Monday, January 25, 2010

Still fighting the good fight ;)

First let me start with a silly disclaimer...these are the things that we do in our house to help each other and ourselves heal and get better. I am not nor is anyone in my family or house hold a doctor. If you are uncomfortable with any of these suggestions simply do not do them. Always check with a doctor to be sure all of these things are safe for you. I recommend finding a homeopathic doctor and not one that is getting kick backs from the pharmaceutical companies. Also you can learn volumes by just going to your local library, doing your own research on line and talking to friends and family that live with your same values.

Well we are all still dog sick here but wanted to share a few more discoveries on our natural, frugal journey.
This head cold we all four have is just miserable but I have to say we are all taking it in stride. We are not a run to the medicine cabinet kind of family and I have found several things that really seem to be helping.

Of course drink lots of fluid, however warm fluid seems to bring really wonderful relief to a congested chest and nose.

Use a neti pot or a Nassen Douche if in Germany. This makes a MAJOR difference and can bring much relief quickly. This is a natural sinus irrigation that even the children welcome when they have a stuffy nose. I use 8 oz of water warmed for 33 seconds in my microwave. As always microwave temps vary so you will need to work with your water temp and get it to a comfortable point for you. It should feel warm to the touch but not hot. Then I add a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and a pinch of baking soda. Mix it up until the salt is dissolved and then follow directions for neti pot use. When you have a cold doing this two to three times a day can be a life saver.

There is a tea by Traditional Medicinals called Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat...I will not advertise for my companies for free on a blog but I LOVE this tea. It has a wonderful taste and when sweetened with a bit of honey really does help a cough and sore throat.

Never underestimate the power of warm lemonade.

I used to be a huge fan of Vicks but I am not fond of rubbing the petroleum jelly on my skin. That being said, if you have some left in your cabinet, rubbing some on a piece of cloth and putting it in a hot shower with you will do wonders as well.

If you need a cough medicine here is my Welch Grandmothers recipe as best I remember it and how we use it in our family.

1/2 to 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of good Irish whiskey.

In a small pan or egg poacher warm and melt the butter and honey until well combined, add in the lemon juice and remove from heat. Add in the whiskey and drink down while still warm. It will be soothing while setting your insides on fire at the same time. However you will sleep and it will help with coughing.

Always sleep in a inclined position of you have a cold, it will help with sinus drainage and will cut down on the coughing.

Of course tea tree oil rubbed on your chest or on a hankie and then placed into your pillow will help for sleeping with a stuffy nose. Camphor oil is wonderful as well.

We use both of these in humidifiers as well.

That old saying starve a cold and feed a fever...not sure where the wisdom in feeding a fever is. Two things here.....if you are running a fever, don't take medicine to break it, unless it is extremely high for a long period of time. Your body runs a fever to kill the bug that is making you sick. Let your body work how it was meant to and you will get better sooner.
As far as not eating...Well, lets not get crazy. :) However you do want to avoid dairy products and especially red meat when you are sick. Your body has to use a huge amount of energy to digest red meat. Let your bodies energy be used to help you get better and eat tofu in your soups. Or chicken soup is still a wonderful thing for a cold. Even if you don't feel like eating the soup you can drink the broth and get all kinds of wonderful things from it.

My chicken soup is simple and good..

Take a whole chicken and remove the skin. There is still plenty of fat in chickens for you to get a good stock. Place skinned chicken...with bones into a large pot full of water. Add the following spices.


All of these have healing properties and should be used liberally in your chicken soup. Add half now and half about 15 minutes before you serve your soup as they will be stronger then. Try and use fresh herbs if possible.

Bring chicken and spices to a rolling boil. Now turn down to a medium heat until you see the meat start to separate from the bone. Turn off the heat and allow your broth and chicken to cool to room temperature.

In the mean time cut the following washed veggies into bite sized pieces.

Mushrooms shitake if you can find them fresh, if not buy them dried and rehydrate.
All mushrooms are a great source of C and B vitamins but shitake
mushrooms have much higher levels of wonderful things for you.
Carrots High in C, B and A vitamins you really can't do without them when you
are sick.
Bell Pepper Again has a ton of vitamin C in it
Onion Another vitamin C friend
Leeks Just an all around wonderful food for you. Too many wonderful properties
to list but when in doubt about what will make you feel better, always
throw in a leek or two. They are cheap as well.
or Sea Weed Both are wonderful for you and if you are going to try and add seaweed to
your diet soup is a good way to start.

Any other high in vitamin C veggies that your family might like, broccoli, Lima beans, corn, peas (I would add these in at the last minute) or cauliflower would all be good. However remember the point here is to eat light, you don't want to pack in so much goodies that you are eating a stew in the end.

Once the chicken in cooled start to pull the chicken from the bone. I only use half of the chicken as again you want to not pack too much meat in your body as you are trying to heal. You can save the remainder of the meat for another meal once everyone is back to health.
Cut the meat into bite sized pieces and put them back into your broth with the above veggies. You can add firm tofu at this point as well and it is really good in the soup.

Let simmer until carrots are to your liking and then add in the last remainder of your herbs.

Hopefully your body will do the rest. In the mean time don't forget to encourage hand washing and disinfect surfaces and things that harbor the most germs. Door knobs, remote controls, counter tops all can be disinfected with tea tree oil mixed with water and vinegar.

Toothbrushes should be soaked over night in Hydrogen Peroxide. You can also use Hydrogen Peroxide to clean bath room faucets, handles etc. ( thank you Aunt Mary)
You can learn more about using Hydrogen Peroxide, what it is, the history of it and it's many uses by going here..

Lay pillows and stuffed animals out in the sunshine if you can for a sun bath during the day, if not run them through your dryer on high heat with some tea tree or lavender oil.

Don't forget to change your air filter during but especially after you all have been sick.
Again thank you Aunt Mary

Finally let the sun in if you can. Sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant and sometimes just the fresh air can lift your spirits. Blow the germs out of our house by opening up windows and getting a cross breeze going through your home. Even if only for 30 minutes.

Here's to all of our good health. May this bug be making us stronger so that the next one passes us by. :)

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