Some of the things we do during winter to keep sicknesses at bay:
- Daily doses of elderberry syrup. If cold symptoms appear, up the dose to 3-4 a day. I make our syrup from dried elderberries and raw local honey. This is so much cheaper than buying it, which is totally acceptable if you don’t want to make it. We also use elderberry syrup for coughs.
2. Take epsom salt bath (at least a cup of epsom salt for a regular sized tub) – for the magnesium. Add essential oils if desired. The chemical make up for epsom salt isn’t even technically salt — it’s magnesium sulfate. Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function and Americans are usually woefully depleted in this element. My younger kids always get a scoop of epsom salt in their baths whether they are sick or not.
3. When a cold has set in, we take a dose of quality vitamin C. I don’t recommend drinking juice for vitamin C because of the sugar that accompanies. We use this and this for the kids. Sauerkraut has nice amounts of vitamin C, too — that’s how Captain Cook was able to beat scurvy on his quest to explore the South Pacific: he took barrels of sauerkraut. Twenty-five THOUSAND pounds for two ships, to be exact.
4. Probiotics in the form of food. We enjoy fermented vegetables, like Bubbies sauerkraut, kombucha or kefir. My goal is 1-2 tablespoons per meal. We have taken probiotics in pill form for seasons to heal the gut or when traveling. For on-going daily use, I recommend eating probiotics because
- the good guys are attached to a food substrate. Our bodies know what to do with food. Probiotic food was designed by our Creator to make it to the end of our digestive system, where it is usually needed most.
- when buying probiotic pills, one can never be 100% sure these are still viable. However, with fermented food, I know it is alive.
- Last but not least, food is cheaper than pills.
5. Get outside! Sunshine on bare skin is a good thing. When the sun shines, we run to absorb some vitamin D. Here’s a good article on are you getting enough vitamin D? Some in our family take doses of fermented cod liver oil for vitamin D.
6. Make and drink bone broth with a quality sea salt (I hope you’re using sea salt anyways.) Broth is nourishing and healing on so many levels. Soups are easy to digest. When battling sickness, invest your energies in healing and not with digestion.
7. Make sure to get adequate rest. This is more difficult for those with small children, to be sure. However, sleep is a major priority in our home. It is essential for brain function (mental health) AND keeping your physical health top notch.
What have I missed? What do you do to stay healthy during cold and flu season?