Who hasn’t had a cold and wanted the coughing to just stop?
The common cold, flu, allergies, and asthma can cause inflammation in the lungs due to mucus build-up, making it hard to breathe. The only way to forcefully clear the lungs is by coughing, which can be painful, irritating and distracting. Cough syrups, lozenges, and other over-the-counter medications can help relieve symptoms, but don’t eliminate the mucus that aggravates the bronchioles.
This centuries-old recipe for a ginger wrap to treat chest congestion is safe for children, and at-home preparation and use. Not to mention pinny-pinching mommas can save a dime or two using a homemade remedy, that has zero side effects, with ingredients most likely already in the kitchen.
Gather your ingredients. You will need a tablespoon of ginger powder or fresh ginger juice collected from the ground root, raw organic honey, olive oil, all-purpose flour, napkins, adhesive tape, and gauze or cheesecloth. You can find bandage adhesive tape and gauze at your local drugstore and all other ingredients at the supermarket. You can also substitute coconut oil or vegetable oil for the olive oil if you do not have any on-hand, as mentioned in this article.
After you’ve gathered everything you need, it’s time for prep work. First, mix one-quarter cup of honey and flour, equal parts, until they become one. The mixture is thick, so you will need to use your hands to knead it together.
Next, pour a teaspoon of the oil of your choice and tablespoon of ginger into the mixture. Now, stir it all together until it is well-combined. The measurements can be adjusted as needed. For example, you may need more than a teaspoon of olive oil. The texture you want is viscous, so that it doesn’t drip, but not so viscous that you cannot spread the concoction across the countertop.
Next, spoon the ginger and honey mixture onto a napkin. If you want to make your life even easier, you can buy one of these non-adhesive pads and skip the napkin step. You’ll want to glop it in even sections and let gravity spread it evenly on the material; the concoction will soak up the other side on its own.
Lastly, wrap the gauze around the napkin, making sure all surface area is covered, then trim to the correct length.
Use the adhesive tape to secure the napkin and gauze to yours or your child’s chest. Just be sure to place it above or to the right of the heart, not directly on it. If you plan to leave it on overnight, go the extra mile and lay some towels across the bed; one reported side effect is profuse sweating. Gross, maybe, but worth it.
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This wrap should be applied for a duration of 2-3 hours before bedtime and then removed, although adults can leave it on overnight. Parents are cautioned: it may be unsafe to administer this wrap to children under 12 months, due to a chance of ingestion and complications as a result. There are bacteria in honey that children’s immune systems cannot tolerate, yet, specifically in the gastrointestinal tracts. It is better to be safe than sorry, so just don’t use this on your baby.
Zingiber officinale, the scientific name for ginger, was proven in one study to significantly inhibit the number of citric acid-induced cough efforts in guinea pigs when administered orally. Ginger has been found to have therapeutic activity and antibacterial properties that can fight pathogens. It can also alleviate the symptoms of asthma, though it cannot treat asthma or reverse the current condition or stage of respiratory disease.
Honey has been proven to be more effective and more preferable to parents than dextromethorphan, a common cough medication in relieving their child’s nocturnal upper respiratory infection symptoms.
While there is evidence to suggest that honey and ginger are effective in treating negative respiratory symptoms when taken orally, there is no current evidence to support the effectiveness of the ginger wrap. But with thousands of years of usage and other research that supports the treatment of respiratory symptoms with ginger and honey, it just may be that a housewife can know something a doctor doesn’t.
Sources: [Ajol, The Guardian, Health Awareness For All, Healthy Life Community, Jama Network, Let’s Talk, Liebert Pub, Mayo Clinic, Natural Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI, Parents, Prevent Disease, Prevent Disease, Real Natural, Real Natural, Reflection of Mind, Research Gate, The Health Guide, The Hearty Soul, Your Stylish Life,