Last night a gherkin saved my life #amwriting #BritishSummer

No kidding, at 1:30 a.m., when I was ready to chop off my head if that was what it took to stop coughing, I went online, typed:

How to stop a cough spasm

and read, fervently, desperately, dropping my phone at least twice in the midst of yet more coughing. Water, cough medicine, painkillers, cough sweets - did all that.

The internet said:
Use steam (in the middle of the night?)
Watch the humidity (watching)
Clean bedding (check)
Salt water gargle (hell, no)
Warm fluids (let's not think about the strain this much coughing puts on your pelvic floor)
...and so many quack remedies, but really, I was up for trying every last one.

I started with the more conventional:
Honey and lemon
Honey and tea
Honey and hot water
Honey and honey
Well, I've never seen a bee coughing...but no, the honey didn't work. Nor, I imagine, would menthol vapour rub on the soles of my feet, but I couldn't find it or believe me, I'd have given it a go.

Then this:
If your throat is left raw by a bad cough, grab a bottle of apple cider vinegar because germs can't survive in the acidic coating it'll form on your throat. Gargle with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed.
And this:
Adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice, to a glass of water helps to alkalinize the body. Creating an alkaline environment helps kill bacteria and viruses. Start drinking it at the first sign of illness and repeat several times a day until the symptoms subside.
I wasn't entirely convinced by the science, but I was in no mood for offering critique.

We didn't have any apple cider vinegar (which sounds kind of nice?) and balls was I drinking malt vinegar, but, I thought, cough there cough has cough to-be-some-way-to COUGH COUGH stop this! Aggggggh!

Pickles? suggested my well-shaken brain.

Pickles. Seriously?

And because it was well-shaken, and the dog was growling, and it was the middle of the night, I duly crept down the stairs, grabbed the first jar of pickles I found (I was thinking beetroot might be tastier as a solo medicinal snack, but still) and ate pickled gherkins (which are kind of like sweet pickles in the US, I think - maybe a bit sharper). The cough spasm...stopped!

Surely not, no, this cannot be.

Back to bed, head on pillow, zzzzz, straight through to my alarm!

Bloody brilliant! Placebo or otherwise, I don't care.
Last night, a gherkin saved my life, or at the very least my sanity.

Results may vary.

Thanks for reading,
Deb x


  1. Next you will be trying to convince us that eating capers cures headaches?? :)

    1. Who knows? Maybe they can. And the gherkins are STILL wherkin, although I need to buy more. I don't think I've ever bought them outside of December.


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