I hate colds. Who likes them, right? Well, I have a special dislike of getting sick. I am too busy to bother sitting around, nursing a sniffle, and even more important, I hate how it slowly spreads throughout my kids and makes everyone miserable. Here are the herbal remedies that I keep on hand for colds and flu.

Elderberry tincture – Make it yourself. Don’t know how to harvest them? Buy them dried and tincture in Vodka. The tincture tastes pretty good and you can make cough drops, cough syrup or just add a dropperful to a hot cup of tea if you want. Use it if you are fighting the flu.
White Pine tincture – I use this for deep cough issues. Do you get that wracking dry cough that keeps you up at night? You KNOW if you could get a good cough, you might be able to sleep.
Hot and spicy vinegar – This is great for when you are feeling a cold coming on. I take a Tablespoon an hour until I feel better. Make some up now, it needs to steep.

For teas, I always have catnip, mint, nettles and chamomile on hand. I like the soothing nature of catnip, especially for my kids. It is bitter and needs a friend in the cup-that is where mint and chamomile come in. The nettles are just very nutritive and any teas get a handful in the mix, so I know that the kids get a tonic cup of hot tea.

We do not bring down a fever in this house, unless it is over 102. I do gauge the child’s personality and adjust accordingly. No wild outside play with a chest cold. Cover your ears when you go out, if you are phlegmy. Kids can go from mild to really bad, in a couple of hours. I can listen to their voices and breath sound and hear if they are becoming ill.

When our family gets sick, we circle the wagons and spend time reading out loud, I make soup, and lots of blanket and  pillows make their way to the main couch. We do word searches and read from a tired,  old joke book (that wasn’t funny when it was new, but they love it)

What family traditions do you do when you all get sick? I would love to hear your ideas.