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Photo By Pixabay

 

Wrapping It Up  

March 

March has been a busy month and honestly, I almost forgot to do my wrap up post!  I was so excited that I found the time to write a post last night and was working on getting time to work on another upcoming post, that it almost slipped my mind that my monthly wrap-up was due!  I haven't written much, I know, but I do want to touch base with you all and ask how the rest of you faired this month?

My Writing World

Well, for those of you that follow the blog, you know the blogging part of my writing world isn't all that much these days.  I've kept up with my Sunday posts but that's almost all I've done.  My manuscripts have suffered with even less time.  I didn't even send anything in for critiques this month, but am currently working on something for April. I didn't get my two days away last month for writing (I used them for some spiritual reflection instead) but am in the middle of that two day get away for March right now.  So that's why I had time to do the extra post on food (see below)the other day, the one on reading aloud to your child and am able to write this one now.

My Book World

Here I've kept busy!  In the area of fiction, I finished up A Prayer For Owen Meany.  I'm not sure how I feel about the book.  I didn't love it but I didn't hate it all either.  It was a good read and certainly different from my regular genre which was a nice change of pace.  ...continue reading "March Wrap Up"

4

The Flu and Cold season is upon us so I thought it was time for me to update last year's post on Natural Flu Remedies and give you my thoughts and recommendations*:

In addition to researching and learning a great deal about horrible ingredients in our food years ago, my family also learned a great deal about conventional medicine vs. natural medicine.  We learned how to build our immune system with the natural ingredients we use in our daily meals.  We learned about wholesome natural supplements.  We learned about homeopathy.  We are no longer supporters of vaccines and other conventional means of preventing or treating illness as I truly believe, after extensive research, those 'treatments' cause more harm than good.  Now that doesn't mean we don't support conventional medicine at all.  It has its place, especially in emergent situations.  But my main point is this: There are natural methods to prevent and treat illness that do not contain the harmful chemicals laden in conventional methods -  chemicals that actually harm our immune systems and cause disease.  Therefor, this post is about more natural remedies for treatment of colds, flu and other seasonal or viral illnesses.* The first thing,of course, is to remember that food plays an integral role in your health.  If you are eating junk, your body will act like you are eating junk.  If you are eating good quality whole foods, your body will thank you and your chances of getting sick are greatly lessened!  If you do get sick, chances are the illness will be much shorter in duration and less severe.  I, myself, can boast that though I was constantly ill with strep throat and ear infections through most of my childhood and early adulthood, I have not dealt with these illnesses for the past 8 years!  Strep was something I would often contract at least 4 times each fall and winter and several times during the rest of the year.  This dramatic change in my immune system is not short of amazing.

The second thing to remember is that while food does play an integral role, being tired, run down,  spending time in areas  with sick people, or working in an environment harmful to your immune system  causes a need to do some extra things to help your body prevent illness.  Sleep is vital.  Washing your hands when coming into contact with the public is important. Boosting your immunity with extra supplements (see the list below) when you know you'll be around others with viral illnesses is a good idea. Some of these supplements such as vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Elderberry Syrup can be used throughout the season to give your immune system an extra boost.  Avoiding environmental situations (polluted air, use of chemicals on surfaces - even harmful cleaning chemicals, etc.) that are harmful would be a good idea as well - though not always easy - but certainly a good idea.

But what can you do if you do get the flu?? Or a cold or other virus?? (And this is possible whether you get the flu vaccine or not...I strongly advise against the vaccine...but that's for another post)

