Antibiotics were created to save lives and prevent infections. This is a good thing as my Dad just had total knee replacement surgery and with his hospital stay, they wanted to ensure he remained infection-free. During and after his hospital stay, I put together a basket of immune boosting remedies. This made me think that I should not wait until the “cold” season to write an article on this subject.
The problem with antibiotics is that they are often over-prescribed and overused. The statistics are overwhelming. By the time a child is 3 years old, approximately 70% of them in the United States have been given at least one course of antibiotics. By the time they reach 18 years of age, the average US child has received an average of 15 courses of antibiotics. They’ve just reached adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 50% of these are not necessary. They are often prescribed for viral infection that are not treatable with an antibiotic.
Almost a year ago, I had an eye infection which was considered viral. They immediately prescribed drops for my eyes. When I mentioned that a virus can’t be treated with an antibiotic, I was dismissed and told that this is just a precaution. Needless to say, I didn’t take the prescription and once I had an official diagnosis, I went the homeopathic route. My eye cleared up quickly.
We are a land of opportunity and a land of antibiotics. I won’t go into too much detail as my course Toxins and Environment does, but we are constantly bombarded with antibiotics. They can come from places you may not have considered. We are what we eat. Unfortunately, that may mean that we’re full of antibiotics. Animal products, such as meat and dairy, that we consume can contain antibiotics and that’s why it’s important to purchase products that have labels indicating antibiotic-free. Antibiotics can also be present in crop sprays and end up in our foods and water supply. With this constant exposure, the antibiotics that used to assist us in making us well are simply not working. In fact, the latest statistic reveals that over 23,000 people die annually due to antibiotic resistance.
I’m all about healthy food. You can tell this with all the courses offered. We are what we eat and we can nourish our bodies. Eating fresh, whole foods can assist our immune system, but there are some natural remedies that can help.
As always, if you are pregnant, under 6 months of age, experiencing breathing difficulties, have a cough and/or fever that lasts more than a week or have an immune system disorder, please check with your health care provider before using any of these remedies.
1. Echinacea (Echinacea Glycerite) – one of my favorites! I grow this amazing plant and can’t say enough about it during the cold season. Drinking echinacea tea throughout the day can help build up your immune system. In fact, when I recently got run down in June due to the multiple parties and celebrations for my daughter’s high school graduation, this was my immediate go-to.
2. Elderberry – this herb can be found in syrups and I personally like to blend this with echinacea. At the first sign of “cold/immune” symptoms, this can work wonders. This is safe for babies at or over 6 months of age. Simply combine equal parts of echinacea with elderberry syrup.
3. Ginger – this contains great fighting ability to viral infections, nausea, digestive problems and more. Ginger can break up congestion. I grate in foods or juice carrot, celery with ginger and turmeric. I also enjoy it as a tea by adding freshly grated ginger to hot water and add honey and lemon.
4. Green tea – if my sinuses are stuffy, this is a go-to. Having 2 cups of green tea daily is a great addition to your regimen. I love a good echinacea and green tea mix with almond milk.
5. Garlic – this great food in your kitchen can fight bacterial and viral infections. We use fresh garlic all the time when I cook, but especially in the winter. One of my favorite elixirs contains honey, lemon and garlic. Sometimes, I'll add a little kick of cayenne. I believe it tastes good and pinch of cayenne opens the sinuses if you have congestion!
6. Umcka (umckaloabo also pelargonium) – this amazing herb can cut down on the duration of colds and assists with sinus infections. If you have a sinus infection, it can be consumed daily for up to 3 weeks. Be consistent in taking to make sure it clears it up completely. Sometimes when people start feeling better, they stop taking. Be diligent.
As you make your way through the year, think about these few (and there are so many more) herbs that assist your health and well-being. #mindbodyyou #celestecooperpeel #ginger #echinaea #elderberry #greentea #umcka