Today we are sharing some natural solutions DIY your own natural medicine cabinet—to keep on hand to boost your immune system and recover quickly from a cold or flu!
Did you know it is actually good to get sick occasionally—about 2 times per year?! I remember hearing this for the first time in my nutrition training and thinking, wow, that is not what I expected! Getting a cold, flu or low-grade temperature is a natural process and one we shouldn’t fear—it means our immune system, adrenals and body is functioning properly.
It is more important to focus on how effectively you recover from the illness!
In fact, people who proudly claim, “I never get sick” might be dealing with adrenal fatigue or other issues! Getting a cold or flu is frustrating, but not something that should be feared!
I believe the best way you can arm yourself is by having solutions on hand—you don’t want to wait until you are fully entrenched in the sickness to try to figure out a solution. There are many natural remedies that are effective at calming your symptoms but also building your immune system at the same time, and boosting your immune system is the most important step!
Now, I am not above taking medicine when it is needed—life happens and you may have responsibilities you can’t ignore and modern medicine can come in really handy! If you have to take a decongestant or other drug, make sure you continue supporting your immune system. What happens is taking medicine gives us a false reality—it does not actually remove the cold or other illness, it just makes the symptoms a bit more bearable. So we think our energy is up and carry on with life, overexerting ourselves. This can lead to a relapse, getting sick again often with more severity, or a weakened immune response.
Being prepared is essential! Remember rest, hydration and nourishing foods are essential!!
As soon as I feel the slightest onset of sickness or feel majorly run-down, I will start my immune support protocol. I will hit this hard, every few hours, for several days! My husband can personally attest to how intense I do this, and most often it helps me recover very well!
DIY Natural Medicine Cabinet
Here is what I always keep on hand:
*Please note: I cannot possibly account for every contraindication to these remedies, so please do you own research and consult with your medical professional first. Many of these are not safe for children or while pregnant/breastfeeding.*
Pure Radiance C: I take this everyday for adrenal and immune support. If you have upcoming travel or are just feeling a bit run down, you can increase your amount. You can also sprinkle a little powder in with your child’s food to boost their immune system. *Not all Vitamin C is made equally—this is the most pure, bioavailable source.
Elderberry: This is one of my favorite immune boosters and one I keep on hand to take during periods of stress, travel or cold season. It does majorly boost your immune system so be cautious when taking it when pregnant (I personally took it in minor amounts when pregnant) with a cold/flu as it could overly boost your immune system (read more here). Caution: elderberry is gaining popularity and sadly many of the syrups are just filled with sugar, which is only going to harm your immune system more. Always look for pure elderberry!
Oregano Oil: This stuff is potent and has antibiotic and anti-fungal properties. It is very powerful ad should only be taken for a maximum of 10-14 days. I prefer the capsules because the oil is intense! There are many contraindications for oregano oil as it is so strong and should never be taken when pregnant.
Immune boosting herbs: I am a big fan of using herbs for specific situations and time periods (I don’t think herbs should be a daily long term protocol). I find they are so effective and boosting your immune system and helping get over cold symptoms more effectively. Many herbs have contraindications, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding, so please always consult with your doctor.
My immune support herb protocol:
- Children’s Echinacea
- Astragalus (Traditional Chinese Medicine for strong immunity)
- Wooden Spoon Herbs Immunity Now
Cold Calm: This is an effective homeopathic remedy for cold relief. It works best if you take at the immediate onset of symptoms. Take away from food and water. I also keep the Baby Cold Calm on hand and in our experience it is very effective.
Oscillococcinum: This is a homeopathic for flu like symptoms. I have found this to be very effective, especially if taken on the immediate onset of symptoms.
Colloidal Silver: This bioactive silver helps kill bacteria and viruses and can be a powerful aid for the immune system. I only recommend using the Sovereign Silver brand!
Takuna: This microbial defense has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is potent and highly effective.
Garlic Mullein Oil: My mom raised us on this for ear aches! You place a few drops of warmed oil in the ear, laying on your side for 20 minutes to allow it to drip in. Place a small cotton ball in the ear to avoid it staining your pillow and repeat on the other side.
Throat Drops: I find Doterra’s OnGaurd drops to be the most effective! Again, watch all the added sugar many brands have.
Apple Cider Vinegar: You can use this as a daily immune booster, taking a teaspoon or two daily. At the immediate onset of a sore throat, start gargling immediately. This will help balance pH and usually takes the pain away.
Essential Oils: I love diffusing essential oils or taking a hot bath with them! My personal favorites are Doterra’s Breath and OnGaurd blends, Lavender, Geranium, Tea Tree (the combo of geranium and tee tree can be used on the chest to help relieve congestion), Copaiba, Frankincense.
Cold Mist Humidifier: This can be super beneficial if your little one is congested. It keeps the air moist and I have noticed a big difference in the baby’s breathing quality!
Castor Oil Packs: This oil high in ricinoleic acid helps the body detox and keeps the lymph system flowing, which will help your immune response. Doing a castor oil pack can be a bit messy, but also highly effective. Do not do if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Wet Socks: A low grade fever is your friend as long as it is not dangerously high (read more in this article)! This means the body is fighting off the inflammation and working to heal. For minor fevers, I use wet sock therapy—get one pair of socks wet, wring out excess water and then place them on your feet. Place a dry pair on top and then get in bed under the covers. Drink a big glass of water. Test your fever again in 30 minutes to an hour. For me personally, it usually takes away (or greatly decreases) the fever within 30 minutes. I have also used this with our baby.
Ebsom Salt Bath: A hot bath is one of the most calming ways to help yourself feel better and open up your respiratory system. Ebsom salts specifically can help calm muscle aces and tightness associated with the cold/flu!
DIY Immune Boosting Shot
I love making these immunity shots (low in sugar, remember sugar is not your friend while sick)!
- juice of 4 oranges
- juce of 4 lemons
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional, makes it taste a little funky but very immune supportive)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ginger
Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake to blend. Pour into a shot glass or small glass and drink. Consume throughout the day (while sick) or as needed once a day for immune support.
Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes only. As always, I am not a doctor and do not diagnose, treat or cure—please always consult with your doctor first before trying any natural remedies.