Monday, November 9, 2015

Top 4 Items from my Winter Medicine Cabinet

I am not a doctor; I don’t pretend to be one.  This post is meant to get you to think about your own health.  Please consult your own doctor if you are sick!

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I am sick.  Not terribly sick, just a cough, thankfully, however, it is enough to make me start thinking about my winter medicine cabinet, and how I really should be utilizing these tips most of the year!

There are definitely several items that I like to keep on hand in the winter to help me to stay as healthy as possible throughout germ season.

I try to keep my medicine cabinet pretty medicine free, if I am being honest.  Of course we have all of the regular medicines if we really need them, but I try to keep things as natural as possible.

The first is raw apple cider vinegar – we use this brand.  It has to have the “mother” in it for it to be a benefit though, so make sure it is raw and unfiltered. 

Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial and can kill some bacteria.  This makes it perfect to take in the winter months.  Two tablespoons mixed with some water morning and night is a great way to keep your body healthy!  Yes, vinegar is an acid, but raw apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect on your body (which is partly why it is so good for you!).  It also helps to break up mucous in the body, which is important when you have any type of cold.

The next item I love to have on hand is raw honey.  You can use a brand like this one, but I really think that local is the way to go on this one.  Honey is wonderful for sore throats.  My older two will often get a spoonful of honey when they have any sort of sore throat; it gives them a little relief.  Local raw honey is also perfect during allergy season, since you are essentially consuming the pollen you are allergic to, it helps you to build up immunity to it – not a guarantee, but definitely a help!

Raw garlic is next on my list.  Now, I know that a lot of people do not like garlic, I am not one of those people, and neither is my family.  If you do not like raw garlic, you can certainly buy garlic capsules, but raw is the way to go (you may be picking up on a theme here!).  Garlic has a whole host of health benefits, you can read more about them hereGarlic contains allicin which can help reduce the length of time you have cold symptoms.

Next on my list is tea.  This one is hands down my favorite.  But, there are so many other varieties, and for so many other different ailments, you really can’t go wrong with tea – in my opinion!

These are my top four health aids for winter – and actually for any time of year.  However, I have three more bonus tips for you!

The first is sleep – getting enough sleep will do wonders for your health.  If you are burning the candle at both ends, your body will not be equipped to fight off germs in the winter.  I know with the holidays coming up, everyone is so busy (me included!), but getting enough sleep will help you to stay healthy. 

Obviously there are going to be days you are not able to get enough sleep, this is OK!  Just try to make sure you turn in a bit earlier the next night. 

Next, cut out sugar.

Please don’t shoot the messenger!  I know how crazy it sounds decrease sugar at this time of year.  In fact, most people ramp up the amount of sugar they eat between Halloween and the New Year.  There are so many delicious treats available!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but germs feed on sugar.  If your body is trying to deal with an onslaught of sugar and fight germs, you are in an uphill battle.  I’m not saying “do not enjoy the treats of the season,” but I am saying “do so in moderation.”  Nothing is inherently bad for you, in my opinion, but if you have pie for breakfast, candy from the jar at work for lunch, and fudge for dinner, you may be in for an unhealthy season.

My final tip is incredibly important, and incredibly difficult to manage.

Try not to stress!

I know this is a hard one.  But, stress is a leading factor in so many different illnesses, not just getting a cold.  Stress weakens your immune system, making it difficult to fight off any type of virus. 

Obviously the holidays are a high stress time.  There are many different engagements that people have.  Travel, family visits, deadlines at work, and it is hard to know how to get it all done without a little bit of stress.

My (non-medical) advice would be to take some time to relax, and center you.  You can check out my series 31 Days of Self-Care to find some tips to de-stress and take some time for yourself. 

While the holidays are a busy time of year, that doesn’t mean that you should constantly be go go going until January when you crash and burn!  If we try to take some time for relaxation, to de-stress at the end of an exceptionally busy day, to know that this party is not going to make or break our relationships; it is meant to be a time of celebration.

What tips do you have to stay healthy during the holiday season?


  1. Great post, I love Braggs. It's worked wonders so I'm going to continue! That throat coat tea is fabulous too - I hate the taste but it works!

  2. Garlic! Oh man. I don't buy real garlic, but put garlic powder in just about everything I cook. It's delicious. I'm a fan of tea and honey when feeling under the weather. It's just comfort food, really - grew up with that stuff while sick, and I was sick a lot as a kid!
    The honey being local though, sadly, doesn't have anything to do with allergies/allergens. There's absolutely nothing wrong with buying local (by all means, please continue to do so!) but it serves no other benefit to your health based on where you get it from.

    1. Hi Jessica! Thanks for your comment. I have always heard that local honey does help with allergies, thanks for the view from the other side :-) I know that it does tend to decrease my symptoms during allergy season, but like I said - totally not a doctor, so to each his own! And I definitely use garlic powder on everything as well - definitely know I am keeping the vampires at bay :-)

    2. We use the same type of apple cider vinegar. I also keep elderberry syrup around. This year I made fire cider (which won't be ready for 2 more weeks) and I also made a sore throat spray from sage, peppermint, alcohol and honey.

  3. I don't have some of these products in my medicine box, I will have to try the apple cider vinegar and garlic. I hope you feel better soon x

  4. My husband and I started drinking Bragg's a while ago for our heartburn. We drink it twice a day and the stuff is like magic. We haven't taken medication for it since we started the ACV.

  5. I'm currently sick, so this post is quite timely. I use raw honey, but had no idea about raw apple cider vinegar. I will need to try that! thanks!

  6. I rarely get sick these days but when I do, I'm terribly sick for a week while it takes another week for it to disappear. I've heard of using apple cider vinegar before and I'll be stocking up on it this week!

  7. I use pure honey for sore throats and colds and ginger for digestive and acid reflux issues. I have a lot of medication but I like to use natural ingredients too.

  8. These are great ideas. I think we all hurry to throw medication at ourselves too quickly. If you can find a natural remedy that works, why wouldn't you try?

  9. You totally sound like my dad! He drinks a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar every morning to "stay healthy." I don't like it at all, but I've always heard great things about it and I definitely like natural remedies much more than medicines.

  10. These are all great ideas! Sleep is so important on keeping our bodies strong to fight off germs in the first place. We use honey and vinegar, and I cook with a lot of garlic. I haven't heard of that tea yet, but I'll go check it out, since I love tea (you can never buy too much, right?)

  11. Lots of great ideas and tips here. I make sure my son gets lots of sleep and vitamins. Happy Holidays!

  12. Great ideas to try to keep the colds away! I love throat coat tea - it really is soothing. I have never tried apple cider vinegar as a drink with water. Sounds like there are a lot of benefits to it!

  13. Omg I'm with you on the apple cider vinegar!!! I can't stand the taste of the stuff but boy is it a cure all. Can't live without it.

  14. I love that brand of tea. I liked to keep a few stocked from them to help with things, they have such a great variety.

  15. These are such great tips! I think I have all of these ingredients in my kitchen right now which is great!

  16. I have all of these ingredients. It's amazing how many uses there are for ACV.

  17. Thanks for the info. I think these are really important. Thanks for sharing.


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