Sickness, Salt and Spices

ginger tea in a cup

The world is full of natural remedies, some of them so old that it doesn’t seem in anyone’s best interests to turn a blind eye. If they’ve been around this long. there just must be something to them!

Recently one of my close friends gifted me with a bottle of sole (pronounced sole-lay). I had heard about this stuff but never really tried it before. That’s a type of Sea Salt elixir that you are supposed to drink every morning to replace electrolytes, stimulate metabolism and increase energy levels. Sole is a preventative and pretty much great for everything. Anyway, I’m on board!

Bet you’re wondering how  you make this stuff?

Well… you basically put about two inches of pink Himalayan Sea Salt in a glass jar and add spring or filtered water then cover and let it sit overnight; if it’s all dissolved you add another inch. You want to get it to the point where its saturated with salt. Essentially, it’s like a science experiment. But once you get it right – and it’s not hard – you take a shot glass of this stuff every day first thing in the morning.

It’s like drinking the ocean.

Some people think it’s gross.  Me?  I like it! It’s elemental… and so good for you.

In fact. I wish I had started drinking this stuff a long time ago; I just got over my first bout of flu in years and it was not a pleasant experience. Sole could have been my saving grace.

For nearly two weeks I wandered around like the walking dead only far less quiet; one night I coughed for nearly an hour and a half straight and actually pulled a muscle in my groin.

Now, it does not feel good to tell anyone this. I’m supposed to be the picture of glowing health and honestly I am for the most part. Of course some days I ‘glow’ more than others; some days I look in the mirror and see… oh my God! A human being: flawed and imperfect, with circles under my eyes and everything else.

Now, what’s that all about?

I live in a house with four children ranging in age from 2 through eight and one feisty, opinionated teenager who does virtually  nothing to add order to the pot. Never mind that this is essentially a vegan family whose digressions arise only out of the public school system where lunches lend little consideration to health or the wellbeing of either our children or the planet.

Face it: if we all lived alone in a cave, we would probably never get sick.

But schools are like petri dishes and it’s not just homework that the kids are taking out of their backpacks every night. Illness weaves its way through the school system and into our home with astonishing regularity. Often, fortified with the benefits of what is predominantly an exemplary diet (toot, toot, there goes my own horn) I am the last one standing. This time too.

Until I fell..

Let me tell you something: if you fall in a house with five kids, it’s hard to get up. Not that there’s a question of doing it or not…. that’s a ‘have to’. It’s self-preservation,  so, at the very least, they don’t  step on you!. But it doesn’t feel good. And it’s certainly not pretty. This is one of those suffer and bear moments that stretches on way too long. And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this but once you’ve nursed everyone else to health again and you get sick, they just want to keep you as far away from them as possible. All logic will not convince them that you are not going to make them sick again.

Oh, but of course, sick or not, they still want you to make them food. You’re still good for that.They will wake you from a comatose slumber just to inform you that they’re hungry.

And what are you going to do about that? What I do? “Go outside kids and grab yourself a carrot”. I watch through the window from my prone position as they root through the dirt for the last  vegetables of the season, looking like some vagrant waifs. They find radishes I didn’t even know were there.

Naturally, all is not lost. There are remedies. And,as a woman with the colorful inheritance of gypsy tradition courtesy of my Hungarian ancestry, the remedies are plentiful. Here’s some of my favorites: start drinking them now and you can forget about getting sick altogether.


1 cup apple juice (or cider)

½ cup water

1 Tablespoon. Lemon Juice

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

dash or two cayenne pepper (to taste)

1 teaspoon agave nectar

Heat apple juice with water, whisking in other ingredients.


4 cups water

3 inches fresh ginger, sliced

juice of one lemon

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Mix all ingredients and set on stovetop at medium high heat. Bring almost to boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

This can be left on the stovetop virtually all day; just add water and when it seems like its tasting diluted, more ginger.

Of course, here in New Mexico, we have an incredible remedy that will burn just about anything out of your system – including your intestines! Just chomp down on some hot green chiles. We got a big bag of chiles from our ‘Uncle Paul’ the other day. Even though that bag was supposed to be sacrosanct till roasting, nobody could stay away from it. I will tell you: there were tears. I too, cried. Everyone was literally running around the house with their mouths wide open, some whining, some screaming at the top of their lungs. It was like an asylum. Only cold almond milk would take the sting away. But next day? Not a sniffle.

Now that’s a remedy.


%d bloggers like this: