Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In sickness and in health...

As a stay at home/homeschooling mom, I'm wishing today I had a sick day! :) No really, my boys are being great today and school only takes us at the most two hours to finish. But the thought of staying in bed all day does sound appealing! I've been fighting this cold since Saturday evening. My goal is to NOT go to the Dr. In the past my sinus infections have always turned really bad within 24 hours and I always ended up in the Dr's office. They have gotten better with dietary changes and also with some natural home remedies. I'm praying I can fight this one off! So, while I sit here stuffy (on my 8th wedding anniversary no less), I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite home remedies, all of which are completely pregnancy safe.

I love garlic. It's really my goal to eat a raw clove a day but when I was so sick with this little guy, that was the thing I wanted least! Now that I'm better, I'm back to it but I have increased my raw cloves to 2-3 a day for the cold. Below are some good links on the benefits of garlic (not just for colds!) and also ways to use them. It's best to take raw garlic with food as it can be rough on the stomach. I usually have it on a piece of buttered toast or in a salad.

Garlic's uses (and benefits)
Garlic for Colds And Flu and here also
Cream of Garlic Soup - haven't tried it yet but it looks yummy to me!

Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup is great for warding off illnesses. It's especially good for warding off and treating the flu. I take a tablespoon daily during flu season but up it to 4 tablespoons (or more) when I have a cold. I get my dried elderberries from Bulk Herb Store and use this recipe to make my syrup. Super easy! Here is an excerpt from Bulk Herb Store on elderberries: "Dried Elderberries are tasty flu fighters. They contain compounds that inhibit the enzyme flu viruses from penetrating our cell membranes and also prevent the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. Taken early enough, as a tea or tincture, you may be able to head off an upcoming illness before it becomes a full-blown flu. They are especially good for bronchitis, colds, coughing, and influenza. Also contains substances that ease inflammation and pain and soothe the intestines, thus making them useful in all inflammatory bowel diseases."

Vitamin C
We all know Vitamin C plays a huge role in our immunity. It simply boosts our immune system function. The research I've read doesn't say vitamin c will help prevent colds and there also isn't much research on how it effects a cold. But I have read that it does help with the duration of a cold and that's good enough for me! The boys and I are currently taking a daily extra dose of C a day (me 500 mg and the boys 250 mg each). I have upped my dose to 1000mg but am probably going to up it to 1500mg since I'm feeling a little worse today. I have heard of people going MUCH higher than that! Just remember to slowly slack off so you don't have any ill effects! Vitamin C has also been known to help scar tissue (I just recently found that out) turn into healthy collagen and heal connective tissue... so bonus for me considering I'm praying for a VBA2C!. We are taking these vitamin C chewables. It's important with any supplement to use a good source. Typically what you can buy in the grocery store is not going to cut it because most is made in China and comes from GMO corn. :/ As with all of these supplements and treatments, know your source!

Here is a good article on treating colds naturally, especially mentioning elderberry and vitamin c. It also mentions echinacea which I haven't done much research on.

And while I'm at it, there are lots of amazing articles on how vitamin c is fantastic for cancer prevention and cancer treatment!

Probiotics are fantastic for good gut health. And gut health greatly (which is an understatement) effects overall health. Because of our mainstream diet our guts are out of whack! We need lots of good bacteria to help. I would love to do milk kefir or kombucha but at this point in my life I'm settling for a pill form probiotic. I buy mine from Beeyoutiful, a company I trust. From Livestrong:

"Probiotics are beneficial to health since friendly bacteria are essential to proper development of the immune system. They aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as protect against microorganisms that could cause disease and upset the balance of the microorganisms in the body. Probiotics are useful in treating many health conditions such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, speeding treatment of certain intestinal infections, reducing recurrence of bladder cancer, as well as preventing and treating certain conditions such as vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections, eczema in children, as well as colds or flu."


