Once the new school year starts, there are all kinds of germs being spread and it is the start of the cold and flu season. I hate being sick and so I try to keep me and my family well and strengthen our immune systems when these bugs are going around. I’m a little bit of a germ freak and HATE putting my kids in a buggy without a cart cover. But, I’m reasonable and know that I can’t keep the germs away but, I can give them things that will help them fight off any bug that enters their system.
Our family doesn’t get sick very often and I can count the number of times any of us have been sick this year on one hand. There are every day things I do to keep us healthy like cooking meals from scratch (we hardly ever eat processed food. I try and stay as close to the source as possible.), I make kombucha and we drink it daily, we take high quality vitamins and take vitamin D when we remember, we drink raw milk, and we try and kick colds in the butt when we feel them coming on with essential oils and herbal remedies.
I’ve been doing a little bit of research on some herbal remedies that will help you this cold season and have gathered them all in one place. You can get most of the herbs needed from the bulk herb store or mountain rose herbs. We use elderberry syrup, echinacea tincture, and fire cider when fighting a cold and they really help knock it out. I haven’t yet tried the vitamin c syrup or natural cough syrup but, I’m planning on those being added to our medicine cabinet this Fall.
Fire Cider Recipe
This recipe is from Mommypotamus and sounds reasonably easy and simple to make. We still have fire cider we purchased last year, so I haven’t tried the recipe out yet. But, I imagine instead of purchasing it when we need some I’ll make it instead. This stuff has a kick, is quite spicy and will really burn if you don’t swallow it right but, it REALLY helps knock out colds and also helps get rid of sore throats. As soon as I start feeling a sore throat or cold coming on, I reach for my bottle of fire cider and take a tablespoon 3 times a day until my symptoms disappear.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
I have 3 different recipes for Elderberry recipes that are very similar but, slightly different. All of them sound good and since there are only small differences in each recipe, would probably all taste pretty similar.
Mommypotamus has a video and some good information on elderberries to go along with her recipe.
Wellness Mama gets straight to the point with her recipe, so if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to scroll through 5 paragraphs to get to the recipe, this is the link for you. 😉
And Holistic Squid is in between the two.
Chose whichever sounds best and easiest to you and omit whatever spice you don’t like. The recipes are seriously so similar you probably wouldn’t be able to determine a difference if you tasted them side by side.
Vitamin C Syrup
Vitamin C is an important part of our supplement routine when dealing with a cold or the flu.It is a great immune boosting vitamin. Normally we take vitamin C powder that we purchase from the store, but once I am able to, I’ll be making this recipe which is much better for you than what you can get from the grocery store. You can purchase all of the herbs in the recipe from The Bulk Herb Store.
Tinctures are pretty easy to make and there are lots of resources out there with information on how to make tinctures with alcohol, glycerin, and vinegar. The three methods extract different properties from the herbs. We normally use alcohol to make our tinctures since it’s the easiest method and has the longest shelf life but, glycerin is faster and more kid friendly. I haven’t ever tried making a tincture with vinegar yet so, I don’t know how easy they are to make or how they turn out.
To make an Echinacea tincture I will fill a quart jar about 1/2-2/3 of the way full of herbs and then pour vodka up to about an inch under the rim of the jar. I then cover tightly with a lid, place in a cool, dark place and shake once a day for 3-4 weeks. I then strain the herbs out of the alcohol and portion the tincture into small syrup bottles I have saved and labeled. I’ll take 1 tsp. 3 times daily when sick, give my 3 year old 1/4 tsp 3x’s a day, and my 1 year old between 1/8-1/4 tsp. 3x’s a day.
Here’s some information on how to make tinctures from Wellness Mama. I have never poured hot water over my herbs first like she does though.
Here’s an herbal cough syrup recipe from Wellness Mama that will also help soothe sore throats.
This recipe from Mommypotamus also helps soothe sore throats.
This post contains two recipes that are super simple and easy to make.
When my family gets sick, in addition to using herbal remedies, vitamins, and essential oils, I also cut out refined sugar (which I try to limit anyway), white flours, and meals high in simple carbs. I try and feed our bodies healing foods that will give it energy to fight off whatever bacteria our virus that has entered our system. I make rich, hearty soups and stews and have my boys drink kombucha. Having a healthy gut is important in fighting off any sickness and preventing disease.
I try my best to feed my family healthy foods and prevent them from getting sick by giving them immune boosters after being exposed or possibly being exposed (like in the grocery store) to sickness. I’m hoping this collection of recipes will help you do the same. May you all stay well this winter 🙂