As the weather starts to turn, I've had to reach into the medicine cabinet a few times for some preventative cures. I suppose we all have our favorite standbys, but it occurred to me to share mine here. I have no medical training, this is just mother's wisdom I've gained from others who have shared with me.
One of the more common herbal remedies these days is echinacea (pronounced: eck i NAY sha). If I remember, I start drinking an echinacea tea early in the fall. This year I bought Celestial Seasonings Wellness Tea; it's flavored with mint and licorice. I share a cup with my little one, he likes it with honey of course. It's important to note that echinacea is really supposed to be used preventatively, and not for more than about 14 days in a row. If you're already feeling under the weather, there are other things more effective then echinacea, such as grapefruit seed extract.
I turn to grapefruit seed extract for almost everything. It's also known as GSE or Nutribiotic. In researching for this post I found there is some controversy about the claims that this product is a natural antimicrobial; it may have synthetic additives that make it so. Well, regardless, I feel from experience that it works. I mix 15 drops with water and pound it back- it is the worst tasting stuff ever!! I could buy it in tablet or capsule form, but then I'd have less control over how much I took, and I couldn't use it topically. I've used it for infected cuts, throat gargle, ear drops, nasal rinse, on my horses hooves, in the chickens water... I mix it with water in a dropper bottle for my son, and give him a dropper full whenever I realize he's been eating with dirty hands, or is starting to come down with a cold. I hope the bad taste has the added psychological effect that he doesn't want to pretend to be sick, or eat with dirty hands. But truth be told, I usually let him have something sweet, like elderberry syrup, right after the GSE. I am often heard singing, "Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down..."
Elderberry syrup is a more recent stand-by for me. It's so expensive in the stores, but it's easy to make your own. I give it straight or make a natural "soda" with it. Yum! And I guess it has vitamin C and other characteristics that help the body fight off sickness.
My last two things I am so grateful I had on hand recently are Oscillococcinum (I just call it the Osc-Cos stuff), and cough drops with zinc. The Osc-Cos stuff is a homeopathic flu remedy that "reduces the duration and severity of flu symptoms" if you take it as soon as you start to feel symptoms. My son had aches and fever on Wednesday night (hence this blog topic). I gave him some of these dissolving pellets before he fell asleep, and again in the morning. His fever went down by mid day and though he was a little under the weather for a few more days, he was not laid up with the flu. I also gave him zinc cough drops and later the GSE and elderberry.
Of course this is all just anecdotal. Maybe it's all just in my head like a placebo effect. But then again, I did hear last year about some research on placebos and it turns out that often times they really do work!
Insights into nurturing the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual wellbeing of our children.