How To Enjoy Getting Your Exercise

Are you annoyed by people who seem to enjoy exercise? What about people who eat healthfully with little effort? Why is it so easy for them and such a struggle for you? One simple reason could be time.

The longer you follow healthy behaviors, the easier they become and the best part is, you actually start to enjoy them. Your first step in getting to that happy place is to change your attitude.

The Party Isn’t Over

What does a healthy lifestyle look like?

For some people, it looks like a lifestyle without any kind of fun. You have to slog through boring workouts, avoid going out to restaurants and eat twigs and berries. What kind of fun is that?

At first, it may look like you have to give up everything to lose weight, but what you gain from those changes is much more meaningful and satisfying. Not only will your body change, but your mind will change as well.

What to Enjoy About Healthy Eating

Here’s what will happen if you keep maintaining that healthy diet:

Your priorities change. The way your body feels after a healthy meal will become more important to you than the instant pleasure of having something loaded with fat or sugar.

You’ll enjoy healthy food. You can live without chips and Cokes and you’ll gladly give those things up once you experience how your body feels after healthier meals.

You’ll still enjoy your favorite foods. The only difference is the frequency. Now, instead of having it several times a week, you might indulge once or twice a month.

You’ll get rid of the guilt. By not indulging every time you want a treat, you’ll savor it even more.

You’ll see food in a different light. Food becomes fuel rather than something that controls your life. If you exercise, you’ll learn very quickly how food affects your workouts. Eating a heavy, fatty meal makes you tired and your workouts suffer. Soon, you’ll want better workouts which will motivate you to eat better.

You’ll become more adventurous. Eating healthy often opens the door to more options than you usually give yourself. You’ll try new vegetables and grains and experiment with herbs and flavors you’ve never tried.

Your friends and family will benefit. Even if you’re the only one eating healthy, those habits rub off on others. Being a good role model for your kids or co-workers is one way to teach them how to live healthily.

You’ll have tools to deal with temptation. Healthy eaters are much better at avoiding the usual pitfalls like party foods or overloaded buffets. They make an effort to eat regular meals so they’re not starving, fill up on healthy foods first to eat less of the bad stuff, and choose a few quality treats to enjoy instead of everything in front of them.

These changes come over time, sometimes weeks, months or years of slowly working on your habits and choices. Allowing yourself this time is crucial for permanently changing how you look at food and healthy eating.

The positive changes don’t just end there. Your feelings and perspective on exercise change as well.

What to Enjoy About Regular Exercise

If you’re new to exercise, it may not cross your mind that working out is something you’ll look forward to.

During the first few weeks of exercise, your body and mind may rebel against your new workouts and you may wonder if you’ll ever get the hang of it.

Like healthy eating, however, exercise actually becomes easier over time and, eventually, you even look forward to it. Here’s what can happen when you make exercise a regular part of your life:

You’ll start to appreciate your body. It doesn’t take much time to see improvements in strength and endurance when you start exercising. As you feel that strength grow, you may get excited about your workouts, wondering how much you’ll lift next time or how fast you’ll walk or run.

Everything gets easier. Carrying groceries, taking care of kids, going up and down stairs – all of these things get easier and you may even get more done with your new found energy.

Your confidence grows. The more you work your body, the more your body can do and following through on your exercise goals lets you know you can trust yourself. That self-trust is a key ingredient to a healthy life.

You’ll try things you never imagined. I’ve seen my clients go from being couch potatoes to running races, hiking up mountains and just enjoying life more. The stronger you get, the more confidence you’ll have to branch out.

You’ll be inspired to change other areas of your life. This is exemplified by one of my clients in his 40s. When I met him, he worked up to 16 hours a day. As he started exercising, he looked at other bad habits that affected his energy and stress levels. He cut his hours, hired more people and started to enjoy his family and his life.

Your health improves. Exercise can help with diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety and high cholesterol, as well as protect your body from some types of cancer.
Your sex life gets better. Studies have shown that exercisers have more satisfying sex lives than non-exercisers.