  • First and foremost:  REST as much as possible.  I know all too well that sometimes life just doesn't give us this option...but it is the most important thing to do if you can.  Taking one day off work may prevent you from missing an entire week later.
  • Wash your hands often.  MOST especially after using the restroom or public places.
  • Continue taking extra rest and doing extra things to boost your immune system for at least three days after symptoms fade.
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet.  Sugar wreaks havoc on the immune system! This includes fruit juice too!  No - you really do not need orange juice for your vitamin c source - see more below!
  • Eliminate Dairy while you are sick.  Dairy promotes the formation of mucous.  Therefore, it is beneficial to avoid during illness, especially, for those children or adults who get a lot of ear infections (or sinus issues) due to blocked eustachian tubes from the congestion.
  • Eliminate caffeine while you are sick.  Stimulants suppress your immune system.
  • Avoid omega 6 vegetable oils which also suppress the immune system. (canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and soybean oils)
  • Vitamin C!  Make sure the vitamin C you select contains a large supply of bioflavanoids.  This indicates the vitamin is coming from natural sources.  Large doses are a must for treatment.  The vitamin C protocol given to me by a naturopath was to take 1-2 grams (1000-2000 mgs).  Follow this with 1000 more after an hour.  Continue this until your bowels have reached intolerance level(meaning loose stools) because only then will you know that you have enough vitamin C in your body to fight the illness.  The following day you are to take two less than what it took you to reach intolerance level.  Continue for as many days as you have symptoms.  For example, if it takes you 5 grams to reach intolerance, then for the next few days you would take 3 grams.  Each person is different and each occasion of illness will be different for the amount needed.
  • Vitamin D3 -  Vitamin D3 is essential for your immune system.  Our family takes this all through the fall and winter months into early spring.  We take extra when experiencing any symptoms of illness.
  • Keep your sinuses clean!  You can do this with a neti pot or you can put some sea salt and baking soda(no more than an 1/8 tsp each) in your hand mixed with a bit of water and sniff through your nostrils.  The neti pot is easier. A Xylitol nasal wash is anti-bacterial and can fight bacteria in the sinus cavities and prevent secondary infections.
  • Take a hot bath for 20-30 minutes with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt.  This pulls out inflammation and will decrease muscle soreness and joint pain.
  • Drink PLENTY of water!!
  • Tea - Traditional Medicinals makes great teas for boosting your immune system and easing symptoms when ill as does the Yogi Tea brand.  I make my own tea by filling canning jar with lemon slices, ginger pieces and filling the remaining space with raw local honey.  When feeling a cold coming on, I simply take a spoonful or two and put it in a mug of hot water.  YUM!!!  Very soothing and delicious enough to have as a relaxing hot drink on a cold night regardless of absent symptoms! Tea, however, does not take the place of the water!
  • Make your own yummy 'tea' to have on hand.  Fill a mason jar (any size) with sliced lemons and ginger.  Layer the lemons so that they are at an angle, allowing there to be space in the jar.  Slice up some fresh ginger, placing nice thin pieces among the lemon slices.  Now pour some nice RAW honey over the lemons and ginger until the jar is full.  Place in refrigerator for safe keeping.  When needed for sore throats or to soothe a cough, place 2 heaping spoonfuls  (you may vary the amount) in a cup of hot water, stir to dissolve and drink.
  • Drink HOMEMADE chicken broth, beef broth, turkey broth, onion soup or miso soup.
  • Eat lightly.  Heavy meals slow your digestion and interferes with the body's ability to fight off illness.
  • Add onion and garlic to your foods!  These are wonderful for the immune system!!
  • Put on clean pajamas every day.
  • Brush your teeth....OFTEN!! It is recommended to do so 5-10 times a day.  Your mouth is where the bacteria like to hang out and this is a good way to get them out of there!  Change your toothbrush as soon as you are better!
  • Change the sheets on your bed when you are better.
  • Keep a window open slightly to allow fresh air in or at least run a ceiling fan to circulate the stale air.
  • Use a Humidifier.
  • Gargle with raw apple cider vinegar.  You can just use vinegar or you can add it to warm salt water.
  • Remember there is a purpose for a fever.  As long as your fever is under 103 degrees, there is no need for alarm or to treat it.  A fever is the body's way of fighting the illness. Even for my child, I do not instantly treat a fever unless it seems to be causing distress (and is under 103).  Sometimes I will give something for fever at night only to ease sleep.  Rest is important too.

Homeopathic Remedies:  (I LOVE homeopathy!!)

  • Oscillococcinum -  We keep Oscillo around the house all the time.  My DH even takes it in his bag to work with him because it works best if you take it at the absolute moment you start experiencing symptoms.  Just follow the instructions on the label.  Try not to have anything in your mouth for 5-10 minutes before or after as that could interfere with the remedy's ability to perform well.  If you miss the first symptoms or don't get a chance to take the Oscillo within a few hours of onset, it most likely will not work as well.
  • Ferrum Phos 6x - This is for feverish flu symptoms that make you feel run down and cranky.  Most likely  you have sniffles and a snore throat.  Follow the instructions on the label.

Other Products for Immunity

Have a few of these products on hand so that you have something when needed and can figure out what works for you.  Remember everyone is different and your body may not respond as well to something that works really well for someone else.

Do you have other natural remedies to share?

Hopefully this flu season finds you healthy and smiling!!

* I am not claiming to be a health practitioner.  I am not a medical doctor, conventional, homeopathic  or naturopathic.  I am simply sharing with you what I have learned in my research from various sources.

