Sick - natural health products?

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Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2009
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Cameron, NC
Hey guys, I thought I might ask some ??s here.

Once again I am very ill this winter. If you don't want to read the back ground, go below the 2nd set of stars to get to ??s.


Thankfully, after our move in late 2014, this one started much later or rather the first two colds of the season were "normal" and got over them quite quickly w/o a visit to the DR or lots of OTC products. I'd like to think that as I learn to eat a little better that it is helping.

Then, the symptoms changed - I was "off" in the evening and then by noon the next day was running a fever(Saturday). 2 days later, still in the throes of the fever, I missed work w/o even calling in... Didn't even realize I'd lost both Saturday & Sunday. I was treating with OTC fever reducers, hot showers, liquids (went that whole weekend w/o coffee - family bout died!). Really wasn't hungry... Then fever started breaking. Would break, then PLUMMET downwards. I have a regular temp that is considered low, but it hit 95* consistently (the highest we measured it was 102.6* which I've had much higher, but not for so long). Coughing started Tuesday - only other symptom. No sinus fill, no sore throat(until I'd been coughing for 24 hours). I had already called DR & set up appointment - had to wait for an actual scheduled one, but didn't want to drive 40 miles one way by myself and wait as a walk-in. I was almost kicking myself for setting it up, but now needed a DRs note for work. The fever had broken and had stayed broken overnight until I got to the DRs office. It was at 99* when went in, and while waiting it went right back up to 102.6* (on their equipment, not at home, LOL). Hmm...

Tested for Flu & Strep - negative. Lungs - terribly congested. DR came up with bacterial bronchitis as a diagnoses. That is a new one for me. I am not a smoker but my family was and Larry (my hubby) was until 2009 when he was able to quit w/ the help of Chantix. I usually do get sinusitis or rhinitis at this time of the year - last year it lasted a long, long time - several rounds of antibiotics to get thru it.

The "Z" pack antibiotics took care of the fever and I started feeling better - w/i hours of taking the first dose. She had also prescribed a cough syrup - when I went to the pharmacy that I use - they didn't have it (1st ingredient - narcotic - hydrocodone). Found out - very few do. Really glad found one that did - Larry drove with me the next day. Thank goodness - I was still coughing so hard that I was going to the point of passing out AND we found out that our insurance for my scrips are not in order. We had to pay for what was prescribed. UH - Let's just say I could have bought a month's worth of hay for what we paid in cash for that 750ml bottle of "liquid gold". I finished the bottle and I did get better - sort of... Mostly the hydrocodone worked for lengthening the time between coughing and shortening the coughing spell - passing out stopped and could safely drive again. I "suck" at expectorating - so was sick a number of times as stuff finally coming up...

Told that bronchitis can take forever to heal up (90 days or more). Not sure why/how I got it. A lot of folks around me have been ill, too, but all with different things and somewhat different symptoms. I haven't cleared up in the lung department and now have a "regular" sinus thing going. OTC for right now - no fever... but OMG so miserable especially w/ this wildly swinging temps/weather here in NC right now. GLAD that I don't work again until the 2nd of Jan - I would have to call out right now (again!). When I go back to work, will be working 4 days a week (1st time in a while that many hours!) - 10 hr plus days. Plus chores here. I need to be in better shape and ready to handle that...


SO ??'s -

- has anyone ever tried or regularly use homeopathic type treatments? If so what?

- essential oils?

- homemade brews - such as Elderberry syrup, Master Tonic or Fire Cider?

- onion poultice for congestion?

- other brews, concoctions or suggestions?

If you have, do you have some ideas or advice? I have been playing with Essential Oils for a while now (use DoTerra), but still have a lot to learn. Drinking a lot of just hot water with honey, cinnamon & lemon juice right now. I don't like black tea w/o milk & sugar, so haven't been drinking that (1 cup was all I could choke down - honey/lemon didn't make it any easier to take). Eating a lot of citrus (especially for me) - normally it "tears up" my stomach - but I've been craving oranges and drinking lemon juice (as wedges in tea or the juice as an additive - not actual lemonade which does make me nauseous). When I've eaten - I've leaned towards spaghetti and lasagna (tomato based citrus?)... Even managed to eat LOTS of my hubby's chili w/ extra spices (normally don't like his - way too thick and too spicy). WEIRD.

Really curious about the home made brews. Larry is not happy that I'm looking at them at all - thinks that they will give me "false hope" or keep me from going to the DR when I need to. Insurance won't be fixed until after the holidays and I need some help/pointers. Can't get my normal pseudoephedrine anymore (decongestant - easily or close by) and REALLY want to try out some of these things but have a lot of misgivings, too, especially w/ no support from hubby...
I hope a culture was made so the doctor knows EXACTLY what kind of antibiotic to prescribe. It needs to target the specific infection. Broad spectrum ones don't do the job.