Your children will have a better chance at being healthy. As with healthy eating, being a good role model when it comes to being active gives your kids the know-how to be active themselves.

You’ll have more energy. You ‘ll be more alert, focused and an annoyance to all those people in the office who are dragging towards the end of the day.

What’s in store for you, if you keep trying your best, is a better life. It may not seem that way in the beginning, which is one reason many people quit before they experience these changes.

Any new lifestyle change can seem overwhelming at first, but there is a secret to staying on track: Take it one day at a time, one healthy choice at a time.

Stay with it and you’ll finally see the bright side of exercise.

Read Original Article Here

Spiritual Health – 10 Keys to Being Spiritually Healthy

Living a well-balanced lifestyle is essential – and the spiritual aspect of our lives cannot be disconnected from the natural or the nutritional requirements for maintaining good healthy habits.

Use these 10 keys as a guideline for maintaining your spiritual health.

Our lifestyles are inherited from our parents and society, and so it takes a conscious effort to establish new beliefs and behaviors towards food and its role in our lives.

Spiritual health is the relationship you have with food.

One of the not-so-hidden secrets in the spiritual health community is the knowledge that the body defends itself against the everyday processed foods that most people eat.

Sugar, dairy, meat, white refined foods and the cooking process, cause acids and toxins to form in our bodies. They affect our PH balance and so the body stores fat around our vital organs to protect them. So the truth is people aren’t fat, they are over-acid. When the body takes on alkaline foods and drinks, i.e. raw fruits and vegetables then the body learns to let go of the need to protect the organs and the fat literally drops off.

It was through eating “raw” food in juices, smoothies and salads that I dropped two dress sizes. The weight appeared to literally disappear overnight as soon as I decided to cut out, dairy, meat and acid forming foods. Other fantastic side effects were that my blood sugar normalised and I had loads more energy. One of the downsides was socialising and eating out became a minefield.

Most people have learnt to eat for emotional reasons. Holding a new belief that food is for nourishment and there’s pleasure to be found in that, rather than feeding our feelings can be life changing.

To help you start or continue your spiritual health journey, here are 10 Keys to Being Spiritually Healthy:

Key 1 – Get connected to the whole process of digestion and note where the challenges are in your physical self.

Key 2 – Grow at least some of the food that you eat. Learning to grow what you eat is a truly spiritual way to focus your mind and body. Know where your food is coming from, get connected with how, where and what you are eating.

Key 3 – Examine your beliefs about food, health and yourself. A mixture of all 3 could be responsible for a health issue or dis-ease in your physical self. How you think and consequently feel about food, is just as important as what you eat.

Key 4 – Spiritual health is accepting your body the way it is now and knowing that through the power of the mind, it is possible to literally think yourself healthier.

Key 5 – Drink more water! Your body is primarily water…it needs water to function. You need water to think and be you, so give yourself the gift of water. Other drinks have tried to take its place, but you can’t turn water into coffee and expect it to do the same job.

Key 6 – Whatever speed you eat, decide to eat slower. Chew every mouthful; your stomach doesn’t have teeth. If the food is soft, even soup and drinks, move it around your mouth as it sends a message to your stomach that food is on its way.

Key 7 – Write down your specific health goals and take steps everyday towards reaching them.

Key 8 – Look deeper into what your cravings are telling you. Is it love you want and aren’t allowing yourself to feel because of fear, is it nutrients that you aren’t receiving? Juice for a couple of days and see what happens to the feelings.

Key 9 – Love yourself no matter what you eat. Forcing yourself to take any path won’t work in the long term. Instead treat yourself as if you were a child that needs convincing there are better things they can eat. Be soft and gentle and changes will feel easier.

Key 10 – The practise of praying before eating is an old one. Any sign you can give to the Universe or God that you’re grateful is fantastic. Plus letting your body know that the food you’re eating feels good and you think good thoughts about it is a bonus!

