L'il B and have had a bad cough for almost 2 weeks now and it has turned into a nasty cold, so I went to the health food shop and fruit market yesterday to collect some supplies. Today has been all about combating the sickness and getting rid of it once and for all. Here are some natural remedies that help us out in times of need.
1. drink plenty of fluids
We’ve heard it before, but drinking lots is the best way to flush that cold through your system
Some excellent choices include: purified water, vegetable broth (low-sodium) and soup, freshly squeezed juice, herbal tea (thyme, chamomile and ginger with added manuka honey are all excellent choices for coughs and colds), hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice
2. ecoMILF’s immune boosting soup
Soup has been used throughout history as a healing food. It's easy for the body to digest while supplying us with high amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients and helps to flush out the system. When cooked slowly on a lower heat, the nutrients are retained in a soups broth, which is why broths are so potently beneficial.
Benefit of Each Ingredient
Garlic- high in anti-oxidants and is also highly anti-bacterial
Ginger- is also high in anti-oxidants and helps to soothe achey stomachs, and aids the body with digestion
Carrots- high in beta-carotene and vitamin C, carrots are used in Chinese medicine to improve long-term coughs
Shiitake Mushrooms- also used in Chinese medicine, they contain an active compound called lentinan which boosts the immune system
Swiss Chard- high in vitamin C
Herbs de Provence- (usually a mix of dried thyme, oregano, basil and rosemary (and others)) thyme possesses expectorant and bronchial antispasmodic properties, oregano is high in anti-oxidants and is also found to be antimicrobial
Orange juice and zest- the zest acts as an anti-inflammatory and the juice is high in vitamin C
Tofu- easy-to-digest, fresh protein is essential, as the body needs extra protein to fight an illness, but doesn’t want to work with hard-to-digest proteins like red meat
Borlotti beans- another simple protein source and are high in a number of minerals and vitamins
Cinnamon- has antibacterial and cough relieving properties
3-4 tbs olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 sm brown onions
1/2 block organic tofu
2 lg carrots, chopped into small pieces
3 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces
3-4 shiitake mushrooms (I used dried (soak for 20 minutes in advance until soft), but preferably fresh), stems removed, chopped into small pieces
3-4 leaves swiss chard, stems removed, chopped finely
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
zest and juice from 1 orange
1 tbs herbs de provence
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 170˚C
Put an oven-friendly pot on the burner at medium heat
Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute until soft
Add carrots, celery, mushrooms and swiss chard, stir and leave for 2-3 minutes
Add vegetable stock, water, orange juice and zest, herbs, cinnamon stick and salt and pepper
Bring to a boil
Turn heat off and add barlotti beans, stir
Put pot with lid on in the oven for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are soft
3. Cinnamon Toast
Cinnamon has antibacterial and cough relieving properties
Mix 1 tbs ground cinnamon with 1 tbs cane sugar and sprinkle over buttered toast
4. Fresh Pineapple
Pineapples are high in vitamin C and also contain bromelain which is a natural cough suppressant- and loosens mucous
SALVES, SYRUPS AND ESSENTIAL OILS
5. Homemade Vapour Rub
Pour sweet almond oil into a small vial and add 3 drops eucalyptus or peppermint oil**, rub into chest and back in the morning and before sleep.
As any Australian will tell you, eucalyptus oil vapor is a decongestant
Soaked in warm water with 2-3 drops it of lavender oil** in it to wipe sensitive noses
7. Homemade Cough Syrup:
Mix 1 tbs apple cider vinegar and 1 tbs manuka honey*, drink 2-3 times a day
Apple Cider Vinegar- is a natural bacteria-fighting agent that contains many vital minerals and trace elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, copper, iron, silicon and fluorine
Manuka Honey- is a natural antibiotic and soothes a sore throat
8. Homemade Cough Drops (made with honey and thyme tea)
see here for recipe, add sticks for younger children to hold to reduce choking hazard.
COMMONSENSE AND GRANDMA’S WISDOM
9. Slice a large brown onion in half and place it next to the your bed or the little one’s cot. I can’t swear by it myself, but it’s an old wive’s tale that has been tried, tested and proved effective.
10. Get a little bit of fresh air and sunshine. The temptation is to stay inside in your PJs all day, but the vitamin D we get from the sun is an essential immune system regulator, and every Grandma will swear a little fresh air is the best remedy for anything.
Of course you should also get lots of sleep/rest/and cuddles in. Allow the dirty dishes to pile up, enlist help in the form of spouse, grandparents and friends, have a nap instead of mopping the floors.
**Many health professionals advise against the use of essential oils during pregnacy as there has been little research in this regard. Some oils have been found to stimulate mild uterine contractions. Do your own research, talk to your doctor and use your commonsense. Sexual intercourse and physical activity also cause uterine contractions and if you are having a normal pregnancy and have no history of miscarriage all of these things should be fine.
*Honey occasionally contains a spore of the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum which can cause a rare form of food poisoning (botulism) in babies. Although this is very rare, health professionals advise babies under one year of age should not be given honey.
Disclaimer- Please note that I am not, and do not claim to be a health professional. These remedies were concocted based on my own experiences as a mother, and are based on research and consultation with naturopaths and other alternative health professionals. If you or your young one is sick with a high fever or a consistent cough or cold please see you doctor for medical advice and treatment.