Fall is upon us here in the New York. As I write this, it is cool, raining and miserable outside. It won’t be too long before the really cold weather sets in, so now is the time to think about staying healthy this winter.
These all-natural cold and flu remedies should speed along your recovery from the illnesses that are so common in winter, so make sure you stock up on what you’ll need to take care of yourself or your family members should someone get sick.
How to Treat Colds and the Flu Naturally
At the first sign of illness:
- Rest as much as possible
- Eat lightly- homemade organic chicken soup mixed with some miso and/or coconut milk is excellent. Fresh ginger and a bit of cayenne are wonderful additions. The chicken broth and the coconut milk contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and the miso benefits the digestive and immune system.
- For sore throat: warm ginger tea with lemon and raw honey or Herbal Honey or Garlic Honey Remedy taken by the spoonful several times per day.
- For body aches: a warm bath with Epsom salts or Himalayan crystal salt.
The following may be helpful, but make sure to try these cold and flu remedies as early on as possible:
- Yin Chiao: a Chinese herbal formula used for centuries. Best when taken at the first sign of a cold or flu, or when you feel you may have been or will be exposed to cold or flu (like on an airplane).
- Herbs: astragalus, echinachea, andrographis, cat’s claw, and elder berry have strong immune-boosting and antiviral properties
- Vitamin C: Can be taken in supplement form; rosehips is an excellent natural source
- For nasal congestion: try a Neti Lota pot saline rinse
- Aromatherapy: a few drops of eucalytpus essential oil can be added to the bathtub while you take a hot shower to create a wonderful steam for the sinuses; one drop each of lavender and thyme essential oil can be added to 1 teaspoon of raw honey and drank for a soothing beverage with antiviral/antibacterial action.
Make homemade toothpowder as an alternative to commercial toothpastes that contain synthetic chemicals and unhealthy sweeteners.
I was pleasantly surprised by the results when I made this homemade toothpowder recipe. The ingredients are inexpensive, it took less than a minute to put together, and I have enough to last me a long time. Best of all, though, I love how it makes my teeth feel- truly clean.
Basic Toothpowder Recipe
*2 parts baking soda
*1 part high quality, all natural salt (such as is Celtic salt or Himalayan salt). Make sure to use a finely ground (not coarse) salt so that it does not damage your enamel)
I used 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of salt. It seemed so plain so I tossed in some ground cinnamon (about 1/2 tsp.), but you could add some peppermint or spearmint essential oil for flavor instead (start with 2-4 drops and add more to taste- I'm going to buy some and add it). Cinnamon essential oil can be used instead of ground cinnamon, as well.
To use, wet your toothbrush and dip it in the toothpowder. If it tastes way too salty, add a bit more baking soda. Brush as usual and you will see how smooth and healthy your teeth feel!
In order to turn it into healthy homemade toothpaste, you can add several tablespoons of vegetable glycerin or liquified coconut oil. Add the liquid slowly and mix well until you get the consistency you desire. (Note that I haven't tried this because I like the toothpowder just fine).
Store your toothpowder or toothpaste in an airtight container in your bathroom. It lasts indefinitely.
Healthy body care focuses on using only all-natural, non-toxic products. Putting the best quality real foods into your body is extremely important. You should also be very selective about what you put on your body and opt for healthy skin care.
Like household cleaners, many body products contain scary chemicals. I suggest purchasing organic or at least all-natural alternatives. There are numerous excellent ones on the market- make sure to read the labels so you understand what you are buying.
You shouldn’t eat anything with ingredient(s) you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce, and the same goes for your skin care!
Because store-bought healthy skin care can be expensive, an alternative is to make your own organic body care products. This saves you money, gives you control over your ingredients, and if you like projects, it can be really fun. Two wonderful books on this subject with lots of recipes are Earthly Bodies, Heavenly Hair by Dina Falconi and Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanic Tourles.
I recently made my own toothpowder. It was so simple and inexpensive to make, and it really cleans and refreshes your mouth. Here is the natural toothpowder recipe.
Some other tips:
- Dry Skin Brushing is great for healthy skin care and is a wonderful healthy habit to start.
- Organic coconut oil has many skin-nourishing properties. Here is an easy homemade body scrub recipe that features coconut oil.
- Herbal infusions and herbal vinegars are high in minerals and are great for hair, skin, and nails.
- Make sure to get some fresh air and a little sunlight each day. These are necessary for healthy skin (and overall good health), and be sure to visit Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products.