“List”en To Me… Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold

That’s right, after traveling for a week to the beautiful state of Colorado to spend time with my amazing family, celebrate my grandfather’s 92nd birthday and take in the majestic Rockies we have come home and caught the common cold…boo hiss!

BUT we will not let that get us down because we are always armed in our house with ways to prevent and treat ailments especially when it comes to cold and flu season.

I know it’s easy to go to the drug store and pick up over the counter medicine with the idea that you’ll feel better the next day.  Have you ever looked at the active and inactive ingredients list on the back of that cold and flu medicine bottle?  Or those gel caps and nasal sprays?  What exactly are you taking to FEEL BETTER?  Below are the ingredients to Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu Liquid – Alcohol, Synthetic Colors & Dyes (Green/Yellow), Polyethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol…WHAT?!?!?!?!  AND that’s not even the ACTIVE ingredients!  You can read about why these ingredients are bad news HERE.

Vicks NyQuil Cold Flu Ingredients

Taken from Vicks.com Website

That said, I urge you to check out my Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold and consider trying an alternative option, it may take a day longer to feel better but your body will be thanking you 🙂

Top 5 Steps To Beat The Common Cold

1. Black Elderberry Syrup – Ditch that bottle of liquid medicine and let’s not only HEAL the body but PREVENT it from getting the cold or flu in the first place.

  • Black elderberries have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, especially for flu symptoms.   There have been studies done to prove its effectiveness.  Also known to decrease inflammation.
  • Not only are black elderberries healthy, containing antioxidants and vitamins, they also taste delicious.
  • In our house we take black elderberry syrup daily as soon as the cold and flu season begins, usually beginning in October.  It can be taken by adults and children.
  • There are several brands to choose from, we use GaiaKids so that we have exact dosage needed for our toddler.  The dosage for adults is listed on the box as well.  Additionally, if you search the internet you can MAKE YOUR OWN black elderberry syrup, which can be very cost effective!

GaiaKids Black Elderberry Syrup

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2. Bone Broth – Did you think I was going to suggest Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup?!?!?  Just to be clear why I wouldn’t,  you can check out the ingredient list below…monosodium glutamate, soy protein isolate…PLUS all the allergens!  NO thank you, we are trying to heal our bodies, not pollute them!!!

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

Taken from Campbell’s Soup website

Now, back to the DELICIOUS, healing, and nutrient filled bone broth.

  • My crunchy mamas out there would tell you the best bone broth is HOMEMADE!  Which I would absolutely agree, since you can choose your type of bones (chicken, turkey, etc…), add vegetables, vinegar, garlic, or spices.
  • One of my favorite recipes by Diane Sanfilippo can be found HERE.  I recommend making a double batch and freezing it to use during the entire cold and flu season.
  • In a pinch when you don’t have time to make your own, a good option is Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth which comes in two different flavors – Chicken or Turkey.   To combat our colds this week I picked up a box of the Organic Turkey Bone Broth at Whole Foods and although not at as tasty as the homemade version it did help with the healing process.

Pacific Foods Organic Turkey Bone Broth

PF Turkey BB Ingredients

3. Young Living Thieves Oil – The absolute BEST essential oil blend for the cold and flu season.  I have raved about this essential oil blend before which you can read about HERE.  However, for times sake, here are the facts:

  • This blend dates back to the 15th century.  Thieves, who would rob the bodies of the dead, would cover themselves in oils to avoid getting the plaque.  In 1997, researchers studied the effects of these oils and found them to be a killing force against microorganisms.
  • Young Living Thieves Oil is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata (safe for children) and Rosemary.  It is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • During cold and flu season we use this oil a few ways:
    • For my husband and I, we apply one drop of Thieves oil neat (no carrier oil) to the bottom of our feet.  This can be at night before bed or throughout the day for best results.
    • For our toddler, we mix three drops of Thieves oil with one ounce of coconut oil then apply a dab to the bottom of each foot.  We keep the remaining to use for future applications.
    • Lastly we diffuse eight drops of Theives oil in about one cup of water in our electronic diffuser. Cleans the air as well as assists in the healing process.

YLThievesOilFront

YLThievesOilBack

YL Thieves

If you’d like more information on Young Living and/or how to become a Distributor (discounted oils and shipping) click HERE.

4. Badger Aromatic Chest Rub – First, let’s go back in time…when we were kids and that cold and flu bug hit the house.  Who didn’t get the rub down with the Vicks Vapor Rub?  It was the go to for my mom.  Obviously as a child I had no concern about the ingredients, I mean it was being sold in stores and everyone was using it.  I admit years later I still trusted that brand and kept a jar in my medicine cabinet, clueless to its contents.  How many of you have done the same?!?!  STOP…please take a look at not only the active ingredients but watch out for the INACTIVE ingredients as listed below…petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil…again, NO thank you!

Vicks Vapor Rub Ingredients

Taken from Vicks.com Website

Ok, back to Badger Aromatic Chest Rub…SAFE and EFFECTIVE, I swear!!!  Made with organic ingredients as seen in the photo below.