Have you looked into apple cider vinegar? Mixed with warm water and honey it is supposed to be wonderful. I did it for a while, but finally had to give up as the vinegar was just too much for me. I have a friend who makes a travel mug full in the morning and works on it all day.

Have some friends who are into essential oils, but I think researching all about them would be so difficult if one didn't love it. There is so much to know.

Chronic sickness is so debilitating. Hope you get better soon.

My husband has two rare diseases. Grovers and Buergers. No cure for either. Go figure.
Marsha is right, you should get a sputum culture done to make sure you are on the right antibiotic. I went through this three years ago and ended up seeing pulmonologist who finally did a culture and I was growing some pretty nasty crap that was resistant to the several antibiotics my gp put me on. I was sick for 3 months.

Can you ask your doctor about a nebulizer or inhaler to get your airway open so you can get that stuff up and out of your chest? That helped me alot. And a humidifier if it's dry in your house will loosen the phlegm.

I hope you feel better soon.
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Paula, I use a lot of natural remedies so maybe I can help. I have asthma and COPD so it seems any little cold settles in my bronchial tubes and I end up with Bronchitis and/or Pneumonia every. single. time. One bad thing about Bronchitis is you can have viral and bacterial at the same time so even though the antibiotics will help the bacterial type it does nothing for the viral type and it has to run it's course.
Since you were diagnosed with the bacterial kind you really need to go back for another test to see if the antibiotics they gave you took care of it and that you don't have pneumonia. IF you still run a fever after finishing the antibiotics you need to go back.
In my case since over the years I can spot what is fixing to happen, I start treating myself accordingly But sometimes (like you are going through) I end up at the Dr.too. Usually, when mine is that bad they Xray my lungs and do a breathing treatment. Do you have a bronchodilator? it will help widen your air passages and make it easier to cough up and clear your lungs. If you find that you are always sniffing and clearing your throat and cough more laying down then it could be coming from your sinuses so you'll treat that a little different. Don't use a cough suppressant.

For the times (like last year) when I did end up at the Drs office, for the terrible coughing, I have used over the counter Mucinex, the one with Guaifenesin in it (as opposed to the expensive prescription) this will loosen all the glue like crap and help you to cough it up.
What I myself generally always use if I'm getting sick:
I use Turmeric daily, mainly for arthritis, but if I feel a cold coming on I double my usual capsules plus I start drinking it mixed in boliled milk and put some black pepper in it too,
Garlic tea
Sage tea

ACV, honey, cinnamon, and cayenne tea.
Honey on a spoon to help cough. (when I mention honey it should be local honey)
Oregano oil

OLD standby Vicks Vapo Rub! I use it covered on my chest and on my feet with socks. I still put it under my nose too like my Grandmom used to do to me.
For me, it's imperative that I use a humidifier. I use fresh dried sage in it, it's wonderful to inhale. If you don't have a humidifier put a towel over your head and inhale over a pot or basin with steaming water.

Finally and THIS IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION FOR ANYONE TO USE BUT ME- I'm simply telling you what I do, and I've done it for years. I use what I have, and being a life long horse person I always have meds
such as SMZ-TMP and Metronidazole on hand. I use SMZ-TMP for sinus and respiratory problems. Works like a charm for me.
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for cough medicine I only use whiskey now--it works the best and is a better buy than any cough syrup.

Pseudoephedrine is bad for my BP and worse for my A-fib plus I am now allergic to it, so for sinus congestion I rub Tiger Balm on my cheekbones.
Marsha - Hmmm, no, I'm pretty sure they didn't do a sputum test since I figure it's different than the Strep test (the only q-tip they stuck in my throat). The one they dug into my sinus's only went into a little plate thing w/ 2 cups - similar to an IGG test for a foal and as soon as it showed "neg" - it went in the trash. On top of that - I was told that other than the cough, if I was OK, I didn't need to come back in and that the cough could last up to 90 days even w/ the cough syrup. I'd never had bronchitis before, so I didn't realize this is wrong. I know that it IS that way with sinusitis and rhinitis - if I'm not over it, I go back in.

As to the ACV, I've never taken it directly myself. I've never really been a fan of vinegar dressings either and I'm really having to learn to like (develop a palate for) pickled veggies which are considered good for you in more than one way. My chickens, dogs and ponies have regularly gotten ACV - though until recently I didn't even know about "the real stuff" w/ the "mother" vs the easy to get kind in any store that is pasteurized.

