With the onset of school and cooler weather, my mind turned to stocking our medicines for the winter. Unfortunately, we were blessed with our first bout of colds before I could replenish our stock! I’ve never liked using over-the-counter medications. They usually contain fake sugars, food coloring, and often only mask the symptoms instead of dealing with the illness. Aside from that, most medications have little to no effect on me, so I usually consider it a waste of time to take them. Others are overly sensitive to medications and experience adverse side effects. When you’re sick, it doesn’t help to give yourself extra problems!
Building a good immune system is always a good foundation to combating sicknesses. But even with the best of immune systems, you are still likely to get sick. In fact, your immune system is strengthened when you do get sick. We try to take a multivitamin, a probiotic and cod liver oil to help maintain a healthy immune system, but here are some other helpful, natural remedies we like to keep on hand.
- Papaya tablets/ ginger capsules: These are very effective for upset tummies. The papaya tablets are great for the kids when you’re not quite sure the cause or the seriousness of the tummy troubles.
- LDM-100: this is perhaps our current favorite and most effective weapon of choice. Recommended to us by Mrs. Silcox, LDM, lomatium dissectum, is a member of the parsley family. Traditionally used by the Native American Indians, it has a wide range of benefits, including antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be taken on a daily basis as a preventative as well as during an illness. Last winter was the first time we used this, and suffered very few bouts of illnesses. When sickness couldn’t be avoided, we experienced a shorter duration of illness with less severe symptoms. Mix a few drops in a little juice and you don’t even know it’s there!
- Honey: This is great for soothing sore throats.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: This is also great for colds. Mix with honey in some water and your throat will feel better and your sinus will clear a little. Apple Cider Vinegar has been traditionally used to treat a wide variety of ailments and helps build your immune system by flushing toxins from your body.
- Vitamin C: We like to use a powdered Vitamin C that is easily absorbed by the body and comes in various flavors.
- Echinacea: We’ve recently started using a liquid concentrate that is pleasant tasting and easily absorbed as well. If you choose to use Echinacea, make sure you take a break every few weeks. It becomes ineffective if used long term.
- Elderberry Syrup: Elderberries contain antioxidants and support the immune system. You can either obtain plain elderberry syrup or a combination syrup that contains honey, apple cider vinegar and herbs that are supportive to the immune system.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract: GSE is a natural antibiotic This is also a favorite of ours and comes in both liquid and capsule form. If you choose to take it in liquid be sure to mix it with a little orange juice.
- Wild Cherry Bark: I like to keep this on hand for the kids. I have both an herbal tincture and a cough syrup that contains wild cherry bark to help with coughs and sore throats.
- Herbal Teas: We have a few herbal teas that are especially formulated for colds. The combination of a hot tea and fragrant herbs helps to clear the sinuses if you’re suffering from a cold.
I’d love to hear what natural ways you have found helpful in your battles against illnesses!