Cod Liver Oil
CLO is great for your overall health it is full of vitamin D and A and Omega 3 fatty acids. Here is a great article on cod liver oil and it's history, benefits and other great info! We do not currently take fermented cod liver oil (which is the best form) but we do take Beeyoutiful's cod liver oil. Well, we meaning the boys and I. I swallow mine and the boys take theirs in a shot of orange juice since they can't swallow a pill yet. The orange juice cuts the oil. Luke just pops the pill in his mouth and then chases it with OJ. Eli has me mix it in his oj and then takes it out of a medicine dropper! The Beeyoutiful brand are relatively inexpensive and are screened for mercury and other impurities. Maybe one day we can take the more expensive stuff! Here is another great article on the benefits (and there are many, much more than just for colds!):

CLO: Number One Superfood by WAPF

Homemade Bone BrothChicken soup is good for the soul... and for the cold. It's an age old remedy but there is a lot of truth to the history! It's highly nutritional! It's also a great and tasty way to get extra hydration and vitamins in you when you're not up to eating much! Here is a great article on bone broths. Here is another great article from WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) but admittedly I don't follow all of their rules (like using vinegar), though I want to try! Today, I heated up some of my homemade chicken stock with some onions, garlic and ginger!

Stay hydrated!! Water helps your body rid itself of toxins. It's simple, staying hydrated will help your body heal best! Staying hydrated is especially needed when you have a fever, which causes your body to lose water quicker. Being well hydrated with a cold or the flu will also keep your secretions (lovely word!) thing and it will be easier for your body to clear them!

Saline Rinse
I love my SinuCleanse! I really should use it all the time because I am prone to sinus infections but I typically don't unless I feel one coming on. Here is a good article on how nasal rinsing helps clear colds and sinus infections. Saline rinse helps your nasal passages to stay moisturized which reduces inflammation. It also helps to thin mucus (another lovely word!) and keep the nasal cavity clear. Tips: ALWAYS use distilled water. Here's why. And make sure you use the right kind of saline mixture. You can make your own mix but I just buy the saline packages! It's a weird feeling when you start to use a saline rinse, but you get use to it!

I'm a weirdo and love all of this kind of stuff. It's amazing what God has so easily provided for us to help heal our bodies the most natural way. I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again), I'm not entirely against modern medicine. It's necessary in lots of ways but so often there are alternative ways to treat our bodies that do not harm it (like many Rx drugs do) in the long run. Not to mention being preventative by our diet. Oh, that is another post and a lesson I'm continuing to learn! Always praying for wisdom! :)

 "Be not wise in your own eyes;
  fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
 It will be healing to your flesh
  and refreshment to your bones."
Proverbs 3:7-8


Holly said...

I know you mentioned sinus rinse, do you do that in a squirt or a neti pot. I have much better results with the neti pot. When I'm fighting an active infection, I rinse one whole pot into the right and another whole pot into the left side, morning and night. I also add a couple drops goldenseal tincture or Grapefruit seed extract to help fight the bacteria.

You can also boil cinnamon in water and inhale the steam to help reduce inflammation. Cinnamon in hot tea has a similar effect, but more systemic than inhalation.

The only caution about garlic is that in too large doses it can reduce your clotting ability, especially if you already have that issue. It is used by naturopaths as a natural anti-clotting agent (like aspirin or coumidin), but without the side-effects. Other than that, garlic it up! My stomach can't handle raw garlic very well, so I use the odorless garlic capsules.

Crystal said...

Thanks for your comment, Holly. I use a sinus rinse called SinuCleanse. It is a squirt bottle but you lean over the sink and can squirt (slowly) from the left side to the right and then repeat. So, it's very similar to the Neti-pot. It does completely go from one sid to the next to fully cleanse the sinuses!
Fortunately, I do not have any clotting issues nor do I have issues with my stomach! So, I eat raw garlic often. I try once a day but don't always get it in! I'm more diligent about it when I have a cold!
Thanks for your tips!