- Echinacea is an immune stimulant and blood purifier. This herb works with your immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria. It’s not recommended for those with autoimmune disorders, those taking medications to lower their immune system response, or for anyone that is allergic to plants in the daisy family. Echinacea is best taken at the first sign of illness, and then discontinued after seven to ten days.
- Colloidal silver is my go-to for home and travel to kill all manner of viruses and bacteria. It’s a good choice for those who can’t take echinacea, because it doesn’t stimulate the immune system. You can learn more about colloidal silver from my blog post: My home and travel first-aid essential: Colloidal Silver.
- Oscilloccoccinum by Boiron is a homeopathic remedy that helps reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms, including body aches, headache, fever, chills, and fatigue. It’s sold in many drugstores and grocery stores. I bought mine on sale at Whole Foods.
- Elderberry has been shown to shorten the duration of cold and flu viruses. You can find it as tea, syrup, tincture, capsules, or chewables. I buy Elderberry D3Fense from Nature’s Sunshine for myself, which combines elderberry and vitamin D3 in capsule form. I keep Sunshine Heroes Elderberry Immune Soft Chews on hand for my grandkids. Elderberry is good to take for prevention, especially when you know you’ll be in large groups of people (school, church, events, etc.).
- Peppermint leaf tea is wonderful to have on hand for fever, nausea, and congestion. Buy organic and sweeten with a little raw honey.
- Ginger root tea helps reduce inflammation and nausea. You can also buy ginger root capsules.
- Raspberry leaf tea is one of my grandchildren’s favorite. It’s a good remedy to help calm diarrhea. Again, organic is best.
- Salt water gargle to reduce sore throat irritation. Stir about 1/2 teaspoon of salt into about four ounces of water, warm enough to dissolve salt. Gargle each mouthful for several seconds, and then spit it out. Do this every one or two hours, as needed. Salt is a powerful anti-microbial. Never gargle with hot water!
- Aloe vera juice helps to calm the stomach and acts as a mild laxative.
- Essential oils to diffuse into the air, bath, or shower. One to three drops is all it takes. Too much can overwhelm your system. Add three drops to your bath or shower to create a “steam room” effect. Diffuse a few drops into the air with an aromatherapy diffuser to help kill airborne viruses. Mix one to three drops with one tablespoon of a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil) and rub onto chest, back, or feet. Keep away from eyes! Before applying essential oils to large areas of the body, first test for a reaction by applying one drop (mixed with carrier oil) to the inside of your wrist and waiting for 20 minutes. If you have redness, itching, swelling, or any other unfavorable reaction, wipe off the essential oil with a carrier oil (olive, coconut, or almond), and do not proceed to use that essential oil.
- Lavender is anti-viral, calming, and good for fevers.
- Thyme and eucalyptus are both anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and especially useful in cases of respiratory congestion. Research at the University of Brighton, East Sussex, found that thyme essential oil could kill MRSA, a form of staph that is resistant to regular antibiotics. This study was published in the International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics in 2010.
TIP: Add some fresh thyme to your Thanksgiving turkey! It contains vitamins A, B, and C.
- Garlic has been proven over and over to be effective against viruses and bacteria. Add fresh garlic to your food often during cold and flu season. Garlic oil has been successfully used in cases of ear infections. Here’s my “knock-it-out” recipe for when I feel like I’m coming down with something, especially if my throat feels scratchy:
- Mix three to five cloves of fresh-pressed garlic with a teaspoon of raw honey and some cayenne pepper to taste. Eat it from the spoon, or spread onto apples slices or sprouted whole-grain toast or crackers. (Don’t worry about the odor–no one needs to be kissing you!)
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
- This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.