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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Natural Remedies for Your Medicine Cabinet


My source of information for this post is Sher Anderson, the nutritional genius (former RN and midwife) who taught my natural childbirth class before #1. What I learned from her, both then and since, has had significant bearing on my thinking. She was a catalyst for the lifestyle we pursue.

This woman has such a wealth of knowledge about wellness, I wish I could keep her in my back pocket. In a phone conversation over a year ago, Sher told me about six strong natural remedies she has discovered, and recommended I keep them stocked in the medicine cabinet. As Sher put it, "they work gorgeously." She so genuinely cares for others, I'm sure she won't mind my sharing:

Three ANTIBACTERIAL Remedies for Your Medicine Cabinet

1) Manuka Honey: made by bees who collect nectar from the flowers of the manuka bush (New Zealand). This honey has amazing antibacterial properties. It has been tested in a Petri dish against all sorts of different bacteria and consistently held up. Sher knows a man whose appendicitis was cured by manuka honey. Like all honey, it stores wonderfully.
  • Look for 10+, 12+, or 15+ (20+ would be topical only).
  • Adult could take a tsp. 3x a day, a child ¼ - ⅓ tsp. a day.
  • Get a good brand (try amazon.com or shoppri.com). Some companies sell honey with less antibacterial effectiveness. Make sure the container says “active.” 
    • Comvita is a tested brand, always good 
    • Nelson’s Manuka 
    • Wedderspoon’s 
    • thesynergycompany.com sells it as healing honey

2) Oreganol: type of oregano oil from Italy with very powerful antibacterial properties. Tastes terrible but works beautifully. Has even worked on bone infections.
  • Available as gel caps in regular or super strength (3x more powerful). Take two of the regular kind several times a day, or 1-2 per day of the super-strength. 
  • Can also get a ½ oz. dropper of oil, but it’s awful-tasting! The easiest way for kids to take this is to mix it with a spoonful of frozen juice concentrate, which will mask anything. (**I tried mixing a few drops of the super strength with orange juice concentrate and I thought it was still nasty. I advise getting them as caps or encapsulating it yourself. It burns.)
  • Brand to buy: North American Herb and Spice Company.

3) Grapefruit Seed Extract: antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral
  • Get in tablets from vitacost.com 
  • (**Since this conversation with Sher, I have come across a bit of controversy about how GSE is made. I would like to follow up with her on this one.) 

Three ANTIVIRAL Remedies for Your Medicine Cabinet

1) Elderberry (or Sambucus, the latin name): created by an Israeli virologist, this remedy has extensive antiviral properties. Great for flu season!
  • Can get as a syrup, in a dropper, or as chewable lozenges (my personal favorite)
  • Nature’s Way is a good brand to get. 
  • (**My family has been using Sambucus regularly for over a year now and can attest to its incredibleness. I have had the beginnings of colds and when acting quick with Sambucus, had nothing materialize. Sammy got a cold from a neighbor last winter, and thanks to Sambucus, he was over it long before she was. When sickness is spreading around us, we also take it as a preventative. Love it.)

2) Umcka: old European remedy from Pelargonium root in Africa
  • Can also get in different forms: drops, syrup, chewables...
  • Nature’s Way is a good brand
  • (**I haven't tried this one, but Keenan used some on a cold last year and it worked well for him.)

3) Oscillococcinum: a homeopathic combination of different remedies that address flu/cold. One ingredient is Gelsemium, a huge flu preventer/remedy in the 1918 flu pandemic.
  • Comes in a vial about 1 ½ inches tall. You pour the contents in mouth and let them dissolve. The indicated serving size is a full vial, but you only really need a ⅓ or so for it to be effective.
  • Boiron is the brand to get
Antiviral Anecdotes
Sher’s niece had mono and was completely incapacitated, unable to do school work or function normally because of her illness. The niece’s mother, a nurse normally uninterested in natural remedies, finally called Sher to ask her advice. Sher told her about the above antiviral remedies. The girl used all three of them on a Tuesday (that morning she’d been so sick she couldn’t eat!). After a day or so, she was back at school. By Saturday, she was just fine. 

A woman in Brigham City, UT was severely infected with West Nile virus (mosquito-borne). Her doctors had told her to get her affairs in order, that she only had days to live. The family contacted Sher, who told them about the antiviral remedies. The woman used them in combination, and they turned her completely around.

