Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting over sickness naturally

I know I posted about this last year when Karlie had strep throat and I chose to not give her antibiotics, but I have found several more effective natural remedies since then and wanted to list them all in the same place. These natural solutions really work!!!! If you can only do the first one, you will still lessen the duration and intensity of your sickness. If you do multiple ones, your ailments simply don't have a chance!! There is really no reason to buy all those over the counter cold and flu medicines filled with chemicals!!

1. Oregano oil -- Personally, I think this is THE MOST EFFECTIVE natural remedy available! If you don't do anything else, please stock up on oregano oil. It is simple and effective. If I start taking it at first notice of a scratchy throat, I can pretty much avoid a bad cold because most symptoms are gone within 24 hours. If I don't start it right away, it might not go away as quickly, but it will still help a ton! I put a few drops in an empty pill capsule and take about 3 times a day. For children, just rub it on the bottom of their feet. Oregano oil is a hot herb and kills bacteria and viruses, very much like an antibiotic but without the dangerous chemicals. Make sure you read the label, though, and buy some that is not watered down with olive oil.

2. A tsp. of raw honey with 1/4 tsp. of good quality cinnamon. Both of these have great anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. If I'm feeling sick, I will mix up a bowl full of honey and cinnamon and take a spoonful about 3 times a day. It soothes a sore throat tremendously, helps fight your sickness, and tastes great, too! For even stronger honey for medicinal purposes, purchase raw Manuka Honey.

3. Gargle with hydrogen peroxide or put drops in your kids ear.

4. Garlic -- If you google garlic you will be amazed at how effective this anti-bacterial natural remedy is. You can simply cut it up into pill-sized bites, or (if you are like me and don't like swallowing those pointy edges :) chop up finely and put in an empty pill capsule. For my girls, I slice it and just rub it on their feet. Their feet are very porous and absorb it very well. I also try to make meals that contain large a mounts of garlic when we are sick. For instance, I will make a pot of our favorite cheesy potato cheddar chowder and add a whole bulb of chopped garlic to the recipe. Or you can generously spread Donielle's "Cold Kicking Garlic Herb Spread" on your favorite bread or crackers :)

5. Probiotics -- These are so important for replenishing your good bacteria! You want to take them on an empty stomach if at all possible.

6. Collodial Silver -- Another super effective way to fight bacteria and viruses. You have to make sure you have a good source, but it really works! I take a mouthful about 4 times a day when I am sick.

7. Unpasturized Apple Cider Vinegar -- If you can, taking a mixture of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with honey and plenty of cayenne pepper really works well. Take it 3-4 times a day. I can't do the pepper, but I just pour a little ACV in my water or tea and drink it throughout the day.

8. Steam Pot for chest/broncial/mucus issues. -- boil water on the stove in a glass pot – if you don't have a glass pot, boil the water in a tea pot and then pour into a glass bowl. When the water is boiling hard, remove from heat and add three shakes of Euchalyptus, lavendar, and pine oils into the hot water. The oil effectiveness lasts about 15-20 seconds so move quickly to get yourself over the steam. Breathe in through your nose, turn your head to the side and breathe out through your mouth. Continue this process until the scents aren't as strong. Be sure to close your eyes. With children, place a washcloth over their eyes as it can burn. You could also make a tent over the top with a towel for really young infants, but if they can get the concept of breathing through their nose, then it will get deeper into their lungs. You're doing it right if it just about takes your breath away or make you cough!

9. Grapefruit Seed Extract -- I add it to my smoothies, tea, or juice all year long just to boost our immune system. When I am sick, I take it in a capsule with my oregano oil.

10. Elderberries -- anti-viral, contains high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants, has cell-protecting components, soothes sore throats, and supports the immune system and respiratory system. I add some dried ones to my morning tea or make a simple elderberry syrup for the girls when they are sick. Lindsey gives a great little video of how to make your own on THIS post.

11. Kombucha -- it cleanses the body from toxins and aids in digestion and metabolism. Click HERE to see my review of it and some links explaining why I love this drink and how to make it yourself. My toddler and I drink this regularly (I'm still working on my husband :), and I was amazed that my baby would even take sips of it when she was sick! When I make it, I usually try to leave a small jar of it fermenting for several weeks so that it will be even more potent for killing off illness.

