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’tis the season to cough your brains out

December 6, 2018

As I write this, it’s snowing outside and I’m curled up on my papasan chair with a cozy blanket and some tea.

I’m one of those people who actually likes the winter. I’d choose chilly weather over hot weather any day!

But with the cold season comes the flu season. I’ve been looking up some more natural ways to fight the flu and what I’ve come up with so far has been helping me. (Knock on wood!)

And for me, it’s especially important for me to fight the flu naturally, because I’m allergic to antibiotics. Yes — I’m allergic. Not just a little sensitive…. I break out into multi-form hives that turn into bruises and, let me tell ya, it’s painful and not pretty.

There’s one or two antibiotics I can take thankfully, but my doctor doesn’t like me using those too often, because they don’t want me growing a tolerance to them in case I get REALLY sick.

That being said, for me, preventing the flu is huge.

Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve found that help build my immune system and also kick sore throats in the butt.

TEA ON TEA ON TEA ON TEA ON TEA

This one’s a no-brainer.

There are a few different teas I’d recommend for sickness:

ASTRAGALUS — an old-school Asian tea that’s dope for immune system building
MINT — calms the belly and mind and tastes amazing
GINGER — soothing for a sore throat and good for the belly
CHAMOMILE — relaxing and good for the mind

Be sure to add honey to your tea! Honey has lots of benefits. (For more info on why honey is excellent for your health/for more health tips chat with my nutritionist friend Alisha by clicking here.)

Note: opt for loose leaf tea when you can. It’s an easy way to limit your waste and the tea tastes undeniably better. I’m in the market for a loose leaf tea strainer ball, if anyone knows where I can find a good quality one, please leave me a comment!

ELDERBERRY SYRUP

I picked up this bad boy at Giant Eagle. I chose this one because I liked the ingredients on the back. Here’s what’s in it:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Echinacea purpurea, elderberry (Sambucus nigra), mullein (Verbascum thapsus). Other Ingredients: Honey, purified water, alcohol (20%), peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, thyme oil, myrrh oil.

Some of the brands I found had different sweeteners in it that I wasn’t a fan of. But this one is sweetened with honey! (Bonus!) AND this one comes in a glass container that’s recyclable or I can reuse the bottle! (DOUBLE BONUS!)

My husband Mike and I each take a spoonful of this syrup every morning. You can take a spoonful up to three or four times a day. If I’m getting sick, I’ll take it several times a day. The taste isn’t too bad actually! Elderberry syrups that are sweetened with sugar are even tastier!

But for being super natural, this one isn’t too bad!

ESSENTIAL OILS + RECIPE BLENDS

Here are a few of my favorite essential oils when I’m feeling sick.

FRANKINCENSE — I add Frankincense to all my blends because it has so many overall health and skin benefits.
LEMON — put a few drops in your tea and it soothes like a dream!
THIEVES — kills germs and also soothes a frustrated throat. Also excellent in tea!
RAVEN — rub this guy on your chest if you’ve been coughing. Think of it as a sort of natural Vicks substitute.
OREGANO — be careful not to use too much of this bad boy, because it’ll burn / it tastes intense. But oregano is really good for your immune system and overall health.

Note: If you’re adding essential oils to water (AKA your tea) you’ll need an emulsifier. Honey is a GREAT option. If you’re vegan, apple cider vinegar is an option — though not as tasty as honey 🙂

My daily immunity blend……

I swear by this blend. You can think I’m crazy, but I rub this guy on my throat and spine everyday. The combination of bacteria-fighting oils is really good at keeping the flu away. I rub it on my throat throughout the day.

Here’s the recipe:

10 DROPS OF THIEVES
15 DROPS OF FRANKINCENSE
5 DROPS OF LEMON
2 DROPS OF OREGANO

IMMUNE SUPPORT FOR KIDS
3 DROPS OF THIEVES
5 DROPS OF FRANKINCENSE
2 DROPS OF LEMON
1 DROP OF OREGANO

Remember to add these oils to a roller and fill it the rest of the way up with a carrier oil of your choice (sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil… etc.)

SORE THROAT KILLER: CAYENNE PEPPER

I know it sounds crazy, but I’m telling you it works!

Mix a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper with a glass of water and gargle it for as long as you can handle (20 seconds is just fine).

Do that a few times morning and night and it will seriously soothe your sore throat. I don’t exactly understand how, but I was told to try it when my throat was unbearably sore and, I swear, my throat felt some relief after a few gargles before bed.

I’d recommend plugging your nose when you do it because the taste isn’t the best.

All of these tips and tricks are low waste/zero waste and actually do the job! How are you fighting the flu this season?

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