Chances are, you can find all the medicine you need right in your kitchen. What do you reach for when you're "under the weather" or "got the chills", or have a sore throat or, not to mention, the "flu hit you like a truck"? Running to the doctor and/or the pharmacy for drugs is the common thing to do but is that the solution??? That depends on what we try to accomplish. Your produce basket, pantry, cabinets, etc. are guaranteed to have one or many of these ancient remedies that will help you prevent getting sick. And if it is too late for avoiding getting a cold because you have a runny nose, achy body, and maybe even a sore throat already, then these will come to your rescue and help relieve your symptoms.*
Ready for the list of the "True & Tried"?...
The healing properties of allicin and diallyl sulphides and the warm energy that is present in these little cloves are to be treasured. Eating lots of garlic helps prevent colds but if it already hit you and it's too late for prevention, try crushing and eating a whole clove or two mixed into something, adding it to salad dressing, for example. It's hard on an empty stomach but if you're ready for it you may "down" an entire crushed clove by itself. I've done it and it works wonders very fast. As an alternative, you can add some to your regular veggie juice ingredients. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and cheap medicine to keep around the house.
Garlic Expectorant - For a Stuffy Nose and Congested Chest
3-4 cloves of garlic
little bit of crushed chili pepper / pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup honey
optional: 1 tsp of lemon juice
Use a garlic press or crush and chop the garlic very finely, chop the pepper very finely, and mix all of the ingredients into a thick paste.
Take a spoonful at a time, as often as desired throughout the day. Hold it at the back of your tongue to coat your throat, for a few seconds if your comfortable enough.
This medicinal root is full of warming energy, can increase circulation, promote healthy sweating, helps detoxify the body and has anti-imflammatory properties. A true treasure to keep at home at all times.
Add a piece to your juice ingredients or if you're ready for it, juice ginger by itself and take a ginger shot whenever you start feeling the onset of a cold. You may also grade it and squeeze the juice out of your gratings using a cheesecloth. It's especially helpful to take a hot shower or bath, drink a cup of hot water with ginger juice in it, and wrap up in blankets in bed. If done quickly enough you can heal yourself overnight. The cold will run its course so fast.
A citrus of wonderful aroma, this sour fruit has healing powers that will come to your rescue. Its high levels of vitamin C will help boost your immune system and its antiviral and antibacterial qualities will help you in the healing process.
Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice (note: if your throat is very torn up already, this will not be pleasant) or add some to tea or your salt water gargle.
Before I get to its benefits...
*NOTE: Before you purchase any kind of honey make sure of its source. You need to know the true story behind the product. Ask the farmer questions, ask the salesperson at the grocery store, etc. There's a huge difference between abusing bees and stealing all of the fruit of their hard work, transporting them to pollinate other crop over the winter vs. providing them with a home permanently, caring for them, and taking only a portion of their honey. Should you even consume honey? It's a tough call and only you can decide for yourself. You can use just a little bit if you choose to and always do your research of the source. That's my two cents...
While not vegan, many raw food enthusiasts, including me, use honey occasionally as a sweetener, applied to the skin, etc.
Besides its inviting flavor and natural sweetness, this amazing food is rich in enzymes and has antibacterial and healing properties, which are difficult to compete with. It shouldn't be a surprise that it's made it to the "home remedies list"!
The "Warm-You-Up" Tea
~1 in (2-3 cm) piece of ginger
juice of 1 lemon
1 large cup of hot water
optional: pinch of cayenne
Grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice. Mix all the ingredients for a warming cup of tea.
Activated Charcoal Powder
This is a substance that is so versatile that an entire book could be filled with its uses and what it can do for your health as well as the fun stuff you can do with it in DIY projects, cleaning, etc.
While some people use it as a daily detox, simply taken mixed in water or as "Black Lemonade" - pictured below - you can take it if you have an upset stomach, digestive issues, diarrhea or even sore throat. One way of using it to relieve a sore throat is by mixing some of the powder with honey and putting the mixture under the tongue to let it slowly release (and be swallowed). This helps remove all the "stuff", germs, etc. that are clinging to the throat and the digestive lining and causing the discomfort. Make sure to use only FOOD GRADE activated charcoal with NO ADDITIVES!
Schizandu Organics has the purest version at a very reasonable price and it also comes with an eBook guide with recipes and explanations of many uses.
You can get it on there website:
And on Amazon:
Make the Black Lemonade by mixing:
glass of pure water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp - 1TBSP activated charcoal powder
1 tsp - 1 TBSP maple syrup (or other favorite sweetener)
Drink it to relieve digestive discomfort, hangovers, for daily detox, or during a cleanse, etc.
Due to its very intense aroma and strong flavor, a drop goes a long way! A natural antibiotic with antibacterial and antiviral qualities, it's the perfect ingredient to add to your salad dressing or even add a drop to your tea. As I mentioned, it's very strong, and might even be too hard on your stomach when consumed so experiment with it mixed with other food or putting some in a capsule, if you wish, and avoid taking it on an empty stomach!!!
MY favorite is Oreganol....the wild stuff, that's also non-GMO! It can be pricy but it's worth it and you can get it here:
And on Amazon:
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Gargle with diluted ACV or make a tea by mixing a cup of hot water with a spoonful of vinegar and a spoonful of honey to soothe a sore throat.
I use Bragg's...my favorite. They are RAW, unfiltered and with the mother!!....which is what you want to get so that you have as much of the probiotics as possible!
You can get it on their website here:
And on Amazon:
1 medium carrot
1 medium apple
juice of 1 lemon
generous amount of honey
Grate the carrot and the apple and, in a bowl, mix them with the lemon juice and the honey. This is a very delicious recipe for a snack too and is full of throat-soothing qualities. I highly recommend giving it to kids who will take this much easier than anything else due to the sweet, "yummy" factor! My grandma and mom both made this for me when I was a little kid and I loved it. The good news is, you don't even have to wait to get sick, you can just try it for dessert one day when there's no chocolate cake around ; )
I love spicy foods. One of my favorites to heat up a meal is cayenne. I add some to my dressing, to soups, etc. Yes, it's hot and that heat provides a lot of warming energy by speeding up your circulation. It's also a decongestant, an expectorant, and a food very high in immune-system-boosting vitamin C.
The capsaicin in hot peppers also acts as a pain reliever and it helps increase your metabolic rate (great for weight loss support). As cayenne is a also a vasodilator, it increases blood flow (lower blood pressure) and stimulates absorption (deliver nutrients to your cells).
You can always keep some of the ground version at home for times when the peppers are not in season.
Much better for your health than ordinary table salt, sea salt is wonderful to gargle with for soothing a sore throat.
Gargle with warm water with a little bit of sea salt dissolved in it. You'll be immediately relieved of the pain at the back of your throat. Repeat as necessary.
Especially for prevention, mushrooms of all sorts made into tea, extracts, tinctures, etc. are great to take periodically for boosting your immune system. To be accurate, they're immune system modulators, and since they are tonic herbs you can take them on a regular basis. Try the Reishi tea described here, for example. As always, start with small amounts with new-to-you herbs and medicinal mushrooms.
...And don't stop at your pantry / fridge. Taking hot baths or showers or sitting in a sauna can make a whole world of difference. You'll warm up, the steam will help you decongest, and if you bundle up and wrap up in a blanket immediately you might just sweat out all of your discomfort in one session. Worth a try, doesn't it?