(Originally featured in Arizona City Independent Edition, February 27, 2008)

Are you among the fortunate few who haven’t been bit by one of those new-fangled super-flu bugs? Well, Jim and I weren’t so lucky ourselves!

After ten years of suffering no more than a few hours at a time from any sort of respiratory infection, we finally met our match. But we fought back, and we were successful, in both limiting the effects of the “bug” and the duration of our illness. Thanks to my handy-dandy flu-fighting arsenal, we were doing fine again in record time.

If you check the articles above, you'll find the recipes that have helped us fend off colds and flu for many years. The good thing about having so many tricks in my bag is that when one doesn’t seem to work quickly against a particular bug, another one will probably do the job.

At the first sign of the sniffles, I pull out the vitamin C and swallow it with a cup of hot sugar water. Then I reach into the freezer for a cup of the vegetable broth I keep handy just for this situation. When the broth is almost liquid again, I zap it in the microwave and drink it down. By that time, my symptoms are almost gone, and I’ve won another bout with whatever virus tried to get me.

This year, though, the battle was a bit tougher. Jim came down with the symptoms late one week, so he took a bit of broth and some vitamin C once or twice over the weekend and went to work on Monday morning. He was back home by noon, and he stayed home and rested on Tuesday. By Monday morning, I had the same symptoms, so I quickly hit the broth and vitamin C, but when Tuesday rolled around, I was still wheezing too. By then we were on our second batch of vegetable broth--and wondering if we’d finally met the flu bug that was immune to our holistic recipes.

In the end, though, we should never have doubted. By Tuesday afternoon, both of us noticed an improvement, and by Wednesday morning, we were symptom-free. Jim suffered the longest because he wasn’t as diligent as I in beginning these natural “medicines” quickly and keeping up with them as often as he should. Once I got into the act and made sure he took enough broth and vitamin C, that pesky bug was on the run from his body. And my bout with the flu lasted less than 48 hours.

On the other hand, I’ve been hearing about some flu bugs going around that can put people down for a week or more. Worse, this season’s flu shots don’t seem to have much effect on the new strains, and neither do many of the latest antiviral medications. So it’s great to have our old-fashioned tried-and-true “cures” that have never failed us, though as I’ve explained, sometimes we have to take them a little longer than usual. Still, two days is so much better than a week or more.

Another thing we might have done to fight this bug would have been to eat more sauerkraut over the last few months, ever since the cold weather kicked in. You’ll also find that tip explained above. Sauerkraut is one of the best foods available to help strengthen the immune system. It’s certainly a delicious way to prevent and fight disease.

So, if you find yourself coming down with some kind of respiratory ailment, don’t hesitate to grab the vitamin C and sugar water, along with the vegetable broth. And you can top it all off with a plate full of sauerkraut. You probably won’t be bothered with that pesky bug for too long.


Debbie Jordan