We all have supplements & vitamins we take on a daily basis for our individual needs… products we swear by and use daily for our health & beauty regimes, but what about when you are dealing with a sudden onset cold, or when you wake up with a golf ball-sized sore throat? At the VERY first signs I may be coming down with something acute - I start a very purposeful, emergency wellness ritual that I have refined over the years. There are so many useful tools for treating a cold or easing acute allergies or ear infections, so as Fräulein Maria would say - these are a few of my favorite things!
Hydrogen Peroxide / I trust using Hydrogen Peroxide almost 100% of the time when I notice an acute cold coming on. I gargle with it, and I also put a few drops down each ear for 5-10 min, then drain onto a towel. You can dilute it by 50%, but I just use it straight and rinse with water after gargling. This is just one of those measures I swear by. It will kill many bacterial microbes and pathogenic viruses that have entered the ear canal. H2O2 is always best to use right away when you notice symptoms in the first 12-24 hours.
Elderberry, Echinacea, C, Zinc / You can take all these individually, but man that sounds like a lot of pills & I don’t do that very well. So I get these lozenges and have them in the house at all times. They are a powerful blend of healing agents - echinacea, zinc, elderberry & Vitamin C to help reduce the duration of disease and prevent illness from taking hold if you catch it early enough.
Yin Qiao San herbs / Best Chinese herbs for warding off illness in the initial stages - I take it at the first signs of a sore throat, especially one that feels swollen, hot, raw, or burning. I take 3 capsules 3x/day.
Raw Garlic Paste / aka my Warrior Wellness Paste. This stuff probably deserves its own post. I mix together 2 cloves of mashed raw garlic, 1 inch of raw grated ginger, 1 big Tbsp raw honey, & ½ tsp turmeric powder into a paste. I use 1 tsp of this paste in a mug of 1 C hot water (I actually put it inside a teaball and pour the water over it like making tea - that way it is pre-strained and you don’t have bits of garlic floating in your mug) and add the juice of ½ lemon to it. I drink this 2x day until the paste is gone.
What are your self-care rituals? Would love to hear your tried & true remedies!
Have you heard the story of the Four Thieves of Marseilles who successfully robbed people afflicted with the bubonic plague in the 14th Century? It’s rumored that their armor was a blend of herbs and oils diluted in white wine vinegar which they doused themselves with before going out & plundering the community… and they never became ill! A modern-day “Thieves Oil” exists today with numerous uses - household cleaning when diluted into a spray bottle, diffusing into the air for immune benefits, massaging on the feet with a carrier oil to help ward off colds and pathogens during flu season, or even using a few drops in a capsule to take orally for your immune system. If your family tends to get their fair share of colds and germs passed around each Winter, consider using a Thieves blend at home for wellness purposes - diffuse this blend for 30 minutes a few times each day in different rooms of the house to clean and purify the air while making your home smell divine.
Thieves oil blend:
40 drops of Clove Essential Oil
35 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
From Amrita Sondhi’s book The Tastes of Ayurveda is a recipe for a hot tea that will bust a cold before it begins. Ginger warms the body and acts as an anti-inflammatory; turmeric is a natural anti-biotic food; lemon clears toxins, stimulates digestive function and purifies the body; while honey will naturally suppress a cough. Try this effective and yummy tea at the onset of very first symptoms of a cold or cough and you may be surprised at the results.
8-10 slices fresh ginger, cut into rounds
8 C water
1 tsp ground turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp raw honey, or raw manuka honey
Boil ginger and water in a pot on high, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add turmeric and lemon juice and let cool slightly before pouring into pitcher through a fine mesh sieve. Add honey. Stir well and drink up to 3 C/day for healing benefits.
Variation: Add a scant 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper to this tea for improved blood circulation - this tea can be drunk as a general anti-inflammatory tea for fertility patients who need improved circulation to reproductive organs - the antioxidants in cayenne & turmeric may help cardiovascular function and improve qualities of sperm and egg cells. Also great for any chronic inflammatory condition.
Raw Honey (or Manuka honey): The benefits of raw honey, or especially raw manuka honey (from bees who feed off the manuka tree native to New Zealand) are plentiful. It has major anti-bacterial effects, anti-biotic effects, and tonic effects. Manuka honey has been proven to kill dangerous gut bacteria and will also soothe skin burns when applied topically. This is a honey to keep in your medicine cabinet - use it for burns, in hot teas for sore throats and colds/coughs, or use 1 tbsp in warm milk for a natural sleep aid. It’s pricey for honey, but super affordable for medicine. :) It will be the best tasting remedy in the house!