We are now in the thick of winter cold and flu season and I have never met anyone who enjoys being sick, I wanted to share some natural remedies that my family uses to help prevent, shorten, and minimize the discomfort of being sick. Here are our top 6.
1. Elderberry Syrup
Elderberries naturally contain high amounts of Vitamin A,B, & C and it stimulates the immune system. This nutrient packed syrup can be purchased at many health food stores or made at home.We typically give it to the kids at the first sign of sickness or Mattie and I will take it when we feel like we might be coming down with something. We choose to make our own because the cost is significantly less and tastes WAY better then store bought. You can find the recipe and additional information >>HERE<< We also make gummies out of our elderberry syrup. You can find the recipe >>here <<
2. Golden Milk
Golden milk or turmeric tea can assist in a myriad of areas but I typically use it for the immune boost and relaxation benefits. Many people also use the milk for anti-inflammatory purposes and to help with joint pain. I personally drink Golden milk almost nightly during cold and flu season. My kids will also drink it when they are not feeling well. I generally follow this recipe but I leave out the sweetener and cayenne. Make sure to add in the black pepper to help increase absorption!
3. Bone Broth and Collagen Peptides
There is a reason your mom used to feed you chicken soup when you were sick. I cannot say enough about the benefits of bone broth and it is SO easy to make. Just like with the golden milk, there are numerous health benefits but it is definitely a go to for boosting the immune system. Bone broth can also aid in the treatment of leaky gut, joint pain, and food intolerance. It has been found that simmering the bones releases healing compounds from the bones like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine. Bone broth can even promote restful sleep, increase energy during the day and support a healthy mood. For further information on health benefits see >>HERE<<
In my house, we make bone broth by taking a whole chicken and cooking it in the crockpot all day and eating it for dinner. Then you take the bones and put them back in he crockpot with all the juices, cover the bones with water, add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, add in vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery (I typically use the parts of the veggies that I would throw away or compost like the carrot and celery ends) , and put the crockpot on low for 12-24 hours. When it is done, strain the broth so here are no chunks and store in the refrigerator. You can find the whole recipe in the link above.
*I also daily use collegen peptides from Vital Proteins to help with immune, digestive, and central nervous systems, & bone and joint health. It is tasteless and dissolves completely in hot and cold liquid. I typically add it to my coffee
4. Essential Oils
I could probably write a whole post on just this but I will save you from that and give you the three most common ways we use EO when we are battling cold and flu. One of the ways we like to use EO is by making bath or shower fizzies. You can definitely change up the oils you add in to these to help with different things but our favorite is to make bath Fizzies with R.C. R.C. by Young living is a blend of Spruce, Cyprus, and three types of Eucalyptus oils that is great for supporting winter wellness. The recipe I used can be found >>HERE<< You don't need a mold, but I used an ice cube tray for mine.
The other way that we most commonly use EO to battle colds and flu is by adding together thieves, peppermint, and lemon and either diffusing it or diluting it and applying to the feet and down the spine.
I also make honey lemon throat lozenges using thieves, lemon, and eucalyptus EO. You can find the recipe >>HERE<<
If you haven't caught onto the theme yet, a lot of the ways we fight cold and flu are through immune support and this is the same with daily probiotics. Although there is no scientific research that shows daily probiotics help with cold and flu, there is research that shows people who use probiotics long term have a decreased number of days they are sick compared to their counterpart. If you would like more information on the research, you can find it >>HERE<<
Our favorite probiotic supplement is Ultimate Flora by Renew Life but we also enjoy Kefir and kombucha regularly.
6. Cut out artificial sugar
Lastly, if you are sick or feel like you are coming down with something, get rid of the sugar! Sugar is not helpful on many levels but specifically when it comes to immune function. Sugar compromises your body's ability to effectively use white blood cells because white blood cells need Vitamin C to destroy bacteria and viruses. Sugar and Vitamin C are similar in chemical structure so the sugar will easily replace the Vitamin C. One research study showed that consuming 100 grams of sugar decreased white blood cell function by 40%! You can find further information >>HERE<<
I hope you find this information helpful and that you can use it to help keep your family well this winter season.
How does your family naturally fight colds and flu?