Open wide…


It’s time for your flu shot.

Or rather, mine. We’ve been hit by (in the words of my friend Liz) “The Flu Which Shall Not Be Named.” At least we think so. Our neighbors (the ones my kids play with on a daily basis) had the flu, and then my son started a fever and nasty, croupy cough a day or two later. Since I have some semi-reliable sources that say that almost any flu that’s going around right now is probably THE flu, we’re assuming that’s the one.

I cannot tell you how excited I am.

Within reason, of course. While I probably wouldn’t have attended a so-called “swine flu party,” I AM a big fan of natural exposure as opposed to vaccinations. Since we don’t have any immuno-suppressed members of our family, I’d rather be exposed, let our bodies fight it off, and be stronger against similar strains in the future. But that’s just me, and most of my friends and extended family disagree. I’m ok with that.

That being said, I’m not exactly dying to lie in bed for five days with a fever. So I’m turning to all my tried-and-true au naturelle methods of fighting viruses. I have my dear friend Caroline, in Athens, to thank for the one pictured above. What you see there is a spoonful of finely chopped fresh garlic. I eat it, twice a day (three times if I’m already feeling sick). You don’t have to chew it, but it does work best when the garlic oil coats your throat a little before washing it down with water. Garlic is a potent antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral, and truly works wonders fighting a pesky cold or other virus.*

I must admit here, however, that my husband hates this practice of mine. Not only will he not do it, he is mildly horrified by my propensity toward chomping down and then reeking of the stuff. This is one case where we agree to disagree, and I try to avoid partaking in his presence. We would employ a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, but, well, there’s no way to hide the tell.

I won’t sugar-coat this (although, that’s not a bad idea: for three glorious days last winter, I actually had my children eating raw garlic, if only I would put it on a cracker topped with a teaspoon of honey). It’s not as easy as popping a decongestant. But I still like it better, because it actually keeps me from getting sick (or gets me better faster) and I don’t feel loopy the rest of the day. I do, however, tend to feel a bit lonely.

Whew. I sort of feel like I just confessed something seedy. Maybe I’ll sleep better, knowing my secret is out. If nothing else, my friends around town might have a better understanding of why, on some days, I smell like I’ve been working the line at our local Olive Garden.

* Contrary to what some people near and dear to me might believe, I am not simply an easy target for any and all form of snake oil remedy. Read this.

4 thoughts on “Open wide…

  1. Proud of you and your garlic-ness. I resorted to a generic version of Theraflu- which seriously made me feel loopy for a full 12+ hours. But I kinda liked it, so I did it again the next day… We’re all better here, just a lingering cough. Hope everyone in your home is on the mend.

  2. It’s so great to hear that someone else out there feels exactly as I do- I don’t want me and my family to get the flu but if it’s going around I think it’s better to get it and let our bodies fight it off. I would totally eat raw garlic but I can’t digest it so I settle for making soups with lots of garlic in it when I’m feeling low. I also made elderberry syrup which is known to help protect against the flu and if you get the flu it is known to reduce the severity of it. Many of my friends are also in acute disagreement about this approach.

    I wish your kiddos and yourself the swiftest recovery possible!!

  3. Mmm, garlic. I’m not sure I like it quite that much, though. Usually when I’m on the verge of illness, it’s one part honey to one part vinegar and drink up! It goes down easier than straight vinegar (gag). Hope y’all get better quickly!

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