Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter Flu Remedies Part 1

Staying healthy during the winter months is important to me.  I love it when everyone in my family is happy and healthy.   However, mom's with little children know how quick germs can be caught and passed around the family.  Sickness is no fun.  I remember passing the flu around when my siblings and I were little.  I love learning and researching.  I have found that there ARE things to do.  There ARE ways to prevent sickness and boost immunity...EVEN with little "germ collectors" (aka: children) running around.  There are good, better, best, and bad ways to eat.  And, there ARE things to do (home remedies) without having to run to the Dr. for everything. 

So, from my reading and from my limited experience:
 KEY #1:  Catch it early and treat aggressively
For example: when I start to get a hint of a sore throat, I immediately start my Apple Cider Vinegar remedy. (salt water works too)  I've found that usually knocks it out within 12 hours.  If you let symptoms progress till they are unbearable, it makes it way harder to treat yourself. 

So, here are two of our favorite recipes for winter time flu and colds.  You can easily buy it at a Health Food Store, but it's a lot cheaper to buy the ingredients in bulk and make it when you need it.

Elderberry Syrup:
1/2 c. dried Elderberries
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1 T. fresh grated ginger root (dried works too) (I add more)
2 cups water
**Simmer above ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat till reduced by half.  (about 20 minutes)  Remove from heat and strain into a glass jar.  Add 1 cup of honey and 2 T. of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and stir well.  Store in fridge for 2-3 weeks, or freeze. 
Children: 1 T. every couple hours
Adults: 2-3 T. as needed
(Start as soon as sniffles begin and continue until symptoms disappear.  I give it to all of us, even if only 1 or 2 have symptoms.)

(Do NOT give raw honey to babies under 12 months)

Ginger Tea:
Grate fresh ginger root (1/2 cup), 5 cloves, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks and place in half-gallon mason jar.  Add 1/2 gallon of boiling water.  Let steep overnight.  Strain, reheat and add raw honey to taste. 

 This is my go-to tea for colds and flu.  Delicious!  I put it in a tall thermos and wa-lah!  My tea stays hot, even if I forget about it.  ha,ha!
Drink for good health, it's so yummy. 
For colds and flu, drink hot throughout the day...and continue till symptoms subside.  (I make my extra spicy, especially when we're sick)

"Be Your Own Doctor" is THE best book I have on my shelf, in the way of practical, easy information for home health care.  I'm am in no way against Dr's, but there are so many things to do that will help, relieve, or heal symptoms before you even need to run to Convenient Care. :)  I highly recommend this book for ALL moms.  I bought it used off of Amazon.  I'll say it was the BEST book I bought this past year.  I love that it's written by a mom of 9, who has time tested remedies, herbs, advice and information.  I especially appreciated her information on babies, children, and pregnancy.  There is not much over-the-counter medicine that is safe for babies, children, and pregnant moms...but, there are plenty of home remedies that ARE safe AND work.  Check it's worth $12. :)

Dr. Mom- Part 1

   Well, when I became a mom, I had really no idea what I was getting myself into.  It's amazing how many "hats" we have to wear as moms.  Just the other day, Benjamin was playing in one of my kitchen drawers while I was preparing supper.  I didn't realized my slicer/shredder attachment was being played w/ until Benjamin started screaming and  blood was pouring out of his mouth.  I realized after a minute that it wasn't his mouth it was his thumb.  Wow, was it bleeding! I am not a nurse, but I'm pretty sure I said outloud, "Oh, I should've been a nurse"  His thumb was gushing pretty badly, and thankfully I quickly recalled to put pressure on the cut.  I amazed myself by staying calm and handling it as best as I could, although at one point after I'd stopped the bleeding, I realized I was getting ready to faint.  Thanks to William, he quickly got me some water and that feeling passed quickly.  It's interesting to me how children force us out of our comfort zones and areas of expertise. I'm in constant learning mode.

     What DO you do when faced with a crisis, sickness, or an injury?  Well, us moms are often the first ones on the scene.  We have to remain calm and take care of things quickly and wisely.  Is the first thing always to call a nurse or doctor and run for antibiotics, stiches, or drugs?  Well, in some cases, yes.  But, as I've been learning for the past 7 years, there are many, MANY ways to handle things at home without the need for a long emergency room wait.  I am planning to write a series of short articles on what I'm learning about home remedies, keeping children healthy, essential oils, eating fresh and what to do when they get sick.  I'm taking the time to write this down in the hopes that it may save some of you younger moms some time, research, money, dr. visits, and energy, but also to synthesize and organize what I've learned for my own records.  My motto is learn all you can from whomever you can. 

I'm going to start this first article recommending my new favorite book: Be Your Own Doctor  This book is my go-to remedy book.  I'm planning to add it to baby gifts for new's that valuable of a resource.  It's been helpful to me over and over again.  I especially appreciate that it was written by a mom of 9 children, and her recipes and information is based on personal experience and practical research.
Did you know you can kick a sore throat with organic apple cider vinegar?  Did you know there are helpful remedies to help babies and young children get over colds and the flu more quickly?  What about mastitis, colicky babies, pregnancy, and the dreaded stomach flu?  Remember my story about Benjamin's deeply cut thumb?  Well, there is an herb you can use, to stop bleeding...yes, one definitely to have on the works that well!  There ARE a lot of ways to help yourself or your children "get over" sickness and infections BEFORE you need to go to the Dr. 

Now, just to clarify, I not against Dr.'s or going to see one. After all, we have a Dr. in our family. There are times when we need them, and they are a blessing, for sure.  But, your family Dr. is probably not going to recommend  the simple and effective remedies found in this book.

Amazon has it used for under $20...check it out, learn, be informed, and be healthy!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas 5

Christmas On String Christmas
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