Like it or not, cold and flu season is creeping up on us. So, now is a better time than ever to make sure the medicine cabinet is stocked with the essentials to both prevent and treat the common woes that come with the season ahead.
Of course, you could head to the doctor at the first sign of the sniffles, but around here, we like to revert to good ‘ole Mother Nature to keep us on a good one heading into the holidays. If anyone knows how to keep bustling household healthy, it’s Barbara Keith – better known as “Mama Keith” in the Perfect Bar world. Because, when you raise 13 kids and have a whole-food nutrition guru for a husband, you definitely learn a thing or two about keeping your family in tip-top-shape year-round.
We sat down with Mama Keith to get her four go-to remedies for the season’s under-the-weather woes:
When you feel a head cold coming on, Mama Keith says:
“Apple cider vinegar (ACV)… that’s all. It’s been getting a lot of attention, lately, and with good reason. Unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegar contains protein enzymes, which are live cultures, similar to probiotics. These enzymes help alkalize the body and replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut. ACV is also a stellar germ-fighter, making it a great way to ward off a potential cold.
Mix some with water, honey and a tiny bit of cinnamon and take at the very early symptoms of a cold; it’s a drinkable way to aid your immune system and balance the good vs. bad bacteria.”
When you have a deep chest cough, Mama Keith says:
“Raw honey is naturally antibacterial and has long been touted as a golden liquid to aid a disruptive cough. According to a 2007 study, honey was shown to be more effective than dextromethorphan (Delsym) for treatment of nighttime coughing in children. When combined with the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger and the mineral-charged, natural antiseptic in lemon, it creates a powerful punch to knock out even the most persistent cough.
Make it a ‘hot honey lemonade’ by warming up the mixture on the stove to drink in the early morning or right before bed.”
When you have an upset stomach, Mama Keith says:
“Mix unsweetened yogurt with honey. It’s all too easy for our digestive system to get out of whack, and with so many potential causes, having a sure-fire way to ease the pain is a precious commodity. Honey mixed with the probiotics found in yogurt can help restore harmony in your gut.
However, find what works best for you. Always take these remedies slowly, as to not overwhelm your system and make matters worse. For those with experience, raw milk and honey or raw milk with a little cranberry juice can also go a long way to aiding tummy troubles (always check with your healthcare professional before trying raw milk for the first time. It can take some getting used to).”
When you have cuts, rashes or skin irritations, Mama Keith says:
“Use tea tree oil. This essential oil, extracted from a plant native to Australia, is a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal ointment. It can be used to clean small cuts and promotes natural healing. It also relieves itchiness from skin irritations and bug bites. Love the way your skin feels? Try it on your scalp, as well, to add moisture and deter itchiness in the dry and cold season ahead.”
**While these natural remedies kept 13 Keith kids out of harm’s way, keep in mind these remedies are not a replacement for seeking a doctor’s care. To good health, from our family to yours…