Our cold and flu anti-viral toolbox in good times and bad

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Hello friends. Long time no write.

We wanted to take this opportunity of the panic and pandamonium of the COVID-19 virus to share a bit about how we manage sickness and malaise in general and how you and your family might fortify yourselves in times when medical treatment may not be possible.

An ounce of prevention…

Our family values wellness. Therefore, we have a different approach than many when it comes to health. One of our core values around wellness as a family and a frequent motto mentioned is “we make our healthcare decisions at the grocery store and we make our sick care decisions at the doctor’s office or hospital”.

It’s true… We are what we eat at a cellular level. If we eat poorly we cannot hope to have wellness in our bodies.

Therefore, we have an astronomically high food budget and astronomically low health care expenses compared to most families. We’d much rather experience high spending on the investment into wellness vs the investment in medicine. It seems to be one way or the other. Good food or good pills. We choose good food. Whole, natural, minimal processing.

Part of our regiment also includes supplements. These have been recommended to us multiple integrative medicine physicians of the bonafide “MD” variety.

These include:

We take these supplements regularly to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. We use brands (Ortho Molecular and Thorne primarily) that are pharmaceutical grade at the recommendation of our physician and find them to be consistent and of good quality. Cheaper alternatives are out there – use at your own discretion.

*Note: We don’t take merely any vitamin C because it is usually combined with magnesium stearate which makes it hard to take in quantity without digestive consequences. Pure Ascorbic Acid (we prefer Thorne brand) allows for higher doses without tummy trouble.

Additionally, we have several other wellness habits we see as essential to staying well and handling illness once we have it.

  • Living without anger and resentment, and keeping things humorous – “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Pro 17:22
  • Good sleep and rest habitsĀ  – 6.5 hours per night or more.
  • Weekly observation of traditional sabbath rest. From sundown Friday through sundown Saturday we don’t do anything that feels like high pressure, urgent, “must get done”, We just chill out and relax.
  • Regular exercise three to five times a week
  • Lots of sunshine – weather permitting
  • Regular relaxation, mindfulness, massage, and chiropractic care.
  • Cold showers (google Wim Hoff Method)
  • Limited sugar

A pound of cure

Despite eating well, taking supplements, and our pro-health habits, like every family, we still experience times of malaise and sickness. We do, however, average about .5 (yes, point five) sick visits per year to doctors or emergency clinics – across a family of eight.

How do we do it? First, we see ourselves as our own best health and wellness advocates. No one is likely to be a more strong and diligent advocate for our wellness than us!

We certainly trust professionals to perform their craft with excellence, but in keeping with our general worldview of “self-ownership”, we see ourselves as the primary persons responsible for our health and well-being. It’s not our doctors’ or the governments’ job to make or keep us healthy. It’s ours.

With that in mind, when sickness visits our domain, we first turn to our in-house apothecary. This is most often sufficient for our needs.

Here are some of our go-to items.

Fire Cider

We started making fire cider eons ago. We mince up garlic, onion, horseradish and add turmeric, cayenne pepper, and sometimes a little bit of ginger and add it to a 2-quart mason jar – about 3/4 of the way full. We then top this off with apple cider vinegar and let sit for at least one month. After a month, we strain the vinegar off and sweeten with a touch of raw honey.

At the first sign of a scratchy throat or runny nose, we consume it as we would a cough medicine – a couple teaspoons at a time. We gargle with it a touch, then swallow it. It is potent and has a punch, but is also pleasantly delicious to most of us.

Schweitzer Formula

Our local health food stores sell this and for years we’ve sprayed our mouths and throats with it at the first sign of feeling poorly.

Extra Liposomal Vitamin C

Liposomal Vitamin C is Vitamin C that is optimized for making it further into the cells of the body by being delivered in a liposomal “envelope” that allows it to survive the digestive tract and not be eliminated. We’ve found it tremendously helpful anecdotally for increasing our health and wellness. We take high doses during times of sickness until feeling better, which is often very brief (1-2 days in most cases).

Olive Leaf Extract

Our physician instructed us to add olive leaf extract to our sickness regiment due to containing Oleuropein which is purported to have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry)

Elderberry has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for cold and flu symptoms. We often add several drops to other health tonics (ie fire cider above), tea, or oftentimes – a “hot toddy” before bed (for those over 21 in our house). For some of us, it creates a feeling similar to caffeine and can cause a bit of restlessness, but it also appears to help alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu. Often this is after a night sweat the same night as taking this.

Oregano Oil

This is a new item we’re just starting to add to our wellness toolbox. Look here in the future for updates on the success of this item

Other things we find helpful once sick

Epsom Salt Baths

These feel terrific on an achy feverish body.

“Hot Toddy” nightcaps (for those over 21)

We squeeze half a lemon into a coffee cup and add an ounce or two of brandy, a few drops of Sambucus Nigra syrup and a large spoonful of honey, then top off with hot water and enjoy – just before bed.

Neti Pot

Sometimes the ole’ sinuses just feel like they need to be unclogged. For this, we turn to a netty pot. We follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and sometimes double the dose of “salts” to make the mixture “hypertonic” which aids in extracting irritants. We also sometimes add a few additional drops colloidal silver.

What have we missed?

What are some habits and tools that you and your family use to combat cold and flu viruses? Share them with us below!

 

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