Best Natural Cold Medicine DIY

Tired of giving your kids medicine full of ingredients that sound more like a pesticide than something you should ingest?

Most folk fall into two categories on this topic.

Either skeptical- they don’t believe anything natural will actually beat their cold compared to over-the-counter meds,

or intimidated- they hesitate in thinking they can actually pull off making a medicine.

Let me tell you- I was intimidated. I saw all these words that I didn’t understand. Tinctures, elixirs, and extracts …..I had heard of these things, but didn’t know what it meant. I thought that it would be so difficult to do and I was scared to try something new. We’ve all been there right?

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I started out in my natural medicine adventure trying different medicines at the health food store. If we had a cold, I would get different remedies and we would try them out, noting what worked, what didn’t, how we felt, etc. The best experiment was when all six of us got the flu. Seriously! Kris and I decided to try an expensive natural medicine that we had heard worked great from the sweet lady working behind the counter. This little bottle of dark grape-colored juice had the hefty price tag of $20 for a bottle that (maybe) was 20 oz! Not cheap.

We decided to split us up to get a good control group, lol. We gave half of us elderberry syrup everyday and half of us an O.T.C med that I won’t mention (Ahemmmmm quill something or other, wink* wink*). Every night at dinner we discuss how we felt and how we personally thought it was working.

The Results Were IN-

Not only did the people who took the expensive natural medicine feel much better overall than the ones that took the over-the-counter stuff, but the cold duration was THREE DAYS LESS than the well known brand. I was impressed! No bad side-effects. No weird disconnected head feeling…….and it tastes good.

So what am I talking about?

ELDERBERRY SYRUP

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We spent the last two years buying that health food store brand before I decided to try to make it myself. I researched researched and researched. I saved so many Pinterest pins that I look like I might have an obsession problem with the elderberry plant or something.

Now that I’ve been making it myself for a while I can’t believe I EVER bought that stuff for that price *insert face palm here*. I figured that I can’t be the only one trying to find natural safe products for my family, so I decided to share with you all what I do and where I get the elderberries from- side note, I can’t wait to get the garden up and going in Virginia because I am DEFINITELY planting some elderberry (among all the other plants I use for my family’s medicine)

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But first- a little on herbalism and why you can trust it

*The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. According to the WHO, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants. (More on that here)

*Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world’s population, half of whom lived on less than $2 U.S. per day in 2002.[15] In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.

*Herbal remedies are very common in Europe. In Germany, herbal medications are dispensed by apothecaries (e.g., Apotheke). Prescription drugs are sold alongside essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas. Herbal remedies are seen by some as a treatment to be preferred to pure medical compounds that have been industrially produced.[29]

*(links to wikipedia, although not a verified reliable source, the links will bring you to legit organizations and their data on the issue)

So if the rest of the world rely on medicinal plants why do we, as Americans, fear anything that doesn’t come from the pharmaceutical industry? Well, #1 BigPharma is a huge cash cow that is much too large now to take to the butcher, and #2 We’ve been duped into feeding that cow.

Check out this short clip from Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, who discusses-rather candidly-how the drug companies work with your Dr. to give you meds that you don’t actually need, all for the “Almighty Dollar”.

There are so many plants that work just as good or BETTER than synthetic drugs. Keep a lookout in my “Natural” section for new posts on this.

Ok, Here It Is-

It’s as easy as making your favorite herbal tea on the stove! How to make your own elderberry syrup to treat colds NATURALLY for your family:

Ingredients
  1. 1 ¾ cups pure water
  2. 1/3 cup dried elderberries
  3. 1 Tablespoon ginger (freshly grated or dried)
  4. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cloves
  6. 1/3 cup raw honey (local is best)
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil.
  2. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes. When the liquid has reduced by about half, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, mash the elderberries using a potato masher, spoon, spatula, or similar utensil.
  4. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl and allow the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
  5. While the liquid is still warm, add the honey and stir well.
  6. Pour your finished syrup into jars or bottles and seal with lids.
  7. Store in the refrigerator, and put any extra in the freezer.

………………………………   and that’s it!

To see the lovely blog that I got my recipe from click here. She also has some really good information on the ingredients and why they are used…as well as LOADS of info for making other medicinal blends.

