Now that the cold season is among us I thought I would share my favorite cold weather remedies. It’s not often we take actual cold medicine from the store or doctors office. My family uses alternative methods first. We find that these methods work just as well (or better!) and I am not overly worrying what synthetic chemicals we are putting in our body. My son doesn’t get the flu shot and attends daycare/preschool so we deal with runny noses and coughs somewhat frequently.
***Obviously, I am not a doctor. Please consult with your health care provider. ***
1. Lemon, Ginger and Honey water
One of my favorite cold weather remedies. If I drink this a few times a day, in a couple days I am feeling much better. What I do is peel a small chunk of ginger (1/4 inch approx) and boil my water with the ginger. Once I pour the hot water in my mug I squeeze a couple lemon wedges and add a spoon of RAW honey. This helps with sore throats, runny noses and that “icky” feeling. I give this to our two year old son as well. I cool down the water to room temperature and he loves drinking it. *Tip- do not microwave your water, use raw honey and organic ingredients*
2. Elderberry Syrup
I first discovered this gem when Brody was about 4 months old. My aunt came to visit a couple years ago in October and she suggested this to me. I was skeptical about giving it to Brody at 4 months when the package says 2 years old and up. After talking with the specialists at the health food store we decided to try about a 1/4 dose. It worked really well for cold symptoms! I know you can make your own elderberry syrup easily and more costs effective than buying it in stores. Plus it does not contain small amounts of alcohol like some brands do. The only downside is this can stain clothing. So make sure you have a wash cloth under your kiddo’s chin. This is good from infant age through adulthood.
3. Essential Oils
There are many essential oils and oil blends that help with cold, sinus and flu symptoms. Some of the oils that are usually found in these blends are eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, lemon….ect. You can mix and match on your own or buy a blend that is already mixed. If you are not familiar with essential oils I would consult an oil specialist or buy a blend. We use Veriditas Botanicals, as recommended by my local health food store. This brand is certified organic and come in smaller sizes so they are more affordable to try. Not all brands are equal when it comes to oils. Of course each brand of oil claims they have the best blend for colds. Whether or not they are organic plays a big decision in what we buy. There is no agency that oversees the purity level of oils, so trust other people’s recommendations and read the back of the bottle.
4. Hyland’s Brand
Hyland’s homeopathic medicines are a go-to at our home. They are readily available and can be purchased at stores from Walmart to small health stores. I like how available this brand is and feel good about being able to run up to Walgreens in the middle of the night if we run out. They make several formulas and market that they can be used from 6months and on. We have tried the infant drops (6m-2yrs) and children drops(2yrs-12yrs). They are naturally sweetened and my two year old actually likes taking his medicine. We use it for cough and colds.
Last but certainly not least, juicing. People always question me on this one but juicing is one of the very first things I do when my family starts to feel icky. When your body is starting to get sick loading it up with good organic veggies and fruits will do wonders. The reason I juice and don’t eat large amounts of veggies and fruits is juicing allows you to get the most nutrients with the least amount of effort. Let’s be honest, there’s little chance I could eat a handful of kale, ginger root, 5 carrots, 3 apples and an orange in one sitting; let alone a couple times a day. I also had it explained to me this way- when you consume juice your body doesn’t take as much effort digesting it as it would if you ate the actual vegetables and fruit. Therefore your body is able to have more energy to do other things besides digesting, like fighting a cold and flu. We typically juice kale, carrots, apples, lemon, orange, and ginger for colds.