Debby - THANK YOU!! Some of those are new to me. Yes, my own old stand by is Vicks - using it on the feet is new for me but DOES tie into using the onion poultice on the feet (that one blew me away - still have a hard time figuring how putting something on the feet can draw stuff out of the chest - working on faith on that one).

Can you either describe or PM me with your recipes for the 3 teas? I'm still new to the "natural ways" and I have to learn those. I'm still used to getting the "old standby" Lipton at the store. Hoping to make Hibiscus tea this next summer, won't be from my own plants yet. I will be planting and harvesting my own Echinacea this year for tea (2017). I've never heard of either sage or garlic tea... though it makes sense.

I often mix honey & cinnamon in a shot glass and drink it down for sore throat (1/4 tsp cinnamon; about 2 TB honey I think). Works wonders. Drinking it in a psuedo tea now - same mix of honey, cinnamon w/ a TB of lemon juice (from the bottle since don't have real lemons right now) and heated in a large mug of water. Drank that down about 5 or 6 times yesterday. Having coffee this am right now, then a large glass of ice water then will do my cinnamon mix again...

While I have used the horse meds you described on our horses/ponies - I've always used the full scrip for them and have never had any left over. Current vets won't sell it to us w/o using it on a specific horse, so that's not really an option. I do have a friend that does that, too... Right now, I'll stick more w/ the other options.

I'll have to look up the properties of Oregano oil and straight black pepper - really haven't researched those. I know that DoTerra does have Oregano Oil, just have to check it out.

Don't currently own any humidifiers and this is the first home in forever I haven't felt "dry" in. I am doing the steam - showers & over the a pot of boiled water. Will try adding sage (have in spice rack, not fresh). Will be planting many spices next year and hope to harvest them. May sow some in the house...

Holly - thank you for replying. HAHA - I, too, have used whiskey - didn't even think of it this time around, though. I'm sorry that Pseudoephedrine doesn't work for you. Larry, my hubby, has to take a different type of decongestant for his blood pressure. I tried it - I ended up with a serious migraine - on top of the other symptoms. He wanted me to take more - I waved him off and at that point completely quit the OTC stuff for more than 24 hours - to clear my system.

That was when I posted here and was using the Vicks - on chest & under nose; doing steam showers & over a pot of water.


So, I will make up a batch of Master Tonic and let you all know how it goes...

Ingredient list - this one has amounts. Others that I have just show layering the actual chopped (not grated or powdered) roots & veggies in a mason jar and covering with the ACV.

  1. 32 oz. bottle Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
  2. 1/4 cup chopped Garlic.
  3. 1/4 cup Onions.
  4. 1 Habanero pepper (or hottest peppers you can find)
  5. 1/4 cup grated Ginger.
  6. 2 Tablespoons of grated Horseradish.
  7. 2 Tablespoons of Turmeric or 2 Turmeric root chunks.

Thanks all for sharing your thoughts, Here's to getting better!!
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for cough medicine I only use whiskey now--it works the best and is a better buy than any cough syrup.

Pseudoephedrine is bad for my BP and worse for my A-fib plus I am now allergic to it, so for sinus congestion I rub Tiger Balm on my cheekbones.
Brandy works well as cough syrup too. Pour a finger or so in a glass and sip it making sure to let is slide down and coat your throat. Even if you aren't a drinker (I am not) it's a more natural option than cough syrups full of chemicals. I like the blackberry brandy because it's thicker and coats your throat a little better.
Larry uses Limoncello for coughs (we keep it in the freezer and with the alcohol content it stays slushy).

We also make up a black tea with honey and lemon.....for my daughter.
Larry uses Limoncello for coughs (we keep it in the freezer and with the alcohol content it stays slushy).

We also make up a black tea with honey and lemon.....for my daughter.
I use tea with honey for sore throat and cough; but also have some throat drops (liking the Burt's Bees honey drops, doesn't suppress the cough much, but do soothe the throat).
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For the garlic tea

I take about 2 to 3 cloves and smash each one, I don't peel them just squash a little then let it sit there a few minutes then drop them in a cup of boiling water.

I'll drink that plain... OR sometimes I mix all or some of each ACV, honey, cinnamon, and cayenne. Also once you drink the liquid then chew up the garlic and eat it. The peels slip right off and usually float so easy to get rid of those.

The sage tea I boil a cup of water, pick some and use it fresh or dried. For fresh I put about a tablespoon to the cup but for dried you'll use less than that. You can put your fresh sage on a paper towel in the microwave for a minute or so then take it out and rub it into crumbles. You can drink it like that or dress it up with honey, lemon, cayenne or? Sage is a really good expectorant.

