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Recently, I picked up some kind of cooties for the first time in a very long time. It came with major body aches (my rib cage felt like I had been beaten up), a sore throat, and I was freezing. I never had a fever. I never had enough drainage to warrant taking medication. It wasn’t the flu. It felt like an early onset of strep, and yet it went away without antibiotics. I understand that strep comes in viral form and bacterial form, and sometimes (heck, most of the time) it needs antibiotics. I’m not tossing out the idea that it was strep and I am not claiming that I cured strep naturally, but whatever it was, it went away as quickly as it came. I wanted to share what helped me survive the sickness and manage symptoms without pharmaceutics. I keep these items on hand at all times just in case we get sick, that way we’re never without! I will also add that if I didn’t start to feel better so quickly, I would have gone to a doctor. Thankfully, I never needed to. 🙂
My Top 8 Natural Remedies for Sickness
In the past, we took the over-the-counter brand Sambucus Immune, but my whole family noticed we would get stomach cramps and nausea from it. This year, I started making my own with Frontier elderberries. I follow this recipe from Wellness Mama. It tastes better and doesn’t lead to feeling gross. We normally take it every day for prevention, but for whatever reason, we got lazy and stopped recently and, well, guess who got sick? We’re back on it and intend to stay on it through the cootie season! If you don’t want to make your own and want to try the over-the-counter version, I do recommend it. Not many people report the same negative experience as us.
Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
When I am sick, I try to drink this 2-3 times per day. Take a small coffee cup of hot water and add a splash of apple cider vinegar (1-2 tablespoons, depending on your preference, and make sure it’s the kind that comes “with the mother”), a spoonful of honey, and if you’re an essential oil user, one drop of Thieves. I’m not normally an oil “internal consumer”, but this single drop of Thieves mixed into this drink not only tastes really good, but it makes my throat feel so much better. You can skip this step and still get a lot of benefit from the drink. Apple cider vinegar and honey are both antibacterial and something you need to be consuming if you’re sick. Some people toss in some minced garlic as well, which has been shown to also kill off nasty bacteria. I don’t do this. I love me some garlic, but not enough to do this.
Thieves Lozenges or Ricola
I cannot take pharmaceutical cough medicine of any kind. I am allergic to it (and Mucinex, a sister medicine to Robitussin). This leaves me very limited when it comes to what I can take for coughs and sore throats. I’ve been a long-time user of Ricola but recently decided to give Thieves Lozenges a try. They are AMAZING. Not only do they soothe the throat, but Thieves is a germ killer so I know that when I consume these, I’m also helping kill any bacteria in the back of my throat. They don’t taste as good as Ricola, but you get used to it. 🙂
When I am sick, I try to drink echinacea tea 3 times per day with some honey. It’s an immunity booster and it feels so good on a sore throat. “Research shows it increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infections.” (read more here) NOTE: People who are allergic to plants in the daisy family can have a bad reaction to echinacea, so do your own research before consuming this. I don’t have a negative reaction and I personally don’t know anyone who ever has, but just know that it’s a possibility and not for you if you’re very sensitive to plant allergens.
Raven Essential Oil
I like to diffuse Raven by the bed when I need respiratory support. It smells really good and it helps gently break up mucus. The bottle says to diffuse for 30 minutes at a time. Another option is to heat up a cup of water and put a few drops of this in the water, then hold the cup up to your nose and mouth, and take deep breaths in (do not drink). Keep your eyes closed though because it might burn! The steam works with the oil to break up the mucus. I usually do this for 10-15 minutes at a time.
This is one of those controversial remedies that I’ve done a lot of research on so I feel comfortable using, but not everyone does. I use colloidal silver sparingly, but when I am suffering from sinus issues, it’s really great. I found it in a nasal spray form at my local health food store and that is the only way I use it. I do not use it every day as a prevention or anything like that. I only use it when I am already sick and need extra sinus support, and I fully believe it helps. Read more here.
“The F Bomb” Essential Oil Roller Blend
This is a homemade blend of essential oils that I roll on the front of my neck and the lymph nodes behind my ears when I am sick. When I am preventing sickness, I roll on my spine before bed at night. It’s very potent but it’s a germ fighter. It’s called the “F Bomb” because it’s a “flu bomb”. I did not make up this recipe but I cannot find the infographic that I got this from. To make your own, mix together:
- 15 drops Thieves
- 10 drops Peppermint
- 10 drops Lemon
- 10 drops Tea Tree
- 10 drops Frankincense
- 5 drops Oregano
- Fill the rest of the roller with a carrier oil. I use fractionated coconut oil.
Homemade Vicks Rub
I made this myself and keep it in a small container in my bathroom. It’s simply coconut oil mixed with 20 drops of Raven, 10 drops of Peppermint, and 10 drops of Eucalyptus Globulus. I rub this all over my chest and neck when I need respiratory support or have a sore throat.
Those are my top eight natural remedies for sickness. Whether it’s a cold, strep, sinus infection, the flu, or something that requires antibiotics but I need symptom relief, these are the things I go to before extra pharmaceuticals. What are your favorite natural remedies for sickness?