First and foremost, let me just start by saying I am not the health professional in any shape or form, I am not advising You to do or to buy anything I am mentioning here - and I won't be responsible for what You will do with this information. Consult with Your doctor or Your health practitioner before starting taking anything new. I am simply sharing what I use myself and what's working for me.
Now that we got boring-but-necessary disclaimer out of the way, shall we look into natural and holistic remedies I apply to support mine and my family’s health during the sickness season? Besides the obvious things like being outside, sports, healthy diet and such, we still get sick from time to time, because, well, there’s no barriers for bacteria and viruses to fly around? The remedies I am showing You here are tried and tested by me and my family for the last ten years or so, with the exception of OreganolP73, which I discovered about four years ago and won’t be without for as long as I will continue to live. Or god-forbid Big Pharma decides to outlaw like we have seen with so many natural remedies before.
For immune system support
Ginger. I take it in tea, with lemon and honey a couple of times a day. Some people also add Cayenne pepper and garlic, but that’s not for me. If you take this at the very beginning of the cold, there is a good chance you will nip the cold in the bud and not get sick at all? Put on your woolen socks and go to bed to sweat it all out. Organic and fresh is the best, but powder works too. Check iHerb.
Garlic/ginger/turmeric paste – I use it in copious amounts in my cooking, doubling the doses if I am already sick. I have a post on it here.
Organic Lemons – I don’t think I need to explain this 🙂
Cold Season /Immunity and such teas in high quantities if I can. Check my tea collection on my iHerb page for more. I also count organic matcha tea as superfood and try to get it as much as my budget allows, as well as turmeric latte & mushroom latte – you can add all kinds of herbs and adaptogens to it. I am big on superfood drinks & always get something nice from Dutch Health Store & Live In The Light store.
Thieves/Organic defence/tea tree/lemon EOs in a diffuser. Or spray bottle. Also don’t forget to open a window. I do think Living Libations essential oils are the best on the planet, so I highly recommend getting at least one. I also use Pure Anada, Soil or Medicine Flower. You know when some companies are shouting that their brand is the only one therapeutic grade or the only one certified organic brand in the world? Not true! Whatever brand you will choose, make sure to do your homework first, you want to make sure the essential oils are organic (to make sure you are not using concentrated pesticides) and therapeutic or food grade (to make sure there are no harsh solvents/ chemicals in it). For years I used Esta Aroma Diffuser from NYR, but due to the high humidity and mold problems in the house I am now saving up have two nebulizing (waterless) diffusers from Living Libations.(review). I also make dilutions into roll ons to carry around.
Probiotics. Vital in my opinion, especially if you already have compromised immune system, leaky gut and digestive problems like I do. If you will take away just one thing from this post, please do yourself a favour and start taking care of yourself with daily probiotics. Look for as many different strains as possible and you want billions, not millions per capsule. This is one area where you can’t save, I am sorry, but cheap brands just won’t cut it – they will not be strong enough to make a difference or just won’t survive the acidity of the stomach fluid. Did you see the reports that GMO foods kill all the bacteria in our gut? This is non negotiable in my two cents, but you do you boo. If you are healthy and fit as a horse, eating organic only everything, you might not need them?
Medicinal Mushrooms like reishi and cordyceps are supposed to stimulate the immune system in the long run. I swear by cordyceps, because that’s what I’ve seen working on my kids, reishi is new addition. It is so much more bitter that they won’t go near it, so I am taking it all on my own. I also recommend Shaman Shack Herbs and Na’avi Organics from Dutch Health Store – don’t you love their logo “The Best Or Nothing”? I die 🙂
Up vitamin C – lemon tea with honey, maybe take extra – I love Ener C, or get liposomal vitamin C. That is supposed to be miles better and highly absorbable, as it bypassed digestive system and goes straight to the cells, but I will admit I am yet to get it due to high cost. By the way, do research on optimum vitamins and mineral levels versus RDA and your life will be forever changed. Just check out DrAxe and nutritionist Patrick Holford books – when it comes to vitamin C, Patrick Holford recommends 3grams of it EVERY HOUR (as opposed to 50mg daily RDA) when you are sick! Mind blowing.
Vitamin D – turns out this sunshine vitamin is crucial for us, it is not only a vitamin but also a hormone needed for more than 300 body functions daily! Again, the optimal dose is far more than recommended daily allowance told to us. Research for Yourself and You will be blown away. It is said to work better with K2, so I go for Better You brand – it is a pleasant tasting spray, absorbed straight into the mouth. Perfect for kids, who won’t take tablets, perfect for me, with impaired liver.
Zinc – this is something that is new to me, as I haven’t taken it separately up until last year maybe. Since I learned of it’s ability to fight viruses, I stocked up on Solgar Flavo Zinc, but it tastes chalky and upsets my stomach. I am open to suggestions for good brands.