The black pepper is for the absorption of the Turmeric.
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Feel better, more energy - but still draining and will have serious coughing fits at different times. Not coughing thru the night - according to Larry. Love our bed...and my shaped pillow (from chiro).

After last week's vacation time almost entirely spent sleeping/resting - and just bare minimum chores, I'm cleaning the house up a bit now and measuring for ordering new flooring (putting in hardwood laminate - ripping up entry/fireplace room, dining area and living room). Still taking it very easy - as next week I will work 4 10 hour days plus drive time (not bad)... I'm trying not to be too worried about it. Will be picking up ingredients today for my "Master Tonic" but it won't be ready for a while yet.

Looks like, for a while, I will be working solid 3 day weeks possibly a 1/2 4th day. That will make a difference in my paycheck (YAY!) BUT also takes a toll when I'm already sick... And here, since I wasn't getting any hours, Larry and I had talked about me quitting. LOL.
Glad you are on the mend!

We put in hardwood laminate floors and love them. Getting the floor prepped was the hardest part. It had been carpeted and we had to pull out scadzillion tiny tacks. That took almost a day in itself!
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I had forgotten about the tacks, thanks for the reminder. Plus, not sure if we are going to waste time shampooing the carpet before removing it. BUT it will be nasty coming out... Too many doggie accidents w/ this wonky weather and soaking up w/ paper towels... we shall see how it goes. Part of me honestly feels this is part of the reason staying sick and REALLY want this darned carpet out. It was pretty nasty when we moved in (we shampoo'd it - previous owner hadn't) and it is OLD.

Part of the sub-flooring will need to be replaced - hubby thinks we can do it in small pieces. I don't - after 15+ years, I'm pretty sure the sub-flooring has compressed and is much "thinner" than the 3/4" we purchased (if original sub-floor was even 3/4" to begin with). We shall see when we start pulling it all up. Doing these 3 rooms will not remove all the carpet, but will remove quite a bit. The next big project (I think) in the house will be removing the carpet in the master bath (who in heck's name puts carpet in the M-bath?). We will need to replace flooring around the toilet where there has been a leak and also replace the wax toilet ring when we pick up the toilet, but that should be all we need to do (hopefully?)... Ah... old manufactured homes...
Good luck with the floor. I think you are probably right that the carpet could be part of the problem. Be sure to wear a mask when you start pulling it up; disturbing everything could really cause you some discomfort.

The old carpet turned upside down could be useful if you have some muddy areas in the corrals. I put an old jute rug in front of my horse motel and it really helps during a rain. The hroses like to stand right in that spot, half in and half out of the shelter.
We had carpet in part of our master bath, it was rose pink to match the master bedroom. The toilet and shower is behind a separate door, and that area was vinyl; but the sink area was carpeted.

One day, we hope to put hardwood in the main living area of the house; but who knows when that will happen. I so hate our living room carpet.
I hear you on the hating the carpet problem. We live in a camper with lineolium in the tiny kitchen and bathroom and carpet throughout the rest. Being a camper, it sweats real bad in the winter from being heated inside and cold outside. The constant condensation grows awful mold and mildew, especially in the closets, cupboards and all around the outside edge of the carpet. I want to rip it all up and put down that hardwood flooring. It's such a small space, that I figure it cannot be too pricy, but hubby doesn't want to get ridif carpet because in our living situation, it provides quite a bit of insulation. We are always getting sick and I know it is the poor air quality. Running a dehumidifier helps immensely with the moisture and mold reduction, but it is a constant battle. My husbsnd has bad Asthma and I feel that this situation makes it worse. He uses his albuterol inhaler so much that the doctor put him on singulair at night to help. It does help, but when he gets sick, he lives on mucinex. We both make tea with local honey or whiskey for sore throats. I swear by homemade chicken broth, since we raise our own chickens we have been stockpiling chicken stock for cold season. I believe that cooking down those bones to get the marrow and collagen out really helps repair damage to the body. I freeze it into ice cube trays. Then pop them out into air tight containers for storage. Whenever we need broth, we can microwave a few cubes in a mug for a quick fix, since neither one of us wants to cook when we're sick.
AmySue, put in your hard floor, then get an area rug for the insulation, then you can change it out as it gets nasty. and not use it at all in the summer.

I hope to get hardwood floors (even laminate) in my living room and dining room, eventually, and plan to get an affordable area rug for down the center of the living room for warmer walking in the winter. When the cats get it icky, we'll replace it (our small Shopko, our only box store, has some decent area rugs for decent price). [And, one of the furniture stores does binding on carpet to make an area rug, so perhaps that would be affordable.]

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