Hi friends and happy Wednesday to you! We’ve made it half-way again and it’s almost the weekend. Sigh.
It’s time to reflect again and express my gratitude for the wonderful things or moments from the prior week. As you may know from reading last week, a cold ripped through our house like a tornado. It has left us here, one week later, still with a bit of a cough and stuffy nose; however, we are all feeling much better. Last week got me thinking about some of the differences between having a cold in the states and the medicine you would buy (and where) versus here in Germany. So I decided my five things would also be included as a part of My German Experience as this was definitely a little different.
First off, the pharmacies here (Apotheke) is similar to our Walgreens/CVS etc but they are a bit smaller and the pharmacists generally help you find anything you need; whether you have a script from the doctor or just need what Americans would call OTC medicines. Generally, I have found that the typical items on the shelves are things like special lotions and soaps for sensitive skin and vitamins. The majority of everything else I have had to ask the pharmacist to get for me which has included items such as these: Paracetamol (acetaminophen), Nurofen (ibuprofen) >>both of these for a feverish monster; GeloMyrtol (see below) and MediNait (see below). Now, when you ask for this, don’t expect to see it right then. When I requested these items, the pharmacist would explain if he did or didn’t have it, ask a few questions as to whether it was for me or the boy and then once he had my whole order he would give me the total price. I would then pay for it and once he tendered my payment you could hear the medicine drop from within a lock box (similar to tube system for my fellow hospital colleagues). I thought this process was pretty genius and helpful to both myself and the pharmacist as it saves time and prevents error. He was able to put in the system exactly what I needed. Now that I have explained a little about the process, let me show you the medicine this family used to get better last week.
2. GeloMyrtol forte: These are capsules that help clear your sinus passages and we take them to help fight off a cold as well. They are easy to swallow and don;t seem to be hard on the stomach. They are not for children (or at least small ones as the pharmacist told me “nix für Kinder!”). The active ingredients for each 300mg capsule is a standardized mixture of essential oils of eucalyptus, sweet orange, myrtle and lemon (66:32:1:1)
3. Bronchicum Elixir: This particular one was given to us specifically for our son so it is already mixed into a very sweet syrup, but you can buy it in a small concentrated bottle of just the medicine without the syrup. If you buy that kind, you can either just put the required amount of drops into a spoon and swallow, but beware as it is strong and a little bitter. M actually takes a spoon of sugar and puts the drops into the sugar. Me? I just take it the bitter way. I’d rather get it over with! For this one, we obviously had to use twice as much as well since it was already mixed. The package also includes a small plastic dosage spoon but I found it was easier to just use a regular spoon since this stuff is so sticky! Bronchicum consists of Anise Oil, Burnet Saxifrage Root, Eucalyptus Oil, Grindelia, Menthol, Primula Root, Saponin, Thyme.
4. Erkältungs-Balsam Mild N - This is pretty much the same as the Vicks chest rub you would buy in the states and is the first time I have ever used a rub. It smells so good and it does seem to help me breathe (and less snoring!) at night. Medically active ingredients: 100 g Cold Balsam N contains: 10.0 g eucalyptus oil, 10.0 g racemic camphor and 5.0 g purified turpentine oil.
5. Wick MediNait - So as soon as I heard of this, I asked M to bring some home from work because I just couldn’t sleep with this cold and I missed NyQuil. Oh how I missed it!! Well, let me tell you, this stuff works great! But if you get it, notice you can only take it once a day! This is definitely different from our Vicks brand in the states (Vicks…Wick I can’t help but giggle with that). I didn’t feel knocked out with it like I would with NyQuil, but it helped me sleep and I felt better the next day. Also, from my searching on the internet, it looks like NyQuil has 25% alcohol content with this only having 18%. Wick Medinait consists of Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide, Doxylamine Succinate, Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride. According to a few more internet searches NyQuil has the same with the exception of the pseudoephedrine.
So, there you have it; the products that helped us survive the week last week. I made it a point to list the ingredients of the medicines both for myself and for you. Do you notice a theme? The majority of all ingredients are all natural made from herbs, plants and their essential oils. This is just one more thing I love about this country. They aren’t so quick to give you medicine that has so many side effects and made completely of chemicals. I’m sure they have those things here as a last resort when very necessary, but the first round of treatment you get appears to be one with a natural focus. Along that same line of thinking, when our landlady heard our son was sick, she brought up hot, fresh-from-the-garden “Gemüse für Kinder”. It looked like steamed, chopped spinach mixed with other herbs and maybe some onion. I regretfully forgot to take a picture to show you! The thought was very kind and surprisingly the monster ate some of it.
What do you think about these cold remedies? What’s your one “must have” for a cold, like NyQuil is for me?
As always, thanks for reading and would love to hear about your cold remedies and anything you were thankful for last week!