I had every intention of being productive today. I even set an alarm. (Something I've only done a handful of times in the past decade.) And, well, a solid two hours after my alarm went off I finally stumbled out of bed to attempt to start my day.
The holiday season is funny that way, isn't it? We race into it head-long at full speed and are spat out at the other end tired, disoriented, overfed, and sometimes sick. As for me, I was doing great until Christmas day. But after our last family celebration was wrapping up I noticed my ear had started aching and I was irrationally tired. I knew what was coming.
I suspect I'm not the only one. The pre-holiday hustle, the stress of travel, our questionable food choices, and a string of late nights leaves our immune system depleted.
No wonder so many of us are feeling run down right now.
And so I thought I would share with you what my method had been to bounce back, in hopes that it might help some of you come out from under your early winter bug as well.
Grab some tea, snuggle under your favorite quilt and read on!
Get Well Soon! Five simple steps to feeling better fast.
Lots and lots of rest.
That means falling asleep early and staying in bed as late as you can. It means taking it easy during the day. (I haven't thrown a hay bale since Christmas and won't until probably tomorrow.)
For me, a comfy chair, quilt, and basket of knitting beside the fire helps. A lot.
2. Chicken Broth/Stock
I have been sipping cups of bone broth for days on end. It's my magic potion for getting well in a hurry.
My basic recipe is can be found here. (And no need to pressure can! You can keep it in the freezer if that's more your speed.)
3. Herbal tinctures
I think simple, homemade tinctures are the best medicines of all. Our family makes many different kinds each season and we rely on them throughout out the year to support our health. Currently I am taking elderberry, echinacea (my recipe is from this booklet), and astragalus tinctures.
If you haven't made tinctures before you won't believe how simple it can be! My recipe and instructions for homemade elderberry tincture can be found here.
Also yes, I give alcohol-based tinctures to children. A single child-sized dose of tincture contains less alcohol than a ripe banana. So I simply don't fret about it.
4. Stay hydrated
Warm drinks are key. Herbal tea and hot toddies are my top picks to deliver good medicine while helping us stay hydrated.
My hot toddy recipe – with variations from the most simple to more complex – can be found right over here. If you're choosing a purchased herbal tea blend, find one to match your symptoms. (There are teas for a plethora of conditions. We love the Traditional Medicinals brand.)
5. Treat your symptoms
Body aches? Epsom salt baths and arnica muscle rub/massage oil both work magic on soreness. Also try a hot water bottle tucked up against an aching back or sore neck.
Earache? You can't beat garlic ear oil. I shared this recipe years ago (along with a few other holistic earache remedies), though the one I used this weekend I made with garlic and mullein flowers.
If you'd like I will share a recipe for it during the next mullein flower season. Do let me know if that interests you!
Sore Throat? Those toddies work wonders; so does gargling hot salt water. My preferred remedy for sore throat is homemade Monarda tonic. Made with just wild bee balm, raw honey, and brandy it soothes sore throats in a hurry. (I will bring you a recipe during next summer's Wonderfully Wild series and link here when it's available.)
Fever? Try Belladona 12 c homeopathic remedy. This along with our homemade fever tea and the other wellness steps above are our best defense. To make the tea, combine equal arts dried elder flowers, catnip, and peppermint leaf.
We keep a jar of this blend on hand just for fevers.
Cough? I can't sing the praises of this remedy enough. If you don't have elecampane on hand I urge you to pick some up now and have this remedy ready for your next round of coughs. It works like magic. I also shared two herbal cough syrup recipes in the Herbal Apothecary booklet, one for day and one for night. Both are simple to make and work wonders on persistent coughs. (All proceeds from Herbal Apothecary sales are currently being donated to ease the crisis of Syrian refugees.)
And with that, I have a cozy spot next to the fire that's calling me.
Rest up, friends. Get well soon!
Originally posted in 2015.