Ah, Gollum, how I have missed you, gazing back at me from the mirror, through slitty, puffy eyes, with giant red nose and mouth half-open, like a semi-conscious neanderthal. Never again will I complain about my lot, beauty-wise. In future, I promise faithfully, whatever nature throws at me, I will gleefully settle for 'not Gollum'. Honest.
So here are some of the remedies I have tried over the past few days, because I hate being ill. I am the worst, most impatient patient and I will try everything to win the Battle of the Soggy Tissue. It's a mission.
Since the world began, or since Grandmothers were young, which ever came first, chicken soup has been hailed as the cure-all of the culinary universe. I had always assumed this was very much psychological. A sort of placebo of warmth and goodness, wrapping your scratchy throat and ragged tonsils in a blanket of comfort. However, according to some boffins somewhere important, it has recently been shown that chicken soup does in fact have some, er, stuff in it, that actually boosts our flu-fighting immunity. So there you go, you can't argue with science.
This one I haven't tried and you will understand why, in about thirty seconds. Apparently, before the advent of antibiotics and sensible pharmacists, well-meaning parents would slather their unsuspecting off-spring in goose fat. This was liberally spread over the chest and back and then the ailing infants, I kid you not, were wrapped in brown paper. Yes, brown paper, like an oddly-shaped care package. Probably wise not to venture to close to the Post Office, I would imagine, but, eugh. Let's just not.
Steam is my saviour. It is the unsung hero of my sinuses and, best of all, it is free. I am unsure of the scientific benefits of inhaling steam (no boffin news on this one, I'm afraid) and I strongly suspect that it is another remedy that is favoured for its warming, comforting effects, as much as its ability to loosen stubborn mucus. Whatever the reason, though, residing under a towel, over a bowl of recently boiled water, is the best way to spend cold-time. You can even add in some drops of eucalyptus oil, to give an even more tube-unblocking boost. There is also the possibility of receiving murmurs of sympathy from passers by as you languish under your towel and that's always nice.
This is a herbal remedy and the jury is still out on the issue of placebo or protector, but I am on the side of protector. My family have a really annoying habit of bringing home the most disgusting, germ riddled, vile colds a few days before I have something important to do, like a job interview. Ensuring that I will be fully infected and totally Gollumified (it's a word) on the day in question. I have found that if I keep on lobbing Echinacea down my throat for the days leading up to the big event, I can keep myself snot-free, sometimes permanently. The cold will pass me by completely, much to the disgust of my nearest and dearest. The elixir seems a bit more effective than the tablets, but it looks like petrol and tastes pretty vile too, so it will depend on your level of desperation, whether you want to risk it.
Vapour Rub... for the feet!
A weird one to finish, but this has been known to work. I don't know why though. I literally have no idea. It's not even particularly comforting. It feels disgusting, it smells worse... but, anyway, here goes. Before you go to bed, take a pot of vapour rub, apply the substance liberally to the soles of your feet, add a pair of warm, fluffy socks and retire to sleep. In the morning, you will hopefully find your symptoms significantly lessened, avoiding that cotton-wool stuffed, 'a hedgehog has died in my mouth', feeling you will normally wake up with during a cold.
I hope you have enjoyed my semi-useful tips. Feel better soon!