I woke up on Sunday with a sore throat. The last time I was sick was when I lived in Texas back in 2012.
Naturally, I was annoyed. I thought it might just go away. It did not.
I drank lots of tea and water. I ate soup and bought Riiiiiiiiiicola’s.
On Monday, it was even worse.
I started lathering up with oils. I became more discerning about my tea choices. Lemon Ginger wasn’t doing the job. I went back to the store and bought more tea.
I attempted to teach classes and got a lot of homeopathic remedy recommendations from students. I was desperate.
Health is your natural state
I believe one of the main reasons I prioritize living healthy is because I despise being sick.
I would never consider myself a “sickly child.” I got strep throat one too many times growing up, but as I recall it happened about once a year. I typically remember getting a cold in the fall and in the spring. I also remember that being “normal.”
There was one year in particular in high school where I just could not get rid of a sore throat for months. But beyond high school, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I got sick throughout college up to the present day.
All of this to illustrate the point that I kind of feel lost when I get sick. I forget what to do. What I need to have around. What’s going to help me get rid of the ick as fast as possible.
This is why I found myself researching the Internet on Monday morning. I pulled out all my Ayurveda books. I shuffled through my tea shelf — yes I have an entire shelf dedicated to tea. I referenced my encyclopedia of essential oils.
I admit, this post is just as much for you as it is for me to remember what to do and what to have on hand to heal holistically.
So without further ado, here are my top choices based on personal experience and my own research.
- Ginger, Lemon Ginger, Echinacea, my special “be well” blend
My favorite brands are Yogi Tea and Traditional Medicinals. You can find a limited selection of these brands in most grocery stores and a much wider selection in natural foods stores like Whole Foods.
Ginger is most well known for helping to relieve digestive issues and tummy upset, but it’s also a fabulous immune booster and is always my first go-to when I feel a little off.
Echinacea is the superstar in my holistic healing regimen. I swear if I spend a couple days drinking a ton of that tea, I’ll feel better way sooner that I would have without it. It might just be mental, but there is some research that shows it helps boost your immune response. There’s also fascinating research about the placebo effect and how sometimes thinking something is helping you even if it’s a placebo can benefit you just as much if not more then actually taking what you think you’re taking. So there’s that too.
- Oregano, OnGuard, Melaleuca, Frankincense, Breathe
First, I’ll start by saying I use DoTerra oils. I do not sell them and I’m not interested in selling them. I like DoTerra because the oils are easy to use, packaged well, mostly easily accessible, and I love the blends.
At the first most subtle signs of “eh” I’ve got OnGuard on my feet. OnGuard is a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf. I use this oil throughout the year and it’s got it’s own special place on the bedside table. I mix in Frankincense now and then to bolster my immune support and because I like the smell.
When things really go south, I whip out the Oregano. Make sure if you use Oregano you dilute it first, as it’s quite strong. I put this on the bottom of my feet as well. Unfortunately, it makes you smell like pizza, so be ready to smell up your bedroom right before you go to sleep. You can find oil of oregano at most natural foods stores in different forms as well (tablets, drops, etc.).
Based on my research this time around, I learned that you can use Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) to combat sore throats as well, so I diluted this one and put it on my neck.
As my cold progresses to it’s cough stage, I’ve got Breathe handy to rub over my chest and help with the phlegm. The Breathe blend consists of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Ravensara Leaf (I don’t know what that is either), and Cardamom.
I apply my oils multiple times a day throughout the day.
You can (almost) never drink enough water and this is especially true when you’re not feeling well. Water helps you stay hydrated so that your cells can more efficiently fight the invading infection and makes you pee every 10 minutes which aids your body in getting rid of those pesky toxins.
This is the one I’m particularly bad at. Rest means different things for different people. While I’ve continued to work during this bout of illness, I’ve made conscious choices to rest more. When I’m teaching I’m not nearly as mobile as I normally am. In fact, I sit at the front and that’s about it. When I’m home, I’ve tried to forget about work as much as I’m able to so that I can get some house things done, which, yes, are technically still on the to-do list but are easy targets because once they’re done they give me such a great feeling of accomplishment!
I did a restorative yoga practice at home. I skipped a class I was going to take. I’m taking it easy. And I made myself some kitchari, an Ayurvedic inspired rice and mung bean stew of sorts that is thought to be the most easily digested meal you could eat. I consider it comfort food, but if you’re like my mom and sister, you might call it bland. I think that’s the point and why it’s so easy to digest.
Sleep has always been extremely important in my life. Now more then ever I’m ensuring that I get my 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Early to bed and early to rise…or wake up whenever I wake up if I have the luxury of a free morning. Sleep helps your body fully rest so that you can move into repair mode. I need all the focus to be on getting rid of whatever it is that’s trespassing.
What’s your favorite holistic healing tip? Let me know over on the Facebook page! I’ll try anything 🙂