Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Mother's Priorities - Natural Remedies

It's that time of year! Autumn is my favorite season, but it does seem to usher in colds and flu. In my opinion, natural remedies should be on every mother's list of priorities.

My boys came down with flu symptoms yesterday and I have been using my arsenal of herbs and remedies and they are already showing signs of healing. I found myself reflecting on how far I've come in my 25 years as a mother and thought I would share a bit of what I've learned with you.

When I was a young mother, any fever was considered bad and children's tylenol was the answer. But now, I don't panic at fevers below 102° because I know their immune response is working.

When I was a young mother, sickness usually meant calls or visits to the doctor, accompanied by a trip to the pharmacy for ill advised, gut-destroying antibiotics or other "medicine".

Now, we only use acetaminophen as a last resort when pain or fever have not responded to natural treatments. But I honestly can't remember the last time we needed more than one dose during an illness. Interestingly enough, experts now have serious concerns about the use and overuse of Tylenol due to its liver damaging effects. And Ibuprofen is now deemed controversial enough that some experts say that if it had been invented today, it would only be available by prescription! Yikes.

My conclusion is that these are two OTC meds that are best left for emergencies or when all else has failed.  We keep them on hand just for that purpose but it is so rare that we use them that I end up throwing away expired bottles that are still mostly full.

As my kids grew so did my mothering instincts and I became fascinated with herbs. They are God's medicine garden. To my delight I've found herbs and home remedies to be mostly inexpensive, readily available and remarkably effective!

I've grown confident in using herbs  based on my experiences. I'm solidly convinced of their healing capabilities. I'm always so sad for people who disregard their use, or even just natural remedies in general. They seem to relegate them to the same category as old wives tales. They would rather see doctors and take pharmaceutical drugs that only mask symptoms, when in reality, they are exchanging a temporary comfort for possible/probable long term harm. Then when abnormal diseases develop, they do not seem to connect the dots with the drugs. So sad!

Here's what I do and it shortens the duration of colds and flu dramatically - sometimes down to a couple of days! And the best part? They strengthen the body and have no harmful side effects.

I always keep some bulbs of Garlic around. It is one of THE most potent herbs. Researching it's benefits and uses is time well spent. It can be used in so many ways, but I like to make poultices with it to get its healing properties absorbing into their systems without risking tummy upset.

I always make a batch of elderberry syrup (ingredients can be found online or at a local Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers) and administer a 1-2 tablespoons every hour or two.

For nourishment, I often make a big pot of homemade chicken soup made using a whole fresh chicken (cut up), garlic, purified water, vinegar, egg shells, celery, carrots, onion and parsley. It is easily digestible and full of minerals and nutrients that nourish the cells for wellness.

I keep their fluids going with herbal teas, purified water and a little orange juice. And the second day, I usually wash their bed linens and put on fresh ones thinking that maybe if I wash away the germs they slept with overnight, they'll be less likely to get 'reinfected'. 

I turn on an air purifier with ultra violet light that kills bacteria in the air. And keep their bedroom window open as much as possible.

And depending on what I have on hand, I give them vitamin C and D, encapsulated herbs like fenugreek, ginger, echinacea, cat's claw, cayenne and slippery elm (cures both diarrhea AND constipation - amazing!). I make teas (infusions) with chamolile, peppermint, ginger, pau d'arco and others.

Another good thing to do for almost any ailment is to sit in the sunshine (weather permitting) for at least 10 minutes at some point in the day. Sunshine and fresh air have a wonderful healing affect on the body. I've sat on our porch in the sun when I've felt odd, a bit dizzy or just feeling under the weather and within the hour I feel "right" again. Sunshine is our friend - so long as you don't get too much at the wrong time of day. :)

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse of my go-to treatments. I like them because they work very well and aren't too complicated to make and administer.  But don't take my word for it. Study them for yourself and how to use them.

May God bless your day!


Courtney said...

Oooh... I love this! All great ideas! Would you mind sharing your chicken soup recipe? Egg shells? I'm very curious:-) my mother used to always switch out our toothbrushes for new ones after we've been sick. It's a practice I still do for myself and now my own children. Kind of the thinking you have about the sheets. You don't want to reinfect yourself. I've been enjoying your blog. The elderberry link was interesting because I suspect we have them growing wild on our property but I never knew what to do with them. (A UPS driver once pointed them out to me while dropping off a package one day. I'm so clueless, hahaha!) :-)

Simply Keeping Home said...

Thanks Courtney! Great point about toothbrushes! We do that too or disinfect in hydrogen peroxide if they're still new-ish. How wonderful to have elderberries growing on your land!

Egg shells are high in Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Glycine, Gelatin, Collagen, and Other trace minerals. And adding vinegar helps draw out the minerals from the shells and bones. Here's the recipe -

Chicken Stock
1 Whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 lbs of chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings
2-4 Chicken feet, (optional)
4 Free-range or organically grown egg shells (cleaned)
4 Quarts cold filtered water
2 tbsp vinegar
2 Carrots peeled and chopped, if organic do not peel
3 Celery stalks chopped
4 Whole garlic cloves
1 Onion chopped
1 tsp pepper corns
1 Bunch parsley
Bring all to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 6 hours or as long as 48 hours. Strain and discard solids and enjoy broth.

Courtney said...

Great! Thanks so much! I'll give this a try! :-)

Laura Spilde said...

I can be thankful that God planted midwife herbs in the wilderness of Eden.....

Right now I have to go through a still-birth 20-26 wk and waiting for that to pass through. Its a process, but I know that healthcare costs would be almost free if we had more acceptance of home remedy!