It’s that time of year again . . . the time when sniffles are rampant and many fall ill with aches and fevers. Fortunately, there are many wonderful natural remedies that can help this season go by more smoothly: remedies for preventing illness, remedies for uprooting illness, and some for alleviating symptoms without suppression.
So, why would I want to stick with natural alternatives? For one thing, illness is often the sign of an overloaded system. I’ve read it described as a vent to help the body detoxify from too many toxins. When the body is healthy and the immune system is strong, you can very often deal with the viruses and bacteria in the environment without too much of a problem, which is why two people can be exposed to a virus and one may fall ill and the other will not. (Read this post for ways to build your immune system naturally!)
When the body is weak, however, illness can set in, and the course of the illness, including a fever, may be what is necessary to kill the pathogens and restore the system to balance. When over-the-counter pharmaceuticals are used, however, this process is circumvented as the body is forced to suppress its healing, which prolongs the process in the long run. An onslaught of additional toxins from the medications are also added to the system, and therefore, pathology moves further into the body and leads to recurring illnesses in the future. After continuous suppression of symptoms, chronic illnesses may also set in as the body grows weaker over time.
Natural remedies, on the other hand, allow the body to uproot illness more quickly and restore its natural balance without side effects or toxic ingredients. As mentioned above, when the body is allowed to deal with illness properly, it grows stronger and more resilient. The thing is, people often think of natural remedies as being ineffective, or they think it means suffering through the entire illness for days on end. They worry even more when it comes to their children, and the idea of watching them suffer makes them reach for the first sign of relief. It’s important to keep the “bigger picture” of health in mind, and learn more about remedies that can help give you the confidence to treat acute illnesses at home.
These are the main remedies I turn to to prevent or treat illness:
1. Homeopathy: This is an amazing natural medicine that does not have any side effects nor does it interfere with any medications. When used properly, it is safe for infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and everyone in between and is used around the world to treat both acute and chronic illnesses. Homeopathy stimulates the body to uproot illness and can often alleviate symptoms within minutes or a few hours. Homeopathic remedies can also be used prophylactically in order to prevent illness, which makes it a wonderful medicine to have on hand. If you’ve never heard of homeopathy, check out this post for an overview or this one for remedies you’ll want to take wherever you go.
2. Essential Oils: I love therapeutic essential oils for alleviating symptoms and helping with healing. When the symptoms are minor, I usually turn to essential oils as a way to bring comfort to the sufferer. When the symptoms are more extreme, I turn to homeopathy first, then use essential oils on the tail end of the illness to continue the healing process.
SPECIAL NOTE: One thing to keep in mind is that some essential oils can actually antidote homeopathic remedies. Examples of these include: peppermint, melaleuca (tea tree), eucalyptus, and wintergreen. When treating an illness, select the remedy that best fits the illness and try not to mix the two.
3. Natural Immune Boosters: When illness strikes, I often turn to some natural vitamins, herbs, and foods that help boost the immune system. Examples of these include: homemade bone broth, elderberry syrup, buffered Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, fermented cod liver oil, echinacea tea, colloidal silver, probiotics, etc.
So, how exactly do we put it all together? Here’s what works for us:
To Prevent the Flu and Colds
1. We, personally, do NOT get the flu shot. It usually contains mercury (thimerosal) and a number of other toxic ingredients. Read the insert! It also can be “hit or miss” as the researchers attempt to identify the strains that will be prevalent in the upcoming season. Many adverse reactions have also been reported to VAERS, and contrary to what you may have heard, the manufacturer does NOT recommend the vaccine for pregnant women unless “clearly needed” because “there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.” (Read the bottom of page 8 of the insert!) This is also a great article to consider with more information on the flu shot.
2. We DO build our immune system naturally by following the guidelines in this post. As an example, we take the following daily or every other day: buffered Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, fermented cod liver oil, and probiotics.
3. We diffuse Doterra’s OnGuard Essential Oil Blend throughout the house to purify the air and kill viruses and bacteria.
4. We follow Joette Calabrese’s protocol for using homeopathy prophylactically. Here is the article with more in-depth information. To summarize, we take 4 doses of Influenzinum 30 once a week for a month and then once a month for the remainder of the flu season. ***You can also substitute Oscillococcinum (usually found in grocery stores and health-food stores) for Influenzinum 30 if you want to begin the protocol sooner. When using Oscillo, take one dose once a week for the first month, then one dose a month through the remainder of flu season.