12. Mullein for chest/cold issues -- Take mullein capsules – The amount taken depends on the size of the capsule. The larger 0 sizes can be 1-2 capsules 3x per day. The small 000 capsules can be 3 capsules 3x per day. This is not a hard science, can take larger doses if the lung infection is bad or persistent. Mullein is a safe herb. You can also make a tea for kids who can not swallow pills. Or add a small amount to applesauce or yoghurt and have them take it that way. I add it to bone broth through out the winter.

13. Home-made Chicken Stock -- Your grandma was right to tell you to eat chicken soup when you are sick because it is chock full of immune-boosting nutrients! But don't buy the store-bought kind full of chemicals, bad salt, and MSG. It is so simple to make your own with nourishing sea salt and immune-building herbs. Everytime I cook a chicken, I make stock for soups. Any time a soup recipe calls for water, I use my stock instead and it adds tons of flavor and nutrients! And anytime we are sick, I reach for my chicken stock!

14. Home-made ear drops -- these are helpful even if the sickness is not an ear infection, because it helps to get garlic and GSE into the body which fight infection. Click HERE for 2 different home-made ear drops, one that you can use right away and one that you can make ahead of time and store.

15. Cod liver oil -- Vitamin D is so important for your immune system and I prefer to take real food rather than just a vitamin D supplement that my body might have a hard time digesting and utilizing. I take it every day but take extra when I am fighting an illness. Don't be deterred by the gross-sounding name -- it comes in pill form so you don't have to taste it :)

16. Herbal Teas -- so healing! Click HERE for a list of which herbs help different ailments.

17. Stay away from sugar and white flour!!! This is so important, because they inhibit the natural workings of your immune system.

18. Let the fever run its course -- (That means NO Tylenol!) This is probably the hardest, yet most important thing for me to do when my girls are sick. God made our bodies to have a fever because the high temp. kills the virus or bacteria. Using Tylenol ruins this natural process and makes the body unable to fight the disease. It can also cause a fever convulsion by bringing the fever down too quickly. Without Tylenol, your fever will naturally break when it gets too high, then climbs back up and breaks again, etc, until it has killed the infection. So I just try to make my girls as comfortable as possible and if utterly miserable, I give THIS special bath for helping with the fever. The main thing you have to watch out for with a high fever is dehydration, but I will write about that soon...

19. Coconut water -- This is truly nature's Gatorade or Pedialyte without all the added flavorings and sugar! I get in the organic section at Kroger or buy when on sale at Amazon and always keep it on hand for any time we are sick. Coconut Water is rich in many vital minerals, vitamins, and proteins, not just the basic "electrolyte essentials" found in a lab-formulated drink. And believe it or not, the natural electrolyte & pH balance of coconut water even make it suitable for a rehydrating IV solution! And my girls love it! Smart Water/ Trinity Mineral Water is also a good option for dehydration because it has a lot of electrolytes, but my favorite is coconut water.

20. Lemons -- high in vitamin C, which is important when sick. Once again, I'd rather take real food than a processed pill, so I add a ridiculous amount of fresh lemons to my tea or water all day long when I am sick.

Chiropractor! The relief a chiropractor can bring during illness is simply amazing. I can see immediate relief in my girls' eyes once the chiro has finished. And the amount of drainage that immediately is released is even more proof :) A chiro is particularly useful if you think your child has an ear infection and can bring immediate relief to the pain. Our family chiro has a lot of medical training and gave me much encouragement and more advice on beating sickness naturally. If you live in my area, I can recommend a fabulous Christian chiro who charges a reasonable rate and doesn't even deal with insurance. I just love her! I take my girls to a chiropractor before I even think about taking them to a doctor.

22. Coconut oil -- Filled with anti-viral and anti-biotic properties -- I eat a few spoonfuls or spread it on toast or mix in my tea. But make sure you buy the raw, cold-pressed kind.

23. Smoothies with coconut milk, coconut oil, frozen fruit, raw honey, and grapefruit seed extract --The best tasting medicine ever! It is really the only thing I can get my girls to eat when they are absolutely miserable. It is dairy-free so it won't add to drainage, has tons of vitamin C from the fruit, contains bacteria fighting GSE and coconut oil, all the nutrients of coconut milk, and the honey is soothing and has many other benefits. We actually eat these all the time to try to boost our immune system. My husband likes them so much that he was willing to give up his nightly ice cream treat for them (and if you know my husband, that is saying A LOT!)

