Natural Remedies for Colds/Flus, Coughs/Sore Throats, Laryngitis, Sinus/Respiratory & Allergies!

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Sorry to hear you've been sick!  :-(

In case you want to play around with this (and/or bookmark for future reference), here are some of my notes on natural remedies that I've collected/researched and have used myself over the years.  You can find most of the plants/herbs growing wild if you're out with someone who knows plants.  The rest you should be able to find at an herbal supply or health food store.  I stock this stuff beforehand, so that it's available for me or whomever at a moment's notice (since starting with these remedies ASAP after noticing the slightest symptom is the most powerful thing).  I've come to use the list as a reminder to myself, as I somehow don't think all that clearly when I'm sick....  (Feel free to print and keep in your medicine cabinet. :)

Anyway,
I hope this is useful to you or someone dear to you...and that you send me your additions!  If something ends up working for you (or not!), so that I can pass the word on to others via this page.  :)


Disclaimer: What I'm sharing with you here are my notes for myself, just to trigger my own memory and knowledge.  So, you may want to use this list as a starting place to do more research on your own (check the herbal glossary on the previous page, the web, etc) on any particular plant/herb/etc. before taking it.  If you have any special medical conditions, or are taking any medications, you'll probably want to check with a doctor beforehand.  In short, use my notes here as a starting place, and at your own risk, rather than as a particular recommendation!  :-)

That said, here's a couple things I know: Taking echinacea is unsafe in the case of autoimmune disease (eg, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis), deliberately suppressed immunity (patients taking drugs designed to suppress immunity--after an organ transplant, eg), allergy to flowers in the aster family (ie, asters, daisies, chrysanthmums, sunflowers, and a number of common weeds--including ragweed and mugwort), pregnancy/breast feeding.  Reduce all doses for children.  Don't take goldenseal for more than 10 days.  Also, I'm told by a knowledgeable friend that goldenseal is an endangered plant--so I now avoid buying/using it for that purpose alone.  I'm told by another knowledgeable friend that taking either of these when you have hayfever allergies (which can look/feel like a cold/flu symptomatically), can actually worsen the allergic reaction.  This is because the allergy is due to an already sensitive immune system responding, trying to expel foreign particles (dust, pollen, etc.) from the body.  This makes sense to me.

*** Of course, being the special and completely unique person that you are, you might need to play around a bit with these to see what your body responds to best.  As with any new anything you put into your body, it's best to take the minimal dosage once first and pay vigilent attention to your body for a day or so, to make sure that you don't have any abnormal negative reactions (such as an allergic one) to it.  :-)

Note: These remedies are roughly prioritized by efficacy...

FOR COLD/FLU:

Prevention: Astragalus (take daily to build up resistance, safe to take indefinitely, look for astragalus tinctures or capsules in health food stores and use as per instructions...especially if you're prone to get every bug that goes around during the winter, work with children, etc.).

As soon as you start feeling the slightest symptoms (efficacy of most of these diminishes significantly after the first few hours of symptoms), here's some completely natural ways to "nip the bug in the bud"


FOR SORE THROAT (AND/OR COUGH):
FOR COUGH SUPPRESSION:
Simple: Juice of 2 lemons + 1 cup hot water + 1-2 tsp honey, 3x per day

Neat: Layer slices of raw onion with honey (or sugar) and leave overnight.  In the morning, collect the clear syrup and take for stubborn coughs.  (Warning: effective, but not the most tasty ;)

Probably most potent: Steep 2 tsp of organic lemon rinds, 1tsp sage, 1/2 tsp thyme and maybe a chunk or 3 of ginger root in boiling water for 15min.  Then add juice of 1/2 lemon and 1Tbs of honey.  2-3x per day.

Other (common) stuff for coughs:
* Add 1tsp dried licorice root to whatever other remendy
* 1-2 tsp crushed aniseed (anise) per cup of boiling water, steep 10-15min, 1-2x per day
* Tea from stinging nettle leaves
* Gargle with salt water (and/or
warm salt water sinus wash...more info below)

From a friend:
Leeched loquat leaves also work really well for cough... - my son had croup once, and that was THE ONLY thing that worked for him.. it isn't hard to do, and they do grow all over...

FOR SINUS/RESPIRATORY:
CHRONIC SINUSITIS:

LARYNGITIS (inflammation of the vocal cords):


FOR ALLERGIES:
* Stinging nettle (see below)
* Reduce/remove stress (linked to allergies), meditate
* Honey
* Garlic and onion
* Ginko biloba (60-240 mg per day; reduce dosage if you get diarrhea, irritability or restlessness)
* Vitamin C (1000 mg, 3X per day)
* Horseradish/wasabi (to clear the sinuses)

JUST IN (from a Dr. on the news, 3/2011)...
* Butterbur
* Green Tea, Broccoli, Onion (especially red onion)
* Bioflavinoids/Quercetin + Vitamin C (click here for more on benefits/side effects/drug interactions of Quercetin)
JUST IN (See "JUST IN FROM A FRIEND" below)...
* Wild Oil of Oregano

I used to have terrible allergy attacks each Spring.  Now, they're virtually non-existent.  (I only get them if I'm out in nature, in a place where there's an extraordinary amount of grasses and/or an excessive number of blooming flowers.  In those situations, I just up the dosage a bit or, in really bad situations [rare], I take a couple Allertonic [see below], or if nothing herbal is available, Chlor Trimeton [chemical].)

