I hate being sick! Of course who likes it (besides kids who get a low grade fever with no other symptoms and get to stay home and watch movies instead of going to school…they like it). I also hate going to the doctor and taking medicine. Over the past few years our family has tried hard to do things that naturally boost our immune systems so we can stay healthy. We try to stay active and get sunshine (Vitamin D) as well as watch what we put into our bodies (less processed and more real foods). But we still get sick from time to time. It doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as it used to be when one of us gets sick, but I keep a “medicine cabinet” full of remedies to help us get through.
Here are my top 5 things I will not be without during cold and flu season:
- Essential Oils – Thieves, Lemon, and Raven are great for combatting colds, flu, and a multitude of other ailments. At the first sign of a cold I begin to diffuse these oils and apply them to the bottom of feet. (I only use Young Living essential oils. Comment below if you want more information on purchasing them.)
- Garlic- This is one of the cheapest and easiest remedies to keep on hand. In it’s raw state, garlic can act as a natural antibiotic. You can read more here about how I have used garlic (even with my 3 month old baby). Recently I lacto fermented some garlic and carrots. I was amazed by the mild flavor of the garlic. Even my babies would eat it.
- Probiotics- The more I learn about our gut health, the more I am convinced that we should get more probiotics into our bodies on a daily basis. We regularly drink kefir and eat fermented Bubbies pickles. One of my kiddos hates pickles, but loves the juice so she just drinks the fermented goodness. When one of us gets sick we add a powdered probiotic as well. When looking for a good probiotic at the store I look for one that has multiple strands and billions of units. This is one we use.
- Cod Liver Oil- I was first introduced to this wonderful food (okay…the taste is not all that wonderful) from a friend who’s holistic doctor recommended it to help her son’s asthma. Our oldest daughter was 4 yrs old at the time and had used her asthma medications almost daily during the fall, winter, and spring since she was a baby. So I did a little research and found that fish oil has been shown to help prevent asthma symptoms. We began using it daily and in the past 5 years she has only had one asthma attach! This fabulous little food is also great for boosting your immune system, so we increase our dose when someone is sick. Be sure to choose a high quality fish oil.
- Elderberry syrup– My kids love this because of the super sweet taste, but I love it because it wards of a cold quickly. Elderberries are known to boost immune function and when made into a syrup with honey the results are fabulous. You can buy this at your local health food store or buy the berries and make it yourself.
What are your favorite home remedies to boost your immune system and fight off illness? Comment below.