I recently threw together a care package for a friend of mine who could not seem to kick a bad cold she had. My package of goodies wasn’t full of the normal pharmacy fare, but rather various concoctions in glass bottles and jars. I told her she wasn’t allowed to waste anything – especially not a drop of that chicken broth! When she (now completely healthy) came to return a few of the borrowed items, she declared, “I want to learn from you! Teach me!!!” Why YES, I’d LOVE to! And that’s what this post is for all of you – a list and links to the jarred elixirs in my care package.

I will give a short explanation of the item’s benefits, but most of the information will be found by following the link.

Home-Made Bone Broth. Broth made from simmering a chicken or turkey carcass for many hours is mineral-rich, anti-inflammatory, soothing to the GI tract, and loosens mucus. That is liquid-gold right there, friends. If I give you a quart of my chicken broth, that means I really care about you 🙂

Elderberry Syrup.  Like many home-remedies, elderberry syrup has actually been shown to be MORE potent and fast-acting than other medications. Studies show a quicker recovery rate from the cold and flu, and elderberry syrup can be taken as a preventative measure as well.

Kombucha. Among other benefits, kombucha is high in glucuronic acid, which is a powerful detoxifier.

Coconut Water Kefir. Water kefir is high in probiotics, which play an important role in healthy gut flora, which in turn is important for getting healthy and staying healthy because 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut. You can make kefir with plain water, but coconut water adds nutrients and is especially valuable for its electrolyte content, which restores hydration. 

Raw Honey. Raw honey is soothing to the throat and in my experience calms a cough better and more quickly than cough drops or syrup – especially a dry hacking cough. It will also soothe a sore throat. Just be sure that you never feed honey to babies one year old or younger.

Neti Pot. If you haven’t gotten on the neti pot bandwagon, it’s about time. Using a neti pot, you can irrigate your nasal passages, which thins mucus and clears it away. It is a great tool to help clear out all that gunk from your cold, or even to prevent allergy and sinus issues. Just make sure you don’t use it if you are *completely* clogged, and blow your nose VERY gently after using.

Diffuser and Essential Oils. When you are congested, getting sleep can be a challenge, which may cause you to turn to a OTC cold medication. However, I find that if I place a diffuser by my bed (along with the humidifier of course) with eucalyptus (only use “eucalyptus radiata” for children 6 months old – 2 years old; do not use at all around babies under 6 months old) or peppermint (do not use around children under 2) essential oils dropped in, I will stay clear enough to breathe. You can also put a drop of peppermint or eucalyptus oil on a q-tip and gently swab it inside your nostril. Just know that peppermint is VERY potent, so you will want to use it sparingly and carefully. If you have a chapped nose, it will burn! As for diffusers, they vary in price a lot, but from what I can tell, they’re all the same.They’re becoming more popular – I just saw them in the gift area of Barnes & Nobel of all places. On-line is also an option of course. As for essential oils, I suggest going to your local co-op or natural foods store and selecting a food-grade, organic oil. I don’t believe there’s a difference between those and the MLM brands you may have heard about, and you will save a lot of money. During the day, you can diffuse these oils and others that have anti-viral properties to help purify the air in your home. Use care with essential oils, especially around children. 

Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup. This recipe is one of the first I posted on my blog, and I came up with it in an effort to cram as many immune-boosting ingredients into one meal that I could. The base is of course nourishing chicken broth, and ginger and tumeric are added for their immune-supporting and anti-inflammatory properties. This is a one-pot meal that you can accomplish without making the chicken broth separately.