24. "Remedies" from my Christian Holistic Doctor -- I know not everyone has this resource available but I wanted to include it because if you live in my area, I can refer you to the BEST natural doctor ever. She can pinpoint any illnesses/ allergies without invasive treatment and makes remedies based on your body's particular needs. She has such a heart for helping others and I just love her!

25. Homeopathic remedies -- I've recently started trying out Homeopathic options like teething tablets and allergy tablets. I've used the Hyland's and
Boiron brand and they both seem to work well. I plan to try out the cold remedy next time any of us get sick and I have the flu remedy in my medicine cabinet just in case! Homeopathy seems to be very safe and effective. It treats the individual with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which triggers the body’s natural system of healing. The idea is that by giving a small dose of the very thing that could trigger the types of symptoms that a person is experiencing, you can actually bring about a natural healing response that will help to relieve those symptoms! Pretty neat!

And here are a few more that I recently learned from the WAPF:

1. Ear infections: greatly related to diet; cut out pasteurized milk which is the greatest culprit -- A warm wheat bag on the ear provides enormous pain relief. A warm wheat bag is made of fabric filled with plain unground wheat kernels—you can make your own if you want. You put it in the microwave with 1/2 cup of water for a minute or two so that it becomes just hot to the touch. These are really comforting for the child.

2. Headaches -- Again, related to diet --Headaches often occur when blood sugar is low, so three solid meals a day, with adequate animal protein and plenty of fat, form the basis of prevention. Avoid sugar and MSG—both will cause headaches. Headaches also occur when dehydrated—often after playing soccer. Coconut water, kombucha and other fermented drinks are the best way to rehydrate; they are much better than plain water. We use canned coconut water at sporting events. If none of these types of beverages is available, have your child drink plain water, but not more than two four-ounce drinks every 30 minutes; otherwise it will just go to the kidneys.

3. Fevers -- Don't use Tylenol or other drugs to bring it down! Why do our bodies produce fever? One reason is that fevers slow down pathogens. The germ, bacteria or virus causing the child’s distress wants to replicate every few minutes and the fever slows this process down. It slows down the spread and severity of the illness. So when you bring the fever down you are giving free license to the virus or bacteria to run amuck. And don’t panic if your child’s temperature gets to 102-103 degrees—this is the ideal range for a fever.

Food will naturally drop a fever within about 20 minutes and this drop will last for an hour or two. Just a few bites of scrambled egg or a few sips of broth can bring that fever down a bit. It will not make the fever go away but will manage it hopefully within the 102-103 degree range.

If over 103 degrees—then you need to take steps to bring it down. A cool water enema is one good way to do this. Just get a thick beach towel and put it in the tub. Lay your child on his side without taking clothes off. Slide their pajamas down a little. Place 1/2 to 1 quart warm filtered water in the bag and insert the enema nozzle. Your child will start to feel pressure and will want to go to the bathroom—the water usually doesn’t run out. Then gently put him on the toilet and let him go. This will usually bring the fever down by a degree or two.

High fevers—those that range between 104 and 105 degrees—are not dangerous in themselves, but they make the metabolism run very fast and increase the risk of dehydration. Blood sugar often drops, which can lead to convulsions. Your child can sip 50 percent diluted fresh fruit juice to keep tissues hydrated and blood sugar levels in the normal range. If your child will not take anything, you can administer about 4 ounces diluted fruit juice rectally using a bulb syringe. The body will absorb it rectally. It won’t run out. This may save your child a trip to the emergency room.

4. Tummy aches -- Use slippery elm tincture. Give a few drops in a little water and the tummy ache is gone in about 10 minutes. You can purchase a glycerin-based, non-alcohol tincture of slippery elm at the health food store. Follow the directions on the bottle for the dose. Also, a wheat bag on the stomach or a warm bath will do wonders for a tummy ache.

5. Vomiting -- once your child starts vomiting, don’t give him food, water or liquids for two hours. The stomach wants to rest and if you give food or liquids, it will prolong the vomiting.

6. Diarrhea - Nothing works better than broth for stopping diarrhea— a few tablespoons at a time and very frequently. Broth works because the gelatin in broth binds up the liquid in the colon. It gives bulk and helps to stop the loss of fluids. With really severe diarrhea, you can give an enema to counteract dehydration.