Spiritual health is your right and you deserve to feel great and energized every day!

Original Article Source: EzineArticles

Black Ice Cream: A Treat for Detoxification (RECIPE)

Black ice cream: an activated charcoal treat for detoxification

You may have noticed a new food trend recently: black everything. From dark lemonades to coal-like pizza crusts, darkened foods are popping up everywhere. What’s giving these foods their dark hue is activated charcoal, and, I have to admit, it’s a fad I’m into.

And it’s not because of the color — activated charcoal is a terrific, natural way to rid your body of toxins. One of my new favorite ways to ingest activated charcoal is through ice cream. That’s right, black ice cream is a thing; it tastes good, and it’s good for you!

What Is Black Ice Cream?

Black ice cream is just a simple ice cream recipe that incorporates activated charcoal. My black ice cream recipe is also made from ingredients that you likely have on hand: canned coconut milk, condensed coconut milk, arrowroot starch, vanilla extract, cacao powder and, of course, charcoal.

As you can tell from the ingredients list, not only is this activated charcoal ice cream super healthy, it’s also dairy-free! You can even swap the honey for an alternative sweetener like maple syrup to make this black charcoal recipe vegan, too.

Black Ice Cream Health Benefits

Now, when you think of ice cream, “healthy” probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But the ingredients in this activated charcoal ice cream make it a guilt-free treat.

Let’s start with the main ingredient: activated charcoal. It’s a powerful detoxifier that’s often used in hospitals to treat patients who have overdosed or poisoned themselves. (1)

The charcoal binds to toxins and chemicals and draws them out of the body. The best types are made from coconut shells or identified wood species with fine grains and don’t have added artificial sweeteners.

Activated charcoal is handy to have in the medicine cabinet as it helps alleviate gas and bloating and can even help the morning after too many cocktails. (2) You can use it to whiten your teeth; in fact, you’ll find it in many natural toothpastes. It also promotes a happy digestive tract.

One of the most versatile kitchen staples, coconut milk, is featured in this black ice cream recipe. Coconut milk gives this dessert a creamy texture and a little natural sweetness. It’s also known to lower bad cholesterol levels and help you lose fat. (34)

Cacao powder is a type of dark chocolate, so it’s packed with antioxidants. In fact, dark chocolate is often considered a superfood and helps lower blood pressure and increases blood flow to the heart. (5)

And instead of refined sweeteners, this black ice cream recipe uses honey, a natural sweetener option. Honey is full of enzymes, antioxidants and minerals that you just don’t get with table sugar. It’s also a lot easier on your blood sugar levels.

Black Ice Cream Nutrition Facts

Activated charcoal has no calorie count, but how does the rest of this black ice cream stack up? One serving contains about: (6)

  • 271 calories
  • 33 grams carbohydrates
  • 13 grams fat
  • 12 grams protein
  • 180 grams sodium
  • 7 grams sugar

How to Make Black Ice Cream

Intrigued about making this activated charcoal ice cream? It’s pretty easy to do, so let’s get churning.

You’ll want to pre-plan this charcoal recipe and stick your ice cream maker’s freezer bowl in the freezer for about 9 hours; I find it’s easier to just place it overnight.

The next day, put a medium saucepan on the stove and add the coconut milk, condensed coconut milk, arrowroot starch, honey, vanilla extract, cacao powder and activated charcoal. Keep watch over it so it doesn’t come to a boil.

Next, pour the black ice cream mixture into a bowl. Cover it and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before making the ice cream.

Assemble the ice cream maker and turn on the rotating freezer bowl. Next, pour the black ice cream mixture into the bowl and churn for 15–20 minutes or until the ice cream reaches your desired consistency.

If you’re a fan of thick ice cream, pour the mixture into a container. Cover it with parchment paper and store in the freezer for about an hour.

Then scoop the ice cream into a bowl. Serve the black charcoal ice cream with your favorite toppings.

I chose pistachios and Himalayan pink salt. Enjoy!

