My Amish friends are predicting a really cold winter based on the fuzz on caterpillars, the shells on acorns, the movement of squirrels, the size of pinecones and the bird migrations. Who knows if any of these predictions are accurate, but I’m actually excited at the prospect of a cold winter this year and hopefully even some snow (as all of you from north of us roll your eyes at this southern girl!). With the onset of cold weather, the common cold, flu, and general sniffles can become a regular occurrence. That’s why I like to stay prepared with a few natural remedies for winter.
Natural Remedies for Winter
My Amish friends are also stocking up on remedies (natural and conventional) in preparation for winter. Travel gets more difficult for them in the snow and ice and they are trying to be prepared ahead of time. In the past, I’ve found that they tend to be right about their predictions most of the time, so I’m working on stocking up too!
In particular, I’m stocking up on my seven favorite natural remedies that I always keep on hand as we approach cold/flu/general illness season. They are:
1. Elderberry Syrup:
I’ve written before about how much I love Elderberry Syrup for warding off cold and flu (or speeding recovery if we get it). My recipe combines dried elderberries, raw honey and herbs for a potent and effective natural syrup.
It is simple to make and much less expensive than store bought versions with similar ingredients.
2. Vapor Rub
If cough or cold strikes, I like to have homemade vapor rub on hand. I use it on the bottoms of feet and on the back and chest to calm coughing and congestion. Always ask a doctor before using anything herbal on children.
3. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
We take fermented cod liver oil daily in the winter for the fat soluble vitamins and Omega-3s. I’ve found that it is especially important during months when I’m not getting Vitamin D from the sun, and from tracking my blood levels of Vitamin D, I absorb the fat soluble vitamins in a whole food supplement like cod liver oil much more easily than isolated capsules of D3.
4. Homemade Cough Syrup
Another thing I keep pre-made in the fridge is my homemade cough syrup. It combines raw honey with lemon juice and herbs to help sooth cough or tickling throat easily. I’ve found that the honey/cinnamon combination also helps speed up recovery from many illnesses, even if there isn’t a cough.
During winter months, I keep raw garlic on hand to speed recovery from illness (and for us in soups and stir frys). I typically mince one clove or raw garlic and drink with water when I feel an illness coming on.
I repeat this every few hours until the illness is gone
I also take probiotics preventatively and extra in case of illness. Hippocrates famously said that all illness begins in the gut, and in winter months, the gut needs some extra TLC. I take these probiotics daily to keep my gut happy and take a few extra in case of illness.
A little comfort goes a long way. See this post for my real-life version of hygge and the way I keep my winter blues away by staying cozy and making the best of the indoors.
What natural remedies do you keep on hand in the winter?