Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Natural Cold Care Remedies

My heart strings are getting tugged by all my friends who are either sick, or have kids that are sick.  There are a few all natural helps that I have come across that really do work!

This isn't meant to be medical advice, if you need to go to the doctor then go.  If you're not that sick then this may save you a trip to the doctor, and some money.

Thyme


Steaming hot soup
Dried thyme can be used to help with sore throats or coughs.  To use it simply add a tablespoon of it to a steaming bowl of water.  Use a towel or blanket to make a tent over your head, and breathe in as much of the steam as possible for about 10-15 minutes.

This works because thyme is anti bacterial.  When it is heated the oil in it is released into the steam, which then carries it to the throat.

We use this for our kids when they have a sore throat or a cough and it works really well.  As a "cough syrup" type benefit it seems to last about 3-4 hours as well.


Eucalyptus Oil


Eucalyptus Leaves
Photo by saine
Eucalyptus oil smells like Vick's vapor rub.  Add a drop or two to warm water and gargle with it.  Eucalyptus oil can help with respiratory problems, colds, cough, runny nose, sore throat, asthma, nasal congestion, bronchitis and sinusitis.  (source)

This works because the oil is anti inflammatory, anti fungal, antiviral, and anti microbial.

The oil can also be used on sore muscles, or can be mixed with a lotion first if it irritates the skin.  The oil is analgesic and anti inflammatory so it can help people who suffer from rheumatism, lumbago, stiff muscles, muscle aches, fibrosis and nerve pain.  Massage the oil in a circular motion on the affected areas.  (source)

For sore muscles, try a nice soak in the tub with 1 cup of Epsom salt and a few drops of Eucalyptus oil.


Onion


French Shallots on Wood Board 6
Photo by parisassoc
For ear infections take an onion and slice it about 3/4 inch thick.  Put it in a skillet and heat it with a little olive oil on a low heat, just until hot and heated through.  Wrap it in a thin towel, make sure it is cool enough to not burn the skin, then place it over the ear for about 10 minutes.

This works because the heat releases sulfur into the ear canal.  The sulfur kills the ear infection.  (source)

I haven't tried this one yet, only because I can't remember the last time one of our kids had an ear infection, but I can see how it works.


Probiotics


Flavoured Milky Drink 3Anyone who has spent much time with me has surely heard me mention probiotics.  In our guts we have a lot of good bacteria.  So much in fact that they make up 1-3% of our body weight.  These bacteria make up 70-80% of our immune systems and so are pretty important.  

When we take antibiotics it kills both the bad bacteria that is causing an infection, and the good bacteria that we need.  If these bacteria aren't replenished our immune systems are left weakened, and are we are more vulnerable to getting sick again.

To replenish these good bacteria there are a few ways to go about it.  Some ways include drinking kefir milk or kefir water, bone broths, and supplements (which are available at most drug stores and grocery stores).  Kefir has many more varieties of bacteria, making it better than a supplement, but the supplements can be of good help too.

Yogurt also contains good bacteria.  These bacteria work to keep our intestines clean, while the bacteria in kefir helps to repopulate our good bacteria.  (source)

Stress, birth control pills, and other medications can all harm our good bacteria.  To stay healthy, I recommend that everyone eat or supplement probiotics.  It is more fun to stay healthy that it is to try and get healthy again.


Sanitizer Spray


To kill off nasty bacteria and germs try this great Rosemary and Lavender Sanitizer Spray.   Just add a few drops of the essential oils to some purified water, and you're ready to go!

I use it on diaper tables, door handles, hands, as an air freshener spray, and so much more!





What tips do you have for staying, or getting, healthy this winter?





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