 

Today’s Recipe

Black Ice Cream: An Activated Charcoal Treat for Detoxification

TOTAL TIME: PREP: 15 MINUTES; TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES

SERVES: 4–6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups condensed coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3–4 tablespoons activated charcoal powder
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Freeze the freezer bowl for at least 9 hours, or overnight.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan, on medium-low, mix milk, condensed milk, starch, honey, vanilla extract and cacao powder. Don’t let this mixture come to a boil.
  3. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before making ice cream.
  4. Assemble ice cream maker and turn on the rotating freezer bowl.
  5. Pour ice cream mixture into the freezer bowl and allow to churn for 15–20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  6. If you like your ice cream thick, pour the mixture into a container, cover with parchment paper and store in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  7. Serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.

Healthy Body – Productive Mind

To be your most productive, you need to understand how to take better care of your body. How you treat your body does affect your freelancing work.

Over time, bad body habits can negatively affect your freelancing productivity. Bad habits may also cause other health issues.

And remember, your productivity is directly tied to your freelancing income.

Being aware of how your body works best can actually help you to get more done.

In this post, I share four things you must know about your body to be a more productive freelancer.

(Note: This post contains general information only. If you are feeling sick or need more specific help, you should visit a doctor.)

#1. When Am I Most Effective?

When do you do your best work? You need to know the answer to this question.

Some articles, including this one titled Why You’re Not a Morning Person (and How to Become One) from Laura Schwecherl published on LifeHacker, seem to indicate that morning is the best time to get work done. The post even provides tips on how to become a morning person.

I’m not sure whether I agree that morning is the most productive time for everyone, but I do know that it’s important to understand your body and know when you feel most alert. As a freelancer, you need to schedule your hardest projects for the time of the day when you will be most alert and use your less alert periods for routine office tasks.

What if you’re not sure when you do your best work?

Try keeping a diary every day for a week. For each day, record how alert you feel at various times of the day. Try recording your alertness at the following times:

  • About an hour after you wake up
  • Mid-afternoon
  • Mid-evening

A week should be long enough for you to notice a pattern in when you feel alert. (This diary will be most effective if you keep your sleep times consistent with your normal habits during the week.)

If you do see a pattern, try changing your work hours (as freelancers we can do that) to make better use of your alert times.

#2. Do I Need a Nap?

A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of power napping during the day.

For some people, there are some definite advantages to taking a short nap during the day. The post How naps affect your brain and why you should have one every day from Belle Beth Cooper on the Buffer blog outlines some of the benefits a nap can give you.

Personally, I tried the power nap for a while, but realized that it left me groggy when I woke up. However, just because daytime power napping isn’t for me doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from trying it.

If you do decide to take a daytime nap, here are some tips:

  • Limit the nap time. Most articles I read recommend a daytime nap of no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Don’t take your nap too late in the day. Early afternoon (right after lunch) is a good time because many people are sleepy then anyway.
  • Make sure that you have a comfortable space. Don’t try to nap in a noisy environment. Turn off the ringer on the phone.

The people who benefit from daytime naps report feeling more refreshed and better able to handle the rest of their day. Nappers often feel more optimistic. Some studies show that napping can improve your mood.

#3. Am I Eating Too Much Sugar?

What do you grab when you’re stressed? Is it a chocolate bar, a piece of cake, or some other type of sweet?

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, it could be affecting the way you work and damaging your health in other ways as well. Yes, sugar tastes good when you eat it and you may feel better for a short time afterwards, but in the long-term consuming sugar does more harm than good. It’s better to find another way to reduce stress.

Deane Alban explains some of the dangers of sugar in her post, Stop Giving Your Brain the “Sugar Blues” on Pick The Brain. Processed sugar is particularly bad for you.

Some of the dangers of consuming too much of the wrong type of sugar include the following:

  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Attention span problems
  • Increased anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Tiredness

And that’s just a partial list…

#4. Am I Getting Enough Exercise?

