Layla and I don’t get sick very often but when we do, I try to steer clear from the usual treatments that we see these days such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and antibiotics, and use natural remedies instead. Since I started doing this, Layla hasn’t had an illness last any longer than a couple of days.
The first thing I always do is heal from the inside out, and what better way to do that than with the power of FOOD! I like to squeeze in as much nutrient dense food as possible to give the body strength to heal. I almost always go straight to the shop to buy a big fresh papaya because they are one of the most healing fruits on the planet, and a very important tip to remember is to stay HYDRATED. This is important every day but even more so when you’re sick because the body is working hard to fight off infections and if you have a fever, there is a high chance your body may become dehydrated.
These are the tips and tricks that I use to fight away illnesses and to bring back happy Lazzy:
Vitamin C- vitamin C helps the immune system to fight away the cold, making the body recover quicker meaning a shorter lasting illness and prevents it from developing into something more serious. Foods that contain high levels of vitamin C include citrus fruits, passionfruit, broccoli, strawberries, papaya, dark leafy greens (especially kale), brussel sprouts and kiwi fruit and many more.
Fresh Juice- I always make Layla a fresh juice full of goodness when I notice a sickness coming on. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and has anti-viral properties which helps to soothe a sore throat and also boost the immune system. Beetroot is an antioxidant and has detox effects, oranges are high in vitamin C and carrots are high in beta-carotene and convert to vitamin A which also assists in boosting the immune system. I only add a little bit of ginger into Layla’s juices at this stage because she is still getting used to its strong taste, but if you don’t mind the taste, add more into your juice for extra benefits.
2 carrots, washed
½ inch piece fresh ginger (add more if you can handle the taste)
Peel the beetroot, oranges and ginger (I leave the skin on the carrots) and roughly chop all ingredients. Press all ingredients through a juicer and serve.
Soup- I love making soups for Layla because it is the easiest way to sneak in lots of veggies and lots of nutrients. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant. Mushrooms are a nutrient powerhouse that have amazing benefits such as the ability to help clear sicknesses and find and fight infections due to their high levels of selenium and beta-glucan. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and immune booster, garlic contains allicin which helps to fight off infections and parsley is high in antioxidants.
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, squashed (lay flat side of knife over clove and push down)
½ butternut or kent pumpkin, roughly chopped
1 large purple sweet potato, roughly chopped
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 head broccoli, roughly chopped
2 large zucchinis, roughly chopped
150g oyster mushrooms
150g shiitake mushrooms
1 litre salt-reduced veggie stock
2 tsp turmeric
½ cup fresh parsley, plus extra to serve
Heat a splash of water in a large pot and caramelise the onion. Add stock, potato, carrots and zucchini, place the lid on and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the parsley and continue to simmer until all veggies are completely cooked through. Add parsley, cook for a further minute and remove from heat. Blend with either a blender/vitamix or stick blender and serve with fresh parsley.
Mustard Bath- I know this sounds strange but it actually works. The mustard has a detoxifying effect on the body by stimulating the sweat glands and opening pores, and the bicarb soda is used to further rid the body of toxins. The essential oils contain anti-bacterial properties along with antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-fungal. Mix all this together and you have yourself a detoxifying, calming, decongesting bath.
1-2 Tbsp mustard powder
¼ cup bicarb soda
Few drops of preferred essential oils (I use eucalyptus and lavender oil)
Run a warm bath and add all ingredients. Grab a book, listen to some gentle music or simply lay back and relax.
Natural chest rub- chest rubs are great when you are sick. They unblock sinuses, they smell great and I find them to be so calming. When Layla is sick, I like to give her a mustard bath, wrap her up in a towel, lay her on my lap and gently massage the rub on her chest and I can see instant relaxation come across her face. I found a chest rub from my local health food store with very basic ingredients which is exactly what I wanted. No chemicals or other nasties. The ingredients are simply mango butter, shea butter, eucalyptus oil, sesame oil and peppermint oil. I use this on Layla after a bath, before bed and any other times she seems extra congested.
So like I said, these are the remedies I use on Layla when I notice a cough or a sniffle coming along. Keep in mind, these remedies are only for a minor cold or flu. For more serious illnesses I recommend speaking to a professional.