I have heard and read that “cold and flu season is coming.” Well, in our home, it arrived a couple of weeks ago! My husband is a teacher, which means he is around sick teenagers (and teachers!) who don’t always know or remember to actually cover their mouths when they are coughing or sneezing. We also have two little ones who touch everything and who are putting their hands in their mouths all the time….oh, when will that stop?! All that to say that we are now on Round 2 of being sick in our home.
Thankfully–and quite miraculously, if you ask me–I have not gotten sick. There are a few things we do around here, in addition to the standard hand-washing (which I do ALL DAY LONG when they are sick) to help prevent or shorten the duration of a cold or flu.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar. If I’m fighting something off, I’m taking 1-2 Tablespoons of organic raw apple cider vinegar throughout the day. This last week, I wanted to make sure I was drinking a lot of water, so I just put it in my water. I was probably taking 6-8 Tablespoons of the vinegar throughout the day. I am a believer in this stuff.
2. Raw Garlic. Lately, I have just made a point to add it to our meals. I like to put a couple cloves of crushed garlic into our spaghetti sauce after it is cooked. I usually like to add a little extra in our guacamole also.
3. Homemade Bone Broth. Once my husband got sick, I made a huge pot of chicken bone broth. I threw in a bunch of chicken bones that I had set aside from dinner. I chopped up some carrots, onions, garlic, celery, broccoli leaves (because we are growing broccoli in our garden) and some seasoning. I kept it cooking for about a week. Bone broth is great for the digestive system and for fighting off sickness. And, it has the added benefit of being a yummy comfort food!
4. Exercise. Did you know that exercising regularly is good for your immunity? This week I could feel the difference that exercise makes because on one of the days I could feel my throat beginning to feel like I could get sick, I went out for a run. I know that exercise is not always what you’re supposed to do if you feel like you’re getting sick. Wbat’s key is listening to your body. I really felt like I needed a little workout. The next morning ended up being the first day (after several before then) that I didn’t have that “I’m-getting-sick” feeling in my throat.
What are some of your favorite home remedies for cold and flu season?
The only times I had any real issue with acid reflux was during both of my pregnancies. It was so annoying that I remember being in the hospital after having each baby and realizing that I could eat and not get reflux! Nothing compared to the joy of the new baby. However, the absence of the reflux was delightful!
Well, I recently seem to have developed a case of reflux again. No pregnancy. Just reflux. I think it may be related to the fact that some of my very favorite foods/drinks, I’m learning, trigger reflux. Coffee, chocolate and tomatoes. Did I mention that Mexican food (with red sauce) and Italian food (like spaghetti sauce) are my absolute favorites?
So, I’m beginning to figure out what specifically triggers the condition for me. But, in the meanwhile, I’ve begun attempting to lessen the uncomfortable symptoms naturally.
So, I thought I’d share some of these methods with you, just in case you know someone who may sometimes have to deal with acid reflux.
- Apple cider vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons or almost 10 ml to a glass of water and drink three times per day.
- Glutamine. Add 1 tsp or almost 5 ml of this powdered amino acid with 4 ounces of water and take with each meal.
- Licorice root extract. Take 600 mg or 0.6 g of this herbal extract twice per day with meals.
- Aloe vera liquid. Take up to 4 ounces per day, preferably before eating.
- Carrot or cabbage juice. Drink one cup per day.
- Sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda!). Add 1 tsp or almost 5 ml of baking soda in a glass of water to alleviate acid reflux symptoms. I’m sipping on my glass of baking soda water even as I write this.
What do you do to alleviate acid reflux symptoms?
A couple of evenings ago I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. These were mosquitoes on steroids too. These were the worst bites of all time. I searched the internet for the best home remedies. In the last two days, I’ve tried almost all of them. Some worked, some did not! Here’s what I tried and if it helped. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in the situation I did, but you’ll be ready if you do!
I had all of these thing in my house, so no added expense of medicine from the drug store.
1. Calamine lotion. This may be the oldest remedy in the book, but it’s that old for a reason. I do think it helped a little but I needed to keep reapplying, so I gave up.
2. Hemorrhoid cream. It helped and it lasted longer then the calamine lotion. It has a local anesthetic in it that really helped with the burning and the itching.
3. Toothpaste. It has to be paste and not gel, but this helped with the oozing. Yes, my bites were so bad they were oozing. It really helped dry that up.
4. Ice. The numbing effect of ice will help with the itching. It will also help with the swelling that too much scratching brings.
