‘Tis the Season

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We’ve been fighting colds around here.  The students are sick, the teachers are sick.  It’s a bit of a mess.  I mentioned last year that Turks have a preference for natural remedies over the Big Pharma treatments, and as such, I’ve been exposed to a lot more ways to deal with cold and flu season.

Before coming here, I’d usually just guzzle down some Therma-Flu or Nyquil and call it good, but those things are not readily available here, so I often have to improvise.  We also live in a remote area, which makes it a pain to go to a doctor or pharmacy unless it’s an actual emergency.  Many of my Turkish friends swear by the power of tea and have different ones for different ailments.  More and more often, I find myself turning to an herbal tea with lemon, ginger, and honey for a sore throat or a mint tea for an upset stomach.  There’s something very comforting about using these natural ingredients.

This week, we decided to try out a recipe I had had archived since my early college days, back when I was obsessed with Modcloth and followed their blog regularly.  I would constantly go back and look at it every time I didn’t feel well, but never mustered up the motivation to get the ingredients.  This week just happened to be one of the weeks where we were running low on groceries, but didn’t feel like going out or going to the cafeteria.  Luckily, we almost always have carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes on hand here in Turkey (for mercimek corbasi and Japanese curry!), and I remembered this recipe and decided to give it a shot.

We added some white beans and omitted the celery because we didn’t have any, and I probably tripled the garlic (it’s good for immunity, right?), but anyway, this was a great way to make a comforting dinner with very few ingredients.  I will keep it in my pocket for the next time one of us falls under the weather again!

What are your go-to natural remedies for cold and flu season?  I’ll try just about anything once!

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