I accidentally discovered the productivity benefits of exercise early in my career, even before I became a freelancer. I was trying to solve a particular problem and I was stuck. I decided to take a walk around the building. After about 15 minutes of walking, the solution came to me.

Since then, I’ve learned that exercise can help in the following ways:

  • Reduces stress
  • Helps us think more clearly
  • Causes us to feel more alert
  • Improves confidence and self-esteem

There are also physical benefits to exercise. It can help fight obesity and many weight-related conditions. If you’re not currently exercising (and your doctor says it’s okay) try adding 15 to 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine.

Your Turn

Is the way you treat your body affecting your freelancing productivity?

I’d love to hear how you overcame bad body habits to become more productive. Share your experiences in the comments.

Read More at the Source: Freelance Folder

The Best Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables

The Best Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables

How might we reduce our exposure to pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables? What about staying away from imported produce? Well, it turns out domestic produce may be even worse, dispelling the notion that imported fruits and vegetables pose greater potential health risks to consumers.

Buying organic dramatically reduces dietary exposure to pesticides, but it does not eliminate the potential risk. Pesticide residues are detectable in about one in ten organic crop samples, due to cross-contamination from neighboring fields, the continued presence of very persistent pesticides like DDT in the soil, and accidental or fraudulent use.

By choosing organic, one hopes to shift exposures from a range of uncertain risk to more of a range of negligible risk, but even if all we had to eat were the most pesticide-laden of conventional produce, there is a clear consensus in the scientific community that the health benefits from consuming fruits and vegetables outweigh any potential risks from pesticide residues. And, we can easily reduce whatever risk there is by rinsing our fruits and vegetables under running water.

There is, however, a plethora of products alleged by advertisers to reduce fruit and produce pesticide residues more effectively than water and touted to concerned consumers. For example, Procter & Gamble introduced a fruit and vegetable wash. As part of the introduction, T.G.I. Friday’s jumped on board bragging on their menus that the cheese and bacon puddles they call potato skins were first washed with the new product. After all, it was proclaimed proven to be 98% more effective than water in removing pesticides.

So researchers put it to the test, and it did no better than plain tap water.

Shortly thereafter, Procter & Gamble discontinued the product, but numerous others took its place claiming their vegetable washes are three, four, five, or even ten times more effective than water, to which a researcher replied, “That’s mathematically impossible.” If water removes 50%, you can’t take off ten times more than 50%. They actually found water removed up to 80% of pesticide residues like the fungicide, Captan, for example. So, for veggie washes to brag they are three, four, five, ten times better than water is indeed mathematically questionable.

Other fruit and vegetable washes have since been put to the test. Researchers compared FIT Fruit & Vegetable Wash, Organiclean, Vegi-Clean, and dishwashing soap to just rinsing in plain tap water. 196 samples of lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes were tested, and researchers found little or no difference between just rinsing with tap water compared to any of the veggie washes (or the dish soap). They all just seemed like a waste of money. The researchers concluded that just the mechanical action of rubbing the produce under tap water seemed to do it, and that using detergents or fruit and vegetable washes do not enhance the removal of pesticide residues from produce above that of just rinsing with tap water alone.

That may not be saying much, though. Captan appears to be the exception. When plain water was tried against a half dozen other pesticides, less than half the residues were removed.

Fingernail polish remover works better, but the goal is to end up with a less toxic, not a more toxic tomato.

We need a straightforward, plausible, and safe method for enhanced pesticide removal. Is there anything we can add to the water to boost its pesticide-stripping abilities? Check out my video, How to Make Your Own Fruit & Vegetable Wash.

If you soak potatoes in water, between about 2% to 13% of the pesticides are removed, but a 5% acetic acid solution removes up to 100%. What’s that? Plain white vinegar. But 5% is full strength.

What about diluted vinegar?  Diluted vinegar only seemed marginally better than tap water for removing pesticide residues. Using full strength vinegar would get expensive, though. Thankfully there’s something cheaper that works even better: salt water.

