Feeling like a cold is getting you down? Here is a list of things we try when feeling sick. We use whatever we have on hand, not necessarily all of the following tricks. When sick, we cut way back on anything containing sugar, all boxy processed food, make our own soups, steamed veggies, teas, and drink blends of raw fruit/veggie smoothies.
We make smoothies with roughly 2/3 veggies and 1/3 fruit, adding a little filtered water to blend with. Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are good mellow-tasting greens to use. We sometimes get daring and swap or add bitter mustard greens, turnip tops, beet tops (go light if you have kidney or liver problems), or carrot tops (not much and not often as it is in the hemlock family).
Regarding fruit, apples are a great taste-masker so we use them the most. Oranges and bananas are next favorites, followed by a little pineapple, mango, or berries. In winter we use fresh cranberries when we can find them; in summer, melons. Fresh mint, thyme, or basil, lemon balm, ginger, garlic, or onion greens get included, if we remember to go outside and pick them.
We add a few tablespoons of healthy fat such as avocado, coconut oil, or nuts to sustain energy over long periods of time.
That Spoonful of Sugar in Your Medicines
It may keep the medicine down, but it will keep you down too! A lot of liquid medicines for kids are sugar-laden. Germs are simple-celled organisms that feed on sugar. Thus, we try to find things that are not heavy on sugar, but at the same time, we avoid all artificial sweeteners, or those highly processed beyond their natural state, such as high fructose corn syrup. Our favorites are raw, unfiltered, local honey, natural stevia leaves (not the highly processed, bleached, granulated crystals), basil, molasses and agave.
General rule of thumb – the less sugar the better your recovery time.
Go Real and Go Organic
Crops grown in naturally fertilized, composted, rotated soil draw up the most minerals and nutrients, passing them on up the food chain. You don’t need crops sprayed metals, pesticides, herbicides, other chemicals, or wax finishes. Neither do the animals we share this planet with.
Food-like products out of boxes and bags are laden with preservatives, and often processed so much they alleviate natural vitamins and minerals. Those chemical preservatives which have been tested on lab animals in high doses can be harmful. Those that are not proven harmful, may just need more testing.
Ingest the best, which is fresh, real food without sprays or additives. It will give your body what it needs to fight off disease, inflammation, and regain your strength.
At the onset of cold symptoms, we start using one or more of the following, depending on what we currently have stocked at home.
Wellness Formula by Source Naturals is, I believe, the first of its kind on the market, roughly 20 yrs ago, from a well-trusted company that Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) often recommend. It has all the phytonutrients I look for, and then some. It contains echinacea, zinc, goldenseal root, vitamin C, horehound, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and many more herbs.
It looks like the best deal to buy these is at Amazon.
Sambucus by Nature’s Way, with elderberry, echinacea, zinc, propolis and vitamin C. Many other good brands out there, we just happen to have fallen into a groove with this.
Chew on raw ginger, sip tea with honey and lemon, or host your choice of zinc/golden seal/echinacea/menthol lozenges to help ease the pain. Again use care to avoid anything with sugar substitutes, or lots of sugar. Gargle with hot salt water to kill infection and germs in the mouth.
Brew your own tea by filling a pot with filtered water, add some 100% fruit juice (not from concentrate), some herbal tea bags, slices of oranges or lemon, a few smashed garlic cloves, cloves, ginger, fresh thyme, mint, and as much cayenne pepper as you can stand to break up phlegm.
For High Fever or Stomach Flus
- Oscillococcinum by Boiron
2. Infuenzinum by Boiron
- garlic cloves (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitical)
- white onions, or the hottest onions available (similar properties to garlic)
- ginger root (increases circulation to the extremities)
- horseradish root (increases blood flow to the head)
- Cayenne peppers, Jalapenos, Serranos, Habeneros, African bird peppers….any combination of the hottest peppers available
Fill a glass jar 3/4 of the way full with equal parts of the above fresh chopped and grated herbs. Then fill to the top with raw unfiltered, unbleached, nondistilled apple cider vinegar.
Close and shake vigorously and then top off the vinegar if necessary. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. (I store it in my cabinet with the drinking glasses so that I see it and remember to shake daily.)
Shake the tonic daily a couple of times.
More on Natural Antibiotics:
Gina DeBacker, assistant editor of The Herb Companion, adapted from Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner, courtesy Storey Publishing ©2011. Stephen Harrod Buhner recommends these 12 herbs in his book Herbal Antibiotics (Storey Publishing, 2011).
Systemic Herbs These five systemic herbs can be very helpful in treating systemic infections such as resistant staph, MRSA, tuberculosis and malaria.
- Cryptolepis (Cryptolepis sanguinolenta)
- Sida (Sida acuta)
- Alchornea (Alchornea cordifolia)
- Bidens (Bidens pilosa)
- Artemisia (Artemisia annua)
Non-Systemic Herbs These three localized non-systemic herbs treat resistant infections of the GI tract, urinary tract and skin. Goldenseal is also particularly active against most food poisoning bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
- American goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
- Juniper (Juniperus spp.)
- Usnea (Usnea spp.)
Synergistic Herbs Synergistic herbs increase the activity of other herbs. These three will boost inactive resistant bacteria mechanisms, increase the presence of antibacterial agents in the body and enhance immune function.
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum and P. longum)
Everyday Health lists cinnamon – antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial machine, carrots – source of beta carotene for mucous membranes, grapefruit. Cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts cruciferous vegetables – rich in antioxidants and choline, Egg yolks rich in protein also contain zinc and selenium, mushrooms – zinc, kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are immune-boosting foods that contain high levels of vitamin C and folate, watermelon – lycopene for reducing respiratory inflammation, and yogurt – lactobacillus and probiotics, wheat germ – vitamin E, and is a great source of choline and zinc.
Natural News lists echinacea, ginseng, garlic, bell peppers, ginger, turmeric, gingko biloba, ganaderma, astragalus and cat’s claw. Mint family plants such as peppermint and lemon balm are also anti-viral.
Natural Vapor Rub for Coughs & Colds by Nearly Natural Nicole