These protocols are usually all we need for a nice and illness-free fall and winter. On the few occasions we have fallen ill, (prior to using Influenzinum) this is what we have done for treatment.
To Treat the Flu
1. Continue taking natural immune boosters on a daily basis (see above).
2. Give everyone in the family or in contact with the sick person a dose of Oscillococcinum to prevent or lessen symptoms. (Young children can take 1/3- 1/2 a dose.)
3. I dose with Oscillococcinum every 4 hours until we have a shift in relief. Once the symptoms are more manageable, usually by the fourth dose, we stretch out the doses and only use as necessary.
4. I also give a second homeopathic remedy in between the Oscillococcinum doses. For example, I begin with Oscillo, then two hours later, I give the second remedy, and continue to alternate every two hours with Oscillo, second remedy, Oscillo, etc. until one is no longer needed. The “second remedy” we most often take for relief is Belladonna. Belladonna is wonderful for bringing down high fevers and treating sore throats. If another symptom is more prevalent, such as vomiting, then another remedy, like Arsenicum Album, can be substituted here.
***Read Ahh Choo! The Flu! for more information on remedies that may be more effective for your specific case. Of course, seek a seasoned homeopath or healthcare provider if you are unable to get control of the situation.
5. Once the symptoms begin to go away or change, then stop taking the above remedies and only use again if symptoms return. Treat new symptoms, such as cough or sniffles with new remedies as necessary.
Treating Other Flu and Cold Symptoms
Once the fever, chills, and most uncomfortable symptoms are under control, you can then switch to new remedies or essential oils for the “tail end” symptoms of the flu or general cold symptoms. Here are some remedies that work well for us.
1. General Cold Symptoms: Homeopathic Boiron’s Cold Calm works really well for this. It shortens colds altogether and helps us feel better more quickly.
3. Cough: Homeopathic Hepar Sulph 30 can be used for a wet cough; Spongia Tosta 30 can be used to treat croup; Phosphorous 30 works well for a dry, tickling cough. I’ve also used Doterra’s Breathe Essential Oil Blend topically for nighttime coughs. I diluted the oil with coconut oil and rubbed on the back, chest, and feet.
4. Sniffles: Homeopathic Cell Salt Kali Mur 6X can be taken every 30-60 minutes for white phlegm, congestion, and stuffiness. Doterra’s Breathe Essential Oil Blend and Peppermint Essential Oil also work well for this. I usually put one drop on the tip of the nose and inhale.
5. Hoarseness: Homeopathic Phosphorous 30
6. Fever: Homeopathic Belladonna 30 for a high fever and red face. For lower fevers, I usually treat with Peppermint Essential Oil and Doterra’s OnGuard Essential Oil Blend. (Just remember not to mix the oils with homeopathy!)
7. Ear Infections: Homepathic Belladonna 30 works well when a high fever is associated with the ear infection, and the ear is bright red. I have personally used Chamomilla 30 on my infant daughter to immediately take away the low fever and pain associated with her ear infection. This remedy is ideal when the child is very irritable.
It’s been almost miraculous to watch how effective these remedies have been for our family and loved ones. For us, they have worked far more quickly than any pharmaceutical medicine at the store. We always look out for that fourth dose, knowing that relief will come prior to it or at least by then. (If there is absolutely NO shift in improvement by the fourth dose, wait an hour and try a new remedy. Since there are only a few key remedies for each illness, move forward knowing you are one step closer to healing!)
Where To Find Homeopathic and Natural Remedies
1. Grocery and Health-food Stores
a. Vitacost has the best price I have found on Oscillococcinum and other natural immune boosters.
b. iHerb also has a great price on Oscillococcinum and a variety of individual remedies along with natural immune boosters. Receive a discount off your first eligible purchase of $30 with the code UHU789.
d. Doterra and Young Living are the distributors we personally use for essential oils.
***Homeopathic remedies do not expire as long as they are kept away from sunlight and strong fumes or essential oils. Purchasing a homeopathy kit can be a great investment as it can be passed on to loved ones and maintain its effectiveness over time.
My prayer is that people begin to see the truth about natural remedies in order to heal their families and loved ones without harm. Confidence in alternative remedies, unfortunately, only comes through education, actual practice, and application. When given the options, however, I have found natural remedies to be the treatment of choice for our family.
What are some of your favorite natural remedies for the flu and cold?
UPDATE: There has been a lot of controversy concerning Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Some have found it to still be effective and others have opted for Rosita’s Extra-Virgin Cod Liver Oil instead.
This post is for information purposes only. Please read my disclaimer at the bottom of the page for more information.