BadgerBalmFront

BadgerBalmBack

  • Eucalyptus – Helps with any cough and nasal drainage, promotes normal breathing and gives this balm that energizing aroma.
  • Lavender – Antiseptic and antifungal properties, to rid the germs that have invaded the body and allow the healing process to begin.
  • Peppermint – Not only helps with respiratory issues, but also nausea and headaches which can occur when a cold or flu strikes.  Helps to reduce inflammation and has antiviral and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Keeps skin moisturized and super soft!!

5. NeilMed Sinus Rinse/Neti-Pot – You have to try it only ONCE to realize how much you love it!  I’ll admit years ago when I first got my NeilMed Sinus Rinse I looked at the box and thought you’ve got to be kidding me, I will NEVER use this.  It looked complicated and when feeling sick the last thing I needed was to deal with was rinsing my sinuses.  Fast forward to present day and this product has worked amazingly!!  So, ditch those nasal sprays that are filled with nasty chemicals!!

NeilMed Sinus Rinse

  • Not only works for colds and flus BUT also ALLERGIES!!!  In addition to my essential oil allergy trio (which you can read about HERE) that I apply behind my ears and base of neck, this has also saved me during the spring when the pollen arrives.
  • Now how to use it…Add premixed packets of sodium chloride (salt) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with purified water and deliver streams of the solution through the nasal passages.  Sound messy?  Yes, a bit.  However, the relief that is felt after is worth that little bit of mess.  I recommend definitely reading and following the instructions to make the whole process easier!
  • When sickness or allergies strike, using this twice a day can be very effective.  You can purchase at large retail stores or drugstores.
  • As stated on the NeilMed website – Preservative, Drug, Iodine, BPA, Gluten and Latex Free

The toxic burden that we are putting our bodies through on a daily basis and especially when we are sick can be changed.  You CAN choose safer and effective products that are HEALTHY for you!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

xoxo, Shane

Which alternative option are you ready to try?  What other natural ways do you beat the common cold and flu?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

Disclaimer: The information shared with you is based on my life experience, facts and research.  This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease you may have contracted.  As I am not a doctor, I advise you to consult with your physician when it comes to information listed above if you are concerned.  Additionally, I will not be held liable for any loss or damages.  Thank you!

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“List”en To Me… Top 5 Ingredients To Avoid

Here we are again, every week just gets better and better!  Last week we started a new topic – Toxic Chemicals.  Sounds so glamorous, right?  Don’t let the name fool you, click HERE to read the facts and statistics that will shock you!!

This week its going to get even better.  Go grab your face moisturizer or hand soap or deodorant or shampoo.  Seriously, go get it right now!

Now, turn it over and read your ingredients.  Scary, right?  Can you even pronounce half of the ingredients that are listed?  Well, on that note, let me take this time to help you decipher those words so you are FULLY AWARE of what you are using on a daily basis.

Top 5 Ingredients To Avoid

1.  Fragrance – Good smelly stuff, right?  I DON’T THINK SO!

  • That word alone can encompass so much, it’s considered a “trade secret” in the beauty/cosmetic industry.  By using this one word, companies can legally hide HUNDREDS of ingredients!
  • You need to watch out for synthetic fragrance as most are carcinogenic.  It’s a fact that 75% of the time that “fragrance” or “parfum” is listed PHTHALATES are being used, which is a chemical compound in the form of a plasticizer (think soft plastic, storage bags, food containers) and lubricant (mostly found in cosmetics).

2.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – Check that shampoo immediately!!!

  • It is derived from coconuts, how could that be bad?  It is the manufacturing process that turns it into a known CARCINOGEN – environmental factors that lead to cancer, changing your cell’s DNA.
  • SLES can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on a label, as companies are not required to list carcinogenic contaminants.

3.  Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl) – Usually sneak in at the end of the ingredients list, still a BIG concern!

  • These are PRESERVATIVES used in cosmetics and personal care products for decades to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and developmental defects.
  • A California medical study of BPA and methylparaben combination turned healthy cells into cancer cells, and rendered Tamoxifen drug ineffective.  Click HERE to read full article.

4.  Aluminum – What??? In our personal care items???  Go check that deodorant and antiperspirant!!!!

  • It is a NEUROTOXIN – causing damage to nerve tissue.
  • Metals in the body are bioaccumulative, when absorbed into the skin over a long period of time can lead to major health issues.
  • Linked to Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

5.  Synthetic Colors & Dyes – FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33 – But it is such a pretty (TOXIC) color!!!

  • We are talking PETROCHEMICAL CARCINOGENS – made from coal tar, which is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum.
  • These colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate.  As discussed above, aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain.
  • In the UK products with synthetic colors and dyes are required to have a warning label, however most manufacturers clean up their products, using only natural coloring, before distributing throughout the country.

This information should be taken seriously.  You should be looking at every product in your home and checking for the ingredients listed above.  You need to be very concerned about the toxic chemical burden that we are putting our bodies through on a DAILY basis.  Think about it, even if health and wellness is not your top priority this information should still motivate you to make a step towards change!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

 

Do you read your ingredients?  If so, which ingredient made you question a certain product and did you stop using it?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.

 

Reference: AANT – Did You Know? Brochure