Many people ask me what I do with my own family, whether it comes to vaccinations, diet and nutrition, or managing illnesses. I will confess that we have stayed incredibly healthy for the last 7 years, until now….these last two months have knocked us down and dragged us out.
Since we have a veritable natural pharmacy in our kitchen and many years of practical knowledge, it makes it easy for us to whip up remedies at the first sign of runny noses or congested sinuses. This isn’t always true or practical for every household. In light of this, I thought I would share my Top 5 ways that help our family clear illnesses faster (if we have to get them at all!) that are simple and accessible to most:
- Bone Broth: Don’t worry if you are vegetarian, vegetable broth works too. When we simmer bones of animals or vegetables (and I recommend both in the crock pot), we reap all the benefits of the water-soluble minerals in their most naturally-occurring form. And if you use bones, you also get some protein and fat, which give you a little nourishment when your appetite is low. Not to mention that this addresses hydration; if you want the mucous to flow out, you need to keep it more fluid! For more info and recipes: http://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/bone-broth-health-building.php
- Warming Herb Tea: toss some cinnamon, cloves, fresh ginger, black pepper, licorice root, a bit of fresh garlic, and a pinch of cayenne into a pot. Simmer, add honey, and drink it all day long. We call ’em colds for a reason, so your best strategy is to warm and stimulate your immune system to burn off the critters. Again, if you are drinking tea all day, you don’t have to worry about whether you are hydrated or not.
- Steam inhalations: with or without essential oils, this is one of the best and easiest ways to treat your respiratory tract. Often times we get sick in the winter, but not because the bugs are more vicious this time of year. We sit inside, turn on our heaters, and blow hot, dry, dusty air into our lungs and sinuses. Our windows are not open and we get much less fresh air. Simply by re-hydrating our sinuses and lungs with steam, we can help our body freshen up and clean out.
- Chinese medicine: I can’t say enough about how effective herbs and acupuncture have been in my life. In fact, I credit my regular acupuncture tune-ups with not having been sick in nearly 7 years until now. Not everyone is lucky enough to have in-house acupuncture treatments, but if there is one modality I lean on the most it is acupuncture and 5,000 years of Chinese herbal medicine.
- Rest: Stay home. Keep your kids home. Don’t go to the store, the mall, the community center, playgroup, or work. Stay in bed, keep your critters to yourself, and give your (and everyone else’s) immune system a fighting chance.
It seems simple because it is. Preventing and recovering from illness really is basic. If we do not water, feed, and rest our bodies and tend their basic needs, our bodies won’t provide for us either.
Have a happy, healthy, and critter-free holiday and new year! Dr. S