January 14, 2016

Care for the Common Cold ~ a Collective DIY

It's that time of year again, germs and bugs abounding and hopefully I am just in time to share a collective of care practices for the common cold that are often found in our home...

First a simple tea to blend, consisting of a few wonderful herbs that are easy to grow and/or to locate... if you purchase them, please be sure your supplier is reputable.
  • Chamomile – mild sedative, restlessness
  • Echinacea – immunomodulating, contraindication for auto immune
  • Black Elder – immune stimulant
  • Yarrow – anti-inflammatory, herbal bitter, anti-microbial
  • Peppermint – antitussive, anti-spasmatic
  • Nettle – anti-rheumatic

Directions – blend equal parts of the above dried herbs and store them in a dark, labeled container. To use – simply fill your standard tea ball, place this into your special tea cup and add six to eight ounces of hot water. Cover. Let steep roughly five minutes or until preferred strength is reach. Sip while hot - tolerable. *Variation - you could also add some dried orange peel or apple...

Elderberry Tincturesambucus nigra - in our home we use an elderberry brandy most of the time. Either added to a "hot toddy" or by its self. However, when my daughter was younger we made syrups and such for the helpful sweet element. Here are two recipes, but with a simple internet search you will see that Elderberry Tincture, Extracts and Syrup recipes are everywhere...

  • My old post - on how to make Elderberry Extract - I truly need to do some house work on this blog! :)
  • Or this recipe from Vintage Remedies - this is an Elderberry Syrup recipe, and you already know that I recommend and use their resources and education models.

Herbal Foot Baths:
  • David Hoffman, FNIMH, AHG in Medical Herbalism, page 337 - shares this recipe: Add 1 T mustard powder to 4 pints of hot water – soak feet for roughly ten minutes, twice a day.
  • Nana would say soak your feet in Epsom Salts, for ten to fifteen minutes, dry your feet and apply a vapor rub to the soles and then cover them with cotton or wool socks. Do this prior to going to bed and sleep with your socks on through the night. *While your feet soak - would be a good time to sip on that tea!

Aromatherapy for the Cold: diffusing these essential oils through out the day, especially where you are resting will be beneficial to you and your environment.

  • Melaleuca & Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary & Peppermint

You could also make any of these combinations into a linen spray for your pillow or head rest. Sheets too! Or even consider Lavender to help you rest last in the night.

To make a Linen Spray: simply mix equal amount of vodka and distilled water - like ¼ C to ¼ C – add 10 to 15 drops of each essential oil in the combination. Add this mixture to a spray bottle, label and date. Shake well before each use. You can adjust accordingly depending on the type of spray bottle you use. We prefer and use glass, like these. *creative note - I actually use a little less vodka or alcohol because I use linen spray a lot! And you guessed it... more essential oils.

Steam Inhalation: place about 1/3c of blended herbs OR two drops each of essential oils of Chamomile and Bergamot into a bowl, and pour boiling water over them, then create a tent with an old - but large towel - by draping the towel over your head and around the bowl. Be sure not to let the steam escape. This is best done in a seated position so you can lean over to accommodate the action required... inhale slowly for 5 to 10 min.

A NOTE ON ESSENTIAL OILS – length of time may vary and it is best to start with one drop of each to begin with, and do not use if you are sensitive to the listed essential oils or plants. *If you would like more information on E.O.'s or the brands I would recommend, please feel free to leave me a comment and I would be happy to share with you what I have learned and use.

In the Kitchen: foods such as onions, garlic, ginger, astralgalus and lemon are great for the common cold and should be added to the diet liberally while sick. Unless something in the above list is contraindicated for your systems.

Meals likechicken soup, made with home made bone broth and Astralgalus root would be a great meal. Heavy on the garlic and onions if you can tolerate them... and remember to avoid sugar as much as possible while sick, as sugar has negative effects on your immune system... and drink plenty of water, consume lots of vitamin C and get ample rest.

For Nurturing the Soul: it's no fun being sick. Especially with a head cold, I truly dislike those... however I do find comfort in God's Word. Here is a few verses I like to think upon or to make into cards for me to see throughout the day.

  • Romans 12:12 -  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
  • Proverbs 31:25 - Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

~ Get well soon!

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