My family rarely gets sick. Save the occasional runny nose when my toddler has met a new “bug” for the first time, we’re usually operating at 95% or better at all times.
That reality tells me we’re onto something with our commitment to a simple, organic approach to living.
Here’s my organic treatment of the seasonal cold and flu.
When I studied premedicine + then worked in medical research, I was taught that the medicine cures the body.
But the change was never long-lasting. It was only a matter of time before that same patient was back through the doors, sick again, with the same frustrations + needing the same prescription medicine (usually a higher dose, or with an additional prescription to go with it).
That never made sense to me. Fast-forward through many years and thousands of hours of research, I’ve arrived at this:
When you go back to basics, eat real + nourishing foods, move often, breathe deep, stay hydrated + sleep well, your body will heal itself. Every. Single. Time.
Just this past week, we met our match with a head cold. This thing has been a beast! I had never seen more mucous come out of anyone’s noses ever.
Here’s the arsenal of remedies we keep on-hand for kicking a cold (or flu) the Organic way.
“Let food be thy medicine.”
This is an organic household staple. When you feel a bug coming on, you can start taking some of the syrup right away.
It has an actually great taste — which is so funny to me after childhood years of choking down that awful cherry cough syrup!
Safe for pregnant + breastfeeding women, elderberry syrup is an incredible immune booster.
I get this kind on Amazon Prime — it has added immunity helpers of zinc + echinachea: MyKind Organics Elderberry Immune Syrup
Hearty Vegetable Soup
This is my opportunity to use up any vegetables in the fridge. The healthiest option is to make your own broth using celery, carrots, onions, etc. or purchasing a fresh broth from a local health grocer, but sometimes when you’re sick, you just need something fast at home: keep an organic vegetable broth in your pantry for sick-only use.
The warmth breaks up congestion + the vitamin-full veggies are consumed easier to make you feel better (and like you’ve earned popsicles later!).
Fresh Orange Juice Popsicles
Use an ice tray or actual popsicle molds to freeze fresh OJ into a sore throat soothing treat that adds Vitamin C.
If you aren’t up for squeezing fresh juice (I don’t blame you), make sure your OJ from the grocery shelf doesn’t have any added sugars.
A Note on Sugars and Starches
As comforting as it might feel to have a grilled cheese sandwich or a bowl of mashed potatoes or sherbet ice cream or all of the Gatorade in the world — the temporary effect will leave your gut bacteria a mess at a time you need it to function optimally.
So, leave those comforts for later. It’ll be worth it, I promise!
You know the “sleep setting” on your computer? Your computer is still left on, but at its least energy-consuming level. Only essential functions work in that sleep-mode.
The same goes for your body. When you let your systems power down to their simplest operating levels — like breathing + blood pumping — you’re allowing the now-available energy to go work harder somewhere else in the body to regenerate cells, boost breastmilk supply, and, you guessed it, fight off infections.
Raw onion has phytochemicals that help keep the respiratory tract open.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar alkalinizes the body + most illnesses can’t thrive in alkaline environments. It also contains good bacteria to help fight of infection.
Raw, local honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. We always have local honey in the cabinet. Check with your practitioner before giving honey to a young child.
- 1 teaspoon 3x/day
This tasty and aromatic herb is a go-to for winter sore throats. Try this recipe from @lowdogmd for a sage gargle:
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil
- Add 2 tsp dried or fresh sage
- Steep for 10 minutes and strain into a cup.
- Add 1/4 tsp salt and gargle every 2 hours as needed.
Easy to Keep at Home
I love that these treatments are with all items that you can keep regularly in your home + restock as-needed in the grocery store. You don’t have to make a separate Target run or go to the pharmacy.
What natural cold + flu remedies do you use?
Share in the comments below to help me expand this list for other moms!