Oh yea- and here’s where I get my elderberries. I get the 1 lb. wild-crafted organic option for $27 and it makes about 4-5 jars of syrup! That’s 4-5 X’s more syrup than the $20 bottle from the health food store!! (Get them straight from the vendor at the link -Amazon is about $2 more for the same thing, unless you have PRIME and save on the shipping)

 

 

Alright friends-You CAN do this! Try a little experiment of your own and let me know the results in the comments. I hope I have given you the inspiration and tools to jump in and make it for yourself. If you do make it please post a pic! Can’t wait to see you guys whipping up a batch of your own.

Much Love,

Brandy

I have to add this for the irresponsible folks (insert eye roll here, SMH):
I am NOT a healthcare professional and I am NOT giving you advice on how to treat or cure any illness. Before using any medications please consult your healthcare professional. If your baby isn’t eating honey yet don’t give it to them. If you’re nursing or pregnant please do your own research because I have no knowledge on those specifics…..,,,. Don’t sue me. I am NOT responsible for your own personal decisions. The FDA hasn’t evaluated these comments and I’m sure they won’t anytime soon. I’m sorry for cluttering up things, but I gotta put it *shrug*.
P.s-
But seriously, use common sense. Don’t take my word for it, do your research whenever you make other people’s recipes for this kind of stuff. I love using natural stuff, but I don’t just read one article on it and neither should you. There’s lots of good ingredient substitutions you can use. You can also use other bases besides water so check it out and read from more than one source.

Are You Losing Precious Time?

The digital Age has brought so many good things to our generation. We now have the global knowledge of hundreds of years now available at our fingertips. We communicate with people across the world in just seconds.

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But with that comes responsibility.

I want to share with you a video that has so inspired me and helped me to put things into a better perspective of how I consume information, specifically digital information and social media. This loving family has truly touched my heart and I LOVE their videos! I thought you might enjoy it too. Check it out. Let me know what you think!

Click Here

Much Love,

Brandy

A Slow Day with Fibromyalgia

Well I knew this day would come when Kris told me to pull the kids out of public school for good.

This morning I woke up around 7 am and I could feel the heaviness in my body and the fogginess in my mind.

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If you don’t have fibromyalgia then it’s hard to explain, but if you do it’s a feeling we know all to well. The best way to describe it is how you feel that first day you wake up with a legitimate case of the flu. Not a bad cold, the REAL flu. Your body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds, every movement takes all the effort you can muster, and your mind feels like it has been drugged. It’s almost like you can’t see clearly or think clearly. EVERYTHING is a huge effort, even just getting out of bed.

So this morning that’s how I woke up feeling. Most times when a fibro-sufferer wakes up in a flare (that’s what we call these episodes) we just go back to sleep. This morning Trayce came in my room, checking on me since it was already 2 hours past when we’ve been starting our school day. My entire bed was wet, along with my hair and clothes, from the sweats I get with the flares. I knew today was one of those days that I struggle just to exist.

Thank God that I gave the kids instructions ahead of time for how to function when mommy has bad days. Daelynn and Trayce went ahead and made breakfast for themselves and for Elijah. They cleaned up a little and did their morning chores. Trayce let me know that he went ahead and did some of his math and some of his grammar that he didn’t need help on.

Planning ahead of time for the bad days has been one of those things that I’m so grateful that I did BEFORE it happens.

Another thing I do to prepare is how I lay out my meal plans each week.

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I plan each week to cook dinner for two days in a row. On the third day we have “leftover night” or “find your own food” night. I have a large family and so I make large amounts of food. We usually always have left over food from dinner. So on every third day we pull out everything in the fridge from the last two nights and warm it all up for dinner. In the case that dinner was a hit and there’s not much left over it becomes a “find your own food night “. On those nights pretty much anything is up for grabs that isn’t needed for dinner on other nights. Think sandwiches, cereal, oatmeal, etc.

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This system has been such a blessing to me because I don’t wear myself out cooking huge meals every single day, as well as how it helps me whenever I’m not feeling well. Any of the bigger kids can handle warming up food or making sandwiches. Even Elijah can pour himself a bowl of cereal or make himself a sandwich.

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I feel like teaching our kids how to do simple things for themselves as well as having conversations beforehand to prepare them for what is expected of them even if mom isn’t supervising, is a major step in teaching them self-sufficiency and maturity.

