Following suit with my previous blog post, Keeping Your Toddler Healthy, today I will be talking about natural ways you can stay healthy during the winter. Similarly, I’ve posted on this topic a couple years back (How to NOT GET SICK during the WINTER!) You’ll find in this post an updated list of what our winter wellness plan looks like this year. I’ll cover supplements we take preventively and to boost immune health, products to help combat winter blues and increase energy and mood, essential oils, what I use to sanitize the air and items that can’t be washed, and my favorite products to use to expedite recovery if anyone falls sick. None of us have been sick this winter, with even a cold, and fingers crossed that we will continue to be as healthy as the peak of flu season is upon us!
I’ll start off by saying what I always say, hand washing is one the best prevention tools there is. If you can avoid touching your ears/nose/mouth/eyes before washing your hands, wash your hands before eating, and wash your hands first thing when returning home from work, the store, etc, this will make a huge impact. If you are sick, hand washing is more important than ever, and it is important to not go out if possible to prevent spreading germs, especially for illnesses like a stomach virus or flu–try to quarantine yourself as much as possible. For colds, if you have to cough or sneeze around others, cover not with your hands, but by doing so inside your shirt by pulling the neck over your mouth and nose or into the bend of you elbow by bringing your arm up to your face.
Elderberry Apple Shots
The past couple of years I have spent a small fortune on organic elderberry syrups and gummies. When I came across this company, I realized I could have more than enough elderberry for all three of us all winter for just $40 (for a 2-pack). We each take 1/4 of a teaspoon daily, which is an astonishing 660mg of elderberry in just that tiny amount–Compared to the 50 mg of elderberry the gummies we used in previous years delivered! At the serving we take, one bottle will last 216 servings or roughly 2.5 months if all 3 of us take it every day. This is our maintenance dose during the winter, but if you fall ill it is safe to take up to a tablespoon, multiple times a day.
Guaranteed to have more minimally-processed elderberry than any elderberry syrup on the market. 8,000 mg pressed elderberries per tablespoon! In small batches they press certified organic elderberries (never dried) and combine them with the apple cider syrup they also make. Two celebrated ingredients, no preservatives, 100% non-GMO, one year shelf life and available with Certified Organic apples. I buy it here.
Sometimes we make gummies out of the syrup, which is very easy to do with some cheap molds off of amazon (here), a bit of gelatin, and a bit of organic maple syrup (or other natural sweetener of your choice. We make small batches when we make gummies because they recommend storing them sealed in the refrigerator and eating them within a week for optimal freshness. This company also sells gummy kits and refill kits. Most often we just take the syrup straight, and we all love the taste.
This winter we have all swiped Revive’s Immunity Boost 10mL Roll-On on the bottoms of our feet before bed each night. You can buy it here.
It is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Cinnamon Bark essential oils and Fractionated Coconut Oil in an easy to use roller bottle. It is affordable at $12, and will last the entire winter with just a small amount used daily. You can also make your own, which I have also done in the past. Tip- if someone falls ill, swipe this roller down their spine, while symptoms persist.
We diffuse essential oils while we sleep year-round. But during the winter, we use essential oils that are geared towards immune health. Some common ones we use in the diffuser are Immunity Boost (or Thieves), Copaiba, Eucalyptus, and Cinnamon.
I also have a hand held diffuser, which I find useful to use if you find yourself in a doctor’s office waiting room or exam room, pharmacy, airplane, or any other place where you may find yourself in close proximity to sick people. It has a great output, while remaining small and easily fitting in my purse. It doesn’t use a wick (which I prefer), and it has a small reservoir for water, and I use 2 drops of essential oil.
A facial steamer like the one I have here is great to use with 1 or 2 drops of essential oils if you do find yourself sick and congested. It has an inhalation attachment for your nose and mouth, and when removed can be used as a facial steamer. The water reservoir is metal, and not plastic. I have used this in the past when I had a bad cold with Oregano, Thieves, and Eucalyptus oils, and it provided a lot of relief. You could use it multiple times a day if needed.
Another great hack for prevention is a to make a Germ Guard Nose Rub. You can find several different recipes for this online, but it can be as simple as adding Immunity Boost essential oil to some coconut oil. Keep this solution in a small jar, and before you head out the door, apply this inside your nose (with washed hands of course), making sure to get it in the little nook of your nose where germs love to gather. This will trap the germs and stop them from traveling all the way up your nasal cavity, while provide aromatherapy benefits at the same time.
I use this food grade hydrogen peroxide here. I have it in a little glass spray bottle, and use it often to spray and clean our toothbrushes. It can be used as a mouthwash or for wound care. One of my favorite ways to use it is to clean my ears, which I probably do weekly during the winter. Some studies suggest that flu and cold germs actually primarily enter the body through the ears. And there’s multiple anecdotal stories that it can be used as a preventative as well as be done to get over a cold more quickly. It only takes a few drops (or sprays in my instance) into the ear. You leave it in your ear for about 5 minutes and once the bubbling stops), and then you can tilt over and let it drain out onto a tissue, and repeat the process on the other side.
