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Essential Wintertime Home Remedies
Snowfall, sweaters, and hot chocolate are things that many of us embrace during the winter months. Unfortunately, problems like frostbite, dry skin, and illnesses also plague us during the colder months of the year.
Though winter can take a toll on your health, home remedies make it easier to fight back against these maladies. The next time you're afflicted with a winter health woe, try one of these remedies to hasten the healing process.
For a Cold or the Flu: Healing Elderberry Syrup
Studies have shown that elderberry can prevent the onset of infections when taken before a cold or flu. When taken after infection, it prevents illnesses from spreading throughout the respiratory tract, reducing recovery time from an average of six days to three. With dried blackberries and a few additional ingredients you can make a healing elderberry syrup for yourself!
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cup of honey
- 2/3 of a cup of dried black elderberries
- 2 tablespoons of ginger, fresh or dried
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
1.) Pour water into a saucepan. Add the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and elderberries. Do not add the honey yet!
2.) Bring this mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the pan to a simmer for up to an hour or until the liquid has roughly halved itself.
3.) Remove the pan from heat. Let it cool until it is a comfortable temperature to handle. Using a spoon or similar utensil, mash the berries. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl or jar.
4.) Throw the elderberries away. Allow the liquid to cool until it is lukewarm. Add the cup of honey. Stir the mixture well.
5.) Refrigerate the syrup and enjoy!
The dosage for this mixture is up to 1 teaspoon for children and 1 tablespoon for adults. This syrup can be consumed daily to boost immunity or multiple times a day when battling an illness.
For Dry Skin: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an excellent home remedy all on its own! You can heal your dry and cracked skin with ease using this fabulous natural "lotion."
- One jar of coconut oil
1.) Using a spoon or fork, scoop a small amount of coconut oil out of the jar. If the coconut oil is solid, use your hands to warm the oil.
2.) Apply the warm coconut oil to your dry skin. If desired, the oil can be applied to the rest of the body as well. Many choose to apply the oil after a bath or shower and before bedtime.
3.) Clean off your skin in the morning. Reapply coconut oil daily for softer and smoother skin.
For Frostnip: Aloe Vera Ointment
Fresh aloe vera gel is one of nature's most soothing ingredients. To treat frostnip or mild cases of frostbite, prepare an aloe vera ointment to apply to the irritated and inflamed skin.
- One to two aloe leaves
- 1 gram powdered vitamin C per 1/2 cup of aloe gel
1.) If you have access to a mature aloe vera plant, slice off a large leaf or two. If not, purchase a few leaves from a local grocery store. These may be vacuum-packed if you live in a colder climate. A few leaves should produce up to 1 cup of gel.
2.) Place the aloe leaves upright in a cup to drain the yellow resin from the leaves. As the latex in this resin can irritate the skin, it is best to prevent it from leaking into your gel. Cut a few inches off the tops of the leaves as well. This part of the leaf also contains excess resin.
3.) Using a vegetable peeler or knife, remove all of the green skin from the aloe leaves. Cut through the white inner layer of the leaves to access the gel inside. Discard the skin as you work.
4.) Place all of the aloe into a clean jar. It will remain fresh for one to two weeks in the refrigerator. If you want to preserve the aloe for longer periods of time, add vitamin C to the gel as a preservative. Blend the vitamin C into the aloe using a blender.
There are many other easy home recipes for improved winter health. Bone broth, for instance, can reduce cold symptoms as well. By combining home remedies with standard medicinal treatments, you can beat any winter ailment.
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