In addition to learning a great deal about horrible ingredients in our food years ago, my family learned a great deal about conventional medicine vs. natural medicine.  We are no longer supporters of vaccines and other conventional means of preventing or treating illness.  Now that doesn't mean we don't support conventional medicine at all.  It has its place, especially in emergent situations.  But my  point in this post is that there are natural methods to prevent and treat illness that do not contain the harmful chemicals laden in conventional methods -  chemicals that actually harm our immune systems and cause disease.  Therefor, this post is about more natural remedies for treatment of flu that will not harm.*

The first thing,of course, is to remember that food plays an integral role in your health.  If you are eating junk, your body will act like you are eating junk.  If you are eating good quality whole foods, your body will thank you and your chances of getting sick are greatly lessened!  If you do get sick, chances are the illness will be much shorter in duration and less severe.  I, myself, can boast that though I was constantly ill with strep throat and ear infections through most of my childhood and early adulthood, I have not dealt with these illnesses for the past 7 years!  Strep was something I would often contract at least 3-4 times per winter and several times during the rest of the year.  This dramatic change in my immune system is not short of amazing.

But what can you do if you do get the flu?? (And this is possible whether you get the flu vaccine or not...I advise against the vaccine...but that's for another post someday)

  • First and foremost:  REST as much as possible.  I know all too well that sometimes life just doesn't give us this option...but it is the most important thing to do if you can.  Taking one day off work may prevent you from missing an entire week later.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Continue taking extra rest and doing extra things to boost your immune system for at least three days after symptoms fade.
  • Eliminate sugar from your diet.  Sugar wreaks havoc on the immune system! This includes fruit juice too!
  • Eliminate Dairy while you are sick.  Dairy promotes mucous formation.  This is beneficial to avoid, especially, for those children who get a lot of ear infections due to blocked eustachian tubes from congestion.
  • Eliminate caffeine while you are sick.  Stimulants suppress your immune system.
  • Avoid omega 6 vegetable oils which also suppress the immune system. (canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and soybean oils)
  • Vitamin C!  Make sure the vitamin C you select contains a large supply of bioflavanoids.  This indicates the vitamin is coming from natural sources.  Large doses are a must for treatment.  The vitamin C protocol given to me by a naturopath was to take 1-2 grams (1000-2000 mgs).  Follow this with 1000 more after an hour.  Continue this until your bowels have reached intolerance level(meaning loose stools) because only then will you know that you have enough vitamin C in your body to fight the illness.  The following day you are to take two less than what it took you to reach intolerance level.  Continue for as many days as you have symptoms.  For example, if it takes you 5 grams to reach intolerance, then for the next few days you would take 3 grams.  Each person is different and each occasion of illness will be different for the amount needed.
  • Vitamin D3 -  Vitamin D3 is essential for your immune system.  Our family takes this all through the fall and winter months into early spring.  We take extra when experiencing any symptoms of illness.
  • Keep your sinuses clean!  You can do this with a neti pot or you can put some sea salt and baking soda(no more than an 1/8 tsp each) in your hand mixed with a bit of water and sniff through your nostrils.  The neti pot is easier. A Xylitol nasal wash is anti-bacterial and can fight bacteria in the sinus cavities and prevent secondary infections.
  • Take a hot bath for 20-30 minutes with 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt.  This pulls out inflammation and will decrease muscle soreness and joint pain.
  • Drink PLENTY of water!!
  • Tea - Traditional Medicinals makes great teas for boosting your immune system and easing symptoms when ill as does the Yogi Tea brand.  I make my own tea by filling canning jar with lemon slices, ginger pieces and filling the remaining space with raw local honey.  When feeling a cold coming on, I simply take a spoonful or two and put it in a mug of hot water.  YUM!!!  Very soothing and delicious enough to have as a relaxing hot drink on a cold night regardless of absent symptoms! Tea, however, does not take the place of the water!
  • Drink HOMEMADE chicken broth, beef broth, turkey broth, onion soup or miso soup.
  • Eat lightly.  Heavy meals slow your digestion and interferes with the body's ability to fight off illness.
  • Add onion and garlic to your foods!  These are wonderful for the immune system!!
  • Put on clean pajamas every day.
  • Brush your teeth....OFTEN!! It is recommended to do so 5-10 times a day.  Your mouth is where the bacteria like to hang out and this is a good way to get them out of there!  Change your toothbrush as soon as you are better!
  • Change the sheets on your bed when you are better.
  • Keep a window open slightly to allow fresh air in or at least run a ceiling fan to circulate the stale air.
  • Use a Humidifier.
  • Gargle with raw apple cider vinegar.  You can just use vinegar or you can add it to warm salt water.
  • Remember there is a purpose for a fever.  As long as your fever is under 103 degrees, there is no need for alarm or to treat it.  A fever is the body's way of fighting the illness. Even for my child, I do not instantly treat a fever unless it seems to be causing distress (and is under 103).  Sometimes I will give something for fever at night only to ease sleep.  Rest is important too.

