Sick Box

When morning coffee turns repulsive for me, I know the sickness is going to be a rough one. We get a lot of questions on how, why, and how much, especially in regards to colds and flus. I hope this recount helps.

For me, short term sickness always begins in the eustachian tubes. I can feel it way back in my ears beginning to itch and bother, dumping into the deep throat somewhere between the tonsils and pinnacles. Right when I feel it, I hit it hard with our Viral Punch (most upper respiratory infections are viral BUT NOT ALL) and a healthy sprinkling of our Throat Spray. How hard you ask? I'll consume 1/2-1oz of Viral Punch within a day. I'll disperse doses with 3-4 dropper fulls hourly. The Throat Spray I keep handy and reapply nearly continuously, with it’s licorice backbone it proves to be a lovely healing aid. Normally the Viral Punch does the trick, but if not, I'll shelf it after a day or so and continue on.

But as I mentioned at start, this sickness was going to be a doozy. 

My throat turned to fire within a day. Maybe it's the wood burning stove drying out the Winter air. Or maybe it's the first days of real relaxation that my body felt comfortable enough to crash. Either way, my sore throat progressed to sinus congestion, dragon fire breath, more mucus than a Costco pack of tissues could handle, and I was pretty sure my eyeballs were going to fry sunnyside up right there in my head. 

Pro Tip: normally with sinus congestion I love essential oil steam inhalation, but with my mucous membranes dried out as they were, the essential oils were irritating it worse. In this case, go back to basics and gargle warm salt water plus whole herb inhalations. We had lavender eye pillows that worked great dunked quick in cool water and then placed across my burning eyeballs. It helped clear up the sinus congestion too. 

I decided at that point to cease with the throat spray since everything seemed to be bothering it and resort to warm salt water garggles and our Douglass Fir Calendula Butter rubbed across the chest as a Vicks rub replacement. 

I used to get ear aches often as a kid, like many of us, but rarely do as an adult. I still decided to dose up with our Ear Aches as good measure. It feels good and relieves some of the itch and bother, even if there isn’t an infection. I warmed up the bottle in my hands and placed 2 drops in each ear canal after showering. I repeated this each day (going on day 4).  Another cool note about our Ear Aches; we formulated it with glycerin instead of oil. This helps out your Family Physician be able to have better visibility of the tympanic membrane when and if you need them.

Pro Tip: Onion ear muffs work well too. Slice an onion in half and throw it in the microwave (or oven). You want it warm, but not hot. Check the temperature, especially if you used the oven by holding your hand against it for some time. The heat will accumulate. Place a "muff" over each ear and chillax. Aim for a minimum of 15 minutes. It feels wonderful so most people don’t mind, unless you're a rambunctious kid. 

By day 3, the sickness progressed to a cough, joint aches, continuous headache, and grumpy behavior. Which brings me to our cough syrup.  I loaded up on the turmeric, 1Tbsp twice a day, although I don’t mind ibuprofen either; with the intention of easing the joint pains and headaches. I also resolved to a diet of turkey carcass bone broth with maybe a piece of toast here and there. Not out of will, it's just what my body wanted... since coffee was out of the question. Listen to what your tastebuds are telling you. 

But back to the cough syrup. There are different functions and treatments for cough. In general we try not to suppress the body’s natural ability to heal, but sometimes cough suppression is warranted, say in the case of coughs causing pain.  Our Chokecherry Cough Syrup with cherry bark and our local chokecherry berries, is aimed at soothing the membranes and easing the incessant coughing. Our Elecampane Honey is used to aid a productive cough. It helps get the crap out, while our Cough Syrup helps the grumpy pants not complain so much about the pain and frequency of coughing. 

I didn’t want to take our Elecampane Honey because my cough was dry, painful, and nonproductive. So I finished off a bottle of 4oz Chokecherry Cough Syrup within 2 days and it really helped.

By the last day, the sickness had settled in to the lungs. My sore throat had mostly subsided, and the continual flow of mucus had ceased. I gave it a half day to see if it would self resolve before I hit up the Elecampane Honey to get the last bits of it out of the system. I took a tsp of honey right out of the jar every hour or so for one day and let my body do the rest. 

Pro Tip: As a means of treating yourself well, it's also quite important to make sure you get outside. Take a short walk, blanket up and drink tea on a winter swing, whatever you need to do in order to breath fresh air.