As the leaves turn from green to hues of gold and auburn, I feel the call to go through our kitchen remedy cabinet and review what we have stocked up for the winter.
It’s my job in our house to make sure our family is ready for the cold and flu season and my preferred way of doing this is through herbal remedies.
With two children (four and almost six months) sniffles and coughs come a little easier into our home than they used to. (I know you parents out there feel me on this) So, it’s even more important for us to be ready!
Whether you have kids or not, preventing and treating colds and flues are important. We all know what it’s like to try to go to work, take care of others or just do whatever it is we do….while fighting a cold. It’s not fun. Kids end up needed to miss school, we might have to miss a day or more of work and life just isn’t as easy.
So! This is why we scan our herbal remedy cabinets (or whatever it’s called in your home) and we take note of what needs to be added, replaced or refilled…..BEFORE cold and flu season comes. In Indiana, this means we are thinking about this in August or even earlier.
We LOVE herbal remedies. Here’s Why:
- They tend to be cheaper than conventional/over the counter/pharmaceutical medicine.
- They can be made in the home as needed.
- In our experience, we’ve not seen side affects with the herbal remedies we use at home, including the two I’ll be sharing here. This in contrast to the side affects that are often present with conventional medicine
- They usually have added benefits! Meaning, while helping you cure or prevent a cold, they are also doing things like helping the body build the immune system, expel parasites, get rid of harmful bacteria, etc.
- They get us in touch with our medicine in a way that just grabbing a bottle off the shelf at Target will never do.
Note: Before going any further here, I am not a medical doctor and this is not medical advise. These are remedies our family has used for years that works for us. Many folks like to consult with their doc before taking any herbal remedy. Okay, got that out of the way, let’s check out some remedies!
Below you will find my favorite garlic based herbal remedies. I picked these because they are very basic, easy and affordable. And also because they work amazingly well. First off, let me introduce you to the superstar:
Garlic (The Badass Bulb)
Garlic is one of my favorite herbs and in my opinion, one of the very best for colds and flu. It’s easy to get, affordable and seriously potent.
This badass bulb has been used for thousands of years by cultures all over the world including Greece, Asia, Egypt and India. It’s one of the very first herbs documented in our history as humans to be used for the maintenance of health and treatment of disease. It’s been used for everything from strength, virility, stamina and a variety of diseases and ailments. For us, we use garlic for it’s antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Basically, it gets rid of the bad guys.
Raw Honey & Garlic ~ Ancient Remedy for Modern Times
This is one of our most used remedies in our home, mainly because it’s so darn affective. We also always have garlic and honey in the house, so it’s very easy and accessible. You’ve been introduced to garlic. Let me tell you a little bit about the magical nectar we call honey.
Like garlic, honey has also been used for thousands of years (like we are talking 8,000 years give or take). This is one of the reasons we know it works! When something has been used in cultures all over the world for that long, we know there is something to it. Honey (also like garlic) is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It’s also amazing for soothing tissue both externally and internally.
Honey is also super high in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. I love that every batch of honey is a little different too because it’s made from the nectar from flowers that the bees have access to that season. Each flower contains it’s own medicine and that all intertwines together as the honey is being made. It’s pretty amazing stuff. I even wash my face with it! Okay, I could go on forever. I digress.
Note: Raw honey is not recommended for children under the age of one. Honey contains botulism spores and children do not have mature enough digestive systems and can get botulism poisoning.
Make Your Remedy
- Peel a clove of garlic and finely dice.
- Add to your spoon with about a teaspoon or so of your raw honey. Have a glass of water or tea nearby.
- Now put all in your mouth at once and wash down with your water or tea. This is key. Don’t chew, as it’s just not fun to chew raw garlic (well for most people).
You will mostly taste the honey. What you might notice is a slight burning in your tummy (I like the feeling). This is the garlic getting to work. This remedy is best used as a preventative. As soon as you know you’ve been exposed to something, start taking the remedy. Or, as soon as you start to feel the scratchy throat or sniffles. And even if you are a few days into a cold, it’s still worth it to use this remedy. It will just help the body get through it.
What I’ve found is that if taken preventatively, it can absolutely prevent a cold or flu. Now, this is also along with eating clean, drinking water and sleeping well of course. I’ve also found that if I’ve already gotten the cold, it will cut it down by a few days.
Oregano Oil & Garlic Foot Remedy
Reading the garlic and honey remedy, some of your parents out there might be thinking how the heck would you get your kiddo to swallow garlic?! And you would be right! Most kids are not going to be up for that. So! This is a great one for the kiddos as well as adults. We will use this remedy as soon as we know we’ve been exposed to the cold or flu.
As you might have guessed with this remedy, we are applying to the feet! The feet will soak up anything you put against the skin and pull it right up into the blood stream. It’s a great way to get remedies into the body.
A little about oregano: This magical green herb does an amazing job of boosting the immune system while also getting to work ridding the body of harmful bacteria. Oregano also helps the body detoxify, which is really helpful when working on getting well. It’s also used to strengthen the heart and aid digestion. For this remedy, we use the oil, which you should be able to find any reputable health food store.
Note: We don’t take oregano oil orally, as it’s pretty harsh on the throat and will burn. You can get it in capsule form, but it’s not recommended internally for children under 5. Externally is the way we like to go. Also I’ve read that a lot of people recommend using olive oil as a carrier oil when applying externally. This is supposed to help with potential skin irritation. We don’t do this at home and it’s never been an issue for us. However, just be aware that this is recommended by many and something you might want to consider.
Make Your Remedy
- Thinly slice two cloves of garlic and set aside.
- Add a small drop of oregano oil to the bottom of the foot and rub in.
- Put a sock on the foot and then basically shove your garlic slices into the sock and just kind of smoosh around until the bottom of the foot is basically covered with the garlic slices. Repeat with other foot.
- Overnight, the anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities of the garlic and oregano will go into the blood stream and get to work.
Both of these remedies have saved our family multiple times. I hope if you do use these remedies you have the same success!
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