7. Pink Eye -- Place a drop or two of raw milk or colostrom in each eye—this works wonders. Frequent pink eye may be a sign of vitamin A deficiency, so pay attention to the daily dose of cod liver oil.

8. Chicken Pox -- Let the illness run its course; and let any fever do its work. The main thing is to relieve itching, which can be done with baking soda baths. Use a one-pound box per bath.

9. Sore Throat --The best remedy for sore throat is a fever; help her generate a fever by giving her a fever bath. Put her in the tub. Fill it with water as hot as she can stand. You can get it hotter for them if you put them in it while you are filling it. You want it pretty hot, but still comfortable. Leave her in the bath for 10-12 minutes, then get her out, dry her quickly and wrap her up tight. Put her into bed, well covered up.
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays!! so click HERE to see more real food recipes, natural remedies, and more!


donielle@ Naturally Knocked Up said...

What a fabulous list of resources!!! And you know..I've never tried oil of oregano. *ducking* But only because I've found garlic to work so well for me. Though, you're post has got me thinking about it again, especially for my little ones who won't eat raw garlic. I'll have to pick some up soon!

(Kerri) said...

I can't believe I have come across you in cyber land twice now!!! The first was a link from gnowfglins, and then a link about natural remedies. Too funny. THis is some great information. We have been hit by some sort of bug, and we are doing a few things to get us back to health. I had forgotten about the oregano oil! I had a bad experience with it last year and I think I put it out of my mind. The bad experience was from taking the advice of someone who didn't really know about the oil and I took it undiluted in my ear. BAD, bad, bad! I thought I was going to loose my hearing, no joke. Anyways that is definitely some powerful stuff. I hope you are all doing well, and that you all stay healthy during the winter months ahead.


Melanie said...

What a great, great post! Thanks so much for all of this info. I've heard wonderful things about of few items on your list, but there is so much more that I was unaware of. Thanks again!

Melissa Pearce said...

Meagan, what have you heard about taking oregano oil as an essential oil vs. the oreganol brand? I was at Earthfare and the lady said essential oils were not meant to be ingested, but I didn't realize that the one I have already been using for a year is an essential oil-- the trinity one!

Meg said...

I don't know anything about the oreganol brand. Did the lady say how it was different from oregano oil? All I know is that Beth and Laura recommend the Trinity Brand and that it has really worked in our family. I'd never heard that essential oils were not to be ingested; I'll have to look into it. We have been using oregano oil anytime we feel a cold coming on for over 2 years and never experienced any known side effects. But I'll definitely have to research it some more since you mentioned that :)

Melanie said...

Hi Meg & Melissa,

Most essential oils are not to be ingested. However, there are quite a few that can be safely ingested provided they are therapeutic-grade and of the absolute HIGHEST quality. In addition, many of those that can be safely ingested should be diluted when taken.
I'm not familiar with the Trinity Brand of Essential Oils, but there is a really great book called Essential Oils Desk Reference that explains anything and everything you would want to know about safe use of essential oils! According to my EODR, oregano EO is safe to ingest when it is a high-quality, therapeutic-grade oil (I'm only familiar with Young Living's oils). I hope that helps! :-)

Meg said...

Thanks so much! I'll have to check that book out! I'd really love to learn more about healing essential oils! Melissa asked our holistic dr. about oregano oil and this is what she told us:

"Not all essential oils can be taken orally, but oregano can.The one you have is super strong. Only use it in a capsule. As an herbal antibiotic, I take a size 00 empty capsule, open it, and count 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract + 9 or so drops oregano oil (fill the capsule the rest of the way) and then take the capsule quickly as the oregano oil will eat through the capsule. Then take collodial silver right away. I call these the Three Muskateers. They will kill about everything. For babies you can dilute the oregano oil with some olive oil and rub it on the bottom of their feet. Oregano oil on the bottom of one foot and then rub fresh garlic (sliced in half to get to the juice) on the bottom of the other foot. many use the oregano oil undiluted. I have never had a skin reaction, but you can experiment."

The Sinks said...

I have been battling sickness for most of my pregnancy, and just can't seem to get well. Are all of these remedies safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, do you know? Also, what about for kids?

Meg said...

Pregnancy is so tough because it seems like you catch everything going around! I have used all of these during pregnancy and breastfeeding except elderberries; I've been told that they aren't safe during pregnancy. I've used most of these remedies with my kids as well with great results! Good luck!