In our house there is often someone coughing, as the winter starts or the Hay fever season in the summer. With the virus getting everywhere, any cough has me looking even harder for any symptoms, I guess everyone is the same, very stressful.
I thought that it would be an idea to look around and see if there were some natural solutions that we can make ourselves or purchase.
We are NOT giving medical advice, just some ideas we have found, or used ourselves.
Please check before trying anything for yourself.
Or check with your Doctor.
I think this is a blog that will be added too, after finding something new or a recommendation from anyone.
PLASTIC KETTLES & GAINING 10 M MICROPLASTICS
I really wasn’t sure where to add this article, is it better on this alternative health ?, As to avoid the plastic particles has got to be better for our health, or is it better on a non- toxic home page, or both?
If you think about how many foods or drinks are effected by this.
I often boil a kettle to start off foods in a saucepan ( we use stainless steel) how many cups of coffee or tea do we drink? How much of this plastic has been absorbed via a cuppa soup ?
Or as I have mentioned before on babies bottles, how much is going into our little ones? That can not be good!
INEWS.CO.UK say that a mug of tea could contain in excess of three million micro-plastics. I find that scary! The hotter the plastic, the increase in particles.
They mention that an average twelve month old who is having baby formula is drinking 2.6 million particles a day, that is even with it being boiled in a metal kettle, but if your kettle is plastic it could be so much higher. The temperature of the plastic does make a difference.
It is one reason I hate using plastic water bottles, never mind the recycling of those items. So the conclusion on that for me is to use as few plastic items that you can.
BOOSTING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
This was a first stop for us, as if you have a strengthened immune system it can help prevent many other ailments and health issues.
Even more important in these days of Coronavirus and Covid 19 . It feels better to start in a position of stronger health . There are many websites offering advice on this. Many of them are suggesting eating a good range of fruit and vegetable and whole foods. Which I guess many governments have been suggesting for years in the Five a day.
As I mentioned before there area few websites that I always check on for certain advice, ones that I feel are very trustworthy. One of these is the Food Revolution and the many great online free seminars that they have on a regular occurrence. They often have free summits on health .With expert medical and nutrition advice. Amazing information to help protect your family.
The CLEVELAND CLINIC has some great ideas on what vitamins and the foods that they are found in for boasting your immune system . Their top one is Vitamin C which they believe at the top of the immune boasting vitamins. They give their top three vitamins.
HEALTHLINE also have some advice on drinks which can boast your immune system , not only that but they sound yummy. They list 10 different drinks to try from green drinks to fruit mixtures , all with information on the vitamins that they contain.
FOODS TO HELP WITH YOUR IMMUNITY
A Probiotic filled yogurty type drink. Or I have seen people making Kefir Water. I understand this is made from a different grain to the milk type. We have started making this with Soya milk.I did try a one off with normal full fat milk, but I didn’t have much luck with it, maybe it was just too warm in our kitchen. We hit 32 degrees this week. But the Soya Milk is much better. I know that most milks are ok to use, one video I saw used goats, or I have seen coconut milk too, though we haven’t tried that one yet. I found it useful to be able to slow down the production a little, as we were swimming in Kefir at one point. Since then, we have been having a little hassle with the Kefir and soya, from what I have read so far, it seems because the structure of milk is so different to soya, it may need a little help. Maybe use alternative milk then soya? Another suggestion that I read was to add a little sugar to help feed the Kefir grains.
The video below is a great easy step by step process, she uses raw milk, but also explains about the double fermentation process too, this was the first time I have seen that used.
I found a very helpful site called Cultures for Health , they explain that the grains can be refrigerated for a few weeks, in a milk, or cleaned dried and frozen, really helpful if you are going on holiday or just want a break.I cant believe how simple it is, as it is working really well.
Though it can be a little strong for my husbands nose, we have discovered that the strength of the smell seems less after being in the fridge. Healthline- have a list of 9 benefits from Ant-bacterial , improving bone health, could be a protection from cancer, its a probiotic, low in lactose, could improve allergies also contains many nutrients.
TRUST ME I’M A DOCTOR , a BBC Health link, give more information on foods such as Kefir for gut health.
COUGHS, COLDS and SORE THROATS and FLU
I know that you have the normal ideas that float around such as Lemon for coughs and cold ,or Honey for sore throats.
My husband thinks a shot of brandy in there too helps!
I have heard that if you eat a Honey, locally produced in your area, it will help with Hay fever from the local plants.
