Because of my multiple food allergies, I cannot consistently rely on traditional medications when I'm feeling under the weather. Cough drops, allergy medications, headache pills, throat spray, and even prescription medications and antibiotics all contain allergens. Because of this, I've had to trial different homeopathic remedies for various ailments. Some work better than others, and I'm often a bit weary to try them because of the cost and difficulty in retrieving the necessary ingredients.
I've mentioned before that I've been trying out essential oils to see if they can help with symptoms, and so far I've come a long way in managing my seasonal allergies and monthly migraine headaches. Upon coming down with a nasty bug that's been going around the school, I decided to research some cold and flu (and possibly strep) remedies, some of them using essential oils.
I found a range of different combinations and used what I found to make my own cold and flu concoction. Yes, it took longer than downing a little cup of NyQuil, but overall it was easy and did wonders for both of us this weekend!
What I Did/Used:
1. Oregano gargle. I mixed a few drops of oil of oregano, which tastes positively disgusting, but works wonders (keep in mind that this is not oregano essential oil, as gargling with or drinking essential oils is not typically considered a safe practice by licensed aromatherapists) and a little more than a half cup of warm water in a glass. I took a mouthful, gargled for 10 seconds, spit, and then repeated the process a few times. **Just a warning that if you're a wimp like I am, you may want to have something prepared to chew or drink after this! I had a Gin Gin ready and this took away the icky taste quickly, and it doesn't hurt that ginger has healing capabilities!**
2. Oil pulling. I've been doing an oil pulling challenge to help my teeth, and the research has shown that oil pulling is especially good for taking toxins from the throat and mouth. I have a very strong gag reflex so I've never been able to pull for the recommended 20 minutes, but I typically pull for 8-10 minutes. For this batch, I added a few drops of Peppermint essential oil to help with the taste from the Oregano.
3. Cold/Flu lotion. This is the concoction discussed above, created after researching numerous blogs and websites. While you could easily add beeswax or shea butter to make a real body butter type of lotion, the quickest and easiest way is to simply use solid coconut oil. (See the recipe below!)
The Results: I repeated the gargle, the oil pulling, and the application of the "lotion" to my feet twice a day throughout the weekend, once upon waking in the mornings and once in the evenings. While this might not work for everyone, I can tell you that I felt markedly better the next morning (when mornings are usually when I feel the worst), I slept more than I usually do when I'm sick (since I wasn't waking up congested and unable to swallow multiple times during the night), and I felt almost 100% better after two days (when it usually takes 4-7 days).
If you're into trialing home remedies or if you're an essential oil user, I hope this information will help for the next time you're sick!