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

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?

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  1. 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!

  2. 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?)

  3. 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.

  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. 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. http://vitals.lifehacker.com/buying-local-honey-won-t-help-your-allergies-here-s-wh-1705261816 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.

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