Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Herbal Home Remedies for Flu, Cough, and Cold Season!

The flu, cough, and cold season is upon us in full swing it seems! Not here in our house, but it seems that everywhere we go we run into somebody that is sick, has been sick, or knows a gazillion people who are sick! Know what I mean? Whew! It's everywhere!

There are many things that you can do that are simple but very effective in fighting off these yucky bacterias and I guarantee you that you probably already have what you need in the pantry! If not, the grocery isn't that far...thank goodness!!! :-)

I will also include a few links in this post to purchase a few herbs and essential oils that I keep on hand to use during this most "un-wonderful time of year" :-)

It alarms me as I am out and around people as to how uneducated people are these days about germs. In this day of great knowledge and availability of information, you would think that those around you would understand that if they are sick they have GERMS. Germs are what cause the spreading of disease and illness, so it's safe to assume that if one has germs one will spread illness. Not so these days! In this age of "antibiotics rule out contagious" we find a lot of ignorance concerning illness and prevention of illness by the alarming number of individuals walking around sick with contagious diseases who claim to be "not ill" because the drug they are taking makes them feel good.  I'm not writing to get on the topic of antibiotics and "flu shots", but am writing to give you alternatives to illness and antibiotics (good health destroying drugs).

Over the past few years I have been so blessed to have been given a wealth of information concerning health and nutrition through many wonderful herbal/medical books written back in the late 40's to early 50's. I have gleaned so much helpful information from those books that I just have to share it with you!

All of the remedies that I will share today are ones that I personally use with my family and have done so for several years with wonderful results! I am not affiliated with any company and am not receiving any compensation from the companies I promote. I am just sharing what has worked well for us in hopes that it will do the same for you!

First, let's take a look at the immune system. Your immune system is your police station/fire station/ FBI of your body :-) It protects, puts out, and drags out of the hidden recesses of your body those nasty little bugs and gets them out of the body! If your immune system is worn down with boxed/canned food (organic is included :-),  SUGAR (watch out for those "healthier" treats! Sugar is often substituted for wheat, gluten, or carbs in those "healthy" treats!) Processed dairy and meats, and sugary drinks,  then you are a prime candidate for catching "THE BUG"!! All of these things deplete the body of necessary bacteriums and vitamins in your gut, weakening the immune system, and causing you to be susceptible to bad bacteria from food and germs from other ill people.

SO, what can you do for that immune system???

1. Feed it good bacteria through the following items...
     - raw milk yogurt or organic yogurt if you do not have access to raw milk. We consume raw yogurt at least 2 x's a day (about 1/2 each time for each person)
     - organic apple cider vinegar with the mother in it. I make a drink out of it by putting 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar and 2 tsp. of raw honey in an 8 oz. glass of water. Delicious! If your children have a hard time with the vinegar, increase the raw honey! Real raw honey is wonderful for the body and contains many natural germ fighting properties that will help aid in your fight!

 2. Use herbs in tea, tincture, or syrup form....here's where I get into the stuff I really love :-)
      - herbal teas are great for helping everyone get that water into their bodies in a more palatable way! I brew my loose leaf herbal tea blends from the Bulk Herb Store in my coffee pot with a filter just like you would do coffee, except that these teas will actually boost and not deplete your system like coffee will!
     - herbal tinctures are great to keep on hand for the occasion that someone does get sick in your house and they need a lot of immune boosting herbs in a concentrated form! Over at Herb Pharm you can get everything you need for those emergencies and can be assured that what you are getting is really going to work! I personally use Herb Pharm and can vouch for their quality and success rate! I highly suggest using herbs like echinaccea, lobelia, mullein, elderberry, rose hips, Indian gooseberry, to name a few, for immune boosting power!
    - last, but not least, herbal syrups!! My kids love taking their herbs in this form and I find it to be the easiest for me to make, especially if I need it quick! I am going to share my flu, cough, and cold herbal syrup remedy that I have been using for several years. My oldest child is 12 and has only had 1 (24 hr.) flu bug one time in her life, so I think that this remedy has been successful! I do purchase the elderberry in this recipe from the Bulk Herb Store (link above) when I cannot wild craft it. This year happened to be one of the off years for wild elderberry so I ended up having to buy it! Very worth it though!!!

Yes, that is my honey in that little jar. Raw honey sugars after awhile so you have to melt it down sometimes:-) 

Finished syrup! We're ready to battle it out with the germies this year!

Flu, Cough, Cold Herbal Syrup
1/2 cup dried elderberries (I also include autumn olive berries in my recipe. Read why I do that here)
1 cup of fresh autumn olive berries or 1/2 cup dried berry *optional*
3 cups water
1 cup raw honey
Place the dried elderberries and other berries you may choose to add into a saucepan, add the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the boil to a simmer and let simmer for 30-45 min. Remove from heat and let cool. Line a stainless strainer with cheesecloth or thin cloth and pour the berry liquid through the cloth into another stainless bowl. Mash the berries well to remove all the nutritive properties and discard the pulp. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and heat till warm. Add the 1 cup honey and stir till dissolved. Pour the syrup into a glass mason jar and store in the fridge. Take 1-2 tsp. daily for maintenance of health!

3. Use Essential oils designed for killing germs in homemade household cleaners, hand wipes, and air diffusers!
     - I purchase and use Four Thieves Synergy Blend from Amazon.com and I absolutely love it! Click here to read about this amazing little oil and to purchase it as well. You will NOT be sorry you did! I use this little oil blend in many different ways.
Household Cleaner - add 15 drops to a spray bottle filled with white distilled vinegar. Use to clean any and all surfaces in your home.
Hand wipes - purchase baby wipes, sprinkle 3-4 drops on each wipe, fold them up and store in a plastic ziplock bag in the glove box of your car. So very handy for when you are out and about and need to wipe off those yucky germs!
Air diffusers - every time I change the air filter in our home and 1-2 times a week during the sick season, I sprinkle 30 drops of this essential oil on the filter. This helps to  kill the circulating bacteria in your vent system! I also put 15 drops in a crock pot of water in the room of a child who is sick for them to breathe during the night. It can also be used in a saucepan on your stove during the daytime hours. Just fill the saucepan with water, add 15 drops, and let gently simmer throughout the day! I find this oil to be extremely powerful and have been pleased with the results we have had from using it!

4. Lastly, (I know this has been long, but I'm almost done!) we must NOT forget about the good ole' sunshine and exercise! Sunshine and exercise are even more needed during the winter time to boost that immune system! My kids and I spend an average of 1-3 hours outside every day, unless it's raining, in the sunshine and cold air playing, exercising, and just having fun! We bundle up in appropriate clothing and just have at it! If nothing else, the colder air invigorates your brain and makes you  feel so refreshed!  Here is a video about Vitamin D (sunshine) and exercise and the effect that they have on your health! Click here to view the video. Studies have been done and proven to show that trying to keep your house cooler in the winter to save money is actually giving you a good breeding ground for germs which in turn is going to make you spend all that saved money on doctor bills!!! Hmmm...:-) Might be something you want to research a little more! All I know is that we keep our house on the same temp. day and night, play outside in the cold, use the herbs and healthy bacterias in all the forms listed on a daily basis and we have only succumbed 1 time in the past 14 years  to a 24 hour flu bug!! Prevention is the key to good health!

I hope that this has been a help and if you have other herbal remedies that you've used or are using that work, feel free to comment with your suggestions! I love reading about new remedies to try! If you use any of mine and they help you or your family, I'd love to hear about it! Thanks for reading and here's to a healthy and happy New Year for you and yours!!!

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