Natural Remedies For Cold & Flu

Well, it’s that time of year again, my least favorite part of the year if I am being completely honest! Cold and flu season is insanely stressful for mama’s of little ones, do you other mamas feel me? Whether your children are at home full time, in daycare full time, or go to school every day there is no doubt they will be exposed to the germs and viruses that seem to explode during flu season. My girls and I actually just recovered from head colds a few weeks ago. We typically get at least one every fall and being prepared when it hits takes the worry and stress out of getting well. So I am going to share some of my family’s favorite natural remedies and go to’s that have been successful for us, and hopefully relieve some stress for your family when that time comes! I have created a Natural Health tab under Favorite Essentials just for this post. 
Even though conventional and over the counter medicines may shorten the duration of the illness and seem beneficial short term, it doesn’t necessarily do the body good long term. A normal head cold lasts 5-7 days, and even sometimes congestion & cough will linger a few days after. When you shorten that to just 2 days each time, it gradually weakens your immune system making your body more susceptible to catching sickness more often. Our bodies were made to get an illness and heal naturally in the time frame they are intended to. For some folks, it’s as simple as not knowing there are other ways to effectively treat your illness right at home! There are several remedies that will actually fuel your body to be stronger when the illness is over rather than leave it weak and having to play catch up for the next few days, or even weeks after. But first and most importantly it all starts with a whole, real food diet. Fueling your body with a constant and consistent supply of nutrients will help ensure your body to tackle and take on any illness that comes your way. We typically start with eliminating any dairy, sugars, and starchy foods at the first sign of feeling down because those will suppress your immune system during sickness. Eating a lot of food isn’t really necessary when feeling ill anyway, it’s best to load up on hot teas and warm soups/broths. This is when I also typically take in my raw Vitamin D supplements and try to get as much rest and sleep at night as possible. All of these things intertwine and give you and your body the most strength for kicking the crud naturally. Below I am going more in depth and sharing all of our favorite natural remedies! Click on Images to be directed to purchase. 

1. Elderberry Syrup

My family’s number one go to and savior for colds (and can be treated for flu) is Elderberry Syrup. It is so easy to make your own and you end up saving major bucks, not to mention the quality is much better than store bought! I make mine at the beginning of cold season and we take it every day as a preventative. When we are sick, we triple up on our daily dosage. It helps our cough almost immediately, and our overall illness within 48 hours. Here’s the Recipe:

Original Recipe from Wellness Mama

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup dried elderberries (linked below)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger (organic spices recommended)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 cup raw honey (We get ours at the farmers market but other recommended linked below)

Instructions:

  1. Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey).
  2. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Whenever the liquid has reduced by about half, remove from heat and let cool.
  3. When cooled, pour the elderberry mixture through a mesh strainer and smash the elderberries with a spoon to get all remaining liquid.
  4. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool until no longer hot, then add in the honey and stir well.
  5. Store the elderberry mixture into a mason jar or glass jar of some kind.
  6. Keep in the fridge and take daily to boost immune system!
  7. Standard dose for children is 1/2 – 1 tsp(I give my kids the full tsp) and 1/2 tbsp – 1 tbsp for adults(we take the full tbsp). At any sign of illness we take the dosage every 3-4 hours.
*If you would like to see a live video tutorial on how to make Elderberry Syrup you can comment on this blog post or message through Holistic Facebook or Instagram.
 
                                           
                                 
 

2. Chiropractic Adjustments

I won’t go into too much on this one. Everyone is different and chiropractic care may not be something you are interested in doing and that is fine! It has been a huge benefit to my family’s health and immunity. We get routine adjustments on a biweekly schedule but when we are feeling under the weather we go immediately. It helps open our airways, takes away any achy and soreness in the body, and strengthens our bodies to help fight the illness quickly. I have also done quite a bit of research after talking to some moms, correlating ear infections with chiropractic adjustments. Many studies show the significant decrease and even prevention of ear infections when getting regular adjustments. As quoted by our pediatrician and also Dr. Sears, “80% of ear infections can be treated without antibiotics, and instead with garlic and mullein oil with a likely healing period of 4-7 days”. Garlic and mullein oil has anti-fungal and antiviral properties making it an awesome way to treat ear infections naturally. Check it out below.

3.Vitamins & Supplements

Making sure you are getting a good quality daily multivitamin and probiotic is huge! Paired with real foods, it is such an effective combination! Probiotics are good bacteria that line your digestive tract and help support your body’s ability to fight illness and absorb nutrients. Consuming fermented and nonpasteurized foods are excellent sources of probiotics but there are other resources such as pill form. It is very important to make sure to consume wholesome foods at the same time for maximum benefits. Our vitamin and supplement routine looks something like this:
  • Women’s prenatal vitamins every day(you could sub the multivitamin if this doesn’t pertain to you)
  • Men’s multivitamin every day, and we both take a daily probiotic.
  • Toddler age (3) daily multivitamin, + probiotic(I interchange her probiotic with two different brands- linked below!)
  • Baby age (1) takes daily probiotic + DHA fish oil.
When sick we add in Vitamin D, C, and Zinc. Also Raw B-12. We have been using Garden of Life products for several years now and they are excellent quality being as they are raw supplements(no added junk). I will link a few below(rest on Natural Health tab)!
                               
                           

4. Essential Oils

Are you one of those people who are questionable of essential oils or maybe you don’t know much about them? My family has been using them for over 4 years and they have been an absolute life saver for us! Even my husband “oils up” every morning before going to work! You may be able to tell by my picture I am a DoTerra fan, but there are other options out there at different price points that I have personally tested and would recommend. Plant Therapy and Aura Cacia are wonderful quality for a little less(some of my favorites linked on Essential Oils tab). Below are my two go-to roller ball blends, per our pediatrician’s office, that we use specifically for prevention and when illness strikes. Also since we are on the essential oils subject. The Onguard and Breathe throat lozenges are the BEST we have ever tried. They are a little pricey, but trust me when I say they are 110% worth it! The quality is superior to any other lozenge out there and helps tremendously relieve a sore throat. We keep both bags on hand at all times in case sickness strikes unexpectedly. Trust me I would never urge you to purchase something, especially a higher ticket item if I didn’t love it 100%. I seriously can’t recommend the throat lozenges enoughI will link them below(also on Essential Oils tab!)
*Always dilute oils when applying to children & babies, and I even recommend diluting for adults. Since oils are used for medicinal purposes be sure to check with your pediatrician or trusted health care provider for proper application. 

Immune Builder:

  • 10mL roller bottle(linked below) or 15mL glass bottle
  • 5 drops Frankincense
  • 10 drops Protective Blend(Onguard)

Fill to half way with Fractionated Coconut Oil(linked below)

*For children under 3 years old, roll on bottoms of feet before bed or on spine.

Flu Shot in a Bottle:

  • 10mL roller ball
  • 10 drops Oregano
  • 15 drops Protective blend
  • 20 drops lemon

Add fractionated coconut oil until full.

Cold/Allergies:

At first sign of a cold, fill a 2-4 oz glass spray bottle with water, add 5-10 drops Protection Blend. Spray repeatedly on of throat. Also apply 1 drop of Breathe to back of neck.

Use a drop of diluted Respiratory Blend(Breathe) or Eucalyptus to chest and neck for congestion. These two are great to diffuse as well! Everything else linked on Essential Oils Tab

Onguard Hand Sanitizer:

(no alcohol & nourishes the skin)
Recipe from doterra.com

  • 5 tbsp aloe vera gel(linked on essentials oils tab)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil(linked on essential oils tab)
  • 8-10 drop Onguard

Instructions:

  1. In bowl combine aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil.
  2. Add 8-10 drops On Guard Protective Blend to aloe vera mixture.
  3. Add water and mix well to combine. Add more or less water depending on the consistency you want.
  4. Pour into glass spray bottles and take with you everywhere! (bottles on EO tab)

Onguard Multipurpose Cleansing Spray:
Recipe from doterra.com

  • 1 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 20 drops Onguard
  • Water
  1. In a 4 oz glass bottle combine aloe vera gel and oil. Then add water and shake until well mixed. Use anywhere and everywhere!

                                   

                            

Onguard Throat Drops       

  Breathe Throat Drops

4. Hot Teas

My husband and I drink hot tea every single day and there are numerous health benefits to consuming on a regular basis. But when you are feeling under the weather they can really help fight the illness and make your symptoms a little more manageable. It is very important to use good quality teas to take in all the benefits, and I highly recommend organic. When sick I drink 6-8 cups in one day(make sure they are not caffeinated). Traditional Medicinals is our go-to brand. We get them at our local Kroger but you can also order online. You can get ones specifically for colds individually or get the Seasonal Sampler which includes Gypsy Cold Care, Throat Coat, Breathe Easy, & Echinacea Plus. Add a tsp of raw honey(as linked above) and 1 drop of lemon essential oil(or fresh squeezed) for extra benefits. Sometimes I even add some Bragg’s Raw Unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Drinking plenty of fluids period is recommended daily and especially when sick!  *There are so many teas available for all specific needs, I encourage you to check them out!  
    
Seasonal Sampler

5.) Epsom Salt/Magnesium Flake Baths

At the first sign of congestion and/or fever, we do Epsom salt baths to help relieve and reduce. Also known as “detox baths”, this will help flush out any toxins that have built up in the body. You can find Epsom salt at common grocery stores and also places such as CVS and Walgreen’s but I have found the best quality and deal is from Amazon. To make soak bath, simply run the water and add in salts, then add in bonus relief such as essential oils. You do want the water to be warm so the salts will dissolve but not hot because that will irritate fever. To get full benefits of soak baths let them sit in there for at least 20 minutes, and try to avoid using harsh chemical soaps so the skin can soak up all the magnesium and oils. We use the Honest Company body wash but there are other safe ones out there as well! Soak baths can also be beneficial as a preventative and for good sleep! I do the magnesium baths myself and add in some Deep Blue essential oil when I have sore or achy muscles(it feels amazing!!!). Here are the proper measurements for soak baths:

Epsom Salt dosage:

  • Children under 60 lbs – 1/2 cup (So I typically do 1/4 cup for mine because my kids are 20 lbs & 30 lbs)
  • Children 60lbs-100lbs – 1 cup
  • People 100lbs & up – 2 cups to full bath

Essential Oil Dosage:

  • Children under 60lbs & over 2 years old – add 4 drops
  • Children 60lbs – 100lbs – add 6 drops
  • People 100lbs & up – add 10 drops to full bath

Essential Oil Suggestions:

Immune Booster- Protective Blend or Wild Orange
Respiratory Relief- Eucalyptus, Peppermint, or Respiratory Blend(Breathe if using DoTerra)
Digestive Comfort: Peppermint, Cardamom, or Lemon
*Dosage amounts per our pediatrician 
               
Pure Epsom Salt     Magnesium Flakes
There are many other natural remedies out there, I encourage you to research and seek them out. I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful in time of need.
Be well, XO.

*Disclaimer : I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. I cannot treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any illness. If you have concerns about any sickness, talk to your family physician. Do your own research on natural remedies to ensure that you think they are safe. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult a qualified specialist before taking any herb or supplement.

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