A Cold Sore-fighting Lip Balm

Homemade Cold Sore Treatment (with Lemon Balm)
If you’re one of the unfortunates who struggle with the occasional cold sore, you know how annoying they can be. Fortunately, I don’t, but S tends to get one or two a year, and that cracking and oozing just doesn’t look like a whole lot of fun.

Cold sores (or fever blisters) are caused by the herpes simplex virus. They often start with a tingling around the lips, then a day or two later, the full-blown blister. Based on seeing my wife with them, they’ll last about a week or so. She’s tried a bunch of OTC and prescription cold sore treatments, and, at least to my eyes, nothing really seems to offer any kind of significant help.

A couple weeks ago, I did a post about lemon balm, and if you recall, one of its benefits is being an antiviral. And sure enough, there are a number of studies that demonstrate lemon balm’s positive effects on cold sores. Following my normal course of action, I decided to take that and run with it.

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Restaurant Review: Crop Kitchen

Ever since we discovered Crop Bistro last summer, it’s been in our upper echelon of local restaurants. When we found out that the owners were opening a new joint over in University Circle, Crop Kitchen jumped to the top of our must-try list.

Crop Kitchen is located in the same space as the former Accent restaurant (which we never made it to before they closed) – the space is beautiful and open, with tall ceilings, a wall of windows, and an open kitchen (above which large chalkboards are mounted to display the daily specials). Definitely a casual vibe that just screams for a group affair, which is what we had last week: most of my siblings and various significant others (eight in all) got together for dinner before enjoying a concert at Severance Hall.

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Tangy Sweet Pepper Jam

Sweet Pepper Jam

Sweet pepper jam. It’s a little tangy, a little tart, a little sweet, and a little savory. But it’s all delicious.

Get a pot of this bubbling on the stove and it’ll fill the house with an aroma that will leave your mouth watering. Only a few ingredients required, then just wait until it cooks down and thickens up. It can definitely be canned, but it may not even last that long.

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The Backyard Medicine Cabinet: Lemon Balm

The Backyard Medicine Cabinet - Lemon Balm

As we continue to take a look at the useful plants that may be growing in your backyard, we come across one of the most fragrant weeds you’ll find: lemon balm. If you’ve ever been out cutting the grass and suddenly catch a strong whiff of lemon, you probably have some. That, or the kids pulled all the lemons off your tree and threw them into the yard (no, this hasn’t happened yet with our kids/tree, but sometimes I have nightmares about it).

Lemon balm has tooth-edged, opposite leaves which look similar to some mints (of whose family it is a member). It is typically low-growing (1-2′) but can grow up to several feet tall in the right conditions. The flowers are tiny and white and are well-loved by bees.

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Jack Flaps

Took the kids out to breakfast on a recent day off, and headed west to Jack Flaps, Chef Eric Williams’ (of Momocho fame) Ohio City breakfast nook. And it is a nook, with only a few small tables and a bar. Fortunately, we got there a little later than a normal morning rush, so there were open seats… and not too many other patrons for the kids to bug.

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