Natural ways to beat cold and flu season

Cold and flu season is kicking our butts! Your local pharmacy has a plethora of remedies to choose from to help provide some relief. However, kid-friendly and natural remedies are a bit harder to find in the aisles of a store. With a little bit of searching and a little bit of experimenting I’ve rounded up a list of natural ways that can help you stay healthy or beat that nasty cold.

1. Buy a Neti pot – Fill your neti pot container with filtered water and saline solution and use it to flush out your congested nasal passage. Seriously. This works. And it’s such a relief to be able to breath again. Check on the age restrictions if you want to use a neti pot with your kids…they need to be old enough to control their breathing so I don’t recommend using it with toddlers and real youngsters.

2. Keep a cup of quartered lemons in your refrigerator and squeeze some in your (and your kids!) cups of water.  I could list a whole bunch of benefits to drinking lemon water, but I’ll stick to how it relates to curing the common cold. Because lemon has an anti-bacterial property it’s great for helping with infections. Lemon is also a natural source of vitamin C, which makes it a great antioxidant. Lastly, I remember reading somewhere that it can reduce fever.

3. Make your own cough syrup. I mixed up a batch of this magic potion a few weeks ago when my mom had a cough coming on. She swears by it now! 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, a tablespoon of Honey, a dash of Cayenne Pepper, a squeeze of Lemon…voila!!

4. Try Oil Pulling – A friend of mind told me about oil pulling a couple of months ago and I’ve been doing it several times a week every since. I use coconut oil, but there are a variety of oils that you use. Supposedly oil pulling is most effective when you do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You take a tablespoon of oil, put it in your mouth, and swish is around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Do not swallow it! After time is up you spit it out. Here is article on some of the science behind it, but basically it’s suppose to have a “powerful cleansing and healing affect…on the mouth and sinuses.” The jury is still out on whether I’ve felt any benefits with oil pulling, but I figure it’s worth a shot!

There really isn’t any conclusive scientific studies that would back up that all of the things on this list will 100% cure you. BUT if they are harmless…why not try? It can never hurt to try out some natural, alternative remedies. Please let me know if this inspired you to try any of the items I listed…and let me know how you liked them! Feel free to add to the list too 🙂

Peace, love, and health.

When life gives you snow…

It is the same drill every year. As holiday season approaches I wish and wish for Jack Frost to wave his wand and transform the world into a winter wonderland. When the first sprinkles of white appeared this December, I fell asleep watching them fall from the sky, dancing in the spotlight of our front house lights. It feels like magic every year. But then, somewhere down the icy road, or amongst the news reports that 50% of the US population has contracted the flu, or during the sleepless nights listening to Cole cough himself awake, the magic wears off. So here I am, hugging a box of tissues, with a major case of the winter blues.

Today I decided to whip out the snow shovel and dig up some good times from my memory bank! Beyond the blistery weather, dry skin, and stubborn ailments, my family has been enjoying our first winter in New Hampshire.

Cole loves playing in the snow. From the moment I strapped on his boots and snow gear he set off into the fluffy white stuff to make some footprints and snow angels. I taught him how to roll snowballs, which of course turned into a snowball fight (courtesy of mom) so now we are working on aiming for below the neck.

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On the really cold days we have to get creative and find things to do indoors. Moving Greg’s electronic drum kit has been a major hit in our household. I get a request for “Dums, dums, dums!” about 8 or 20 times a day. Here is a preview of future rock legend, Cole Benson, on the drums.

And sometimes the mood strikes us to get our hands dirty and create a piece of art. Here is a snippit of my soft, gentle boy making handprints.

I suppose the point in all of this is that when life gives you snow…make snowballs. We have found a lot of ways to keep ourselves busy and active this season. In my next post I’ll share all of the fun ways we’ve been trying to stay healthy! I’ll share some homemade remedies, green drinks, and even a couple of cold weather recipes.