Everyone around me it seems is battling a cold or flu lately, including me, a nasty little bug imported from Texas. And whenever I get a cold it generally goes straight to my chest.
I have felt so miserable I decided to try an old remedy my mom, and mostly likely her mom before her used for colds and flu, an old fashion mustard plaster.
What is the magic of mustard you ask...
The ancient Greeks believed that Mustard was the gift of the Greek god of healing, Asclepious, to mankind. The Chinese used it thousands of years ago. Mustard has been used across the globe as a spice or a medicinal plant. It has been used in war times for healing wounds, and during epidemics, for ailments such as stomach disorders, toothaches, and scorpion bites. The color of mustard can range from yellowish white to black. Mustard is loaded with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, iron, dietary fiber, calcium, protein, and zinc.
Mustard contains chemical compounds which are effective expectorants and `warming’ agents and mustard tea is great for relieving aches and pains, fever and colds. Mustard plasters have been used to help with asthma and bronchitis.
Mustard has an interesting history dating back over 5,000 years. Mustard Seeds come from different areas of Europe and Asia; white originating in the eastern Mediterranean regions, brown from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and black from the Middle East. Used in ancient Greece for their culinary properties, the Romans inventing paste from the ground seeds and both cultures used mustard for medicinal purposes. It is one of the most popular spices traded in the world today.
Here is my moms recipe...
Mom's Mustard Plaster
8 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. soda
Water or mineral oil (I use water)
Mix together and add enough warm water or mineral oil so it's like the consistency of icing. Spread this on 1/2 of piece of cotton material then fold other half of material over mixture. Apply to chest area for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and cover area with a warm cloth. Repeat twice a day front and back for best results. Caution must be taken to not burn the skin, so check every few minutes and remove if your skin is becoming red.
Here are some other great remedies for homemade cough and cold season:
Simple Cough Syrup
Hyssop Cough Syrup
Marshmallow Cough Syrup
Mix 1 tsp honey with 1 tsp lemon juice and dash of cayenne pepper. Take like cough syrup. This does not prevent cough, but does relieve throat pain in two ways. First, the honey and lemon coat the throat. Second, the cayenne pepper brings blood cells needed to fight off infection to the throat area.
More about Mustard: