Our family barely gets sick anymore. It really is a blessing. Our lifestyle choices have really upped our immune systems. Gut health is a huge factor in having a high immune system, which we talked a few weeks ago in detail here. Other factors are include our clean eating habits, not using anti-bacterial soaps, getting outdoor time barefoot in local soil, and sleep. When any of these factors are off, we can tell by a sore throat or cold coming on.
A major struggle with me has been sleep with the last 10 months having a baby to care for. I have seen my immune system weaken drastically on weeks when sleep has been scarce. I even had my first ear infection a few months back. It was such a terrible, weird experience when you are not used to such ailments! Thank the Lord it went away quickly.
Lately, we have fortunately been getting more sleep, upping our fermented food intake, and doing daily bare-feet park play dates, and I can tell my good immune system is back on track, AND my natural energy.
Working around children all day, Justin really has to keep on track with all the above. If you haven’t noticed, teachers and other people who are around a lot of children often get sick often with all the ailments kids get. He has been very fortunate to only have a few onsets of sickness, and has been able to fight it off before it has gotten too bad.
Today, I want to let you in on our family’s “secret weapons” that we use when sick symptoms arise.
5 Natural Home Remedies to Fight an On-coming Cold
Number ONE: Eliminate Irritant Foods
The first step we take when feeling a sore throat or runny nose coming on is to stop eating any irritating foods that can spur on the ailment.
Any type of sugar is going to weaken your immune system further, resulting in getting worse quicker, and not being able to fight the cold. Don’t be fooled with the idea that eliminating processed sugar will do it. Sugar comes in many forms. Eating bread and grains needs to be avoided as well. The body turns carb-y foods like those right into sugar once consumed. Fruit is usually healthy sugar, but when trying to fight a cold, it is best to limit your intake on high-glycemic fruits as well.
Dairy products are another hot topic when trying to fight a cold. Recently there have been studies saying that dairy does not cause added mucus in your body. This being said, if you feel you are any bit sensitive to dairy products, I would completely eliminate them as well during this time. Also, when we talk about consuming dairy products, we believe the best and really only way to consume them are raw and unpasteurized, from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. But raw milk is a whole other topic Justin will be writing a post about in the future! We usually use Organic Pastures raw milk that is available at Sprouts Market.
A few months ago Justin made his first fire cider. This stuff is intensely amazing, and when you take a shot of it you FEEL it burning away any bad bacteria on your throat. This recipe concentrates a bunch of high beneficial foods into a concentrated, fighting machine tonic.
If you type fire cider into Google, you can see a bunch of different variant recipes. This Fire Cider Recipe is the one Justin has tweaked to our own liking. We take it as a tonic shot when feeling a cold come on. If you have never used it before, start with a very small amount, and work up to a shot size. See how you respond to it. We find that sometimes it only takes one shot, other times when it’s a bad cold coming on, we have taken three shots a day.
Number THREE: Regular Ginger/Turmeric Shots
First, why these ingredients?
Ginger is a natural antiviral root that helps fight against bad bacteria, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which boost the immune system, and is a antihistamine and decongestant which helps being a natural pain and fever reducer.
Turmeric is an up and coming root that has been an ancient healer that has so many benefits. It contains potent antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. It has curcumin, which is very beneficial for its high antioxidant properties and stimulates the adrenal glands which actually helps rebuild the immune system.
We have been fans of juicing for years, so we have the Champion Juicer at home. If you do not have a juicer and do not want to invest in one, most juice shops have a ginger and turmeric option you can buy. I love juicing, so the investment for health and the cheapness of homemade juice in the end buying one was our best option.
We usually juice about an ounce of ginger turmeric juice, then mix with fresh apple juice or other juice to help tame the strong bite. Besides the benefits listed above, when you drink this concoction, it totally clears up your brain and gives you a natural high of energy. It’s such an awesome, natural, intense feeling!
Number FOUR: Take it Easy!
I know, this may sound cliche. I CAN’T just take it easy! But if you can try to take even 15 minute segments out of your day to deep breath, stretch, and sit, it will be very beneficial. Doing deep, methodical breathing and light, body opening stretches will help relieve tension and stress. This also opens up your veins and allows for blood to flow properly.
Blood is often
equated with life. It is really a source of life, and you may notice when sick that aches and pains come with it, or before getting sick you feel a lot of tension in your neck or shoulders or even elsewhere. Stretching can open those areas up and when done properly can increase blood flow. A high flow of blood means more work can be done by the cells in your blood that fight viruses and bad bacteria.
Number FIVE: Check Your Outlook/Mentality
Right along side with taking it easy, your mind really does play a major role in your ability to fight off an on-coming cold.
Justin has felt this first hand. “If I feel I am getting sick, and let my body stress out about it, I GET sick. As I am learning to think more positively and relax, it eases my stress level resulting in my positive will to aid myself into not getting sick as often.”
So what do we do ONCE we get that stupid little cold and couldn’t fight it off from happening?
This is a simple hot beverage that you can take as much as you need. We have seen the incredible help it has been when having continuous coughing bouts and really sore throats.
Warm up your water, not boiling but hot. Add rest of ingredients and stir until honey is dissolved. The cayenne pepper naturally floats to the surface so I keep a spoon with me so that I stir the mixture before every sip. Sip slowly. Repeat if throat is still itchy.
*I know it has honey in it, and we said sugar is a big no-no for fighting colds, but raw honey has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties that are a huge relief to sore throats.
I hope you can fight your on-coming colds and succeed in taming them! How do you and your family try to fight colds?