DOWNEY - Christmas is over, maybe your tree and most of your decorations are packed away. The chocolate goes quickly, but what about all those candy canes and peppermint stars? Easy answer: keep them in the medicine cabinet and/or next to the coffee pot.Why the coffee pot? Why not? Drop one into the next pot for your own peppermint coffee instead of buying one at the coffee shop. You can also add one to the tea pot. Peppermint tea has been known for years to calm upset stomachs. Check the tea aisle and you'll find several varieties. Some sources also recommend it to soothe a throbbing headache. Most cough drops have menthol as their main medicinal ingredient. Well, that's mainly what they use to make candy canes. Menthol is an approved FDA decongestant used in such formulas as Vicks Vaporub. So next time you have an upset stomach, maybe you can't keep your food down, or even have a drippy nose, reach for the candy canes. Add it to the hot tea or let it dissolve in your quart of water and sip. At the after-Christmas sales now, most are 75% off, so go fill your medicine cabinet. Rita L. Shertick, RN, BSN, is a staff nurse at Downey Regional Medical Center's Family Birth Center. She is a Lamaze certified childbirth educator and a certified lactation educator.
********** Published: January 13, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 39