A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Mother of all Cures

You know that scratchy feeling you get in the back of your throat when you’re just starting to come down with a cold? Yes, you know the one… that dreadful little tickle that means “Batten down the hatches! You are about to feel absolutely miserable.”

Well, last Friday night, after I had finally gotten all the kids to bed, poured a(nother) nice big fishbowl of wine, and put my feet up… I felt that tickle.

Oh no. No no no no no. Not now. I absolutely cannot get sick.

My husband had already succumbed to the grippe a few days earlier, so, statistically speaking, I knew it was my turn. Even with all the hand washing and Lysol spraying and Hazmat suit wearing, I felt like the odds were not in my favor.

But I would be damned if I wasn’t going to put up a good fight.

So I hoisted my tired tuchus off the couch and went to the kitchen to whip up my favorite home remedy for stopping a cold in its tracks…

Best home remedy for stopping a cold by The Bearded Iris


  • one cup of water (cold or hot, your call)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • a teaspoon (or so) of honey
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (about 1/10th of a teaspoon)

I stirred it up and sucked it down. Then I went right to bed.

The next morning, I was right as rain. Okay, maybe acid rain on the outskirts of Three Mile Island, but still, the point is… I was NOT SICK. The scratchy throat was gone. My nose was not stuffy. My head did not hurt. Score: Iris 1, Cold 0! Booo-yah!

My poor husband did not drink my Witches Brew early enough in his little cold. He used the classic male cold remedy called “denial,” and it totally didn’t work.

As you surely know, I am not a medical doctor. But this is the second time this year I’ve used this little Witches Brew and it is the second time I’ve avoided getting sick. I’m not exactly sure why it works, I only know that it does. But the key is that you absolutely must drink it at that very first moment you suspect a cold coming on. Don’t delay.

Now, a bit of detail about the ingredients:

Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. I usually buy mine at Whole Foods, but I’ve seen it at the local Publix too, in the organic bump out section of the oil/vinegar aisle. This ingredient is the most important in the Witches Brew. Don’t just use regular old Heinz vinegar. The Bragg ACV is special because it is raw and unfiltered. It looks cloudy and gross. There are little brown strands of floaty goo in it. Just shake it well and don’t look at it and you’ll be fine. But I suspect that the brown goo is the magic. In fact, Bragg calls that part of it the ‘Mother.’ Look:

Dang, if it is called the ‘Mother,’ you know that sh*t is good. It can probably change a diaper, balance the checkbook, and auger a clogged toilet too.

Apparently, raw apple cider vinegar has been regarded throughout history for its many healing health benefits. Even as far back as 400 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing , healing, and energizing health qualities. I learned about it from my crunchy friend Jennifer. She swears by it. Carries it around like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding with his Windex. Don’t go to her house with a rash or a zit… you’ll walk out of there reeking of ACV.

Cayenne Pepper.  I first became enamored of cayenne pepper when I did The Master Cleanser last fall. That is a story for another day, but let me just say, cayenne pepper is an absolutely amazing health booster. It is good for your circulation, your skin, your mental clarity, and more. Seriously. Just google it, amigo. Or here, let me save you a step.

Honey. Did you know that honey is actually germicidal? It is! Like ACV, the healing properties of honey date back thousands of years. I could go on and on, but just take my word for it, or google it yourself. I have to pay some attention to my 3 year old, Bucket Head, before he sticks a fork in the toaster. Oh, one more thing, if you can get it, local raw honey is much better for you than the mass produced store brands. In fact I think raw is probably better for you with most things, except pork, chicken, and sex, but again… that is a story for another day.

Here’s to your good health!

with love and Purell,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. Martha(MM)

    This is awesome!
    I’ve been reading over some of your posts here, I am subscribing immediately, I don’t want to miss another thing! Very entertaining blog 🙂

  2. Kristen K.

    ACV is the miracle cure apparently. I wish my mom had known about it instead of Mercurochrome and merthiolate and all the other “wonder cures”.
    Great post! And YAY for not getting sick.

  3. Ann

    I must have not been reading closely as I glossed right over the part about adding the three ingrediance to a class of cold water and did them in a pure shot! So far so good.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh my gosh, Ann – are you okay?! I did a straight tablespoon of ACV once and I thought my teeth were going to disintegrate on the spot! Definitely mix the three ingredients with an 8 oz. glass of water… cold, warm, or hot. Your choice. I like it cold. I pretend it’s lemonade.

      Still haven’t gotten sick and my husband has been breathing on me with his funky stanky germs all week!

  4. Anna

    I do a shot of raw apple cider vinegar before every meal. It’s like magic!

  5. Kevin Smith

    Loved the write up and the humor sprinkled in.

    My father has been off doctor prescribed acid reflux pills for over two weeks now, thanks to cayenne pepper.

    My favorite thing to eat is a piece of rye bread, with butter, honey and a lot of cayenne pepper sprinkled on top. Tastes amazing and makes me feel better after eating it.

  6. Cynthia

    This is hilarious! I love it! I’ve been advised to take this concoction minus the pepper, until tonight. I’ve been tortured by this stupid cold/massive ear/nose/etc infection, and tonight, the itchies start again in the throat. I’m like NO WAY! between the 9-live winged vampires (skeeters) and this stupid cough that’s got me house bound – heck no! so I went and though I HATE pepper, I used what I had (from my mom, who passed like 8 years ago.) HEY its a start and its all I have and the closest grocery store is 20 minutes away and they won’t let me out of my cage long enough to go (besides I’m not supposed to be driving). So, A votre santé as we say in French, lets hope that old or not, I can handle it and it works.! (I was JUST drinking a hot mug of ACV and honey and water too…) ps. it is said to brush your teeth after using ACV – its hard on the enamel 😉 Thanks for the MUCH needed laughs! Cynthia

  7. MaryLynn Schiavi

    Dang. You’re funny!!!

  8. Dorinda

    better late than never! I’ve got those scratchies and feel like a have frog eyes. We’ll see in the AM. I am curled up like a mummy and vegging til AM. Thanks for post.

  9. Dorinda

    OK, is actually the afternoon but I feel fine. I am taking the “cure” for a couple more days just to be sure. Thanks for the post!

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