We are lucky enough to have neighbours ,who produce different Honeys for sale , which are quite delicious, raw unpasteurised Honey, each have different properties.
They do have a website- found here
I know that they have different advice on their site, to give an idea of which honey is better for different ailments.
( Honey in French is written MIEL )
I kept getting an advertisement on my Facebook, for this company called
Sweet Bee Organics UK have another product which looks interesting called Winter Wellness , which is an Elderberry Elixir
It seems there is no end for how good Turmeric ( antioxidant) is for you now.
( not sure if this picture is or Turmeric or Ginger! as they look quite similar )
There is a recipe for Homemade Cough Drops with Turmeric on MAPLEHOLISTICS.COM
DAVE HAX has a video on making your own throat sweets. This seems to have had a huge following. We have not tried them as yet.
Turmeric or Curcumin
The popularity of this spice has increased hugely in the past few years, along with the health claims. I have heard it referred to as Indian Saffron. Due to the amazing yellow colour.
It is fantastic that now we are starting to look into more natural spices and herbs to utilise what people have been using for years. It is a strong anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant. Even my dad is now using the capsules. I understand that just cooking with it , doesn’t give a strong enough dosage of the active ingredient curcumin which is a curcuminoids. ( by Science Direct)
But you are still adding to your daily intake. I have always used it in making curries, but I have seen recipes to make a drink too.
FOOD REVOLUTION .ORG have a really soothing milk drink with Turmeric, cinnamon and ginger.
Using Black Pepper with Turmeric helps to enhance the Ant- Inflammatory effect on the body . I believe that it also helps the body to absorb the benefits of Turmeric more, adding a little healthy fat to that as well.
These mixtures can be added to all sorts of recipes, from rice or curries, salad dressings. I have to admit it goes into more recipes now than I thought possible. It used to be solely a curry ingredient before. The added benefit of the beautiful yellow colour enhances so many other foods.
USING TURMERIC FOR CANCER
I have seen different articles on using Turmeric as an aid for cancer, and breast cancer. I wanted to put some different ideas that I have come across to give different points of view. CANCER RESEARCH UK Have some information last updated in 2018 , using it as a compliment to treatment. They have some mixed view points and also guide lines to what can happen if you take too much.
WEBMD give some links to studies where they are trying to find out if Turmeric can help with fighting cancers and which ones that it may work better with. What is great with this site, is that you can click on the link to find out more on each part of the body.
Which they say some research shows that it may help in preventing cancer. One way it helps is by reducing inflammation in the body. They have links to studies on Pancreatic and bowel cancers. It may also help to prevent damage to cells from Radiation therapy. A really interesting article on this fantastic spice.
They also have a link to 12 Scientific Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin. One of these is to help prevent and slow down Alzheimer’s due to the anti-inflammatory benefits. Also possibly depression. It may also help against heart disease, there are many fantastic uses, this article is really detailed.
MSKCC.ORG also have an article on using this spice.
While looking at a posting on Facebook, I came across
MARNIE CLARK a coach for breast cancer. Looking at her website, it is well written and has a load of really helpful links for research and alternative ideas though supplements to help your immune system. A really great website. ( I do not know this lady, it is just something I have come across) I do not benefit at all from this link.
Though in several articles it does say that Curcumin could inhibit some cancer treatments, so always talk with your doctor first.
There is a really good article on HEALTHLINE who give 10 Proven Health Benefits.
They offer a good idea on the health benefits of this amazing herb, along with advice on it protecting our hearts.
Possible side effects with taking Turmeric, there are some guide lines on this link below.
PENNSTATE HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTRE focusing on possible issues if on certain drugs.
WEBMD.COM have uses and possible side effects of using Turmeric in an easy to understand guide.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT
This extract was something I came across yesterday.
Obviously the benefits of olive oil are well known, especially helpful protecting your heart. The Mediterranean diet is something that has been in the media for as long as I can remember.
Apparently this extract can also aid in lowering your cholesterol, and also your blood pressure. I hadn’t realized that people in the Mediterranean have been using the leaves in their cooking for years.
There has been a study written about by MEDICAL NEWS TODAY that says there could be some benefit in preventing weight gain.
Gosh this leaf is getting better the more you look into it!
I came across these while looking for something more natural.
I am Welsh, so it made me smile to read that these, were originally made in Wales in 1907 by an ENT surgeon in Wales called William Lloyd, for the singer Enrico Caruso, also for Frank Sinatra.
They have been used by many singers including our very own Tom Jones.
