Do your best with the resources that you have to stay healthy, and you will be blessed. That is the truth. Our health is a gift, and we honor God by preserving the gift that He's given us. The fact of the matter is though that we don't live in a perfect world, and sometimes we get sick. So while Kingdom Health as a whole is all about healthy preventative measures, the question remains what do we do when we actually do get sick? It happens to all of us, so here are a few natural, safe options to beat the cold and flu at home should it knock at your door.
Four Things You can Do When You Are Sick
1) Rest, you absolutely, positively, must rest! You are not doing anybody any favors by going to school, work, or doing mountains of laundry...it will be there tomorrow, happily waiting, I promise. Your body needs downtime. No guilt necessary Mommas! Yeah, I know, I get it too. So stop it and go to bed! Even if you work strictly from home, your mind also needs to turn off temporarily so stress will decrease. Stress is the number one reason in the United States that people fall ill.
2) Lots and lots of fluids are key here to flushing whatever unfavorable virus or buggie you have going on in your body. Now a good place to start is with good old fashioned water, spring or filtered. Drink as much water as you can muster. When we get run down, it's these times we actually forget to drink, so make it important. It's far too easy to become dehydrated when you're under the weather.
Other great choices for fluids are herbal teas. I especially like Traditional Medicinals Teas. Keeping a couple boxes of their Seasonal Sampler would be a good step for some healthy teas for immune wellness if you aren't a tea snob with a bunch of loose teas like I am.
Raw organic coconut water is another winner. You want raw to avoid heat killing the beneficial nutrients and organic to avoid the heavy pesticides. Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts. It is packed full of electrolytes that the body loses do to dehydration or loss of sweat.
My younger son always requests this smoothie when he is sick. Here is the recipe so you can try it at home.
Vitamin C Burst
2 Organic Oranges, peel them leaving the white on, throw right into the blender
1/2 Can Organic Whole Coconut Milk, I like Native Forest Simple or Thrive Market Brand, get them here
1 Cup Raw Organic Coconut Water, I like Harmless Harvest(You can use regular filtered water if you don't have this)
1 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey, I really like the Y&S Eco Brand, but local would be awesome too or Manuka 20+
1-2 Tsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Filtered Ice Cubes
A favorite hot drink of mine below, which takes a minute to get used to, but works wonders is something I learned a long time ago. It never fails me, most effective at the onset of illness, but still helpful during a full blown infection.
Hot ACV Tonic
1 Raw Garlic Clove, cut in half
1 Inch Hunk Raw Ginger Root, peeled
2 Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, if you buy another brand make sure it is UNpasteurized and organic
Pinch of Organic Ground Cayenne
Mug of Hot/Boiled Filtered or Spring Water
Place the above ingredients into a mug. Let it steep for ten minutes. Then add 2 Tbsp Raw Organic Honey (Manuka or Local works fine) when ready to drink, but not beforehand. Honey has antibacterial benefits and you don't want to kill them with the extreme heat.
Real Chicken Bone Stock
So this is not an old wives' tale, there is so much nutrition to homemade chicken bone broth. When you are fighting infection, chicken happens to be best. The minerals in the broth are so easily absorbed this way. According to The Weston A. Price Foundation this all due to the gelatin from the bones. Click here to read more. So as much as I talk about a plant based diet being really healthy, there is no substitute for animal broth. Veggie stock is simply not the same. When you're sick, drinking a few cups of the broth a day is really soothing and healing. You can do this as an actual soup, or just drink the warm broth like tea.
Here is how I make mine at home.
1 Organic, pastured raised whole chicken or 2-3 pounds of bones (include feet if you can)
3 Organic Celery Ribs, sliced in threes
3 Organic Carrots, real carrots you cannot cheat with the baby ones, don't peel, cut/chop
1 Whole Onion, cut into quarters
2 Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
A Few Inches of Turmeric Root, if you have it
1/2 Bunch Organic Parsley, loosely chopped (Add at last ten minutes of cooking)
This is really simple! I just put everything (except for parsley) into a large stainless steel stock pot, chicken is whole, and veggies as stated. then I fill the pot with filtered water just cover ingredients. Bring it to a rolling boil, remove scum that rises to the top, then simmer on low for 6 to 12 hours. Add the parsley at the last 10 minutes. After that I turn off the fire and let it cool. Then I put my stainless steel mesh strainer over my very large glass measuring bowl. It has a spout so it makes for easy pouring. I go through it rather quickly because I use it for all different cooking purposes. I store it in mason jars. You can freeze it if need be. Use the chicken meat throughout the week or freeze it and discard the veggies.
4) Have you ever used a neti pot? It is an old Ayurvedic Medicinal practice used for cleansing the nasal cavity of intruders and irritants. This is a wonderful practice to employ even while you are not sick. For anyone susceptible to headaches, consider the neti pot. So the neti pot kind of looks like the little genie's lamp with an opening at the top. In it you lukewarm filtered water and micro-fine salt. Most neti pots come with a packet or two of it. I really like the ceramic ones to avoid any BPAs and phthalates. You simply fill the pot with the water, put in some salt, and then comes a little maneuvering. You have to stick the spout of the pot at the opening of one nostril, tilt your head, and the water will come out the other side. This will push the impurities out and help relieve pressure and infection.
5) People usually ask me about supplements during illness. What my family likes to use is a combo of elderberry extract and olive leaf extract. I find combined, these help cut down the duration of an illness. Depending on the age of your family members will dictate how much of each they'd take and what they'd take. I've made my own elderberry syrup as well as purchases the extract from the store. I prefer liquid extracts to syrups from the store because the extracts don't typically have any other preservatives. Even the more natural brands have those like citric acid, which is almost always GMO even in organic products. I really like Herb Pharm and Gaia Herbs. Since my sons are older I don't mind the minute alcohol base the extracts are made with to preserve the herb and bring out it's properties. If you do, look for alcohol free. That would then be a glycerin base instead. For myself I do a dropperful of each extract in a 1/2 cup of water. I do the same thing for my sons except I add a few drops of organic stevia to mask the mediciny taste.
Let me know if these tips were helpful to you or if you have any questions. Don't be shy! Tell us about your healthy tips below!
Be blessed and healthy! Helping you to be a good steward!~Marie A. Ligorria