Isn’t it our whole goal to teach them how to be great adults, loving the Lord and serving others unselfishly?

As I sit here in my bed at 1pm I can rest peacefully knowing that I’ve prepared my family well.

If you have fibromyalgia how do you prepare for those bad days? Let’s share some ideas in the comments to help each other out!

Much Love,

Brandy

January Character Study For Our Family

Over the past few months we have seen some changes in our children, and not necessarily for the good. The kids have been arguing much more often among themselves. The attitude of disrespect has been elevated in our teenagers and it has been rubbing off on the younger ones. Kris and I came together and had a long discussion about this in December and made a plan for the New Year on how to rectify this situation. We love the Lord and want our children to grow in discipleship to God as well as to become great examples as they shine their lights into the world.

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Here’s a peek into our plan….

For the month of January we have been studying “Christian Virtues”. The first thing that we do in the morning after breakfast is to pray over our day and thank God for it. After that we all open the Bible and read/discuss different verses on the topics we are discussing. For example, over the last two weeks we have looked at different verses discussing our speech, what our speech should be like, and how important our speech is to God. Everyone is involved in this, even Elijah who can’t yet read the Bible (He sits quietly and listens and I make sure to involve him in questions and explanations) I am the one who leads this devotion in the mornings as part of our school-day (Brandy).

Here are a few of the verses we have looked at in our morning devotions:

Genesis 11:1,7,9 1:27, 2:18-20, Luke 1:20,64- Speech is a gift from God and He is insistent upon our obedience

Genesis 2:18-20- God designed us specifically for speech

Psalm 34:1, 50:23, 145:5 Proverbs 11:11, 14:25, 15:1, 16:24, 25:11-13, Ephesians 4:14-15- Our speech is to praise God. When we speak it should be to encourage and uplift others. Our speech should glorify God and so we shouldn’t misuse this gift

Psalm 10:4,6,11 James 3, Ezekiel 35:12-14 Romans 1:21, Proverbs 11:9, 12:18, 18:8 Matthew 12:34-35- Our speech is to be pure, not  cause division or be immoral. We should not complain and argue. 

Nehemiah 1:1-11- We should use our speech to communicate with God in prayer (Jesus is our example. Look at how many times he left the crowds to go and pray. If he had to stay in direct communication with the Father, how much more important should it be to us?)

After school is finished I spend some extra time with Elijah about different ways to use these lessons in his life. I have chosen to use our reading time for this. Here are a few of the books that we have been looking at to go along with this study. He has really enjoyed them and I can definitely see the change in his behavior after this time together.

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Your local library will usually have a section on manners and being a good citizen. You can ask the librarian to help you find this section. We have really enjoyed reading these types of books together. I have about 5 different books about praise to God and His great creations (which I encourage Elijah to notice and thank God for). I also have about 5 books on manners, such as not interrupting, being respectful, bullying, etc. It has been really good because I can link these things back to our speech lesson from the morning devotion. The “Praise the Lord, My Soul” book is just beautiful!!

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In the evenings, after dinner, Kris leads the family devotion time. This one is a little over Elijah’s head for understanding but he has enjoyed sitting, listening, and asking questions.

In this study we have been looking at the different Christian Virtues in the Bible. This includes Devotional Life, Love and Compassion, Contentment and Stewardship, Humility, Speech, Purity, Honesty, Faith and Trust, Obedience, and Christian Service. 

Kris has each person look up a verse listed and read it out-loud, then we all discuss it and answer any questions listen in the study for that verse. We take turns doing this so that everyone has practice looking up verses and reading.

Here is a link to the study we have been using. Even though it’s from a different denomination than we are a part of, it has EXCELLENT coverage of these Biblical topics! You can either order a copy of the booklet, or you can use the free PDF version and print it out.

The biggest evangelism and discipleship assignment that Kris and I currently have are our children. We cannot assume that in just two hours of church a week that they are receiving all the Biblical knowledge that they need. Teaching our children about God is OUR JOB and it goes hand in hand with the church.

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But be careful to not just teach- You must also LIVE IT in front of them.

I hope this helps inspire you to dig into a deeper study of the Scriptures with your family. Have fun learning and making necessary changes together as one.

What are you currently studying with your family? Leave me a comment below and help inspire others. 🙂

How To Treat Allergies Naturally

It’s that time of year again!