They do have sugar in the original pastille, other flavours are available, but they also have essential oil such as peppermint oil, Liquorice extract , Menthol, Myrrh tincture, and oils , a full list is on this link.
Not to be used under the age of 12. Also there is a warning for anyone who could be allergic to E151 can be an asthmatic reaction to any intolerance , more common if you are allergic to Aspirin.
Please read the instructions . This used to be medically licenced.
TEAS to use to aid Health
This something I hadn’t come across either, though why it would surprise me, I don’t know.
So you can buy a tea to aid your throat too!
We live in France now, and the amount of Tea that is available for all sorts of Ailments such as Digestion and other ailments is amazing. We seem to have met many more people who use these Teas here.
Others available to aid a restful sleep, Well-being and just about everything else.
This is an organic tea which has 16 caffeine free tea bags in it.
Made by Traditional Medicinals. Licorices and Marshmallow root , Wild Slippery Elm Bark.
It is quite expensive but comes with some very good reviews.
They have other products too.
PUKKA – this brand of Teas, have a huge range of different wellness options to explore.
Ginger is very useful in morning sickness and travel sickness.
First of all I thought that this was alcoholic!
Is a website, with a huge amount of information on making your own herbal solutions.
CANCER PREVENTING FOODS
I also came across a website giving 25 Foods to prevent Cancer. I can’t pass comment on that that claim, but it can’t harm anyone to add more healthy foods to their daily diet . The website link is on VIGORMAG.com
These foods range from Olive Oil, Garlic, Avocado, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Cabbage, Bran cereal, Salmon, Brazil Nuts, Lemon, Blueberries, Artichoke, Kiwi, Scallion ( onion)
Sauerkraut ( also Fermented vegetables)Beans( dried) Carrots, Cherries, Tomatoes, Corn ( as in Corn on the cob type)Ginger, Grapefruit, Grape( they have put a wine glass near this one?) Ginger, Green Tea.
They give a good explanation on why each of these work well. Most of these I had already read information on in different publications, though it is good to see them grouped together. The BBC also have a great article on cancer prevention using cabbage. They also give some advice on eating purple foods such as Blueberries , this all backs up the advice given above.
AFTER SUN SPRAY
This recipe for a homemade version of an after sun, made with Lavender and Aloe comes form Premeditated Leftovers
This website is full of ideas to make your own products and different food recipes .
Also many gardening tips too
DEALING WITH SUNBURN
DERMSTORE.COM has some Homemade solutions to Sunburn
TREEHUGGER has some homemade recipes for after sun cream, also some advice if you have sunburn.
This recipe was passed onto me from a friend.
Always do a patch test for any allergies. We have not tried this one as yet.
We have used the Citronella candles before.
Citronella Repeller– 1/2 tsp of Citronella essential oil and 2 oz of Witch Hazel .
Witch Hazel works in two ways one as a carrier for the Citronella and the other as a soothing aid to any bites .
You can use Olive oil or Almond as a carrier instead ( careful with staining clothing as with any oil. ) also check for any allergies .
Other oils that can be used in repelling insects are- Eucalyptus, also Lemon Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary and Tea Tree oil.
You can also mist your clothing as well not just use on the skin.
There is a written recipe here by DO IT YOURSELF for a repellent using Citronella, also with warnings about some allergic reactions.
ALFRESCO NATURAL PRODUCT
Someone on a Facebook group in France put a suggestion on a natural product which gives a blend of over 22 essential oils and has been tested by The Tropical School of Medicine, It is called ALFRESCO, it is Deet, Paraben and Paraffin free.
It comes in a variety of products from Moisturisers, Cologne and sprays. It is definitely one we will be trying this year. Their website for more information on the testing and different products available is here. Or I have found one of their products on the UK Amazon link. There was a short article on the Guardian Newspaper some time ago.
LOOKING AT SOLUTIONS TO INSECTS
We are in the South West of France, and the evenings can get warm here, with many insects coming out.
Looking into another homemade solution I came across an oil which has a blend of insect repellent .
Made by Plant Therapy – Nature Shield, can be used blended with a carrier oil or used externally to ward off the insects .
Mosquito Guard Repellent. this one is free from Deet and Non toxic it has a blend of natural oils.
How about a little romantic bed cover? there are some very attractive mosquito netting for the bed, such as the one linked here on Amazon.
LOVEA a company that has products made in France, their natural bug spray is something we have used recently.
Though the bottle is quite small. It can work out a little expensive.
