Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another frugal remedy...

With the seasons changing in the deep South, we have highly variable weather which can reek havoc on my poor sinuses. I use a nasal irrigation system to clear out the excess mucous, etc. to try and ward off sinus infections and just keep myself feeling comfortable. And that is frugal in itsself to keep from needing more prescriptions.

However, sometimes that isn't enough. So, on those nights, I resort to the ever present (in our home, anyway) rice sock. It is exactly what it sounds like, a sock filled with uncooked white rice and tied with a tight knot in the top. It's a perfect use for those tacky old socks from the 80s--hehehe. As a matter of fact, there is a rice sock made from a fuschia and burgundy argyle from my high school years around here. It's cheerful and I won't mind if it eventually goes to the great sock heaven in the sky.

Basically, I take a rice sock, place it dry in the microwave for one and a half minutes and then take it with me to bed. Once all snuggled into the bed, I place it over my forehead, directly over the sinuses and rest. The heat is so soothing and it helps to force my painful sinuses to drain and relieve the pressure.

Rice socks are also wonderful for strained muscles and lower back pain.

My kids use them as bed warmers by their feet in the winter so they aren't getting into a cold bed.

Many years ago, my friend Bev gave us a rice sock with a cute little flannel cover to keep it clean. She also put bits of cloves and cinnamon sticks in the rice, so it smells good when heated. We used that one to death! Mine aren't nearly as sophisticated or pretty, but they are so functional!

Warning: if you singe the rice by leaving it in the microwave for too long, it will pick up a bizarre, burnt popcorn smell. At that point--start over with another sock without a mate.

These make great gifts if you are crafty. I have seen wonderful plans on the internet, including some that look like red hot water bottles. Very cute. Place in basket with a "get well soon" theme with some homemade soup, tissues, and a good book to read while recuperating.

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