A 10% salt solution appears to work as good or better than full-strength vinegar. To make a 10% salt solution, you just have to mix up about one-part salt to nine-parts water (though make sure to rinse all of the salt off before eating!).

There’s not much you can do for the pesticides in animal products, though. The top sources of some pesticides are fruits and vegetables; but for other pesticides, it’s dairy, eggs, and meat because the chemicals build up in fat. What do you do about pesticides in animal products? Hard boiling eggs appears to destroy more pesticides than scrambling, but for the pesticides that build up in the fat of fishes and chickens, cooking can sometimes increase pesticide levels that obviously can’t just wash off. In fact, washing meat, poultry, or eggs is considered one of the top ten dangerous food safety mistakes.

Read More at the Source: NutritionFacts.org

Natural Remedies: How to Recover Faster

Beat illness faster with these tips and natural remedies including herbs, supplements and nutrition for avoiding and recovering from illness.

25 Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu

When the flu bites, when the cold stings… these are a few of my least favorite things… Fortunately, some cases of illness can be easily prevented, and even once an illness has struck, natural and herbal remedies can help shorten the duration and get you feeling better faster. I posted before about what I keep in my medicine cabinet (and in my purse when traveling), but since we are getting in to the heat.. er, cold, of flu season, I thought more information could be helpful.

Cold and Flu Prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… you’ve heard it a million times, but how does it practically relate to illness prevention? In short, giving the body what it needs and keeping a constant supply of nutrients will help ensure that the body can resist any pathogen it encounters. Following a basic Wellness Lifestyle will go a long way toward preventing illness, as you will be supporting the body to function optimally. Avoiding grains, sugars and other highly starchy foodswill also ensure that the body is functioning at peak immunity should it encounter a virus or bacteria. Some studies show that optimizing vitamin D goes a long way to preventing illness and shortening duration. Getting enough sleep is also crucial to preventing illness, and even a couple nights of interrupted or not enough sleep can leave the body worn down and unable to resist illness. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce the number of times a person gets ill per year and the duration. But I’m sure you are already doing all that… so in the off chance you are doing all of the above and you still get sick, don’t worry- there are natural ways to heal faster!

Natural Remedies for Cold, Flu, & Illness

Once you or your child has contracted an illness, there are a lot of natural options that can shorten the duration of the illness and lessen the symptoms. I’ve included my whole bag of tricks below, so pick and choose what works for you. I get all my herbs that I don’t grow myself from Mountain Rose Herbs, though there are a lot of places that carry them. Just look for organically grown herbs and make sure they are fresh.

Home Remedies From Things Already In Your House

  1. Garlic– A powerhouse natural antibiotic, anti fungal, and antibacterial, garlic can tackle almost any illness. For the most potent effect, finely mince 1-2 cloves or garlic and float in a small glass of water. Drink quickly- if you are sick enough, you won’t even notice the taste. Note: Pregnant women should not take more than 1 clove of garlic medicinally per day, and children often resist this remedy.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide– At the first sign of cold, flu, sinus infection, or ear infection, put a dropper full of hydrogen peroxide into each ear. Have the person lie still with the hydrogen peroxide in the ear until it stops bubbling. Do this on both sides. This is especially effective for kids. Repeat every few hours until infection is gone.
  3. Hot Liquids– This one is pretty instinctive, but load up on the hot herbal teas and hot lemon water at first sign of illness. The heat helps boost immune system and a variety of herbs can help with infection.
  4. Cinnamon– Good for more than just stabilizing blood sugar, cinnamon is an effective antiviral and antibiotic. When sick, mix 1 tablespoon with 1 teaspoon of honey and stir to make a spicy and very effective tea that helps relieve cough and congestion and lower fever.
  5. Face Steam– In a pinch, this can be made with kitchen herbs. Boil 1-2 cups of water in a large pot. Remove from heat, add 2 teaspoons each of thyme, rosemary and oregano. Cover for 5 minutes with a lid, and then remove lid and put face directly over pot with towel covering your head to hold in the heat. Breathe in the steam as long as you can, aim for 15 minutes. This will help loosen congestion and kill viruses and bacteria in the lungs, bronchials or sinuses. Alternately, you can use 1/2 cup vinegar in the steam. It won’t smell great, but it will help fight the illness.
  6. Remove White Foods– At the first sign of illness, completely remove all white foods from the diet. This includes grains, sugars, milk, cheese, dairy, sweeteners, soda, etc. These foods suppress immune function and slow the body’s healing ability. When you are ill, you don’t actually need to eat a lot of food, as the body needs to focus more on healing than digestion. Eat fresh chicken soup and drink hot liquids to keep strength up.
  7. Hydrate and Rest– If the body is running a fever (which means it is fighting the illness) the best support you can give is to stay well hydrated on water and herbal teas and to rest enough. The body needs several extra hours of rest a day when ill, and often several extra glasses of water also. If you are running a fever, it is easier to get dehydrated, so drink enough water!

