No one likes being sick but sometimes sickness is unavoidable no matter how much you try to prevent it. While OTC medications have a place in medicine, they are often times overused, unnecessary, and sometimes toxic. I know sometimes it can be much easier to take an OTC for a quick fix and fast relief but OTC medications are never meant to fix the underlying issue that is going on that made you sick or not feel well in the first place. OTC medications are great for fast relief but they mask the root of the issue and this can cause more harm than good in the long run. The most beneficial way to deal with illness is to allow the human body to do its thing and fight off infection without or with little interference. The human body can do wonderful things if we let it. Allowing the body to fight infection naturally also helps boosts the immune system and can make the next time you’re sick much less painful. I always have a pretty full arsenal of natural remedies in my medicine cabinet for when we get sick.
I also want to say that it is very important to find a doctor you connect with and can trust. Just because we don't use OTC or prescription medications in our family doesn't mean that we dismiss all doctors from our life. Doctors can be wonderful allies in helping your family prevent illness and stay healthy. Find a doctor who understands your natural lifestyle, respects your parenting decisions, and can help lead you in the right direction for treatment. Doctors can also help you diagnose the issue so that you know how to proceed appropriately instead of treating an illness blindly. We have a wonderful holistic chiropractor we go to who also uses homeopathy with us and we have a pediatrician who prefers natural remedies over prescriptions first, is aware of the dangers of vaccines and believes in a parent's right to choose. I feel completely safe taking my kids to our doctors and trust their advice. You really want to be able to have a doctor you can turn to when you are faced with illness or don't know what to do or where to start.
Here are some natural remedies I use for me and my boys (including hubby):
I use these supplements at the first sign of a cold or the flu: Elderberry syrup, Vitamin D3 (5,000IU), Vitamin C, and Colloidal Silver.
For congestion, you can rub peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil (I don't usually use a carrier oil because I like the strong sensation) on your chest, back of neck, and bottom of your feet.
Make yourself some herbal tea and mix in about a shot glass of raw apple cider vinegar and raw honey. Drink as often as you feel throughout the day. The raw apple cider vinegar will help boost your immune system in no time!
Drink homemade veggie broth.
Take a detox bath, use a humidifier, get lots of rest, drink lots of water and/or coconut water for electrolytes.
The most common response to fever to is take a fever reducer such as Tylenol or Motrin but this is actually one of the worst things you can do. A fever is actually a good sign, showing that the body is capable of and actively working to fight infection. Fevers can help you or your child to recover from illness more quickly. If you use a fever reducer, you are stopping the body from fighting infection and prolonging sickness.
The best thing you can do it let it ride out while monitoring it to make sure it doesn't get too high and ensuring that you are drinking plenty of liquids.
For relief, you can dry brush your skin, which will open your pores and allow toxins to release out of the body, and take a warm detox bath.
For Kids: It is important to monitor your child's fever and make sure they are drinking a lot of fluids. After you give your child a bath, try to get them to drink as much water as they can (coconut water is best because it will replenish electrolytes). Try to keep your child cool by removing extra clothes, placing a cool damp towel dipped in raw apple cider vinegar on their forehead, and letting them sleep with wet socks. This will help keep your child's temperature down and give some relief.
SORE THROAT -
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is my "go-to" when I have a sore throat. You can mix it in to your favorite herbal tea or just add it to warm water with lemon and raw honey. You can also just dilute it in water and drink it throughout the day. I usually add about a shot glass of ACV but if that is too strong for you, you can start smaller and work your way up.
DRY COUGH -
Elderberry syrup is very soothing for coughs.
Steam showers/baths with eucalyptus essential oil can help soothe a cough too. With a steam shower/bath, you may have a quick coughing fit when you first jump into one but it will help open your airwaves and soothe it in the end. You'll feel relief for a few hours.
I also like to take a spoonful of raw honey sprinkled with ceylon cinnamon every time I feel my throat is dry and itchy. Taking a spoonful of this right before bed can really help alleviate night time coughing when you have a dry cough.
Sleeping with a humidifier near your bed can also help with night time coughing fits.
