Free Remedies You Can Find Around the House
Many modern moms are not huge fans of pharmaceuticals, which is funny to think about as ancient medicine is becoming modern medicine, again. There is still a huge pushback against this intuitive approach to healing. Never fear, the natural instinct still lives in us mothers to fight strong with herbs and tricks. Thank God for what He puts on our hearts and in the nature around us. I’m reminded of the magi who brought Mary and child frankincense and myrrh for postpartum healing.
God gives us all we need. I believe that wholeheartedly. I also believe in Occam’s Razor, a medical principle that follows the least invasive order of treatment. Natural remedies should always be the first line of defense behind preventative care, which is just a fancy term for building a strong immune system.
When the need arises for healing I go to the tried-and-true remedies, the ones that are innately intuitive but may take more time to develop or consume.
Here is a list of 8 mostly free remedies to support your immune system and curb cold/flu symptoms.
I can hear my childhood doctor telling my parents to keep me hydrated whenever I got sick. “Fluids, fluids, fluids!” It is critical that you nourish your body with plenty liquids to maintain hydration and flush out toxins. I want to introduce Coconut Water. As a child, we drank a ton of Gatorade whenever we caught cooties because it was a liquid and replenished our electrolytes. Coconut Water is a better alternative as it contains no dyes or added sugars. The natural sweetness (low in sugar) paired with its variety of electrolytes is great to keep you hydrated and satisfied. Coconut water contains a lot of potassium which is a nutrient that often gets depleted when your body is fighting a cold. In addition to water and coconut water, teas are a great way to stay hydrated flavorfully.
While we’re talking about water and cleansing the systems, let’s talk about this trick that is less obvious. Most people go for a hot shower to sooth soar muscles and decongest, which is not necessarily wrong. However, cold showers are more effective at building a strong immune system. Not only is your immune system being activated but so is your respiratory system as you find a breath to support you. This will stimulate blood flow and increase your body’s productivity. A few minutes of cold water twice a day, when sick, does wonders. To ease into this practice you can end your hot shower with 30-90 seconds of cold water.
Taking a cold shower boosts my energy if I needed to get to the store because the pantry was low or there was another necessary thing to do. It’s never a fun choice but it’s always rewarding.
Rest is restorative. Sleep and rest allows the body’s energy to be solely used for combatting disease and infection. Listen to your body, it typically knows what it needs—take as many naps as possible while remaining hydrated. Aim for at least one and attempt for two, even more if needed. Put a gallon of water and a few coconut waters bedside. Because your energy should go toward healing, I recommend resting without distractions like music, social media, and videos or movies. It’s okay to watch a comforting movie while you’re taking it easy but when it’s time for shuteye, your electronics should be off. The blue light isn’t good for you and the sounds or visuals will also keep your body awake longer.
When I’m sick, I try to remind myself that my only obligation is restoration and healing. If your work cannot wait then consider a plan that optimizes your rest, otherwise, ditch the to-do list and nap!
First thing in a groggy morning, I go for a glass of water followed by a glass of OJ. Fresh squeezed orange juice is a wonderful way to wake up the body and reduce inflammation with loads of nutrients, especially vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is easily absorbed by the body and supports the immune system, Oranges are easy snacks to eat in between meals and the fiber content eases your elimination. Get rid of those toxins!
Don’t be afraid to eat upwards of three a day. Usually, I’ll have two at a time. I stock up on these and eat around four a day.
Chicken soup loaded with vegetables is the way to go. First, the broth contains a liquid which is good for hydration and soft on the digestive system. Chicken soup made with chicken stock contains many key vitamins like zinc, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. This soup is anti-inflammatory, relieves nasal congestion, and fills you without putting too much pressure on your stomach. Any vegetables that you add are making the soup that much more effective.
Because the nutrients in one bowl will make you feel better temporarily but aren’t enough to knock the cold, I recommend making a big batch. Eat a bowl or two for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next few days. Crackers or a slice of toast with each meal is just fine and delicious. Here is my recipe.
Sweat it Out
Fevers are one of those symptoms that people think you need to avoid, especially because you can’t send your kid to school or go to work with a fever. Fevers are a sign that your body is appropriately responding to a foreign body in the system. While keeping a thermometer close to monitor temperatures, breaking a fever is one way to overcome the flu sooner. You must also be properly hydrated to do this. By sweating out your fever, your body’s temperature is rising to kill any bacteria or pathogen attacking the body as well as excreting toxins by way of sweat.
Now, do not drop and give ’em twenty to break a sweat. Do this while you nap if you are sure your temperature levels won’t go too high. Socks, sweatpants, sweatshirt, heavy blanket, no fan. Sleep. You’ll wake up super sweaty, perfect time for a cold shower. I wouldn’t recommend going for long stretches of sleep this bundled because you cannot monitor your temp.
Onion in a Bowl
This is a very controversial remedy as there is no “science” to back up this claim. However, I’m not afraid of sounding silly because I too was skeptical when my neighbor advised me to do this. Until I tried it. Cut an onion in half and place it in a glass or ceramic bowl inside your bedroom, preferably near your bedside. You will use the other half in a couple days, so put it inside a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. The same enzyme that makes you cry when you chop onions has antimicrobial properties which is why some believe it helps clear the air. The idea is that the onion will absorb bacteria, there are many old spiritual beliefs about cleansing associated with onions, so believe as you will!
I love this trick, it’s easy, cheap and breathing the oniony scents opens up nasal passages. You can also place onion slices in your socks, I haven’t tried this one, yet!
Fresh Air and Sun
Good ol’ doctors in the good ol’ times often prescribed sickly people fresh air and walks in the sun. Did you know that your skin produces vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun? Rest is very important and you will most likely want to stay in bed, especially if you’re like me. If you’re willing and live near the ocean, you can take a nap on the beach or even in your own backyard. Getting some sun and fresh air helps breathing, makes vitamin D and gives your body energy to continue working off the cold.
Now if the symptoms are particularly strong and persistent, meaning these remedies haven’t been totally effective in the first 1-3 days then I will use homeopathic medicines, which I talk about here.