Best Herbs and Spices for Cold and Flu – Plus a Secret Weapon

Best Herbs and Spices for Cold and Flu - prevent colds and fight the flu with these natural remedies from your pantry and a "secret" weapon for your home.

The common cold and a strain of influenza A are doing some serious tail kicking this winter from what I’m seeing on the internet and social media.  Because of the ability of the flu virus to quickly mutate, this year’s flu vaccine may be ineffective on over half of viruses sampled by the CDC.  So far, knock on wood, we haven’t battled more than minor sniffles and sore throat, and I’ve made a habit of adding these herbs and spices for cold and flu fighting into our meals and herbal teas.  This post discusses how herbs, spices, traditional remedies and your kitchen sink can help boost your immune system and protect you from cold and flu. [Read more…]

Super Easy Hard Lotion Bar Recipe

Dry skin?  Try these super easy hard lotion bars made with just 3 ingredients.

These have been wonderful for my winter dry skin.  I used to coat my hands at night with petroleum jelly (before I knew what was in it), because it was the only thing that helped with the dryness.  Normal lotion didn’t help much at all, plus I don’t like the fragrance of most lotions, and many have questionable ingredients.  Since I do a lot of dishes and wash my hands frequently, these bars have been a godsend.  No more dry skin for me!  My only regret is that I didn’t try them sooner, since they are so easy to make.  The smell is light and pleasant, and they absorb fairly quickly.

Most homemade lotion recipes involve quite a few ingredients, blenders and more mess than I’d prefer to clean up.  In contrast, all you need for these these bars is three ingredients, one pot, and molds – that’s it!

I used a recipe from Jo’s Health Corner, a site that I highly recommend.  Jo has tons of neat ideas for natural health products.

Hard Lotion Bar Recipe [Read more…]

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season with Essential Oils

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season with Essential Oils - How to use essential oils as germ fighters and immune system boosters.

This week’s installment on prepping for cold and flu season is a guest post by my friend, Jo, from Jo’s Health Corner.  Jo has a TON of great information on her site about using essential oils, and she’s shared some of her experience preparing for cold and flu season with essential oils.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are concentrated extracts that have been distilled from aromatic trees, herbs, and grasses. They are located in leaves, stems, fruits, roots, flowers, and bark of different plants. The essential oils are responsible for the plant’s unique aroma. [Read more…]

The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Fighting Colds and Flus

The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Fighting Colds and Flus

What are the best vitamins and minerals for fighting colds and flus?

There’s been a lot of hype in recent years about this supplement or that supplement being able to prevent colds and flus or lessen their duration and severity, but how much is real and how much is hype?  Here are the top choices for my cold and flu arsenal.

Vitamin C for Colds and Flus

Vitamin C has been demonstrated to have a strong anti-viral effect.  Orthomolecular.org states:  “In high doses, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, helps kill viruses, and strengthens the body’s immune system. Taking supplemental vitamin C routinely helps prevent viral infections.”  It has been shown to be effective against both the swine and bird flu. [Read more…]

Preparing for Cold and Flu Season – Step #1- Probiotics

Preparing for cold and flu season with probiotics. Learn about a study that showed probiotic consumption lead to fewer fevers, coughs and runny noses.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms similar to the “friendly” bacteria found naturally in the body’s digestive system. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) of Maryland states that we each house two to five pounds (1.0 to 2.26 kilograms) of live bacteria inside our bodies.

How do probiotics work?

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria, both friendly and unfriendly.  Probiotics add good bacteria to your body.  Adding more good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria, at at the very least make it more difficult for them to thrive. [Read more…]