Five Of My Favorite Products For Fighting Cold And Flu Season

December 17th, 2015 - filed under: Uncategorized

natural cold remedies

[This article was originally published on 4 November, 2014]

It’s official. Cold and flu season is HERE. It’s only just early November and I’ve already been through one cycle of sniffles and sore throats, and it feels like another one might be looming (ahh, life with a preschooler). And all around me it seems like people are dropping like flies from some terrible tummy bug. Already!

So. This post, which I intend to write every. single. year. but never actually get out in time, may actually be able to do some good this year. Yay! (or, well, boo! Sick is no fun!)

As an all-natural pharma-phobic healthy-living hippie, facing cold and flu season can be pretty confusing. The “natural remedies” aisle at your local health food store is most likely rivaling CVS in sheer size and volume of products, with each one promising it’s own miraculous one-ingredient wonder-cure.

But personally, I’m not so into the newfangled, specially-formulated power-powders. I like my remedies tried and true, and those are the ones I’m choosing to share today. My own small-but-fearsome arsenal of all-natural bug-busters. Trusted and standing the test of time, most of them are old – ancient even – because, well, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

Right! So here they are:

1) Dry Skin Brushing
A few months back I was chatting with an old scientist friend of mine, and she remarked that thanks to me, she’s been using a dry skin brush and loving the results (namely, a much stronger immune system – essential for her with 2 young boys). She said something to the effect of, “You know, lots of times when you blog about something it sounds pretty kooky and I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical. But then I go do the research and it always turns out to be totally scientifically legit!” I had to laugh at that because I think it’s a great description of me: Kooky, but scientifically legit. Ha!

Anyway, dry skin brushing (I use this brush) stimulates the lymphatic system to activate blood flow and eliminate cellular waste. The increased circulation can also help to energize you, and as an added beauty bonus, it’s a great exfoliator! Use your skin brush before your daily shower, and keep your immune system going strong.

2) Green Juice // Wellness Shots
Like the dry skin brushing, green juice is great preventative medicine. Jeremy and I have been under so much stress lately, and I’ve been trying to keep the green juice flowing – pumping us full of precious antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to combat any germs that we might come across. I especially love parsley and cilantro in my green juice, since both of these are potent chelators which help to release and remove heavy metals and other bioaccumulative toxins.

I also love to make “wellness shots” (featured in the photo up top) – usually some combination of citrus like lemon, blood orange, mandarin, lime, etc, plus lots of ginger and some sort of pepper (either a juiced jalapeño or a liberal sprinkling of powdered cayenne or chili). Sometimes I add powdered turmeric, apple cider vinegar, or crushed garlic (yuck!). But the real key is citrus, ginger, and chili. Plug and chug!

3) Mulein Garlic Oil
I use this brand and I love the stuff. It’s cheap and it’s potent and it’s my number one go-to at the first sign of a sniffle.

Mullein garlic oil is actually intended for ear infections – which is how I discovered it and why I love it, because it’s safe for wee babies – but I use it for all the bad little bugs. Mullein (an herb) is an antiviral and an expectorant and has a long and rich tradition as an illness-fighting herb. And we all know that garlic is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antimocrobial immune-booster. With their powers combined, this is one of my favorite remedies. A single drop in each ear at the first sign of sickness, and in most cases it never progresses past the first stage. I swear by it!

4) Oil Of Oregano
More recently I’ve been experimenting with oil of oregano, an old hippie favorite for all sorts of ailments. This stuff is strong so be careful when using it with children. It’s powerful (which is why I like it!) and definitely worth adding to your sickness-stopping toolbox. You can read more about why I love oil of oregano, and the science behind its powerful healing properties, here.

You can buy high-quality oil of oregano online, or you can try making your own at home!

5) Neti Pot
Ahh, my dear sweet neti pot. I never thought I could love a piece of porcelain so much – especially a piece of porcelain that I fill with salt water, shove up my nose, and allow to flow through my entire sinus cavity and out the other nostril while I try not to sputter and snort and fall into a flailing mess on the shower floor.

But seriously, it’s sort of fun.

Much like dry brushing, neti can be used prophylactically as an ilness preventative. Keeping the ol’ sinuses all clean and flushed out will go a long way in upping your overall chances against some bastard bug this winter. But, if you’re a busy busy bee and you can’t make neti a regular part of your routine (like for reals, who has time for that?) it can still be used to speed along and soften up the symptoms of an already-existing cold, should one actually take hold of you. I use this popular model and I love it.

And yes, there’s will always be some immature part of me that will have to laugh when I see a stream of water pouring out of my nostril. ALWAYS.


And finally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. Probiotic rich foods, like store-bought or homemade ferments, are also a great immune-boosting addition to your diet. And remember – stress is death to your immune system! So take care of your mental health with the same love and attention that you give to your physical well being.

Ya hear me? Take care of you! ♥

  • Rebecca Carnes

    You are absolutely the reason I dry brush!! I read one of your blogs a while back mentioning it & ever since I’ve been dry brushing away;) Now I need to add wellness shots…. and I oil P up every night during the winter season. With everything that is going around his school I don’t want to chance it!

  • veronika

    i tried the mullein garlic oil on my children.
    now they smell like garlic breads, and i want to eat them! :)

    but really, thanks for the ideas and the recommendations.

  • WookieWifey

    I totally must have missed the dry-brushing article. Either that or I’ve slept since then. I wasn’t aware that it had any benefits other than sloughing off dead skin and (maybe) improving circulation. Will be picking up a brush when I go to the store tomorrow!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It’s so great, I always dry brush in winter to get that lymph system invigorated and flowing! Plus it’s a great exfoliator. ;-)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh so glad you tried it and liked it Veronika. And you’re right, the garlic oil does smell like garlic bread!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Awesome to hear this Becca. And you feel like you get a good immune boost from the dry brushing?

    The wellness shots are great because you don’t need a real juicer. Just a garlic press (for the ginger) and a hand juicer for the citrus. So easy!

  • Rebecca Carnes

    I do! I don’t get to move around as much as I used to (working in an office) so I absolutely love that dry brushing helps with circulation and exfoliation…and it feels good too! P grabbed it the other day & was saying he need to scrub his skin too LOL

  • Sayward Rebhal

    OMG that’s so cute!I tried to do it with Waits once and he said it was “too scratchy”. So cool that P is into it!

  • Rachel Deines

    I love ginger so much, it really may be my favorite plant. I would get a ginger tattoo I love it so much, haha. But seriously, everyone I know has gotten sick this winter, and so far I’ve been able to avoid it completely (I’m sure the vegan diet helps too!). I work at a juice bar and drink ginger almost every day. It also helped me when I got food poisoning last year. It cured my upset, gurgling stomach within minutes. I swear it improves my mood too. Its a miracle plant, I think everyone needs it in their lives! :)

  • Roshni Kumari

    Female Escort in Gurgaon
    If after a busy business tour, you are looking to ignite the evening then our Call Girls in Sohna Road are there to help you in the best way. We provide the service that would completely take away your work stress and revive you from within. So, why wait when you can get the best feeling of love at cost-effective prices. The escort service that we deliver in Sohna Road is among the best that you can get at the rates that we offer. We provide the best girls that would completely satiate you from each and every angle. So, visit us today and take your experience to a new level.

  • Gopika s

    With a focus on male-specific issues, female to male body massage in chennai provide targeted solutions for common concerns

  • massage parlour near me

    Our b2b massage in bangalore spa services are perfect for special occasions or events.