Keeping ourselves and our families healthy through the winter is something that doesn’t just happen. We have to be intentional about it. That’s why I want to share with you a few natural cold remedies that we use.
Sure, eating healthy foods and hand washing are important steps to protecting our bodies from unwelcome little bugs.
But there are some other great, natural cold remedies we can use to support our immune systems in addition to a healthy lifestyle.
And nothing is a surety…as I’m comforting and helping my poor boy through a cold right now.
Just a reminder: I am not a doctor!
Natural Cold Remedies to Support the Immune System Before Sickness
Because I truly believe the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” I
incorporate natural, immune boosting practices on a regular basis through the winter months.
Here are a few things that I always have on hand to dose my family with occasionally when we are healthy.
Elderberry Syrup – I make Heather’s recipe from Mommypotamus. During the winter, I keep a jar of this in the fridge all the time. Before my son was old enough to take honey, I made it with maple syrup. Maple syrup doesn’t have as many healing properties as honey so I put in just enough syrup to sweeten so that my son would take it.
If you don’t want to make your own elderberry syrup, grab some of this to keep on hand.
Probiotics – I alternate probiotics in my son’s bottle. Most days he gets a
tablespoon or so of my homemade kefir. The rest of the time I break open a capsule of Just Thrive Probiotics and put half the powder in his bottle.
I drink kefir daily for my probiotics. I also rotate in sauerkraut and kombucha for more variety of probiotics.
Read More: How to Make Sauerkraut
Raw Honey – Just take a tablespoon of raw honey! Delicious and packed with many healing properties. Remember, don’t feed honey to anyone under one year old!
Read More: How to Use Raw Honey
Garlic (or Garlic Oil) – I love garlic. I try to incorporate fresh garlic in much of my cooking. This is very small amounts, but still some benefit. For my son, I rub a drop of this garlic oil on his feet once a week or after he’s been exposed to others with colds.
Read More: Everyday Uses for Essential Oils
Humidifier – Having a humidifier in your home or your children’s bedrooms can be one of the easiest ways to keep kids healthy. You see, our mucous membranes in our ears, nose and throat are what trap nasty bugs and then get excreted through snot, coughing, etc. When the winter air is too dry, our mucous membranes dry up and allow more cooties to get into our bodies.
Fresh Air – We get outside for fresh air every day. I know this may sound like a no-brainer for some, but when it’s 20 below I can easily stay inside all day with my son. It’s on these days that I have to make a pointed effort to get ourselves outside even if only for a few minutes.
Vitamin C – I keep Airborne tablets in the cupboard. When we are around sick people, my husband and I will come home and take a tablet. This is effervescent so be careful when giving to children.
My son also loves Mary Ruth’s Vitamin C drops.
Vitamin D – During long winters it is difficult to get vitamin D. I supplement with cod liver oil – rich in vitamin A and D – for our whole family during the winter. My son gets it in his bottle, I take the liquid and my husband takes the capsules.
Read More: A Few of My Favorite Things
We also have beautiful, big windows in our living room. My son and I will sit and read books in the sunshine to help get vitamin D.
Natural Cold Remedies When Sickness Hits
When one of us gets sick, I alternate one of these remedies every couple of hours or as needed.
Read More: Should I Stay Home with My Sick Kid?
Elderberry Syrup – When my son is sick, I give him half a teaspoon every couple of hours for the first two days of sickness. My husband and I will take a tablespoon every couple hours. Buy your elderberry syrup if you don’t have time to make it!
Probiotics – I keep our probiotics consumption the same when sickness comes
Raw Honey – This is mostly for my husband and I. We load up our slightly cooled tea (don’t want to kill all the goodies of raw honey with heat!) with honey or just eat it right off the spoon!
Our son is a little young yet to be eating gobs of stickiness!
Garlic (or Garlic Oil) – If I’ve got something bogging me down, I slice up a couple cloves and eat them on a piece of buttered bread. For my son, I have this garlic oil that I put a couple drops on the bottom of each foot and rub it in before bed every night until he’s over it.
Essential Oils – Essential oils are my first line of “medicine” in our house. At any sign of sickness, we rub diluted Thieves behind our necks and ears several times a day. I’ll also put some in the diffuser and run it all day.
Peppermint is our favorite for clearing up plugged sinus ways and helping with headaches.
Epsom Salt Bath – Magnesium is an important mineral for proper cell function. Taking a simple, relaxing epsom salt bath can boost your immune system with magnesium uptake and stress reduction!
Pressure Points – I learned of sweet sinus relief provided through pressure points from my massage therapist several years ago. I still use these techniques on myself and my family for helping sinus drainage.
Learn how to find these pressure points from this YouTube video:
Also, this article highlights some additional pressure points that I use.
Bone Broth – Not only does it taste delicious but bone broth is deeply healing. If I feel/see sickness coming on, I thaw a chicken and put it in the Crock Pot all day. That night I pick the meat off the bones and keep it in the fridge for meals. Then I fill the Crock Pot with water and let it cook on high for 24 to 36 hours. This pulls the most nourishing, healing minerals, enzymes and vitamins from the bones.
You can incorporate the broth in recipes to eat, but I enjoy a steaming cup of broth just like tea. I use this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food for my whole chicken and the seasonings flavor the broth perfectly!
Tea – Any warm/hot drink will help your body kick a cold quicker. Even just hot water! But I’ve recently discovered Throat Coat herbal tea. This was more effective at soothing my cough than cough drops and syrup!
Keeping yourself and your family healthy is no easy task. With a little planning ahead you can have your home stocked with these natural cold remedies and be ready when disaster strikes.