Winter health tips and a cup of Lemongrass chai courtesy the husband....

It was my second winter in the US and our first one with the baby... It had been snowing bonkers since the night before ... and by the time I was ready to tuck in the little fellow  for his afternoon nap, I realized his nose was blocked... BLOCKED NOSE !! I panicked... how would my child breadth ???

Inexperienced as I was, I thought an extra layering of woolens would help. Then I tried increasing the temperature of the room and finally when nothing seemed to soothe my boy, I called his dad. Declaring it an emergency I SOS-ed him home. ...You know how hyper and worked-up new moms can get..... 

Looking back I feel the sane thing to do that day was probably to call the pediatrician... Oh wait... but I had done that... only she was on a holiday and that had escalated my anxieties.. 

I did not know of any other doctor in the locality to whom I could take my whining baby... Hence the fuss... In hindsight I feel that a doctor finder service like this one which helps locate doctors in a given vicinity, would have definitely come handy. Besides helping me the obvious way, a service like that would have probably saved us of the bitterness that followed between me and the husband for pulling him out of his meeting... only to attend to the baby's blocked nose.. 

Though to this day I maintain that I had not over-reacted and that I was just being a mother, over the years I have learnt how to take better care of myself and my family and how to react better when faced with crisis.... 
First a few obvious/ not-so-obvious pointers to new moms... 
  1. Like us, babies with blocked nose instinctively inhale and exhale through through their mouth. Sure a blocked nose feels uncomfortable and the baby is likely to cry non-stop but it isn't an emergency-situation... ( This is one thing that I had probably blanked out on that day :) )
  2. In case your baby has a blocked nose, chances are very little that he or she is cold. It is probably the humidity level in the room that needs a step up. For that a humidifier is probably your best bet. But if you do not have a humidifier, dampen a hand towel and cover a bowl of water with it such that the towel touches the surface of the water in the bowl. Leave this in a corner of the room. This arrangement helps humidify the room and is really helpful when the season gets dry.
  3. In winter one does not feel as thirsty but its important to stay hydrated... specially if the room heater is on. So a conscious intake of liquids is important. As for me... in winter I drink several cups of tea through out the day and consciously keep offering water, juices and smoothies (all at room temperature of course..) to my boy. 
  4. Dress your kids for the weather but not too much.. for sweating can also lead to cough and cold...
  5. When the sun is holidaying in the other hemisphere... don't forget your dose of vitamins.. They really lift your mood and help you stay happy and cheerful even on those gloomy days...  
Lastly in spite of all the precautions if you end up feeling under the weather.. give these age old herbal remedies a try... My mom testifies by them every time she hears someone cough... and I too find them effective...

According to my mother a combination of holy basil, ginger and honey works like a magic potion to cure cold and sore throat... but if holy basil is not available try a combination of lemon juice and honey diluted in lukewarm water. This helps too though I feel the former is more effective. 

If the cold gets worse, she suggests heating a few cloves of garlic in mustard oil and rubbing the hot oil on the feet and palms. This one is really comforting and is a genius trick to comfort your baby when he or she has a cold. 

Personally though I most end up making myself a cup of chai whenever I am feeling under the weather....
Depending on my mood its either a cup of masala chai 

... or a cup of lemongrass tea...

For lemongrass tea I actually have a measured recipe. My husband came up with it and we follow it all the time...

Lemongrass tea

Recipe by Nishi
Yield: 1 cup

  • ¾ cup water
  • 1-2 blades of lemongrass cut into small pieces
  • heaped 1 teaspoon sugar
  • heaped ½ teaspoon tea leaves
Cooking Directions
  1. Simmer 3/4th cup of water with one or two blades of lemongrass and a heaped teaspoon of sugar. When the water becomes a pale lemon yellow, switch off the heat , add a heaped half teaspoon of tea leaves into the water, cover it and let is soak for a minute or so. Then strain the tea into your cup... done.

While masala chai feels warm and cozy, the lemongrass tea is refreshing and also has added health benefits... So you see my cup a chai-s do more than keep me warm and cozy...  They keep me calm and healthy at least most of the time....

At other times maa's health tips and the list of all the doctors in the vicinity along with their contact details have my back covered ...


  1. What a great idea. We will have to give it a try the next time someone gets the sniffles around here. That doesn't happen to often since we take Elderberry Syrup daily during cold and flu season. I'm always on the lookout for natural remedies. Have a blessed week!

  2. I didn't know about Elderberry Syrup... Thanks for the tip Nicole.

  3. What a lovely cup of tea and a beautiful post. Your little one looks adorable! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a fantastic day!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. I always enjoy learning about natural remedies for seasonal ills, so I'm really pleased you shared this post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop! I've shared it on Twitter. Your photographs are adorable and I like the tips to help when little ones are sick. It's so frightening when our babies get ill, even when they are grown up!

  5. Your Boy Very Cute

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