Somehow, I missed this post when I was looking at my schedule! I thought I had everything done through next Wednesday. But, now you see that sometimes taking care of my family means that I do forget about the blog from time to time.
Recently, we all got colds! It happens sometimes in the winter. Bekah got hit the hardest and had a few miserable days, but the rest of us mostly just had the sniffles. There were several things we did to help ourselves feel better, though, none of which included drugs!
Homemade Vegetable Soup
First, I made some homemade chicken vegetable soup. Soup made with fresh chicken stock is very soothing and healing. The broth itself pulls the toxins and yuck out of your body, actually healing you faster. Plus, it just tastes good. To this, I added a large clove of garlic (per bowl), crushed right before serving. Garlic loses most of its benefits if it is heated or after a couple of hours, so it’s important to add it late like this. Yes, that made the soup VERY strong and some people can’t stomach that. But it really helps. I felt like my throat was less sore and my sinuses were clearer after eating this soup. Another idea (borrowed from Keeper of the Home) is to crush the garlic and smear it on a piece of bread, and add lots of butter or olive oil, and eat it as garlic bread. I didn’t do that this time, but I did a few weeks ago when I just felt a bit tired and needed a boost. In addition to garlic, I also added some cayenne pepper to the soup just before serving. The capsacin in peppers also helps to clear sinuses.
Echinacea Tea with Raw Honey
Next, I made some echinacea tea with raw honey in it. The tea also had a lot of peppermint. This tea really soothed ALL of us. It’s naturally caffeine-free because it is herbal, so I gave it to Bekah, too. I also gave her honey on a spoon to soothe her cough. She enjoyed it, and studies have shown that honey is more effective than drugstore cough syrup, and much safer, especially in children.
One night I had trouble sleeping because of a sinus headache. For most, that means a trip to the doctor for antibiotics. But not here. I put cool compresses on my forehead because it made my headache feel better. Then, I used hot compresses on my cheekbones, and applied pressure, starting next to my nose and running out towards my nose, to help clear the congestion and blockage. Finally, I used a mix of olive oil and eucalyptus oil in my ears to help clear them and to kill any bacteria that was there (eucalyptus oil is naturally antibacterial). I let the oil sit in each ear (one at a time) dor a couple minutes, then let it drain out. I also drank plenty of water and tried to blow my nose a lot. An hour later my headache was mostly gone and I felt much better. In the morning, the headache and sinus pressure were gone.
A side note: over-the-counter cold remedies are meant only to relieve symptoms, not to actually cure colds. Rest and time will cure colds, but the remedies I’m describing can help the process along.
Helping The Kids
In Bekah’s room, we set up a warm-mist vaporizer with eucalyptus and lavender oil in it. This helps her a lot. I also put both children in a bath with these oils. Eucalyptus clears sinuses and improves breathing, and lavender helps relaxation.
With Daniel, who is only not quite 5 months (3 more days!), I didn’t feel comfortable giving him anything directly. I took extra vitamin C for both of us (3 – 4 grams per day), and I also sprayed breastmilk up his nose to loosen the congestion. There is saline solution available commercially for this purpose, but breastmilk works better, is free, and doesn’t make him angry. Breastmilk also contains antibodies that can actually help to get rid of the cold, rather than just loosen the congestion. I used a nasal aspirator on both kids to suck the worst of the mucus away from them. They both really hate it, but Bekah realizes it makes her feel better and will actually bring me the aspirator and point at her nose. This doesn’t stop her from crying a bit and squirming while I’m doing it, but she agrees she feels better after and she does keep asking me to do it. (She did actually while I was writing this!)
How do you help your colds? Is there anything that works for you?
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