Here's what I use:
* "Oregon's Wild Harvest Nettle", Freeze-Dried Herbal Supplement (300mg each)
OR
* "Aller G Formula 25", by Olypian Labs, Inc.

(Although they're good ones, you don't have to use these brands.  Any freeze dried Stinging Nettle extract should be fine.  The "freeze dried" part is important, however, as it increases the potency.  I've been told to stay away from large chains like Zand for environmental reasons.)

I take 1 pill per day (300mg) of the Nettle starting a month or so before allergy season, and continue until allergy season ends.  When allergy season starts, or if I start feeling symptoms, I up the dosage to 2 or 3 pills per day (although you can safely go to 4, ie 1200mg).  Since this is a plant, not a pharmaceutical medication, it works best if you build up the amount in your system gradually over a few weeks before allergy season (ie, _before_ you need it), and then continue through the season.  It's also good for you nutritionally, so you can think of it as a vitamin that you take during allergy season. 
[Update: I noticed that each year I needed less and less of the Nettle until, after a few years, my body seemed to have learned how to "do the Nettle thing" on it's own.  So, now, I only stock the Allertonic.  I only end up using the Allertonic 2 or 3 times a year when I'm out in Nature during high blooms — and I'm out in nature at least a day a week; ie, much more grass/pollen exposure than most people will likely have.]

Cautions: Consult with your health care professional before using nettle if you're taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.  Use with caution if pregnant.  Discontinue if unusual symptoms occur.

* "Allertonic" by Herbs, Etc. (Fast-acting softgels = liquid herbal extracts of Stinging Nettle, Licorice root, Eyebright, Horehound, Osha root, Horesetail, Mullein, Elecampane root, and Plantain root.)

Attacks:
I use the Allertonic for actual allergy attacks (or for when I know I'm going into nature in a place where lots of flowers will be blooming and want to ensure I won't get an attack)...on top of the Nettle...as you would a normal chemical pill.  I take 2-5 of these and they handle just about any attack. 

I had a major allergy attack while tromping through the woods all day during an edible/medicinal plants class one Spring.  In the class, I harvested a few actual, live Stinging Nettle plants, got home, boiled them, ate the greens (yummy!), drank the broth, and it was like magic how all my symptoms (that had been going on for hours) disappeared within minutes.  Not something available to everyone, and you have to be very careful to harvest this plant [it's not called *Stinging* Nettle for nothing! - ask before picking and use gloves, shears, plastic bags].  But, if you have access to live Stinging Nettle during an attack, I'd highly recommend it, as I don't think anything has ever worked faster for me, nor been a more healthy and delicious antidote!

Also of potential value during attacks:
* Cold water flush of super itchy eyes and/or cold compresses/wet wash-cloth on closed eyes/sinuses.
* Warm salt water sinus irrigation (see "Neti-pot" above).

Regardless of allergy season, I also take 60mg of Ginko 2X per day (for memory), 1000mg of Vitamin C 2X per day, and 500mg of Garlic (because it has so many benefits and I got a bunch really cheap when an herbal store was going out of business).  Each of these also helps with allergies.
[Update: I no longer take any of these regularly; just don't need them...unless, of course, I feel a cold or flu coming on (see cold/flu above)]



*** Of course, being the special and completely unique person that you are, you might need to play around a bit with these to see what your body responds to best.  As with any new anything you put into your body, it's best to take the minimal dosage once first and pay vigilent attention to your body few days or so, to make sure that you don't have any abnormal negative reactions (such as an allergic one) to it.  ;-)


Hope you're feeling 100% soon, :)
Rich

----
Thought for Today:  Worry is just needless suffering.  When you decide you've suffered enough, ask yourself: "Can I do anything about this now?"  If so, go do it.  If not, banish the worrying thoughts from your mind.  Anything else is just self torture, robbing you of the richness of life and serving no one.
..while weakening your immune system in the process!!


JUST IN FROM A FRIEND:
Hi Rich,

Over the last year I have had many symptoms listed - last week I came across a book and then met the author (Dr. Cass Ingram) at his book signing soon after - I've had amazing and curing results from Wild Oil of Oregano - amazing, after searching a whole year for relief.

    The book is:  The Cure is in the Cupboard, How to use Oregano for Better Health.     

Dr. Ingram has also authored the books:

        The Respiratory Solution
            and
         Lifesaving Cures, How to use the latest and most powerful natural cures for the 21st century  

From first hand experience, this information is credible and the books, I found to be interesting and useful.

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