5. Tea bags. Used bags really do help. The tannins in tea act as an astringent. It wasn’t as effective of the other methods, but I saw a difference!
What ways do you treat mosquito bites?
For years I’ve heard that Apple Cider Vinegar is the most amazing product out there. It’s good for you with the ability to be used internally for healthy digestion as well as even externally for your skin. And of course, the recipes you can use it in are amazing! But there is so much more!
1. Hair care. This is amazing! You can rinse your hair in it after shampooing a few times a week for amazing shine and body! It’s really fantastic what it does.
2. Skin Care. It can even be used a toner a few times a week. Just dilute a small amount in water and dab it on your skin. It will help with wrinkles and scars too if you leave it overnight.
3. Wart Remover. Take a cotton ball and put ACV on it and put it on the wart and cover it with a bandaid. Keep doing this overnight until the wart falls off.
4. Teeth cleaner. Rub ACV directly onto your teeth and rinse. Keep doing this until you reach the whiteness you’d like.
5. Weight loss! Everyone likes this one. In a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, “it was found that subjects that consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides. Triglycerides contribute to the bad cholesterol that we want to avoid.” Add 2 teaspoons to 16 oz of water and drink everyday.
Do you use apple cider vinegar? What are your uses?
Is winter over yet? Our house just can’t seem to get well from things like the common cold. So now, we are on a mission to boost our immune systems, but we’d really like to save some money by not investing in a ton of over the counter remedies. Instead we are trying these more natural and more thrifty options.
1. Garlic! This is my favorite immune booster and it really does work. I cook with a lot of it and when we are sick, I boost that amount. If you don’t like the smell, you can buy garlic capsules, but it’s definitely cheaper to cook with it.
2. Yogurt. The probiotics are great for the health of your gut. A healthy gut will help you fight off infection and just overall make you feel better. Try THIS crockpot recipe and save even more money than making it yourself.
3. Eat less processed and sugary foods. Sugar suppresses your immune system. Eating less will definitely help your immune system.
4. Sleep. Whoever thought of this obviously doesn’t have small children, but sleep really does help. It’s in those hours of sleep your body is able to repair itself.
5. Gargle with salt water. Japanese scientists say doing this simple thing twice a day can reduce your chances of a viral infection by almost 35%. And of course if you have a sore throat it really does help with the pain.
What are you doing to stay healthy?
I don’t know why it does, but it bothers me to throw away orange peels. They smell so amazing. I just knew there had to be uses for it, so I researched, tried it and here’s what I’ve been doing.
1. Deodorizer for your garbage disposal. Those things can get stinky and now you can even buy little scent beads to help. However, throwing a little orange peel down will help just as much. Lemons help as well.
2. Skin care. Orange peels have powerful ingredients for your skin. Check out this awesome tutorial for making your own body scrub from orange peels.
3. Room freshener. Simmer your peels in water and it will freshen your room.
4. Infused oil. If you like the flavor of orange you can infuse olive oil with the peels. Just throw some of the zest in there and let it soak for a while.
5. Garbage can deodorizer. Throw some peels in the bottom of your trash can and it will help with any strong odors.
6. Fire! Did you know that oranges are pretty flammable? Next time you go camping, use it to help start a campfire.
What do you do with orange peels?
Toothpaste is one of those items that I can always get free. So then I have tons of toothpaste and only so many teeth. You can always donate your extra stash, but here are some other uses for toothpaste that I love.
1. Hanging pictures and other wall decor.
This is by far my favorite use for toothpaste. I HATE trying to put up pictures in my house. I hate using levelers and when I saw this on Pinterest, it was too good to not try. When hanging up something and you want it in a specific place on your wall, just put toothpaste on the bracket and press it to the wall. The toothpaste dot will be left and then place your nail there. It’s so simple and saves you so much time!
2. Treats acne! It does and it works! Just dab a little paste on a zit and it will dry it overnight!
3. Cleans jewelry. I have NO idea if this is recommended or not, but my sister-in-law t0ld me about it and it really does make your jewelry sparkle. I use my extra toothbrushes and literally brush my rings just like my teeth and my rings look BRAND new. It’s amazing!
4. Use it to clean your stinky hands. I use garlic when cooking all the time and I love it freshly chopped, but I hate the smell of my hands afterward. Use toothpaste next time that happens to you and you’ll get rid of the stink!
5. Soothe insect bites. It’s still summer time so we are still being bit by mosquitoes and stung by bees. Next time it happens, use some toothpaste to sooth the sting!
What have you used toothpaste for?