find soursop? Not easy!)

Den told me to drink fresh carrot juice - pure juice, no ice, no sugar added. She said I needed to boost my immune system and carrot works for sore throats.

When the event ended, I was extremely hungry but I also had to run some errands. Drove home around 2pm, ate a quick lunch of fried rice before I had to go for a friend's new shop opening. I decided to swallow some Woods cough syrup first.

Miraculously No Coughing At Night

However, on Saturday night, I slept through the night without coughing! I didn't know whether it was Woods cough syrup (though I did take a tablespoonful before I retired to bed, just to ensure I was fighting the bacteria or germs of whatever that was causing my crazy cough).

The nights before I hardly slept because I was coughing throughout the night! It was no fun I tell you to wake up coughing.

On Sunday, Nic and I woke up early to check out the stalls at Beach Street and I felt fine, though I had the usual morning sputum. I did take a tablespoon of Woods cough syrup again just before I went out.

I ordered a carrot juice when we had our lunch - no ice and no sugar. I was also curious about carrot juice because I knew I loved juicing my own carrots at home. It's just that sometimes I am so lazy to wash the juicer after juicing carrots (my favourite recipe is to juice carrots and beetroot because together it helps with flushing out the liver plus beetroot has lots of iron - great for women by the way).

Carrot is actually good for the lungs (especially for smokers). It is also good for the Spleen, strengthening the Spleen and removing food stagnation. Carrots also contain high amounts of chlorogenic acid which can raise the body's immunity. Carrot juice is also closely tied to the liver meaning it is good for the liver but do not overdo drinking carrot juice as it can be too "yin" (says this website).

More Steamed Orange!

On Sunday afternoon I made another steamed orange (orange #2). Ate it up and drank up its juice.
Slept like a baby last night and only had a minor cough this morning when I woke up.

And today, I made steamed orange again (orange #3). Ate it right after my dinner.

I realized that immediately eating the steamed orange, I did cough and this coughing helped me expectorate sputum. But once the sputum was out of my body, I instinctively felt better!

I cannot describe the feeling but I do feel much better today. Nic told me to stay off the orange but I protested, "It works and I do feel my cough is much improved!"

And I can be quite stubborn so to hell with what the husband says. LOL. It's my body, my cough and if I can experiment with some thing as natural as an orange to cure my cough, well so be it. I'd rather eat a dozen mushy oranges than eat medicine!

Mardilyn, a friend whom I met on Saturday, was also coughing violently. I told her about this remedy. She asked how many times should she eat the orange.

I didn't have an answer for her but later realized that natural remedies aren't like pills - they don't work instantly.

It takes a couple of days and repeated "doses" to make it work. Still, there's nothing difficult or tedious about steaming an orange. All you need are 15-20 minutes. Prep time is even faster. Less than 5 minutes to slice an orange and chuck it into a steamer.

I am for one glad to report that the steamed orange cure works like an expectorant.

A Combination of Treatments That Worked For Me, Including This Exercise 

I am not sure if it was a combination of carrot juice (took twice), Woods peppermint cough syrup or the steamed orange. But these things seemed to work in tandem with each other.

Before I forget I must add that since my lungs were "cold" and my cough was a cold cough, I decided to warm up my body by eating grilled lamb chops for dinner on Saturday night! It helps that I love lamb and mutton. Lamb warms the kidneys and helps with weak kidney yang.

I also did some arm swinging exercise for 15 minutes each day to help with my circulation and Qi. This exercise is so easy to do and it has been a miracle cure for lots of serious illnesses and ailments.

Called Ping Shuai Gong, this exercise looks simple but after 15 minutes of repetitive arms swinging, I can work up a sweat! (Click the link to watch the 2 videos for the exercise).

You can do it any time, after a meal, on an empty stomach, morning, evening or night. Kids and adults can do it too.

I got to know of this last year when a friend sent me some Youtube videos on this super easy exercise. I haven't been doing it regularly but when I get ill, I start upping my Qi with this! I know, how lazy ya!

So yeah, if this odd combination of things work to help my cough, then it's great. I still think the steamed orange played a huge role.

I shall be updating my cough report soon.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cough Cure Experiment: Steamed Orange with Salt

Steamed orange with salt - a natural remedy touted for coughs. 

I don't know why I started coughing a week back.

But I also heard some of my friends have been having lingering coughs too. Weather? Maybe. It has been raining at night but blisteringly warm in the day. Change of temperature perhaps.

I have horrid experiences with coughing and it goes way back to my childhood days. Weak lungs maybe. Cold gets to me so I don't even wear bare back tops because my lungs might catch a cold! So travelling to cold countries is a bit of a love-hate relationship for me. I like that I don't sweat but I also know too much of cold and I get all wonky inside.

So yeah. From my past experience I only either get Wind Heat cough or Wind Cold cough. Both are terrible. 

Both are hacking, phlegmy and wrecks sleep especially at night. 

For the past week I have tried a lot of remedies. 

From drinking water steeped with Indian borage (plucked fresh from my garden) to eating royal jelly, I tried them all. 

Initially the cough wasn't so bad. 

But the past few days I was majorly annoyed. I was coughing at night and made me lose sleep. Had to wake up in the middle of the night to drink some hot water to soothe my itchy and dry throat.

It sucks when you don't get a full night's sleep. (I treasure my 8 hours. Since young I have always loved sleeping. If I don't get to bed by midnight I can get all heaty the next day and be grouchy.)

Finally Nic told me to grab Woods peppermint cough syrup from the Chinese medical hall. 

As an aside I noted that Woods now comes in 50ml and 100ml plastic bottles. When I was a kid, it came in larger glass bottles! How times have evolved.

Anyway I was taking 10ml of the pepperminty cough medicine 4 times a day. Seriously it did help. It loosens phlegm and disgusting as it is, we need to spit it out. So there I was running to the bathroom sink every few minutes to expel the loosened mucous. 

I also noticed that cold makes my cough worse - being in an air cond room for instance threw me into a coughing fit. I would tear up and turn red with all that sputtering. At some point I'd sneeze too. 

My cough was worse in the middle of the night and upon waking up. 

I actually finished one 100ml bottle of Woods peppermint cure in 2.5 days.

While waiting to go and buy another bottle, I recalled a cough remedy using orange. 

You see, I made a silly mistake last night. 

I sliced some oranges for Nic after dinner and thought since it is full of vitamin C I should also have some to boost my immunity. 

Bad idea. 

If you are coughing, avoid oranges like the plague. You will cough much worse and I experienced that last night. I was coughing like crazy! My throat was dry and itchy.

The other type of food to avoid are deep-fried or spicy food. That I was diligently avoiding.

So today I decided to dig up that remedy that I heard so much about. If fresh orange killed me, the opposite of that is steamed orange with salt which I believe will cure my cough.

I don't know why a steamed orange works the opposite way but changing the properties of natural food could change its effects.

It's quite easy. Just soak an orange in water for a while (just in case there are pesticides). Next slice about a third off the top. Using a fork, pierce the orange flesh while sprinkling some salt over. Caution: don't overdo the salt. Half a teaspoon is good. 

Cover the orange with its top. Place orange in a bowl. Put bowl into steamer or wok. Cover and steam over medium high heat for 15 minutes. Turn off fire - let the orange cool a little before you eat up the softened pulp. The orange "sweated" out some of its juice and salt into the bowl after 15 minutes and I also drank that salty liquid up. 

I am so crossing my fingers that this works. This is much better than eating cough medicines. 

Shall keep you posted on the results of my experiment.

P/S - I actually wrote a post about Chiangmai since I was there in November but that takes a backseat to this.