Where to Find the Remedies
I found every one of these remedies (with the exception of a couple manuka brands) at vitacost.com. Their products are discounted and their shipping is cheap and fast. Amazon.com is another affordable resource and probably carries all of them as well. In an emergency, you could find them at a health food store.

Have a healthy cold and flu season, everyone!

6 comments:

  1. Wow wow wow! Thanks for sharing! I wish you had posted this at the start of Andrew's ear infection, but seeing as it's not better after a week, we'll give some of these at try! What valuable information for a mother.

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  2. Thank you, Nonie. We've recently been referred to grapefruit seed oil, and look forward to giving it a try. We have had some remarkable cures in our house with Oregano Oil from the Mediterranean,in this case "Healthy Health" brand extra strength. It is intense and should not be overused, but is good to fight virus, bacteria and fungus. It is hard to take, but if you are an adult with the liquid form, you can swallow it in a shot of water with more water to chase it. As a family member found, it may have the side benefit of improving the health of your gums should you have the unpleasant experience of tasting a little. It got vanquished a very persistent UTI which was undaunted after about 4 rounds of antibiotics. It can be applied topically in a carrier oil, but does have a strong herby smell. When we need the big guns, we pull out the oregano oil. A good pest control, too! I love to learn from your blog. Keep up the good work at home and online!

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  3. I use GSE ALL THE TIME, so good! I am going to get sirop de Sureau. Merci pour l'info mon amie, t'es super!!

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  4. Okay, so here's a question. I know... er... someone with such a "very persistent UTI." My midwife said I should eat a pressed tablespoon of raw garlic every two hours for two days and it will go away. (She said encapsulating won't work --- she's tried).

    Would the garlic method be more or less miserable than drinking Oreganol? Are the capsules as effective as the oil? Would this cure a UTI that has been around for months?

    Heck, you'd think if a woman was willing to go through labor she'd be willing to eat a raw head of garlic, or do anything else. But some things...

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  5. Aww, UTI... terrible! Sounds like Lark would say go for the oreganol! I thought caps just melted away in the body, but maybe it would be more effective to take it in water (or raw milk). I know Melissa just kicked something taking garlic and cayenne, so it can be done. She is very brave though. If you go that route, please do it during those days Cameron is gone...

    I developed the beginnings of a UTI while we were in Hawaii and kicked it pretty fast with straight cranberry juice (like drinking pure health). Also, LOTS of water.

    I'm sure Manuka honey would help too. I found one recipe saying to mix 1-2 tsp. honey and 1 T. apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. But I bet taking it however would help. Good luck!!

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  6. Meredith, as Nonie said I recently dealt with some issues myself. I was able to encapsulate fresh garlic, however, the problems with encapsulating the stuff outweigh perceived benefits.

    The issues with encapsulating is that the garlic is a wet herb; the capsules, which are designed to dissolve when wet, begin to break down as soon as they come into contact with it. You have to swallow the capsule immediately. But in taking the trouble to encapsulate it you haven't really saved yourself because your hands smell of garlic now anyway. Also, it takes about 5 capsules for a regular sized clove.

    There are two different things I've found I can do to reduce the taste/smell of garlic when I take it. I cut a clove into quarters and swallow it in this way. I always have my drink ready, water or milk. (Milk has cleansing qualities and so may be the drink of choice as it may reduce the taste when you are doing this.) After I've cut the garlic, I will lightly drop two of the quartered pieces under my tongue, then take a drink and swallow. I have only ever had a very light taste in my mouth, and I do this at a time when I know Joe is at work so the taste is gone by the time he gets home. I will warn you that I found one time, (our bodies are amazing!), once the garlic got to my intestines I started tasting is again.

    I also recently read that ginger has anti-fungal properties.

    As for the cayenne, it is amazing on its own, but it also is a helper herb. It enhances, or helps with the function of the other herbs that you are taking. I speculate it is partially due to the fact that it enhances circulation. It is high in vitamin C, is an AMAZING coagulant, and stimulates the intestines. It's really an herb most people should be taking, especially pregnant women. A lot of people say nursing mothers should steer clear of the spicy, but I make it a practice to take a capsule a day. It has never seemed to bother George.

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