Natural Flu Remedies
Do you go to the doctor for every little cough? Not this family.
One area that has been a big money saver in our family is not needing to go to the doctor. But the truth is when I was a young mom and didn’t always know what I was dealing with, I took myself or my child to the doctor with the tiniest sniffle or cough. Sooner or later our family doctor shared his wisdom on this or that illness and I would “take notes”. So, after a time I didn’t need to run to see him for everything.
At one point, he even told me that I was the one who knew my family’s health better than anyone and except for prolonged high fevers or prolonged sore throats, I didn’t need to see him (he knew I had good common sense, too, meaning I had enough sense to know a cold from something relatively more serious). Odd to hear coming from a doctor…
Anyway, I got to the point where I saw the signs and would start to deal with the issues before they got bad. We had sore throats, bad coughs, ear infections, unexplained fevers… all of which I attempted to treat them at home (UNLESS there was a definite downward trend). Out of hundreds of illnesses that have passed through our home over the years, we have only had a total of a dozen doctor visits.
A word of wisdom: I won’t advise you to never see a doctor when you know you are in over your head. Each of us will have to learn what works for our own family.
But here are some things I have learned over the years (for educational purposes only – see your family doctor when you get sick):
I treat all fevers lightly. Unless the fever was over 104 degrees F for more than 24 hours (ask your doctor first what he/she advises), I would let the fever do its job. I do offer a pain reliever if the aches are too uncomfortable otherwise I encourage my “patient” to wait it out. Fever is the body’s way to speed along the healing. At least two things happen during a fever
- The warmer body temp encourages the white cells to activate more quickly. They move through the blood more quickly and increase in number more rapidly.
- Most bacteria and virus “hate” a high temp and will not replicate as quickly.
So you see, there will be more of the “good guys” mobilized and less and less of the germs during a fever. The sooner the germs are under control, the better.
When I knew that things were getting out of hand I had the sense to think that if this goes on much longer, it may develop into a more serious deal. So what do doctors give when you diagnose a bad cough, or a sore throat or earache. An antibiotic. Obviously, I didn’t have access to the pharmacy since I wasn’t going to the doc every time so I read up on natural antibiotics. And sooner or later came up with something I believe is far safer and more gentle to the body than the pills and potions you have to have a prescription for…
Nature’s Antibiotic – Bring out the “big guns”
When one of my kids got more than just a cold, like when they began to cough or complain of ear pain, I would begin them on my Szechuan Tonic. This tasty though strong “Medicine” is made up of one of nature’s best antibiotics – garlic. No matter what you may think of this stinky bulb, it does what no man-made antibiotic will do – kill the bacteria while working with your immune system to get strong. Because it is a food, your body knows how to work with it. Unlike the strong allopathic meds which act more like a nuclear bomb killing everything in its path, garlic seeks out and destroys the unwanted germs, leaving the good bacteria intact.
Anyway, there is a lot to be said for garlic but I want to mention the other ingredients in the Szechuan Tonic which are onion, ginger, hot pepper (Jalapeno is a favorite) and apple cider vinegar. Onion, like garlic, works to kill the bugs but onion also loosens mucus so your body can eliminate it. That’s why it has been a popular Granny recipe ingredient for coughs.
Ginger is another “hot” ingredient. It adds to the combo that increases circulation wherever it comes in contact. Ginger is also responsible for calming the stomach (in blind tests actually worked better than popular travel sickness pills). It also lends that exotic oriental taste that inspired the name Szechuan Tonic.
Finally, to really heat things up and bring blood quickly to the body, we add a form of cayenne or hot peppers. Some of you may not like the hot so adjust this to your tolerance. We like ours “medium hot”.
The apple cider vinegar (ACV)adds its excellent properties to make this an amazing healing tonic. I will just recommend you read up on these ingredients separately.
The Recipe for Szechuan Tonic
The basic recipe calls for equal parts of garlic, onion, ginger root and hot peppers. I buy about 1/2 pound of each. And a quart of ACV.
Chop these coarsely and put in a Vitamix or similar blender. Cover the ingredients with ACV and blend until the consistency of applesauce.
You can use right away. We store it in the “raw” and strain it as we need it over the next six months or so. I like it in the raw, dregs and all. But here is the trick: this makes the yummiest salad dressing! Use it as a base for dressing adding oil as you would an Italian dressing. A sneaky way to take it. Works well as a marinade, too.
If you have a persistent sinus problem, add an equal share of fresh horseradish root when you blend it up. The Horseradish hits the sinus like a blast (like hot Chinese mustard) and gets things running.
Anyway, these are just a few of the things we do to beat the flu, stop ear infections and stop bronchitis. We take the Tonic preventative all through the flu season and so far we don’t get hit like others in the area. When we do get it, it passes very quickly so we are back up on our feet in a fraction of the time.
Imagine not getting sick and not needing to run to the doctor a dozen times a year. We don’t. Try it for yourself but don’t stop seeing your doctor.
I put together a short guide on what I do for my family when they get sick. Get Well Stay Well is available on Amazon.