Mood & Energy Boosters for Winter Blues
I have always found the winter months harder, and frankly it’s just hard to not feel gloomy when the hours of daylight are drastically fewer and it’s so dang cold! I had used a SAD light daily for years while living in NY, and a few years ago I decided to invest in a new one when my old one was misplaced. This light I have here from Verilux provides a safe, full spectrum light therapy. It provides 10,000 Lux, UV blocked bright white light therapy recommended by professionals. It is on my nightstand, and I turn it on as soon as I wake up for 20-30 minutes, facing towards it and within close proximity. Other good places you could keep and use it would perhaps be your makeup vanity where you do your hair and makeup in the morning, or on your desk where you could turn it on while you work during the morning hours.
Its health benefits are particularly powerful during seasons with shorter days and in regions with less sunlight. Almost all plants and animals need regular exposure to full or natural spectrum light to maintain biochemical balance and optimal health. According to Verilux’s website: “The health benefits of full spectrum light and its many uses are widely accepted. There are many different types of treatments for various ailments; including skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, cancer, and neonatal jaundice. Additionally, full spectrum light is used in daylight lamps to grow plants in places where the temperature and/or natural sunlight limits the outdoor growing season. Verilux specializes in the type of light therapy that is used for enhanced mood, increased energy, better concentration, mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and winter blues, regulating circadian rhythm, sleep disorders, jet lag, shift work, and general light deprivation due to lifestyle (which is common in today’s high-tech, indoor society).”
I also take a high potency Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12 during the winter. Besides contributing to immune health, these two help with energy and mood. I bought these locally from my chiropractor, Dr. Roberts, who always has top notch quality supplements. At just one drop, the bottle of D3 lasts forever, and the B12 is a two month supply.
My mother gifted us cold coins this year. The cold coin is known for reinforcing the body during cold and allergy season. It is made of a specialized carbon steel metal and works by ionizing the body, making it more resistant to colds and congestion. It is best worn near the groin, like where the front pocket of your pants is. I wear my cold coin while I sleep. I use a safety pin on my pajama waist band and a small string, and then flip the cold coin to the inside of my pajama bottoms.
Edgar Cayce Quote:
“Do not take this as being superstition, or as something which would be a good luck charm, but if the entity will wear about its person, or in its pocket… preferably in the groin pocket – it will prevent, it will ionize the body – from its very vibrations – to resist cold, congestion, and those inclinations for disturbances in the mucus membranes of the throat and nasal passages.” Cayce
Liposomal Vitamin C
We have these on hand to take as soon as anyone feels like they are coming down with anything.
Your body can only absorb so much oral Vitamin C, and that’s why so much of the vitamin content from pills, powders, and even foods is passed as waste. Liposomal Vitamin C is not broken down in the digestive track and passes straight into your cellular walls, allowing you to absorb large doses, and without gastric distress. I think it is the next best thing next to IV vitamin C. According to a 2019 study, white blood cells absorbed 50% more Vitamin C from Liposomal Vitamin C supplement than a Vitamin C powder. I buy this Liposomal Vitamin C here. It it is Sugar, Gluten and Soy Free, Non GMO, and Vegan.
Colloidal Silver is the best! It’s like an antibiotic, but it doesn’t create resistance or immunity in the organisms it kills (like antibiotics do). It can be used for wound care and fungal infections or eye and ear infections. (I have successfully used it multiple times to fight off eye infections.) It’s an antiviral and boosts cell recovery. I most often use it diluted in water as a nasal spray (using a nasal spray bottle). I do this at bedtime to help prevent sinus infections and colds. I also use the nasal applicator to spray it into my mouth and inhale it to deliver fighting action to any germs that may be inside my lungs. I especially like to spray it in my nose and throat when I know I’m about to go out into a public place where I will be exposed to a lot of sick people and after I get home. You can find colloidal sliver here. Because you dilute it, this bottle can last you several winters, depending on how often you use it.
Possibly the best way to take colloidal silver is by nebulizing it, which is what I did in lieu of taking antibiotics following my surgery this summer. With my surgeon’s blessing I did this and took organic oil of oregano capsules here. Oregano is also a supplement I would recommend taking if you fall ill. You can get a nebulizer like mine here.
Say hello to the multi-purpose cleaner that kills 99.9% of germs with no toxic chemicals. EPA registered disinfectant that kills: Staph, MRSA, Norovirus, Influenza A, Salmonella, and Listeria. Force of Nature miniaturizes the electrolyzed water technology from the industrial space. Salt, water and vinegar are converted to electrolyzed water when an electrical current changes the chemical composition of the solution into two new ingredients: hypoclorous acid- The same germ-killing substance your immune system makes and sodium hydroxide. No toxic chemicals harmful to our precious family members or the Earth. And of course cruelty-free!
I use Thieves cleaner for many purposes, but I prefer to use this cleaner to clean things that you can’t wipe off or may not get washed very often, such as the air, carseats, purses/ diaper bags, carpet, and couches/ other furniture. I also like to spray it on and around the toilets in between actual cleanings. And this would be my go to cleaning product in the bathroom if anyone in the house had the dreaded stomach virus, since most cleaners, sprays, and wipes don’t kill Norovirus, but this does. I snagged this system at 50% off so watch out for sales and search for promo codes online! Buy it here.
And lastly, I spend a lot of time in the infrared sauna. (You can read all about that topic here.) Using an IR sauna regularly can help boost the immune system, helping to keep the it strong and in good working order, raise core body temperature, draw toxins out of the body, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and more. If you have access to one, it is worth using it regularly.