Last week, my daughter was sick with a winter cold – you know, the runny, icky, very gooey type that keeps kids (and mom!) up at night.
Most of the time the food she eats keeps her feeling healthy and well, and then there are weeks like last week…
We were eating chicken soup for lunch, juicing greens in the afternoon, and eating vitamin c-rich fruits and veggies with dinner and still her cold wasn’t getting any better.
While I like to rely more on healthy whole foods than supplements, there are times like last week when I turn to my well-stocked natural medicine cabinet for support.
This week, take a peek inside my winter medicine cabinet for natural ways to boost your immune system and avoid the colds, viruses, and flu that are circulating your home or office.
At the first sign of illness, try any one or combination of these natural immune-boosting remedies:
- Vitamin C – Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling published a book in the 1970s documenting the connection between vitamin C and cold prevention. It’s still a popular choice, and something we use frequently in my house. To find your best dose, take vitamin C to bowel tolerance. In other words, if it causes loose stool take back the dose slightly to find your perfect dose.
- Elderberry – A child-favorite, this yummy berry is full of powerful immune-boosting nutrition. Elderberries are high in antioxidants and have more vitamin C than oranges. I keep a bottle of the syrup in my medicine cabinet to take at the onset of a cold, virus or flu.
- Echinacea – Echinacea is a flowering plant native to America that was widely used by the North American Indians for coughs and sore throats. It wasn’t until later that its immune-enhancing benefits were used to support colds as well.
- Astragalus – Astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as a tonic to support your immune system, boost energy, and build strength. This is a personal favorite.
- Zinc Lozenges – Zinc is the second most abundant mineral in our bodies. It is essential for immune health, and found in studies to shorten the duration of the common cold.
I also keep a box of Oscillococcinum handy, a homeopathic remedy for the flu that was we’ve been using effectively for years.
Note: If you’re pregnant, nursing, or have an autoimmune condition, consult your doctor before taking echinacea or astragalus.
Your Simple Action Plan:
Stock your natural medicine cabinet to support your health during the colder, winter months. When it comes to supplements, not all brands are created equal so be sure to read the label. Or try my favorite brands, here: