This post is sponsored by Trilight Health.
It’s almost cold and flu season….
To be honest, a bit of a cold has been running through my house for the past couple of weeks. It’s annoying that it’s shown up in August and September, but that happened the other year and then we had a reprieve from basically everything until Christmas. And no one’s been sick enough to have to take a day off or lie on the couch, so. You know. It happens.
But since it does happen, it’s good to be prepared. That’s why you should be gathering some of the naturally antibiotic, and antiviral options to keep around the house. They’ll help to kick the typical winter crud, and fast.
(As always, if you’re not sure what’s going on, or if it’s serious, go see a doctor. This isn’t medical advice, and not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything. It’s provided for informational purposes only.)
Natural Antibiotic and Antiviral Alternatives
When we’re talking about these, we’re talking about natural, whole herbs and foods that can help to kick illnesses, that are either bacterial or viral in nature. Since we’re treating the simple stuff at home, we’re probably not going to know which it is.
If you’re getting a prescription from a doctor, it matters a lot which it is. Conventional antibiotics don’t actually address viruses at all. And, if taken unnecessarily, it can wipe out all your good bacteria, making future illnesses more likely (since you have no defense left), and it contributes to antibiotic resistance. So. No good.
But when we’re talking the natural stuff, many of these things specifically target the bad bacteria and leave your good flora alone. And many are both antibacterial and antiviral! So, if what you have is your run-of-the-mill winter crud, it’s safe to try these without knowing exactly what it is. How cool is that?
So! What are these amazing options?
Most people have heard of garlic being used as a natural remedy. In fact, garlic has potent antiviral and antibiotic properties, making it a great go-to remedy for many conditions — colds, flu, sinus infection, etc.
How to take it: Crush a fresh clove of garlic and let it sit for about five minutes. (This activates the allicin, the compound that gives garlic its powers.) Swallow whole or in smaller chunks like a pill, or cover with honey and swallow or chew lightly and then swallow. Do this 2 – 3 times a day at the first sign of symptoms.
2. Raw Honey
Raw honey is some pretty amazing stuff! True raw honey (not the store-bought stuff) is filled with amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties. It’s also very soothing for sore throats. It’s more effective for coughs than over-the-counter medicines!
How to take it: Take a spoonful as needed, especially before bed. You can’t really overdose on honey!
Ginger’s one of my favorite herbs, because it tastes awesome and it’s safe for everyone. It helps sore throats, colds, and sinus infections because of its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Its spiciness helps clear sinuses and promote clearer breathing. It’s also known to reduce general pain and to soothe upset stomachs.
How to take it: Boil a couple of slices in water, or grate some into a cup of hot water and steep 5 – 10 minutes, then strain. Add lemon and/or honey to taste. Sip as needed. Or, ginger is included in Sinus Minus, an herbal tincture made by Trilight Health.
Turmeric is another of my favorite herbs. It’s also both antiviral and antibacterial, and it’s anti-inflammatory, too. It’s good for colds, sinus infections, and upset stomachs. It’s good for all-around immune boosting.
How to take it: Mix 1/2 tsp. with 1 tbsp. raw honey and eat, or take 2 – 3 capsules of turmeric as needed. Some take this daily for immune boosting.
5. Oregon Grape Root
This is a really potent herb. It’s a bitter, meaning that it has bitter-tasting alkaloids that stimulate digestion, and also help to clear the liver of congestion. It helps to fight infections. It shouldn’t used daily, because it can have a negative impact on gut flora if used frequently.
This is an herb you’ve probably heard of — most people have heard it shortens the duration of colds. My first experience with it was accidental. I was a teenager and I’d had a cold for weeks, that was just dragging on, and I picked up some herbal tea. The next day, my cold was nearly gone! The only thing I’d changed was the tea, so I checked the label — echinacea, which I’d had no idea was in it (I was just looking for a tasty drink). I was convinced! Anyway, echinacea is a great immune support, and can help fight colds, flu, and other respiratory infections effectively.
How to take it: Take 2 capsules at the onset of symptoms, or use 1/2 teaspoon with other herbs to make a cup of tea. It’s also included in Trilight Health’s NR Glow, a product I’ve used several times before. It’s a general immune booster.
7. Marshmallow Root
This herb is one I’m starting to get very excited about! It’s a mucilagenic herb, meaning it produces a slippery substance that can help soothe an upset stomach, reduce or stop diarrhea, and clear mucus from the body (which reduces coughing/sinus issues).
How to take it: Combine with other herbs, about 1 tsp. of this, to make a cup of tea. Or, it’s included in Trilight Health’s Tummy Plus for stomach issues.
This herb is pretty neat. Its best-known use is probably for fever — it naturally helps the body to sweat to reduce fever. It is also beneficial in treating UTIs, colds and flu, and is also beneficial for upset stomachs.
How to take it: For very young children, use 1/4 – 1/2 c. of herb in boiling water. Steep for 20 – 30 minutes, strain, and pour the liquid into a bath and have the child soak for 10 minutes. For older kids and adults, add 1 tsp, to a tea blend (pairs well with marshmallow, mullein, or ginger, depending on the need) and sip warm.
This is probably my favorite and most-used herb. It’s especially beneficial for the lungs and lung-related illnesses — colds, flu, bronchitis, pertussis, and more. It can also help to clear stuck mucus from anywhere in the body, including the digestive tract, making it good for stomach issues too.
10. Goldenseal Root
This is a very rare, endangered herb. Many people use Oregon Grape Root in its place, but goldenseal is a bit safer. I buy it in tiny quantities and use only when needed. Combined with turmeric and black pepper, it’s a potent antibiotic and anti-viral. It can be used topically as well to help clear diaper rash, or heal wounds (I use it for newborn cord care).
How to take it: Sprinkle the powder on topically to heal rashes or wounds, or add a small amount to honey (1/8 tsp. for kids or 1/4 tsp. for adults), or mix with turmeric and put in capsules. I usually use 6 parts turmeric to 1 part goldenseal root, or even less goldenseal root. It’s also found in Trilight Health’s Scout Out.
A Note on Herbal Remedies
Usually, I like to prepare herbal remedies myself. After all, there’s something to be said for being able to customize your remedies to your specific needs. It’s also usually cheaper that way.
A lot of people aren’t up for it, though. In certain seasons of life, I haven’t been, either. When that’s the case, I turn to Trilight Health. I have personally used several of their remedies over the years. Right now, I have a bottle of Scout Out in my kitchen, which I use when illness starts, especially if I don’t have anything of my own prepared. I also just purchased Lung Tonic, to try to heal the remaining lung damage from mold exposure last year (it’s supposed to be excellent for chronic lung issues, like asthma or recurring bronchitis, too).
At any rate, if you’re ready to dive into natural remedies, but not yet ready to make them yourself, Trilight Health has many awesome options. They’re even having a back-to-school sale that lasts only through tomorrow — use code BacktoSchool20 to get 20% off your total order. (Plus they offer free shipping over $25.)
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What are your most-used natural antibiotics and antivirals?
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