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Of all the things we’re going to talk about during this 31 day series, I think I’m most excited about health week. I love having ditched shampoo, and I love that I can do laundry without all the commercial detergents and fabric softeners, but the things I’m going to share with you this week will significantly impact your life for the better. There is nothing in here this week that I haven’t tried several times. There’s a wealth of information out there about natural health remedies, but often you have to wade through who knows what they’re talking about, and those who are just plain crazy. What I’m going to share this week is from my own experience. I’ve done a great deal of research over the past year, looking at both research studies via the NIH website, looking at natural websites, and at the same time looking at anecdotal stories. I’ve discarded a lot of fluff, things that were based on bad science or bad theories, and tried to keep with the tried-and-true methods that go back hundreds of years. What we’re finding now is that science is now proving that Grandma did in fact, know best.

Last winter around the KnowitAll house wasn’t all that pretty. Between strep, stomach viruses and then bronchitis, my kids shared way too much of the “fun” stuff they were picking up at school. Add in the detox that I went through to kill bad bacteria flourishing in my gut, and I had a heck of a winter last year. However there was a bright side: it gave us some good chances to try out some natural cold and cough remedies. I have reached my worst allergy season of all–the fall. I’ve already fought off one sinus infection using the tips below. Please understand that I still strongly believe in going to the doctor for antibiotics when you have a bacterial infection like strep–strep is nothing to mess with! But I’ve also found that often, these remedies listed below not only help fight the infections and viruses until you can get to the doctor, they work in powerfully different ways that simply boost the power of the traditional medicines.

I’ve tried several, but three remedies have really stood out from all the others. It is important that I stop right now and say that I am not a doctor, I am not a medical professional in any way. I’m just someone who has experienced illness lately, done a good bit of reading, and tried these remedies with good success.


Honey + Cinnamon = anti-viral gold. Seriously, at the first sign of the sniffles, just go make up a huge batch. Not only does it taste Ah-MAZ-ing, it is really good for you too. Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey, and swallow. Did you know that both raw honey and cinnamon are well-known for their antibacterial properties? Studies with cinnamon show it can kill Staph, MRSA and E. coli. Published studies show that raw honey also can kill Staph, strep and other bacteria. Put the two together and let them fight the nastiness making you sick. Tastes yummy too! Take one teaspoon three times a day. It will help fight the illness, and the honey will coat your throat, helping with soreness and coughing issues. NEVER heat the honey in tea or other mixtures–it kills the powerful antibacterial properties of raw honey. Raw honey is best–just keep some on hand at all times. You’ll use it for all kinds of things!

Peppermint oil + Rosemary oil + hot water = clear breathing. I discovered this brilliance during my bout of bronchitis. Add four drops of Peppermint oil and four drops of Rosemary oil into a bowl or sink full of steaming hot water, then inhale the steam that comes out. Better than any Vicks Vapo-rub, you will be wide open for a long time. If you inhale deeper with each breath, it will get down clear into your lungs and help bring some real relief for chest congestion. Covering your head with a towel as you inhale keeps the vapors more concentrated. This would clear my head for three or four hours at a time. If you feel like you might have a sinus infection, add four or five drops of Tea Tree Oil to the water. This will deliver incredible bacteria fighting powers right into your sinuses. NEVER ingest or pour tea tree oil directly into your body–but adding it to hot water to inhale the vapors is safe and very effective. Just last week I felt a sinus infection starting so I did this with tea tree oil and it kept me from ever getting fully sick. (I normally am down for the count for a couple of weeks with sinus infections.)

Apple Cider Vinegar + Hot Tea or Hot Water = powerful phlegm fighter. Mix two tablespoons of ACV with hot tea or hot water, then sip throughout the day.The warm tea soothes your throat, and the ACV helps break up phlegm in your chest. There also is research being done that suggests that colds need a certain body ph to thrive and reproduce. The theory goes that ACV changes your body ph which doesn’t allow the cold virus to thrive, sending it packing. ACV is a pretty strong flavor, and if you haven’t learned to love it yet, you can also try using two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice instead. This one sent my last cold a-packing within three days, without ever getting to the kill-me-now stage of the cold. It also really helped me last year when I was battling bronchitis.

I know cold and flu season are quickly approaching–I hope these help you!

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