Herbs to Help Remedy Cold and Flu

There are many herbs that support the body when healing from an illness. I recommend buying these from a trusted source online or growing them yourself, though you can find some of them at supplement stores.

  1. Nettle Leaf Some natural doctors say this is the only herb needed for illness treatment. It contains large amounts of vitamins and trace minerals and helps the body stay hydrated and remove toxins. In a tea with Red Raspberry Leaf, Alfalfa and Peppermint, it makes a powerful immune supporting and illness preventing remedy.
  2. Elderberry– Elderberry is well known for supporting the body, especially during flu. You can find conventionally made elderberry syrups at many stores now, or to save money, make your own.  Here is the recipe.
  3. Ginger– In capsule form, ginger can greatly help with nausea and vomiting associated with the flu. It can also help with high fever and headache. Fresh ginger root can be steeped in boiling water to make a tea that is very effective against sinus symptoms and congestion.
  4. Yarrow Unsurpassed for flu and fever, and great for children. If used abundantly in tea or tincture at the beginning of an illness, it will usually shorten the illness to less than 24 hours. It is especially good for fevers as it induces perspiration and is great for all childhood type illnesses. It is naturally bitter, so it is often good to include peppermint and stevia leaf when making a tea. It is great for the liver and kidneys and supports the endocrine system.
  5. Chamomile– An absolute staple, especially for kids. Chamomile calms the nerves, helps children sleep better and reduces inflammation or fever. Soaking a chamomile tea bag in warm water and placing over an eye for 15 minutes every 2 hours will relieve pink eye in less than 24 hours. Chamomile tastes great and is easy to get kids to take. We use it in tea and tincture formula. It is also great for regulating hormones and for the skin and can be used regularly for good sleep.
  6. Peppermint– Great for all digestive disturbances and for lowering fever. It can be used as a tea or tincture or rubbed on the skin to bring a high fever down. It is antimicrobial and antiviral and kids usually love the taste. It can be consumed as a hot tea or cold tea during illness in any amounts.
  7. Catnip– A traditional cold and flu remedy, and a great herb for children. It helps induce sleep and settles the stomach. As a tincture or tea, it is a great herb for combating flu, cold or other illness.
  8. Red Clover– Very high in nutrients, Red Clover purifies the blood and relaxes the body. It has been used in hormonal preparations, but is also useful in treating almost any illness. Can be used in tea or tincture.

Vitamins For Cold and Flu Treatment

  1. Vitamin D3– A hormone precursor, this vitamin is finally getting recognition as a necessary nutrient for health. Optimizing Vitamin D levels can help prevent illness in the first place, and taking several thousand IU a day while sick can help speed recovery. Blood tests can help determine any underlying deficiency. This can also be obtained from supplements like Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
  2. Vitamin C– Perhaps the best vitamin for cold and flu, vitamin C in large amounts can greatly speed recovery. We take a real food form from camu camu and acerola cherry.
  3. ZincCan reduce the severity of a cold or flu virus and can help shorten the duration of illness.

