It’s rare day anymore that I come down with a cold. But lately, it feels near impossible to dodge the sinus infections, the stomach flues, the walking pneumonias, and all the nasty bugs that are going around this winter. Teaching yoga daily, I get exposed to all kinds of things but feel lucky I find myself strong and healthy throughout the year. I attribute it to my daily diet and lifestyle, but also to my little arsenal of natural cures that gets me back on my feet in no time if I start to feel my immune system take a hit. So today, I’m sharing with you what’s in my kitchen apothecary and how I harness herbs and home remedies to kick any bug that comes my way.
No. 01 – Thieves Oil
I swear by this miracle oil from Young Living! It’s a potent blend of high quality therapeutic grade/food grade essential oils of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary. Each of these oils individually contains powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that together promote circulation and build immunity. When a sore throat comes around, I put two drops under my tongue every few hours and rub it behind my ears. I also rub it into my feet, especially the tops of my toes and feet because these are the acupressure points for boosting the immune system. If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute it down with grapeseed oil (1:15) before applying to the skin. I keep my house stocked with this blend, and also add in a few of my favorite single oils like lemon, orange, cinnamon, and ginger to my juices for added health benefits. These oils are available to order online here.
No. 02 – Throat Coat Tea
There are few brands of bagged teas I totally love, but Traditional Medicinal’s herbal tea blend “Throat Coat” totally hits the nail on the head. I keep a box of this at the house to sip on anytime because it has so many wonderful immune-boosting + digestion-promoting herbs. This blend of licorice root, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, wild cherry, bitter fennel, saigon cinnamon and dried orange peel make a lightly sweet, silky blend that soothes the throat and the stomach. If you have slow digestion, this tea also works to speed up elimination with non-inflammatory herbs like slippery elm and marshmallow root. Combined, these two herbs provide that unctuous slippery quality the bowel needs to function well. I sip this nightly on it’s own just for it’s soothing effects, but when I’m feeling under the weather I steep this with some fresh grated ginger and garlic, then finish it off with a teaspoon of local, raw honey and squeeze of lemon juice. I alternate with this hot tonic and my warming ginger turmeric elixir to stay warm, grounded and nourished while I rest + recover.
No. 03 – Neti Pot + Nasya Oil
Oh the neti pot, I have a love-hate relationship with this practice. It’s so awkward the first few times you do it, and I always find myself laughing uncomfortably as I watch water pour out of my nostrils into the sink, wondering why I’m doing this to myself. Then it’s quickly over, I rub some herbal nasya oil in my nostrils, take a big breath in and ask myself why I’d waited so long to pick up this practice again?! Neti is a powerful tool for cleaning out the sinuses and maintaining good respiratory health. I’ve always fancied myself as having good sinuses, but even I benefit from doing this practice each morning whether I have a cold or not. It’s a good preventative tool for sinus infections and head colds, and relieves stuffy noses and built up mucous if you’re in the throes of an infection. This book on the healing secrets behind Neti changed my perspective on this practice, a quick read I highly recommend. For your daily practice, all you need is a ceramic neti pot, a pinch of non-iodized salt and some purified water. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to use a neti pot. When I’m diligent about my daily dinacharya practice, I like to do neti in the morning after I tongue scrape, oil pull and brush my teeth for overall ear, nose and throat health. Try it, it makes a huge difference!
What are some of your tried and true natural cold cures? I’d love to learn some of your home remedies for staying healthy!