Sickness + a turmeric ginger immunity latte.

Turmeric ginger pepper immunity latte flu prevention

(For the turmeric latte recipe, scroll to the very end of the post 🙂 )

My daughter for sick for the 100th time since kindergarten started.  *le sigh* kids are so germy when they are all together!

Happily, no one else has gotten sick… Yet.  And she has gotten a thousand times better just from herbs and natural remedies.  So I thought I would post today about my go to herbal medicine cabinet when illness strikes.  I don’t like to use medicines for kids, they are often unnecessary and very harsh to a little body who is not equipped to process such toxins.  Remember when they recalled cough and cold medicines for kids because they are dangerous and don’t even work?!  I go the herbal route and it has worked for us 90% or more of the time.

First of all, for fevers, I don’t give fever reducing meds like ibuprofen unless the fever is over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  Children can safely have higher fevers than adults.  Fever is a natural defense your body utilizes to get rid of the virus/bacteria.  If you lower the fever, you are lowering the body’s ability to heal itself!  Lukewarm baths and cool washcloths for the head can help to comfort a child with a fever.

Do not give cold liquids!  This is jolting for the body and it has to struggle to bring it back up to equilibrium.  Warm liquids encourage the removal and dislodging of mucus and congestion and are soothing for a sore throat.  Especially beneficial are herbal teas like chamomile, elderberry, slippery elm, and echinacea.  Traditional medicinals brand teas have tons of great blends just for kids.  Stir in a tablespoon of coconut oil for a sore throat.  Also great are warm water with lemon juice added, and diluted warmed citrus or apple juices.

Support the body’s natural ability to heal with herbs!  I love the herbs for kids brand of tinctures, they have lots of different blends for different ailments.  The two I use the most are the echinacea +astralagus for deep immune support and the cherry bark blend for respiratory support.

If there is mucus, I always give marshmallow root.  It has mucilaginous qualities which help to remove mucus and break up congestion.  I buy it in capsules and then empty 2 capsules into hot liquid and stir it up.

For coughs and colds, I find umcka syrup to be amazing.  It is a homeopathic syrup that is widely used in Europe to shorten the duration and severity of colds and it really works well.

Elderberry syrup is also wonderful for supporting the immune system and reducing the severity of illness.

As far as homeopathic medicines, I always keep belladonna (for high fevers, infections and inflammations) and pulsatilla (runny nose, mucus, clinging child) around.

Ear infections respond really well to warmed oil with garlic and mullein.  You can buy it in a little dropper bottle at your health food store, usually it has arnica added too-a homeopathic medicine for pain relief.  Just warm up the whole bottle by submerging it in hot water.  Test some oil on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.  Then have your child lay on their side and drop 5 drops of the warmed oil in each ear.  Sing or tell a story while you do this so that they will stay at least a minute on their side.  Do the other ear the same way too even if it doesn’t hurt.  HOWEVER if the ear is leaking pus/blood/liquid do NOT put anything in it, this means the eardrum has perforated.

If your child doesn’t want to eat, it’s OK!  Sick animals do not eat.  This is because digestion takes LOTS of energy.  Energy going towards digestion=energy taken away from healing and fighting sickness.  Give foods that are easy to digest with high water content, like juicy fruits (citrus, pineapple, grapes, mango) white rice, warmed broth and steamed broccoli.  Absolutely do not give your child dairy or wheat when they are sick.  These foods produce mucus in the body, adding to the mucus that is already there when they are sick, and are generally hard to digest and irritating to the digestive tract.

Essential oils are another great tool to have.

eucualyptus: breaks up congestion, good to dilute and rub on chest and to put in a diffuser and or humidifier, or in the bath.

peppermint: relieves headache.  Dilute and rub on temples, jaw, forehead to relieve pain.

Clove and cinnamon oils: are potent anti virals, dilute and rub on the bottoms of feet to fight and prevent illness.

lavender: very calming.  Great for massage or in the bath to calm an irritated or sad child.

And lastly, to ensure no one else gets sick, up your intake of immunity boosting foods…mushrooms, greens, vitamin c rich foods, lemons, spirulina, turmeric, ginger, garlic, etc.  If you feel like you are getting sick my favorite remedy is to blend lemon juice, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic and honey all together and drink it.  It really works!  Also, this turmeric-ginger latte is a delicious favorite.  Here’s the recipe:

Turmeric ginger immunity latte.

2c plant milk (almond, hemp, coconut, whatever)

A few quarter sized slices of ginger

1t ground turmeric

1/8t fresh ground black pepper (this increases the turmeric’s bioavailability a lot)

honey/sweetener to taste

bring the milk and finger slices to boil in a small saucepan.  Let them simmer for 5 minutes, covered.  Fish out the ginger and add the turmeric, pepper, and sweetener.  Pour into a cup and enjoy!

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Tangy apple-herb vinaigrette and citrus salad (raw vegan)

citrus salad raw cucumber rolls

Its winter here.  ITS FREEZING COLD.  I was finding myself quite sad as I scrolled (on Instagram) through lots of beautiful pictures of tropical fruit and watermelon from all the people I follow in Australia and Hawaii.  At the moment, we in California are experiencing a cold snap that is out of character for these parts.  My baby grapefruit tree that I planted this summer is dead, along with almost all my lettuces, ginger, snap peas, and most everything else in my winter garden.  So bummed.  I need to figure out some indoor gardening.  Anyways, I was just really needing some vibrant color in my food.

I came across a recipe in an old Bon Appetit for a Granny Smith apple vinaigrette that looked interesting.  I made it, but decided it definitely needed a little punch to it.  Enter herbs!  Parsley, cilantro, tarragon, thyme-any herb you desire would probably be good with this.  I chose to use cilantro because of the salad I used it on.  Herbs also offer TONS of health benefits.  They are loaded with minerals and micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants and detoxing qualities.  Cilantro chelates and binds with heavy metals in your body and carries them out of your digestive tract.

My salad was everything colorful- orange slices (pith cut away and oranges cut crosswise), watermelon radishes from the garden (or your local farmers market), pomegranate arils, and cilantro.  Sometimes I forget just how much colorful produce is in the winter.  I am a huge believer in making food look beautiful.  If its beautiful, it will get eaten, especially by children.  I’m pretty sure that’s why both my children love almost all fruits and veggies.

apple cider vinaigrette herb

Anyways, the dressing recipe!  Makes about 1 and 1/4 cups.

1 chopped Granny Smith apple, cored but unpeeled

1/4c raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

1T fresh lime juice + 1t lime zest

1/4 parsley, cilantro, or combination of whatever herb you desire

1T minced shallot

1/2t raw sugar (omit if desired)

1/4c avocado* or other oil, adjust to how oily you like it (you could probably omit it too if you follow a low-fat diet)

salt +pepper

Purée apple, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice + zest in a blender, occasionally scraping down sides of blender with a spatula, until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing down on solids with spatula to extract all juice; discard solids. Return to blender and pulse with herbs, shallot and sugar. Whisk in oil until well blended. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Some of my ombre watermelon radishes that I used in the salad: (aren’t they just gorgeous!)

ombre watermelon radish

I used this as a dressing on my citrus salad, to dip my cucumber rolls in, and also on my green salad later that night.  It was fresh and simple and didn’t overpower any of the flavors in the salad.  Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Love, A.

*I get my avocado oil at Costco and i love it!  It has a totally neutral taste, is cold-pressed, and it withstands high temps without oxidizing and burning unlike olive and other oils.  Coconut oil does the same thing too but it has a decidedly coconutty tropical taste which is great but not in this dressing.