I use to think that the people who made everything homemade were a little crazy. Like, WHY would you spend a day making things from scratch when you can just go to the store and buy them?? I found the answer a few years ago. It's amazingly fulfilling to be able to plant, harvest, preserve and make stuff- from start to finish. It's an indescribable feeling to not only produce, but to know with 100% certainty where every ingredient comes from! With our food safety laws constantly changing and big name companies taking over small integrity companies, self sustainability is becoming increasingly important. We have the resources and the time (it really doesn't take all day) So, why not?? Today's post is focusing on homemade supplements. Specifically immune boosting things you can (and should) add to your daily intake!
Vitamin C: The best vitamins are those that come from food. The greatest source of Vitamin C is in citrus fruit PEELS! Did you know that the peels of oranges, lemons and limes contain 5-10 times more vitamins than the fruit? Lemon is so great for detoxing. I recommend squeezing lemons into ice cube trays and popping a frozen cube into a glass of water to start each morning. And after squeezing, don't throw those peels! (Make sure to wash them before squeezing) Slice them up and leave them out to dry for a couple of days, or use a dehydrator at 100 degrees for 6-9 hours. Then grind the dried peels into a powder and voila! You have homemade vitamin C! One teaspoon of powder is enough vitamin C to satisfy your daily intake! The powder can be stored in a sealed container for 3 months in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
Elderberry Syrup: Elderberries have a long history of curing a variety of ailments. They've been shown to boost immunity, decrease mucous production and increase antioxidant levels. Adding a daily dose can assist you in preventing both acute and chronic disease. To make Elderberry syrup, simply add 1/2 cup dried Elderberries to 3 cups of water. (You can also add various spices if you like: cinnamon, clove, etc.) Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour. Then strain the elderberries and squeeze all of the juice out. Let the juice cool to a temperature of warm and then add honey to desired sweetness (1/4-1/2 cup). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. You can take the syrup 1-4 times daily in 1 Tbsp servings.
Bone broth: We've all heard how chicken soup is full of healing benefits, right? Well I believe that it all started with making it completely from scratch, having a bone broth base! Bone broths are nutrient dense, easy to digest, boost healing, and delicious! It's made by simmering bones her a long period, causing a release of healing compounds like collagen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, glycine, glutamine, among many many others. Research has discovered that amino acids produced while making bone broth reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improves digestion by repairing and restoring gut health. To make bone broth, simply place bones in a slow cooker, cover generously with water and 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar. Turn the temp to high for 1 hour, then add vegetables if you want (1 chopped onion, 1 stalk of celery, 2 tsp finely chopped garlic, 1 tsp thyme, 1 Tbsp rosemary) and 1 Tbsp sea salt. After the first hour on high, adjust the temperature to low. Let it simmer for 8-16 (and up to 48) hours. After cooking, strain the broth and add to mason jars. It can be stored in the fridge for 5 days or the freezer for several months. Note: For a richer beef broth, you can roast the bones first: 375 degrees, 30. min for small bones, 45-60 for large ones. If you have a shortage of bones, you can ask your local farmer for soup bones! Often they store the bones in a freezer after butchering!
Mag Spray: Anyone who knows me knows of my obsession with Epsom salt. It's amazing stuff! Adding 2 cups to your bath once a week has amazing relaxation and detoxifying effects. It also can help with nerve function, digestive health and of course muscle relief. Recently, my kids have had horrible bouts of growing pains and I made a magnesium spray using equal parts Epsom salt and water (Heat to dissolve, once cooled add to a spray bottle). The spray had such amazing results, I now use it in massage as well!
Electrolyte drinks: Electrolytes help our cells to absorb and retain fluid. Anytime you're dealing with a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea or extended periods in hot humid temperatures an electrolyte drink is a great way to restore electrolytes from lost minerals. Homemade drinks are ideal because regular brand sports drinks or drinks marketed to toddlers are loaded with sugar and food dyes! Making your own is simple and the healthiest option! All you need to do is to mix together 1 Quart coconut water, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 cup organic no sugar added juice. Viola! Easy.
Now, we don't generally drink juice in our house, so when I make this, I make enough to use the entire bottle of juice( I generally buy an 8-12 oz small bottle). I leave some as liquid in the fridge (good for 4-5 days) and I freeze some as popsicles, then I freeze the rest in ice cube trays for later use.
Anyone who's had a toddler has probably dealt with some sort of ear pain. My daughter had an ear infection when she was just over a year and never had one since. I also have a 4 year old who has never had an ear infection in his life! I contribute this to chiropractic care at birth( I brought my kids in at 1 week and every couple of months for their 1st year), general massage techniques and these drops! Any time we deal with a stuffy nose for longer than a couple of days, or any kind of upper respiratory infection or cold we use these drops along with massage as a preventative to clear the ears. Also, any time ears feel plugged or throbbing we use these. I apply a couple of drops near the ear opening and then lay with that ear up so that natural body heat will bring the oil where it needs to go. I also massage behind the ear with moderate to deep pressure in a downward motion to facilitate drainage. (Note: the massage is slightly uncomfortable). Here's the recipe: Place 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. In the saucepan place a sterile mason jar with 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 clove garlic. Turn the stove on to heat the water. Make sure no water enters the mason jar. Let the water simmer for 15 min and then turn heat off. Let the mixture sit for another 15 minutes, then using a clean utensil, remove the garlic. Add oil to dropper bottle.
Another favorite mix is garlic and honey! "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!" Simply chop a clove of garlic and sprinkle it on top of a teaspoon of raw or local honey! Eat it 4 times a day to rid your body of ailments, or as a prevention when germs are everywhere!
Stay Healthy :)