I am going to be teaching a class on this in the near future. You'd be surprised to find that there are MANY items found in our kitchen cupboards that pull double duty when it comes to our health. Our society has taken to going to the doctors office at the first sight of a runny nose or slight cough. I want to make it clear that having a good doctor is a valuable tool to have but not always necessary.
This past week my youngest son started to get an ear infection and a dry cough. I had several people ask me what the doctor said. I thought to myself, "How should I know...I didn't ask him!" I have 2 great home remedies that haven't failed me yet. I don't have to pay a co-pay or deal with the medication and it's side effects.
The first recipe is for Ear infections. I gave this to a mother at school (I was being nosy and overheard her predicament) and she looked at me like I was a loon, smiled, thanked me and walked away. I felt like a nerd!!! The next day she came up to me with her daughter and said," this is the lady who helped fix your ear, say thank you." I was so happy I could help. So here goes.
6 cloves FRESH garlic (meaning not canned, powdered, etc)
olive oil (or other veg oil)
Crush cloves and place in jar. Heat oil. Pour over garlic and let steep and cool. That's it! Place a few drops in each ear, place a cotton ball in and tape it up. The pain generally decreases within a 1/2 hour and the infection within 1-2 days. (Keep ears covered and dry for 3 just to be safe). Use often...the more the merrier...
Remember: When treating an ear infection ALWAYS treat both ears. To help the healing take a nice massage oil and massage the lymph glands along the side of the neck. That will help drain the infection.
BEST cough medicine I have found (that doesn't have a freaky list of side effects or expensive) is Thyme. Yes, you read that right. Thyme, the stuff you add to spaghetti sauce is GREAT for coughs. Before I go further I want to address something that I get asked all the time.
1)Do herbs really help and why don't I see results with them?
Answer: Most people use herbs in a very light, watered down way like herbal teas and a capsule here and there. That's like licking an aspirin when you have a headache. Not gonna do a lot of good to an acute symptom. The following recipe will be a "decoction". This means its going to be strong and effective...Buckle up...
Thyme Cough syrup
6 T crushed dried thyme
2 c. water.
Simmer low about 15 min. Let it cool slightly. At this point you may want to add a sweetener (stevia, agave, honey) or not. Take an ounce or two at a time. I usually double the batch. Remember that this is going to be watery and not syrupy...If you want syrupy you can experiment with adding a small amount of pectin.
Depending on who I am making it for or specific symptoms I'll add a few other things. This is a short list...feel free to explore:
Valerian for sleep, pain, restlessness and headaches.
licorice root for children's tonic and a natural sweetener. Aids in congestion, sore throat & cough.
Catnip mild sedative, fever reducer, pain reliever.
Echinacea to boost immune system. Best used in a cycle...5 days on, 2 days off to keeps it's effectiveness.
For mother's out there these are all considered very safe and effective. As ALWAYS trust your instincts and don't let fear guide your decision making. Avoiding anti-biotics (as much as we can) will help our bodies maintain their natural flora balance(essential for long term health) and avoid unnecessary side effects (constipation, headaches, yeast infections, diarrhea, etc.) I am happy to report that my son is back at school, healthy and mischievous as ever.
***note: These are suggestions. Every person is encouraged to educate themselves and listen to their intuition. Most of the time our bodies will heal on their own with just a little nudge. Other times it's great to have a good doctor in the wings.
He who takes medicine and neglects the diet wastes the skills of his doctor~Chinese Proverb