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As I look around I see the suffering in puffy eyes, runny noses and the long list of other ailments that accompany seasonal allergies. NOT FUN!

I reach out at every chance I get to offer options to people who even mention allergies around me. And the reason why I am so passionate, to the point of getting on your nerves about it, is that I used to suffer just like the rest of those watery-eyed uncomfortable folks walking around in their misery.

BUT THERE IS AN ANSWER!!

One day while reading an article, which I can not remember for the life of me where to find, I had an epiphany that was LIFE CHANGING!

My first thought was “Why isn’t this the prescription for everyday allergies??”

1. Take local raw honey everyday!

          I take a TBSP every morning, either in my coffee or right off the spoon, delicious nectar of God…….

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My son, eat honey, for it is good,Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste;Know that wisdom is thus for your soul;If you find it, then there will be a future,And your hope will not be cut off.–Proverbs 24:13-14, NASB

                                                                                                 

but seriously, taking raw local honey everyday is like taking a natural immunization for pollens! You are inoculating yourself with all the pollens in your local area so that your body can get accustomed to the small amounts over time, which will better help the immune system handle the bombardment during allergy season.

2. Take a shower every night before bed.

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             During the day you are bombarded with allergens. If you leave your home to go to work or school, think about all the junk that is floating around in the air. You hair, skin and clothes catch little hitchhikers all day long, including pollen, mold spores, dust, animal danger, and ever colds and viruses. If you don’t rinse off you each night then you are then sleeping with all these trigger causing allergens…………rolling around and cuddling the very things that are making you sick.

Some of us have sensitive that get dry and flaky if we wash everyday…For those people, you can just rinse with water! At least get in the shower, rinse from top to bottom and wash those pesky hitchhikers right down the drain!

3. Use a new wash cloth and new towel every night.

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             Yes, you may be one of those penny savers that use the same towel a few times after getting a shower (psss, you’re not alone, I did it too), and for some in the population that are blessed with never having to live with chronic allergies it is totally fine to do it that way if you wish….but for chronic allergy sufferers, this is not an option!

Mold and Mildew breed in bathroom towels and clothes.

           No matter if you hand dry them or not, for allergy sufferers, mold and mildew spores are a major trigger, so why risk the chance of contaminating your already clean (You just showered) body with the very things you just rinsed off???

         Even more so: THROW AWAY YOUR LOUFFA!

Every night use a fresh towel and a fresh wash cloth to wash and dry yourself.

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4. Wear new pajamas every night

                     Getting in the habit of this will greatly help your situation if you do have a day where it wasn’t feasible to get a shower for whatever reasons (don’t make a trend of it though). Every night while we are sleeping, dead skin cells, and other things on our skin, come off. We also fluctuate in body temperature during the night which can cause sweating. These dead skin cells, moisture, and warmth are a bacteria breeding ground. Changing your clothes every night will keep that to a minimum instead of once again rolling around in allergens all night.

5. Wear new clothes every day when you get up

Listen, I’m a stay at home mom, I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING RIGHT NOW, but this is a vital key to getting rid of your allergies!!!! So you’ve followed everything up to this point. You washed all the allergens off. You’ve worn new pj’s to bed. You used a fresh towel, a new wash cloth and even threw away your favorite pink fluffy louffa….but you get up and put on yesterday’s clothes because “eh, I didn’t really go anywhere yesterday so I’m fine”….. UM NO. You have just undone everything you’ve worked so hard for!

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                Just suck it up and put on a fresh t-shirt lady!

(I’m seriously yelling this at myself right now, as I sit in my comfy pjs and don’t really see a reason to put on fresh clothes………we’re so hard headed aren’t we?! SMH)

Every person I have ever told this to has the same look across their face as I did when I read the article! Pure shock as to  how simple and logical this is.

I mean, I was slapped int he face with the question “Why didn’t I think of this before??” It makes so much sense! And why isn’t this like the go-to advice for allergy sufferers???

I have been allergy free for over a year! Go ahead and try it and see if it works for you.

If you would like to learn a little more about how to deal with those stupid allergies, take a look at this short clip by Dr. Axe as he discusses the topic in an interesting way. This video is how I got started taking care of my own health instead of running to the M.D all the time.