I see more and more recipes on the internet with this website.
I thoroughly enjoy delving into the different topics on this site, very impressed.
This link is for different DIY recipes for bug sprays.
BUG REPELLENT BRACELETS – made with Natural essential oils,I love this idea. Getting a child to put something on, to stop mosquito can be a challenge at times. These look a fun way to solve a problem.
KINGSBOM another bracelet type for a different look.
For BUMPS AND CUTS
This book is another recourse for natural solutions .
This is available on the Amazon link.THE HANDMADE APOTHECARY:HEALING HERBAL RECIPES
This book was recommended to me from a very good friend and healer.
There is a very simple recipe for a Balm for bumps and cuts – You take a handful of fresh Daisies and enough Olive Oil to cover them , you also need some beeswax too.
(from the book)-
Take the clean picked Daisy heads and place them in a jar , cover with oil. Leave to infuse for a couple of weeks, after which strain the liquid. For every 120 ml of strained oil, add 20 g of beeswax, gently melt over a Baine-Marie, when the beeswax has melted pour into a sterilised jar, seal and label and date. shelf life up to one year, in cool dark place. To research this recipe more please take a look in the book .
NATURAL REMEDIES BOX SET – this looks like a good reference set of books.
I love this product, it is great for bruising and sports .
Arnica, Comfrey , Calendula Balm by Chambers and Co. all natural product, please read ingredients on this link.
We found out about this firstly in the cream format, as our daughter started ice skating, which led us to using loads for bruising !
Since then we have come across other products that contain it.
Our local massage clinic, recommend it after having a medical massage to aid with the healing, this can be taken in a homeopathic remedy.
OOMEO Arnica Salve , again all natural essential oils.
Nelsons Arnica Homeopathic medicine. this seem to be the most popular choice on this site.
Here in France it is often sold in little tubes by our local pharmacy.
BACH RESCUE REMEDY– I guess most people have heard of this.
We even used something similar with our dogs.
( after making sure it was ok, to use with dogs) we had two dogs, one who was very anxious travelling , we had a huge journey to do with them.
I have friends who have had a problem with their dog and fireworks, this helped hugely.
FABHOW.COM has a great article on CHRONIC PAIN HOME REMEDIES, some great ideas for a natural approach.
COUGHS AND SNIFFLES
When we were kids , often a solution to a stuffy nose or a cough, was some thing like a vapour rub.
As a parent, you just want to help your child feel better as soon as you can.
I have even heard of it, being applied on the soles of your feet as a aid, to getting rid of a cough! Yes we have tried this too, I do think this worked on my husband, either that or he thought it did!
THE CHEMICAL FREE ME give a good long read on the effectiveness of this product ,and if Vapour rubs contain toxins.
WELLNESS MAMA has a homemade Vicks solution. For a more natural approach.
TEA TREE THERAPY has a more natural solution, though you have the option to purchase.
BADGER COMPANY also have some more natural solutions, not only for a vapour rub but other helpful products.
This is a word that keeps popping up on some of the websites I have subscribed too.
One of the Herbs that is recommend is ASHWAGANDHA , this was totally new to me, sometimes called Indian Ginseng.
Apparently in the USA now it is available as a supplement. It seems to be helpful in all sorts of ailments.It comes in different forms such as powder, capsules. This herb has a huge amount of uses, but as with anything that you take, it is important to consult medical advice on using it, it is not suitable for everyone.
The benefits which has been highlighted in these articles are
Anxiety and Stress– which we are all dealing with at the moment with the spread of the Coronavirus. ( By Psycom) This article also goes into discovering the difference between the two.
Sleeping Problems( by Web MD )
Cognition( by Science Direct)
Diabetes ( by Medical News Today)
Infertility & sexual dysfunction( by Reproductive Facts)
Obsessive compulsive Disorder( by Anxiety Canada)
Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis( Healthline.Com)
This article on MEDICAL NEWS TODAY.COM is a really good informative on the pro’s and con’s of using this herb.
US NEWS .COM also have a detailed article on ASHWAGANDHA.
As anything else the source of the herb is important as some can be tainted with metals and mercury. Also not recommend in Pregnancy and Breast feeding.
Also it could have an effect with some drugs. Always check first.
APPS For CHRONIC PAIN
I found an APP for your mobile phone that is suggesting it can help with Chronic pain, for example Migraines, we have not tried this, but it is worth a go.
