I may be burnt at the modern day stake for admitting what I’m about to admit but it’s something I know a lot of people are interested in and for me, concocting medicinal remedies using herbs and everyday ingredients has always fascinated me. I’m not a fan of traditional medicine, I don’t like products for which the ingredients read like an alien foreign language, I don’t entirely trust vaccinations and always research everything in detail before allowing the children to ingest anything. Don’t even get me started on the over-use of antibiotics in modern day Britain…
So it runs naturally for me to try and heal illnesses through “alternative” means. By the way, I’m in no way saying medicines are bad, just that I don’t understand them and when I don’t understand something I try to avoid it at all costs.
Now before I’m chastised for denying my children medicine. I don’t. In fact, I gave Emmeline some Calpol today for the first time in over a year, for a temperature that she’s been harbouring for the last twenty four hours. I don’t feel bad for doing this, in fact I love Calpol as much as Emmeline loves the taste of it but what I don’t like is when people use medicines at the slightest sign of a snivel.
I thought I’d share a few remedies with you all that I’ve either used habitually for a long time or in a few cases, I’ve only recently found. I haven’t yet tried them all but they are in my little medicine recipe book.
- First of all is the amazing echinacea. At the first sign of a cold, I take as much echinacea as I can and this always seems to lessen the severity. Taking echinacea can increase the amount of white blood cells produced which fights infection and in studies, it has shown to improve immunity in some cases. You can buy echinacea tablets in supermarkets and health shops and you simply pop one in water, leave it to dissolve and drink it in one go.
- Ginger tea is fab when you feel bunged up and generally a bit rubbish.
For the tea you will need:
an inch square of ginger grated up
Pinch of cinnamon
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Honey (to taste but don’t go overboard!)
A small pot of boiling water
Mix all of the above on the stove and leave for half an hour so the water gets fully infused with the ginger. Keep the pot covered all the time so it doesn’t evaporate all the goodness. Strain all the solid ingredients out and warm the tea up again on the stove. Drink a few times a day.
- Raw garlic is great for when you feel a cold coming on. I’ve never done it but eating one clove and then gargling with salty water has been known to stop a cold in it’s tracks. Yuck, I’m not sure I could eat straight raw garlic!
- If you are developing a cough then a crushed garlic clove, a teaspoon of honey, some fresh lemon juice an drink this a couple of times a day until it clears.
- Chewing on fresh parsley can help bad breath.
- If you have greasy hair then over washing it can just make the problem worse. Mix a tablespoon of vinegar with warm water and pour through your hair after you have washed it. You can either leave it in or rinse with warm water afterwards. Vinegar is actually an amazing product, I may write an entire post just about it’s capabilities.
- Steam bowls! These are great for head colds. Fill a bowl with hot water and add 5-10 drops of essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree. They’ll help put some life back into you.
- Home made vapour chest rubs. I’ve never tried this before but certainly will next time someone claims a blocked nose. Using an air tight container, mix 1/2 a cup of coconut oil with about 10-12 drops of peppermint essential oil. Use this as you would a traditional chest rub.
- For a sore throat there are so many things you can try, here are a few:
Chamomile tea has been proven to sooth a throat; it has anti-inflammatory properties so is a great medicine to keep in your cupboards.
Gargling with salt water can kill infections and reduce swelling.
Making a tea out of liquorice root and ginger root can have marvellous effects on a sore throat and a cold. By boiling water and adding 1/4 cup of liquorice root (not liquorice the sweet!) and a fingers length of ginger root. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes and then pour into mugs.
Do you have any remedies that you could add to this list?