Saturday, February 16, 2013
We haven't had too bad a winter this year, health-wise. Strangely enough, we tend to keep fairly well in the winter and get whammied with one cold after another in the spring.
Anyway, when the kids or I start to get the first bit of a sore throat or fits of sneezing, I go on the attack, as any cold that gets a foot in the door has the opportunity to run through eight people before fading out. I don't cherish the prospect, and so I take a proactive approach. First line of defense is Great Gobs of Vitamin C. I use powdered vitamin C and stir it into orange juice, along with a packet of stevia for those who can't handle the tartness. One teaspoon of the stuff is 5,000 mg of vitamin C, and I'll usually give the kids somewhere around 10-15,000 mg in a day. Typically, I only get maybe 4,000 mg into Gemma, as she'll only take the chewables, and has a saturation point even with those. If you can stand it, it is recommended that you take it to the point of "bowel intolerance", which means to the point where your tummy begins to rumble and get gassy and uncomfortable. Back down at that point.
Much more pleasant is the second line of defense, which is Elderberry Echinacea Syrup. At the first sign of a cold or flu, the recommended dose is 1-2 oz. 4 times a day. I take it that the higher dose is for adults, and the lesser for children. You can buy the rather pricey Sambucol, or you can make your own version.
Elderberry Echinacea Syrup
1/2 cup dried organic elderberries (look online--they are not hard to find) or 1 cup fresh
2 Tbsp dried echinacea root
1 Tbsp dried ginger root or 2 Tbsp minced fresh
about 4" of cinnamon stick
3 cups water
3/4 cups raw honey
Put everything but the honey in a pot and simmer gently stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, at which time the liquid will be reduced by about half. Let it cool somewhat, and then strain the liquid through cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.While it is still quite warm, stir in the honey until it is thoroughly mixed in. Pour into a clean jar and cool; refrigerate until needed. Our favorite way to have a dose is to put it in a mug and add boiling water to make a "tea".
Another quick mixture for nipping things in the bud supposedly also works as a cough remedy, but I have yet to try it as such.
2 Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
4 Tbsp water
Shake everything together in a jar and keep in the fridge. When you feel a sore throat, take a nice, big tablespoon full. It will burn in your ears, but you will very likely wake up the next day without the sore throat.
Although I generally keep the comments closed during Lent, I will publish any favorite home remedies you may wish to add to this post. What's your favorite?