Guest post by Bre of Nourishing the Home
It happens every year. Holidays, cold weather…and cold and flu season. But you can be prepared! And you *can* fight cold and flu season naturally!
The typical mainstream response is to medicate with all sorts of pharmaceuticals to mask the symptoms. For a more natural and holistic approach, however, the first focus must be on boosting the immune system.
A common misconception is that there are more viruses going around during cold and flu season. In reality, it is more that the sun is out less, so our bodies get less Vitamin D which in turn decreases our body’s immunity, making us more susceptible to coming down with something.
Boost your immunity, increase your defense.
Some natural ways to boost immunity:
* Increase your vitamin intake – Vitamin D, C and A are all great. Obviously increasing naturally via real foods is the best way but if additional supplements are needed, try and find a naturally produced form, not synthetic.
* Black Elder Berry Syrup – my kids know this as “Berry Juice” and *love* it. We give each 1 tsp a day when Fall is upon us (and 2 tsp daily if they are actively sick).
* Homemade Kefir or another form of fermented drink – full of wonderful probiotics. A healthy gut is vital.
* Essential Oils – Make your own Flu Shot in a Bottle. Here’s where my expertise lies so we’ll dig in a little deeper below. But the main thing to know is that essential oils, particularly Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils, are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and very safe and effective.
What About When I Get Sick?
We’re not super heroes. People get sick. So here’s what you can do naturally! Increase your intake of all the natural things mentioned above (plus we add Grapefruit Seed Extract and drink lots and LOTS of Homemade Bone Broth (or Veggie broth if you prefer), and try these homemade remedies that you can cook up in your own kitchen using ingredients you probably already have.
* Beth’s Ultimate Strep Throat Remedy (If You’re Brave Enough) has been put to the test – she beat strep throat while pregnant (it had even been confirmed by a throat swab!). Kicks a sore throat to the curb with gusto.
* This homemade Cough & Cold Syrup is gentle enough for many doses throughout the day, and uses raw honey to make it more palatable. It soothes the throat that can’t stop coughing.
* Terrible Tonic - My friend Lindsay Bentley swears by this and we have found it to be very effective as well.
How Essential Oils Can Help
I’m going to cover the use of essential oils a little more in depth here as they are what have helped us most to kick the crud fast! My last cold lasted less than 48 hours!
Essential Oils are aromatic compounds extracted from plants and fruits. Now, you may have just glossed over the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties I mentioned above but DON’T.
Cue visual aid time…
This picture is of a cell. Bacteria lives on the outside of the cell so doctors can prescribe antibiotics to fight that if you go in with a bacterial infection. But viruses live on the inside of a cell wall.
The medical field has not been able to produce a drug or medication to penetrate that wall. But, lucky for us, a virus-fighting tool is all around is in nature.
There are three different ways to use essential oils – aromatically, topically and internally*
Aromatic - Breathe in or use a diffuser to clean the air, open airways and to affect mood.
Topical - Apply to troubled areas or bottoms of the feet. The pores on the soles of our feet are the largest in the body and therefore act like an IV taking the oils directly into the bloodstream within 30 seconds. This makes it extremely fast and effective and a method especially useful for children. With sensitive skin, dilute using a carrier oil (like coconut oil or almond oil). Make sure to keep oils out of the eyes and ears.
Internal - If you have been a previous consumer of essential oils, this may be a new concept for you. This applies only to doTERRA’s CPTG oils as many other oils are not pure, nor certified as such. Drop under the tongue, in a gel capsule or in water to support mouth, throat, digestive and overall health.
Here are my top picks for Essential Oils for Cold/Flu Season:
On Guard Protective Blend – immune boosting
Oregano – natural defense
Lemon – soothe sore throats
Breathe Respiratory Blend – congestion/cough (replaces Vick’s Vapor Rub in our home)
Melaleuca – cold sores
Peppermint – reduce fever
Eucalyptus – cough/sinus pressure (Marjoram is a must-have for Croup)
On Guard is diffusing almost daily in my home as well as applied to the bottoms of everyone’s feet. It smells like Fall since it is a blend of Cinnamon, Clove, Wild Orange, Rosemary and Eucalyptus. Heavenly. I also clean with it, use it as our natural hand sanitizer and take it internally when fighting something.
About a month ago, I thought I’d escaped the cold my husband and kids had (which by the way lasted less than 4 days for them all). I started feeling that dreaded scratchy throat. Here’s what I did:
-Rolled On Guard on my spine and feet every few hours
-Diluted and rubbed Oregano all over my neck
-Diffused On Guard by my bedside over night
Thursday: my worst day; felt ache-y, sore throat, fatigued
-Took a cold “bomb” – gelcap with 4 drops On Guard, 2 drops Lemon and 2 drops Oregano) about 3 times over the course of the day
-Drank hot water with lemon oil and honey for sore throat
-Rubbed Breathe on my chest and diffused to breathe in when I felt was needed
Friday: had more energy but still ‘felt’ sick
-Continued cold “bomb” and applying On Guard topically
-Continued applying Breathe although I was not really dealing with any congestion
I felt good as new and more than able to teach my next essential oil class that morning
Now, don’t read all of this and think oils are the magic cure-all. I was also resting, drinking lots of water and bone broth, and all the other recommendations I gave above. But our family has definitely seen our sick time easily cut in half!
If you’d like to learn more about how effective and versatile these oils are, please visit my site.
I’ve created a page just for Red & Honey readers with an informational video, money-saving enrollment kits and incentives just for you!
And join me (virtually) tonight for *the best incentive deals of the year* at my Cyber Monday Give the Gift of Wellness Party! Free diffusers, free oils and more.
Bre Taylor is a wife and mother of two who runs the website Nourishing the Home. She is also a representative for doTerra essential oils. For more info and upcoming virtual classes, contact Bre via her website or Facebook page.