In our family we have a rule, that when someone gets sick, we all take remedies; because the chances of 8 others getting sick are high! And so we all line up three times daily at the kitchen counter, and take all the wonderful natural remedies Mama makes 🙂
1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
2-3 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar (preferably raw, unfiltered, with the “mother” in it)+ 2 teaspoons raw honey (local is always best – in your zip code if possible!) in 8 oz water (warm water will help the honey dissolve, but I just stir mine well and drink it cold).
2. RAW GARLIC
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped (the smaller the pieces, the more effective) – put on a spoon and swallow with water; my 6 year old brother stirs it into a bite of applesauce… and my oldest brother uses spaghetti sauce 😉 … but in my opinion it takes longer to eat it than to swallow it 🙂
3. HERBAL TINCTURES (AKA YUCKY JUICE) 🙂
Yucky Juice is what we call it, but really not that bad. One tincture-dropper-full of the following in an inch of water: Echinacea Goldenseal, Olive Leaf, Mullein Leaf, and a few drops of Oil of Oregano. You can use any part or all of this combination… The little ones usually take in an inch of juice, or in water with a little juice afterwards.
4. ESSENTIAL OILS
I’ve heard a lot about taking Essential Oils internally for colds and other health issues, but never actually tried it until last week! I put the following into an empty capsule, and swallowed with water: 1 drop Frankincense Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Clove Bud Essential Oil. The amount varies, and you can take it several times a day. But do your research carefully, as many Essential Oils are not safe for internal use, and/or you may prefer to put a drop or two of oil in a cup of water instead… whatever works for you.
Other Essential Oils to consider taking internally for cold-related symptoms include Rosemary and Cinnamon. You will find mixed reviews about which types of oils should be taken internally, and which brands… so use discretion and be cautious when choosing! I am only sharing from my personal experience.
My favorite Essential Oils for respiratory and breathing-related problems resulting from a cold or other sickness, include Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Camphor, Lavender, Marjoram, Sweet Basil, Clary Sage, Rosemary, and Cypress…
For congestion, itchy/scratchy/sore throats, or other allergy-symptoms resulting from a cold my top favorites are Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon.
For soothing and relaxing, or trying to sleep at night while sick, I like Lavender, Marjoram, Cedarwood, anything Minty (Wintergreen, Spearmint, Camphor, Peppermint), or anything Citrus (Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange)…
To use, put a few drops of each of your favorite oils in a little carrier oil ( I often apply NEAT, or undiluted – but depending on the oil type, or the sensitivity of your skin, I would caution against habitually rubbing oils on without diluting or first testing!). Some carrier oils that I really like include Grapeseed Oil, Jajoba Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil, etc…
When I’m preparing an oil for myself or a family member, I typically make it pretty strong. Like I said, I’ll often apply it NEAT, or undiluted… but in other cases I’ll do 1/3 carrier oil and 2/3 Essential Oils. The important thing is to test a small amount on your skin. You may find that you need more for a stronger effect, or less because it burns your skin or causes discomfort. Be careful and learn to recognize what works best for you and your family. A word of caution for using Essential Oils on babies and small children – you probably only need a few drops per 1 oz carrier/base oil. Remember, their skin is much more sensitive!
5. OMEGA 3 FATS
When we’re coughing, we always take oils – especially fish oil. My mom keeps a big bottle of Cod Liver Oil in the refrigerator which we take by the spoonful… but we also have capsules for the little ones.
6. IMMUNE BOOSTING TEA
Our family’s favorite get-well tea happened when my dad bought a tea press for my mom a couple of years ago. In doing his research to find a few loose leaf tea blends, we found a favorite which we then recreated Stelzl-style ;-). This is the tea that got my dad excited about “being healthy”, and he firmly believes in drinking his Immune Boosting Tea whenever there’s a cold going through, or it’s sick season and he wants to stay strong and healthy… You can get it through my Etsy shop.
Note: We purchase most of our herbal tinctures, as well as the fish oil at a local health food store. The links are simply to show you the brand that we use, or the product description for more information on how it is helpful. You will probably find better pricing / larger quantity elsewhere.