I want to say first that this post doesn’t substitute for a professional medical consult in any case. I would never tell anyone not to go to the doctor.
However, if you use these simple tips as soon as you feel “not OK” you may notice a serious decrease in your use of conventional medication regarding winter’s regular sicknesses.
About vaccines, chemical medication and natural medication
Since my children are born, we almost never went to a doctor practice except for emergencies following an accident or the annual check-ups. I manage with the whole families cold and flues of any kind with some simple and natural medications.
I also want to say that we all are adequately vaccinated regarding the legislation of the country we are living in. As long as a vaccine is mandatory, I blindly follow the rule. However, when a vaccine is not, I’m just questioning whether the risks and side effect from the vaccine are more or less important than the disease it’s preventing.
For example, my parents are in their 70’s and they are getting each year the vaccine for the flu, which is good because they would suffer far more than necessary if they had the flu than a 30-year-old healthy person. But my husband children and I never had it. Because the side effect would make us sicker than having the flu itself. Actually, we never had the flu in the family, except maybe one time for me, when the vaccine was not offered like today. I spent three awful days in bed, and then I was OK.
So, keep in mind that I am not advocating anything, and certainly not, not going to consult your family doctor if you do not feel well. I’m simply giving you some very simple tips to smoothen the winter sicknesses. Another thing: keep in mind that rest is the best cure for many discomforts at this time of the year.
As a prevention
And a lot of it! If you are living in a cold country in winter, chances are you are not getting enough vitamin C from your food. Oranges are not very commonly found in Canada in December. And the fruits you can find are not quite packed with vitamins either.
We are all taking vitamin C in the morning when the temperatures are really cold, or changing often as a prevention. When we are sneezing, then we take twice the dosage, once in the morning and once after school/work .
I’m using them during the winter in a diffuser. I’m also massaging them preventively when we are exposed to cold weather a bit more than usual. When we are close to someone sneezing a lot, I have some in my bag. I use a few drops of it on a kleenex and breathe in it.
When we are sick, I massage essential oils on the throat, neck and chest at night. Then I’m covering the throat before going to sleep.
I’ve been using essential oils for more than 20 years now and keeping in mind that quality is a must, the brand doesn’t really matter. Several websites are very thorough about the use of the oils they are selling. If you want to have more information about essentials Oils, use the comment section below and I would be more than happy to answer them. You can also go on my Pinterest board to find my recipes and learn more about essential oils that will match best your location (essential oils that are found easily on a continent are far less expensive than the ones that come from far).
Dry brushing is a simple habit practised by different cultures for thousands of years. I can tell you it is very efficient! I’m now practising dry brushing every morning for many different reasons. Let me explain what I do in case of cold.
When I feel weak, as you feel weak when a cold is coming, I practise dry brushing combined with the essential oils in a diffuser. When I’m really feeling bad, I take a bath.
This is the kind of traditional brush I’m using. It’s very simple, easy to carry in a toiletry and really efficient. I love it! The first effect of dry brushing is to activate your blood circulation and boost your immune system. It’s exactly what you need when your body is fighting a rising cold!
The principle is to start from the further extremities of your four limbs and come back in circles in direction of the heart. I especially insist on the belly, lower back and chest when I do extra dry brushing for a starting cold. This is where it’s all happening after all.
Epsom salt bath
I’m not a fan of bathing, whether be under the sun or in hot water. But when I’m not well, I indulge more easily. Epsom salt is very efficient in case of a starting cold or flu. Your bath must be warm, but not too warm! Your normal body temperature is 37C (99F), you can go up to 38C (100F) but not further.
You must also be very careful because a bath is not a good thing to stay in if you are really unwell and alone at home!
When the cold is persisting
Now, if all these little preventing tips are not efficient enough, you must go for the remedies. Here are the natural remedies we are taking four times a day when we are sick in the winter.
Echinacea herbal tea
Echinacea, along with thyme, is the best natural antibiotics. I’m using one or the other, depending on what I can find in my local shops and stores.
I’m enhancing this herbal tea with lemon, (at least a teaspoon for a cup), honey (or agave), and something spicy. This something spicy used to be ginger for years. But last winter, I was so tired to search for ginger that I decided to do with what I had at home. The first and foremost purpose of ginger is to activate your system because it is “picante”. So, I put some hot pepper flakes in my tea, and it works wonders!
Ok, this one is the strongest natural antibiotic I know. But you must use it with care as it’s very aggressive in the mouth and for the throat if not taken properly. I keep this one as the last resort. However, now you can find some capsules that makes it easy to use oregano oil.
Be very careful to follow the instructions about the quantity you can take, and the age your children must be to use this. Anyway, oregano oil is very efficient!
I discovered tinctures when my kids were too little to have essential oils in a way I felt comfortable with. They are more diluted, the bottles are bigger (less easy to travel with) and they are measured with a pipette, so this is longer to dose. As you need more of them, it’s much more expensive too. But for children, and some symptoms, they are fantastic to use.
Licorice tincture has been my saviour when coughing. I’ve tried a lot of natural products, and the one which is inevitably efficient is licorice tincture!
My lasts advice
You can’t let your body fight anything properly if you run outside in the cold and humid weather all the time or exhaust your system trying to stand and work “as usual”. When you are sick, chances are you won’t be productive anyway. You could always be more productive from your bed a little at a time, than staying in an office all day (or your children being at school).
You can also be contagious! It’s not a gift for the school or your colleague to be a hero and come kindly give them what you have. I know money can be an issue, but is it better to call a day or two off, and work a bit from home, or stay unproductive and miserable for 30 days?
The fever you get when you are sick is the natural reaction of your body to kill the germs. It can be dangerous when too high, but the idea is good. Stay warm, sweat by wearing two jumpers if you can, it will help you fight the flu even better!
It’s the same idea as the bath, but when we are sick, we are trying to have a “sauna” night of sleep. We are doubling every layer to stay very warm and sweat. You’ll feel in the morning that the cramps and pain will be gone! Rest the following day, and then you’ll be as good as new.
Avoid pain and fever relief capsules
If possible, avoid them at all cost. It doesn’t mean you must suffer, in fact, you should not lose energy or pain if you want your body to fight the cold properly. But you should try essential oils instead of these painkillers. The first reason is that they are poisoning your liver, which, obviously is not the best thing. Secondly, if they completely take off your fever, you will have fewer chances to be efficient against your winter sickness (see the previous paragraph).
The last words
Winter time can be tough on our bodies, I know something about that, we came to Canada we were in our thirties, and our kids were 6 and 9, so our immune systems were not exactly ready for the great cold. But we did well. If it weren’t for the annual checkups, we would never see a doctor. But I’m always ready for the unexpected, and I make sure that everyone is getting the preventive care they need.
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