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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

What’s in my medicine cabinet to treat common colds and sore throats

Becca Crawford

I am often asked for recommendations on what natural remedies to take for a common cold or sore throat. Even though Spring is just around the corner (hooray for that!) and the temperatures are rising I often find that it is the change of seasons when many people succumb to colds and sore throats. So here is what I and my kids take when we have a cold or sore throat:

1. Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil. This is high in vitamins A, D and  K2 plus omega 3 fatty acids. 1 tsp/day for adults, 1/2 tsp for children and 2 tsp/day for pregnant/lactating women. I take the cod liver oil infused with the high vitamin butter oil for extra vitamins as I don’t have any dairy intolerances. Otherwise you could take the plain one without butter oil. I sell at $55 or $70 (depending on whether they are capsules or gel and whether they contain butter or not) or purchase directly from GPA Wholefoods.

2. Schuessler homeopathic tissue salts. The 2 I always have on hand are “fer phos” which is akin to a natural Panadol for the onset of cold/fever, and “kali mur” which helps with mucous and sore throats. Take up to 6 each per day. $12ish each for 125 tablets. Sold at organic stores like About Life or The Health Emporium at Bondi.

3. Vabori olive leaf extract. Like everything, source and processing of olive leaf is critically important and after much research this premium quality olive leaf extract is the ONLY brand I would recommend as they use fresh (not reconstituted) olive leaves. Store in fridge and take as directed on bottle.

4. