Sunday, 13 June 2010

Some Medication "Substitutes" in Israel – For Colds and Flu

Our previous post took a look at some food substitutes for those people coming from South Africa to Israel. Our focus was on chocolates. Adjusting to new products is not easy. Those making Aliyah may often be found the night before the "big trip" packing additional items they're used to, just so they'll have enough stock to keep going for a while. I think it has something to do with getting used to a particular brand. Then, even the taste of the country itself seems to stick and one imagines that they'll never be able to find anything similar anywhere else in the world. The truth of course, is that while there are some products that seem to have a unique attraction, if one looks around hard enough – one is bound to find something similar – no matter where one finds oneself in the entire world.

The Torah teaches that though there are non-Kosher animals which are forbidden to be eaten, G-d created everything with its exact counterpart. This means that though a Jew may not be permitted to eat certain animals, there are in fact other animals with the exact same taste as these forbidden ones. It may take some work in finding them – and presumably one would never know that they taste the same (because one probably never had them before!) but still, one should never feel that one has lost out, as there are indeed other animals that taste exactly the same.

So, it takes some getting used to – and a good friend who is already familiar with old brands and tastes and now knows the "newer" one's, is a great source to ask in order to find out everything one needs to about similar tasting products. We'll be talking more about further food products in coming posts. Today we're going to take a look at something more important. Medication!

Let me just say clearly that this post (as are most) is about my own personal findings. I'm not a doctor, and naturally if you find yourself in need of medication, please do not rely on these findings. They are simply things that I have tried with amazing success!


Let's begin with the general headache. In South Africa, I remember the famous Panado, a more general choice of tablet that helps alleviate the pain. If you're looking for the Israeli substitute, you may find it in a product known as Acamol.


Acamol is good for general aches as above, but what about when one has a cold and needs something a little stronger? Acamol make a product called "Acamol Tsinun" (or "Acamol Cold"). It comes in a couple of versions. The most well known is a box of 21 tablets broken up into 14 "day" pills and 7 "night" pills. I've always been used to taking Degoran to help through those fluey days. Having spoken to a few doctors about it, they have looked at me like I was crazy. I've even shown them the box and they're quite amazed to see the possibility of such a medication (often thinking I'd been having them on!)

When I started getting colds in Israel I didn't know where to turn to. Fortunately someone along the way introduced me to Acamol Tzinun, and I've never looked back. One takes the day pills 2-3 times per day and a night pill to help one sleep better. I've found them a great source of help.


Sore throat? You can get the well known Strepsils in Israel – though I've found them quite expensive! One wonders why nobody ever suggests the easily available "Ricola" lozenges which one can get hold of directly from the average Makolet (grocery store.) They come in a variety of flavours, cost a third of the price of Strepsils (at about 10-12 shekels a box) and tend to last long enough to make it through the healing of one cold. One flavour comes with vitamin C as well (though I would not consider it nearly enough!) These lozenges contain a Rabbanut Hechsher as well and seem quite popular with many.

Stay tuned as we continue with suggestions on substitutes in further posts. Let us know if you've tried something that's worked for you. Many "newbies" find themselves at a loss when it comes to finding products suited to them and they're afraid to even begin asking for what they want. If you've met with success with something, share it with us so that we can share it with everyone else too!

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