When people see how much of a “germaphobe” I am they usually say, “Well when you do all of that you get sick all the time because you’re body doesn’t have an immunity to anything.” Then I promptly tell them that I work with kids and I rarely run from the germs when I deal with them. So I get plenty of exposure thank you very much! You know what? With all of my cootie dodging I still only get sick 2-3 times a year. Take that!
When I do happen to get sick I try to avoid over-the-counter meds as much as possible. These medicines only help to hide the symptoms but not to heal you. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some times when I have to work or be at an event. In those cases I will take whatever I need to function well. Otherwise I just grin and bear it until I feel well again. So what do I use you might ask? I have an arsenal of natural (and some not as natural) things that I use to speed up the recovery. I think it’s important to actually heal the problem rather that just mask it!
So here’s a list of some of my favorite remedies:
1. Essential Oils- I use these in two ways. I diffuse Thieves, or Lemon around the clock. Thieves is an essential oil blend made by Young Living. You can also use DoTerra’s On Guard or make your own blend. Just google recipes to find one what works for you. (I am not loyal to one essential company. There are certainly differing qualities of oils so do your research and find a quality oil that works best for you.) Thieves and On Guard are great anti-bacterial blends that help to rid the air of germs when diffused. I also use Lemon and Frankincense topically. I will dilute it with jojoba oil and then apply it to my neck and chest. Then I put a heating pad over that. (The same method can be done with a hot wet towel.) I also apply it to the bottom of my feet and down my spine. This helps get the oils throughout my system.
2. Elderberry Syrup or Capsules- I’m sure someone will say the syrup is more effective. I’m not sure. But I have a hard time taking syrups, if they taste funny I gag and I can’t keep them down. I haven’t actually tried the syrup though, so I cannot attest to the taste. However the capsules work just fine for me. Check out the benefits of Elderberry here. Elderberry can be taken as a preventative measure as well.
3. Natural Patches of Vermont (Soothing Coughs and Colds Formula)- These are a staple in our home. We started carrying these at my job. So that is where I get them from, but you can get them online as well. Whenever we have a bad cough or chest congestion we slap one of these puppies on and it helps within a day or two. Lester actually had a cough that was bothering him for weeks. I kept forgetting to pick up the patches. When I finally did, he used them and was better in just a couple days! This patch has eucalyptus oil in it, eucalyptus is great for respiratory health. Eucalytpus can also be diffused or used in some humidifiers which will help you breath in into your lungs.
4. Raw, Unfiltered Honey- There are many great benefits for using raw unfiltered honey. Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It is great for coating and soothing a sore throat. I will add it to my tea or just use it with plain water. It is not beneficial unless it is raw though. Filtered honey is so processed that all the beneficial elements are gone.
5. Teas- I like to get the Seasonal Sampler from Traditional Medicinals. It includes Gypsy Cold Care, Echinacea Plus, Throat Coat, and Breathe Easy teas. I have to admit that I do not like the Throat Coat or Breathe Easy teas from this brand. They are pretty disgusting to me since they taste like black licorice. Yuck! However Lester can handle the taste. So he uses those. Yogi Tea has a Throat Comfort that tastes better to me. Of course I add honey to my teas as well.
6. 100% pure Pineapple Juice- This is said to be as effective as cough syrup. I use this pretty sparingly since it has a lot of sugar in it. I am not a big fan of juice myself, but Lester drinks it.
7. Vitamin C- I have to admit, I don’t always use the “cleanest” methods to get my Vitamin C kick. I am a big EmergenC user and I have also used Airborne in the past. Unfortunately these both have sugar in them. But EmergenC is good since it has Vitamin C as well as other great vitamins. I found out that Vitamin C alone isn’t enough to boost your immune system. Another thing I found out was that protein is needed for a healthy immune system.
8. Minimize sugar intake as much as possible- Sugar suppresses the immune system. Your body will have a hard time fighting off the illness if eat a lot of refined AND unrefined sugars.
9. Thieves Spray or White Vinegar for disinfecting. – A big part of the process is making sure that you get rid of as many germs as you can so illness doesn’t spread to others. Vinegar is great! It’s easy to find, inexpensive, and non-toxic. Yes, the smell isn’t great. But the smell will dissipate, plus it actually helps to remove odors. Clean everything, door knobs, remotes, handles, everything! You should also change your sheets and blankets promptly and disinfect or throw away your toothbrush. You can disinfect it by soaking it in a cup of diluted peroxide. Thieves spray can be used for this purpose as well.
10. Hot Lemon Tea- Whenever I tell my dad that I am sick, he asks me if I’ve had any lemon tea. This cut up lemon boiled in water. If you need it sweetened you can use some raw honey too. This is a great remedy for congestion. It will not “magically” get rid of your phlegm and mucous like OTC meds. But you don’t want that! Those fluids actually hold the infection, this is why it is sometimes other colors. (Sorry if that gave you a gross visual) So you need to cough it up and get it out, and this is great way to do it. Of course it’s not pleasant. But I would much rather have all of that garbage out of my system.
11. REST, REST, REST! When I am not feeling well I make it a priority to rest a lot! I will go to sleep as early as possible. If I am off work for the day I just lay in bed all day. The body NEEDS rest to recover and heal. This is not something that you can be laxed about. Adequate rest will help you get over your sickness much faster.
What are your favorite home remedies, natural cures, and methods that you use to fight off the cooties? Please share!