There has been a history of Migraine in our family forever, it is very debilitating when you get an attack. I have to say I have tried varies methods to try an ease an attack.( link on Medical News Today for more on Migraine)
Lavender in a diffuser sometimes works for me ( again be very careful using essential oils around animals as certain oils can have a serious effect on their health) I have tried using 4Head but I find that this needs to be applied well in advance of a Migraine coming. You can purchase Roller Bottles empty if you would prefer to make your own Headache mixture with Essential oils or a pre- made ones are available. These are very popular here in France.
There are also many other types of relief for headaches on this link, from cold eye covers to Tens machines. Anything is worth a try to stop your headache going into Migraines.
CBD OILS/ HEMP PRODUCTS
Looking into what is available , one company PRIMA that I have already mentioned with their dry skin range, also have mood and brain supplements. They do have Hemp Based CBD products. They look fantastic and 100% clean products.
Also using Hemp products for aches and pain, this can be used in different applications.
Either using a topical CBD cream or drops which can be put under your tongue. Discover Magazine has a list of the many benefits of using CBD for Arthritis and many other complaints.
I had an email from this company about their CBD products called FLAWLESS CBD.CO.UK – they have 4 1/2 stars on Trust Pilot.
They have a lot press articles that are available to read on their site. They offer CBD oil in many forms from Skincare, Edibles, capsules and more.
Using Ginger for Migraines is something I came across fairly recently Migraine.com give the reasons why this might work for you.
I had seen advice on using a small amount in some water, there needs to be more studies done, but there are only a couple of side effects that may happen, such as gas and heartburn.
A few others that are mentioned, also the precaution of certain people not advised to try this such as pregnant women, people with Gall stones and Bleeding disorders.
Like anything else check with your Doctor first. I do find it exciting to think a spice could help people ,without the use of some of these really strong migraine medications with all their side effects.
Not everything is going to work with everyone.
HEALTHLINE have a huge list of some other herbs that may be useful ,if you want to try a natural approach to Migraine. These are from around the world.
(Relaxation is often a start if I am suffering with a Migraine, some where quiet and dim lighting. Also the application of a cold damp flannel over the eyes and some Lavender oil.)
I have heard that using Lavender oil in a burner can help.
PATHWAYS PAIN RELIEF is another App that seems to have some good reviews
I am sure that there are many other Apps out there. I never even thought before to look into the APP world for advice on pain relief.
NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN
I came across this website by chance this morning, called Indian Country today It is a fascinating look into 10 Medicinal Plants or Foods that they used in their lives.
These were used for everything from Inflammation to Infections. How they used the plants and why they were used, explaining about the properties that these have. There is a book here on Amazon that goes into their healing ways.
I have always drunk Mint tea , but now I understand the other properties that this herb has, that it is a powerful antioxidant and contains the vitamins A&C also containing Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorous. Amazing, I never realized that it was benefiting me in other ways than just for digestion.
LOSING WEIGHT FOR HEALTH BENEFITS
I thought I would pop a few ideas, to help us all lose a little weight after the trend of over eating when we have been stuck at home.
First to find some ideas of what we can eat to help-
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT– SUPPLIMENTS IN REVIEW have a detailed article on how this wonderful leaf can break down fat by-Boosting metabolism
Suppressing glucose breakdown halting glucose breaking down seems to reduce the amount of glucose absorbed in the body.
This article has a list of how much should be taken and in what form. They offer advice on a supplement that can be purchased.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING have 35 Best Fat Burning Foods.
Often surprising ideas such as Peanut Butter! Which can help fill you up, and is a good snack.
Chickpeas- one of our favourite go to foods. We use these to add to salads, make sausages ( On the food blog) Humus ( again on the blog)
Pumpkin and peas are some of the great foods listed with ideas on why these work.
The BEET.COM also have 7Best Foods To Eat to lose weight naturally without dieting.
WEBMD also have 14 Great Food Combos For Losing Weight
KEFIR- LIVE STRONG.COM explain why a low fat Kefir might help also.
NHS.UK also has 12 Tips To Help You Lose Weight
Often the hardest thing is to eat in moderation, eating that one piece of chocolate and being able to put down the bar!
Some TV programs we have watched , with Doctors giving advice has been to chew your food thoroughly to allow your body time to feel full too. How many of us just put a fork full into our mouths without really savoring the taste and texture of the food? Or watch TV while eating, not really appreciating the meal?
It is one thing I really appreciate here in France, is the time people take to eat a meal together, having 2 hour lunch breaks to talk and appreciate what they are eating and the company around the table.