Harald has been fighting off something for weeks now and when he went to the doctor the last time right after Christmas, it was suggested he make a trip to Whole Foods and buy a product called “Umcka” which is supposed to help lessen the severity and duration of symptoms.  I felt pretty suspicious when I heard that.  I guess I tend not to believe too strongly in the value of “natural” remedies that cost a lot, since so few of them have proven reliably effective – in my experience anyway.  And at around $15 for a box of the stuff, you do have to think twice about spending that kind of money during these economic times.

However, after a few days of taking the chewable tablets, Harald felt remarkably better.  He said his symptoms really were less severe and didn’t last as long.  So on Monday when I started getting a painfully scratchy throat, I decided to give it a try myself and start taking the tablets.  I’ve gone through what H had left over, and now I’ve started taking the tea instead.  You can get this product in a droplet form, chewable tablet form, or a tea form.  And I have to say, for a cold that’s making me feel as tired and beat as this one is, I have remarkably few other symptoms.  I am particularly free of the awful head congestion (knock on wood!) that usually ails me.

If you are unfortunate enough to come down with a cold any time soon, I encourage you to consider giving it a try.  After the experience we’ve both had, we are buying a box or two just to keep in the house at the ready.  With the frequent colds that H brings home from the kids at school, it is most welcome to find something that works so well.

Good Books in Bad Times

Based on the premise that “books are friends, therapists, healing tonic, and … ‘life-affirming'”, HarperCollins has started a new blog called  I learned about it today from the Christian Science Monitor, one of my favorite papers.  There are all types of categories of books you can look through, so check it out if you don’t know about it already.