Elderberry. Proved to both protect and support your immune system and fight whatever is attacking you, shortening illness by four days! Four days people! So whether you gather it yourself & make it into syrups, get dried berries to make it into teas & syrups, get Sambucol or other brand’s good stuff, just make sure to get it into you. I stock up on Sambucol. There are other good brands out there too. Get gummies for the kids, they love them!
Manuka honey. If you haven’t heard of it, Manuka Honey is the most unique and powerful form of honey on the planet. It’s exclusive to New Zealand, created by bees who pollinate the Manuka Bush. But what makes Manuka that much better than your average honey? It’s all in the nutrient composition. Manuka honey is known as ‘active’ honey; it has natural antibacterial qualities and proven health benefits. It’s made by bees foraging from the New Zealand Manuka (tea tree) bush. Look for the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating on the jar – the higher the rating, the greater the antibacterial activity. Scientists say it can help ease ulcers and an upset stomach, prevent gum disease, boost your immunity by fighting bacterial infections, and ease skin conditions. Raw honey has a multitude of beneficial nutrients: Amino acids, B-Vitamins, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Zinc to be exact. But in Manuka honey, the density of these nutrients is over four times greater than your average honey, so your body is getting a powerful dose of enzymes that fight inflammation and bacteria and boost your immune system.
For the skin, a good UMF rating means your skin will receive incredible benefits - the anti-inflammatory quality of Manuka honey is proven to improve skin texture and tone. But that's for another post :) See here for my 12 DIY Masks with manuka honey.
If you don’t want to shell out for manuka honey, please feel free to use raw local honey (preferably organic) as your next best bet. Just please do your research on different types of honeys first and then decide. Honey in the teddy shaped plastic jar? Not the best thing for your skin, as it is not only heat treated, it is mixed honey too. Meaning it is only slightly better than sugar, and it is not what you want at all.
Garlic. Organic. Crush and leave for 10 mins to activate allicin.
Also don’t forget frequent hand washes and cleaning all the germy surfaces, including door handles. Don’t use those nasty antibacterial soaps, they are so full of harmful chemicals that smarter countries are banning them already. If you are a germophobe, add a few drops of tea tree oil into your natural hand soap, it will do the trick. If you use antibacterial gel, use Green People organic hand sanitiser. Or go full Gwyneth and use Colloidal Silver instead.
Homeopathic remedies. I myself use Oscillococcinum & Coryzalia by Boiron but you might try different ones, as the thing with homeopathic remedies is that there are no “general recommendations” what works for me might not work for you. If l have a cold (if you know yourself well enough, you know the difference. For me aching bones is a surefire way to tell the difference) I take the latter two, if I know it is a flu (or if I don’t get better after 3 days) I take Oscillococcinum, and maybe combine it with Oreganol if I am sick for more than 4-5 days and I am not getting better.
Lots of rest and sleep if you can? I know I am guilty of not slowing down because of the flu/cold, because like many of us women I tend to feel that I still have to take care of everyone and everything, but the truth is that by doing so you (I) are only prolonging the time of disease! So tell everyone to share the chores for a few days and get that deserved rest! Just think of what men do when they get sick? At the first sigh of unwell they are dying, not lifting a finger and demanding all kind of stuff every five minutes, right? Totally double standards! Shall we do the same?
Essential Oils Sprays To Clean The Air
Opening the windows is one of the ways to clean the air, but essential oils packed sprays also helps. Be cautious not to overdo it and never spray directly onto someone. I love and use Saint Come (sadly production stopped due to Covid) , there’s also ViroGuard by Medicine Flower, but suggestions and recommendations are welcome! You can also DIY it with “five thieves” type of essential oils. If you want a post on that, be sure to let me know and I will be happy to do it for you.
OreganolP73 – I have already written about this here and here, but basically it is nature’s miracle – it is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal stuff that is amazingly also antioxidant! Too good to be true? Well, in this case it is not, and if you only will take one thing out of this post, this is it! Not easy to find in the stores, you might have to get online.
Linden tea. This helps to break a sweat faster. Add honey (manuka is best, but any natural honey will do). Don’t add to boiling hot tea as not to kill those healing nutrients.
Camomile tea these two go hand in hand, their main job is to make you sweat and thus get rid of disease faster.
More rest. More sleep.
Pick and choose any remedies mentioned above. Garlic & fire cider might be awesome but hard to swallow, so maybe up lemon tea and manuka?
For coughs, my best bet is used to be NYR Thyme Syrup (because Brexit), so now I getNin Jiom Pei Pa Koa – Sore Throat Syrup – funny name, alright, but it is Chinese herbs & honey cough syrup from iHerb. There are loads of homemade remedies out there too, but I haven’t been successful with them. If you have tried and tested recipe, please let me know in the comments? Also I’ve just read that fresh pineapple juice should be better than anything for cough, has anyone tried it?
For sore throats, try Himalayan salt gargles. Maybe adding some thyme and or Oreganol.