Homeopathic Remedies:  (I LOVE homeopathy!!)

  • Oscillococcinum -  We keep Oscillo around the house all the time.  My DH even takes it in his bag to work with him because it works best if you take it at the absolute moment you start experiencing symptoms.  Just follow the instructions on the label.  Try not to have anything in your mouth for 5-10 minutes before or after as that could interfere with the remedy's ability to perform well.  If you miss the first symptoms or don't get a chance to take the Oscillo within a few hours of onset, it most likely will not work as well.
  • Ferrum Phos 6x - This is for feverish flu symptoms that make you feel run down and cranky.  Most likely  you have sniffles and a snore throat.  Follow the instructions on the label.

Other Products for Immunity

  • Echinacea
  • Wellness Formula by Source Natural
  • Holy Basil Capsules
  • Elderberry Syrup
  • Planetary Herbals Three Spice Complex - great for sinus treatment!!
  • Ginsing

Have a few of these products on hand so that you have something when needed and can figure out what works for you.  Remember everyone is different and your body may not respond as well to something that works really well for someone else.

Hopefully this flu season finds you healthy and smiling!!  God Bless!

* I am not claiming to be a health practitioner.  I am not a medical doctor, conventional or naturopathic.  I am simply sharing with you what I have learned from homeopaths, naturopaths and other sources.

First, though they may not all follow me here...I wish to say a word of thanks to my friends who continue to pray for me...my family and I have been through a very rough month or two and are trying desperatly to regain a sense of peace.
This weekend was very beneficial for many reasons. My husband and I (and small toddler) took my 17 year old daughter to IUP to tour the campus. It seems to be her first choice and she, at this point, wants to major in Criminology. IUP has a great program for that but also has many other wonderful programs should she decide to change her mind at any point. She already knows some people there and they seem to be willing to work well with her dietary needs.
IUP is also where my husband and I met. So this was a great way for he and I to reconnect on many levels. The campus has changed so much but there was also so much that was the same and brought back so many wonderful memories...and memories that were sad but we could laugh at now. We sat on the same bench he broke up with me on....(the first time) and he asked for forgivenss! Our dorms have been torn down but the apartment building I lived in for two years was still there. We even met up with some very dear friends and that time spent with them did us both a world of good. There presence in our lives is very meaningful and I hope we strive to make visits occur more often! My husband and I did have some alone time (well, alone if you count a toddler) to discuss a lot of things we haven't had a chance to and that was very important.

I've contacted a professional homeopath as well. I am going to try homeopathy to treat the depression as well as some anxiety and sleep issues I've been having. Though this weekend was wonderful and I'm feeling a bit lifted from it, I still feel the depression lurking and know it's probably going to return, so I put in a call to make an appointment this morning. Hopefully she'll be able to get me in within a week or so. I've used homeopathy previously with our Naturopathic physician...but due to reasons I posted earlier on, I still can't bring myself to go see him. So he has referred me to a professional homeopath. She is further away (an hour and a half) but is willing to do phone visits occasionally after the first meeting. It will be expensive to get started but I'm certain it will be worth it.

I started reading a book about praying too. Well, It's called 'When God doesn't answer your prayers'. It's not by an orthodox author, but I listened to an interview with him on Ancient Faith Radio and he does have a rather Orthodox viewpoint on many things and quotes a lot of the Church Fathers in the book...so far (the Introduction and part of the first chapter) make a lot of sense to me..so I think this may help. I have not lost my faith... and I truly still believe that the Orthodox Faith is indeed the TRUE Faith... I just have a lot of questions about God's will, tradgedies, and prayer. So I am struggling, but find comfort in being a member of His church and having so many that are lifting me up in prayer.

Of course, I'm still taking the extra supplements and am trying to get into an exercise routine. And I'm trying to get back to our better eating habits. We still eat better, I think, than the average American with all the preservatives and artificial stuff we totally avoid, but I haven't been doing well in preparing the green smoothies, fresh juice and salads with our meals, etc.

Well, it's 12:30 and I've just gotten my morning routine finished...the same morning routine that I usually have done by 8:30...so needless to say I am anxious about all there is left to do today. My little one is napping and I wish I could do the same but I'm going to try to manage getting something done...if only I can figure out what I should do first...what's most important and what I can manage.... wish me luck!