PINK EYE -
Pink eye can be tricky but at the earliest sign of pink eye, you can add drops of colloidal silver to your eye as if you would regular pink eye drops. If you are dealing with bacterial or viral pink eye it is important to take care of your entire body as well by loading up on vitamin C, vitamin D3, and treating it as if you would a cold/flu. Pink eye is one of the harder ailments to treat naturally as it can take much longer to recover but using colloidal silver instead of antibiotics has worked wonders for me and the boys when we had it. We also use homeopathy prescribed by our holistic doctor to pull out toxins from the body and this is also what we used when we all had pink eye at the same time.
EAR INFECTION -
At the first sign of ear infection, prime the inside of your ear with a dab of coconut oil then lie on your side and add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into your ear. Let it fizzle until it starts to settle (30-60 seconds) and then let the liquid drop out of your ear. Do this 2x/day until the infection is gone and load up on vitamin C.
STOMACH VIRUS/STOMACH POISONING -
Take activated charcoal pills, rest, and drink a lot of fluids. If you are having diarrhea or vomiting, drink a lot of coconut water to replenish your body with minerals and electrolytes.
TROUBLE SLEEPING/RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME -
Try a magnesium supplement, taking a bath in epsom salt, applying magnesium oil to your legs, and giving your body a good stretch before bed. Magnesium is key to having a good night's sleep.
Look at your diet, drink lots of water, and give your skin time to breathe. Apply castor oil to a clean face at night before bed and acne will clear up overnight! Tea tree and lavender essential oils are also great to apply on your face for acne and beautiful skin. Raw apple cider vinegar can be used as an acne-killing moisturizing toner, just dab some on with a cotton ball.
BUG BITES -
Dab some lavender essential oil on those bad boys!
Diet is really the first thing you need to look at if you suffer from heartburn or any gas reflux. Contrary to popular belief, heartburn is more often a result of low stomach acid instead of high stomach acid. Heartburn is a sign that your body is not absorbing stomach acid properly and diet changes can be made to improve this issue.
For temporary relief, you can use digestive bitters or add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda to a glass of water and consume.
Some people swear by finding relief in drinking diluted raw apple cider vinegar in water but be wary that some people also say that this irritates them and causes more heartburn. Find what works for you.
Headaches are your body's way of telling you that something isn't right. Headaches are not a normal part of life, they are a warning sign. Most headaches are due to dehydration or mineral deficiency. If you suffer from chronic migraines, start consuming a lot more water and also make sure that you are drinking high quality filtered water. Tap water can contain many ingredients that can cause migraines and filters like a Brita filter just doesn't get rid of these contaminants. In our home, we use a Berkey filter and I have noticed a BIG difference in how hydrated I feel.
Drinking coconut water can also replenish your body with magnesium and minerals, which can prevent and alleviate migraines.
For relief, try drinking warm lemon water with 1-2 teaspoons of himalayan salt. Himalayan salt contains 84+ trace minerals your body needs.
Peppermint or lavender essential oils on the temples and back of neck can also help relieve headache pain. Taking OTC medications will only mask the problem instead of digging down to the root cause of why you are experiencing headaches in the first place.
PMS SYMPTOMS/CRAMPS -
Diet can be a game changer for how your body reacts to your monthly period. Foods like avocados, dark leafy green, dark chocolate (75% or more cacao), flaxseeds, raspberry leaf tea can, and coconut water can help ease period cramps.
Something I have found that alleviates so much of my PMS symptoms is taking a hot ginger bath the day before my period and the first few days! I can't even express how much I've found this to be helpful! I also like to get into the bath before the tub is full with water so that I can allow my body to adjust to the hot temperature of the water as it fills up. Bathing in hot water really helps the body to detoxify. Remember to hydrate with lots of water after!
1 cup organic ginger powder
1-2 cups epsom salt
CBD oil can help alleviate period cramps! You can also add peppermint essential oil to your lower abdomen and hold a hot water bottle on top for added relief.
BACK PAIN -
If you suffer from chronic backpain, there are many things that can help. Try yoga, chiropractic care, and accupuncture. For relief at home, you can use an accupressure mat!