Natural Antibiotics and Antivirals for Illness

There are several potent natural antibiotics that in some cases work much better than store bought varieties. The following are ones I keep around at all times:

  1. Oregano and Oregano Oil– Oregano oil is a potent natural antibiotic and antiviral. I diffuse this as needed during illness or use a tiny amount (diluted) on the feet.
  2. Thyme and Thyme Oil– A tea (not nice tasting) made from thyme is very effective against cold and flu. Thyme oil rubbed on the skin will help the body fight infection. Pregnant women and small children should not use thyme.

Other Effective Natural Remedies

  1. Coconut Oil Coconut oil is high in lauric acid and is thought to dissolve the  lipid coating around some viruses and make them more susceptible to attack by the immune system. If sick, aim for 5-6 tablespoons per day in food or melted and stirred into hot tea. Coconut oil has many other health benefits as well and is known to boost the immune system.
  2. Onions and Garlic on the Feet at night– For extreme cases of illness, I slice onion and garlic and place all over  the bottom of the infected person’s foot (rub olive oil on the foot first). I then wrap the foot in saran wrap and place a sock on overnight. Onions and garlic have been shown to pull toxins and help the body heal. Some natural practitioners even claim that having cut onions around will absorb toxins and keep others in the family from getting sick, though I have not tried this.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle and Drink– Yes, it tastes awful, but if you are sick enough, you won’t taste it anyway. Drink a tablespoon in water (gargle first) at the first sign of illness and repeat hourly until symptoms disappear. This alkalizes the body and helps kill viruses and bacteria.

A Natural Remedy Reference

There are a lot of options in natural illness treatment, so what do you actually do when illness hits? Below is my reference sheet that I keep in my herb cabinet for reference whenever anyone in the family starts to show signs of illness. The earlier you can catch an illness, often the easier it is to beat.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide in ears (be careful if you have sensitive skin. only use 3% and dilute if needed)
  • Removal of all grains, dairy, sugars, etc.
  • Consumption of only water with chlorophyll and herbal teas
  • Garlic in water followed by cinnamon honey tea (twice a day)
  • Chamomile, Yarrow, Catnip and Peppermint tincture (every 3 hours)
  • Cool nettle, red raspberry, alfalfa and peppermint tea to sip with grapefruit seed extract added
  • Elderberry syrup every 2 hours
  • Vitamin C and Zinc every 2-3 hours in small doses until bowel tolerance
  • Apple cider vinegar gargle and drink every few hours if they will take it
  • Hot tea with melted coconut oil before bed
  • Onions and garlic on feet during sleep

How to Make Your Own Herbal Tincture for Kids

This tincture is great for symptom relief for kids and adults. I have found it to work better than Tylenol or cough syrups and it is healthier too! It is simple to make, and you can get all the ingredients here.

Herbal Tincture Ingredients

Herbal Tincture Instructions

  1. Put all herbs in 1 quart mason glass jar
  2. Pour 80-100 proof vodka over herbs, filling jar
  3. Let steep at least two weeks, but preferably 2 months, shaking daily.
  4. Store in cool, dark place.
  5. After 2 weeks-2 months, strain liquid through cheesecloth and store in glass dropper botles for easy use. Store in a cool, dark place and it will last indefinitely.
  6. Use 8-10 drops for kids over age 2 whenever ill.

Important Notes: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. I cannot treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any illness. If you have concerns about any sickness, talk to your family physician. Do your own research on natural remedies to ensure that you think they are safe. I earn a small commission through the links above, though the price is the same for you. If you do not wish to use my affiliate link, go to the site directly. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult a qualified specialist before taking any herb or supplement.

What natural remedies do you use to help beat the flu or other illness? Share below!

Beat illness faster with these tips and natural remedies including herbs, supplements and nutrition for avoiding and recovering from illness.

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