Tis’ the season for flu shots and boogers. I wish I were kidding, but we all know what this time of year means for anyone who has a little kid in a classroom with a cajillion other little kids, and it’s not pretty.
I’m sure you’re stocking up on all things over-the-counter, like tissues, hand sanitizer, and Tylenol, but if you’re looking for a few things al’ natural to help you avoid a modern day plague, allow me to equip you with an arsenal that could light up a circuit. Although I respect the benefits of a good immune system exercise, these are the natural things I keep on hand to prevent the avoidable and combat the “just in case.”
Colloidal Silver with Olive Leaf and Wild Oregano
Silver compounds have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and research shows it’s pretty awesome at fighting a wide-range of bacteria, including those that are commonly resistant to other antibiotics. The microscopic silver nanoparticles we use today do not disrupt the intestinal microflora and is relatively nontoxic, making colloidal silver an absolute must-have. Organic wild leaf oregano and olive leaf make an already amazing remedy for all things bacteria a potent antagonist to fungi and viruses also. I source my colloidal silver here.
I keep peppermint oil on hand for all things gas, pain, fever, and a “long list of other things” that shall not be mentioned. When I need to bring down a temp, it’s into the bath with a few drops of this goodness … and BOOM. You can also dilute a few drops in raw coconut oil and rub it on your child’s chest or back for symptoms relief.
There are a ton of essential oils, but lavender is the universal oil for a reason and it’s my go-to for colic, sleep issues, you need to calm down right now issues, and those “you fell on your bottom and got a boo boo” problems. For sleep and mood, I diffuse it. A drop is all that’s needed for a bath, and for skin, I dilute it. I also use lavender oil in our homemade hand sanitizer.
Zinc and Elderberry Syrup
I’m a huge fan of zinc for preventing colds and for all of the “uncomfortables” associated with them. A little zinc can help T-cells regulate the immune system and attack infected cells and when taken within the first 24 hours of onset of symptoms, has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of a cold. Supplementing with zinc has been shown to reduce cold incidence and the need for antibiotics in children.
Elderberry syrup is also something I always have on hand. An evidence-based systematic review of elderberry by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration found that there was solid evidence to support its use with influenza. Research has also shown that elderberry can prevent colds and flu, shorten duration, and relieve symptoms, especially if taken during the first 48 hours.
Elderberry is high in phenolic acids, vitamin C, flavonols, and anthocyanins, is protective against oxidative stress, and boosts the activity of antioxidant enzymes. It is a go-to for influenza A and B, sinusitis, common colds and flu, upper respiratory infections, and inflammation.
I take Living Whole’s elderberry syrup, but if you’re not DIY-challenged like I am, you can make your own elderberry syrup or gummy lozenges from scratch.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s apple cider vinegar. Need I say anything more about this magic elixir of amazingness? People go back and forth on whether apple cider vinegar is anything but fermented apple juice, but anyone into anything natural knows how awesome it is. The ACV comes out in my house for stomach upset, digestive complaints, and UTIs.
Raw Coconut Oil
Raw coconut oil has some pretty sweet antimicrobial properties and is a must-have for diluting essential oils, making salves on the fly, and anything skin problem.
I’m not sure how the world every survived without epsom salt. Epsom salt is a pure mineral crystal derived from magnesium and sulfate that’s readily absorbed through the skin, making it super awesome at doing all sorts of health-building things. Magnesium plays a huge role in the body, regulates over 325 enzymes, reduces inflammation and high blood pressure, soothes the nerves and improves function, and is important for circulation. Sulfates help flush out toxins, improve nutrient absorption, and can ease even the worst migraine. There is nothing better for a sore body than a warm epsom salt bath or a high fever than a cool one. If you don’t know how to use epsom salt, read THIS.
Priced at a few dollars, there’s no excuse for not having a bottle of H2O2 in your medicine cabinet. I keep a bottle on hand as an antiseptic and for the “just in case my kid should ever have an ear infection or wayward tonsil” scenarios.
After four years of studying homeopathy, I am admittedly, not a huge fan. However, this is one homeopathic remedy I do keep on hand. Oscillococcinum has been clinically shown to help reduce the duration and severity of fatigue, headaches, body aches, chills, and fever.
There are some supplements or natural remedies that may be good to keep in your medicine cabinet depending on your situation: liquid lobelia, licorice root, activated charcoal, homeopathic cough syrup, witch hazel, bentonite clay, and vitamins D, C, and A are just a few that make this list.
There are literally 200 more things that could be beneficial to have on hand in a natural medicine cabinet, but the truth is, you only need a few. Next time you feel something coming on, make sure you’re prepared with a few natural remedies that have absolutely no medicinal benefit whatsoever.
What do you keep in your medicine cabinet?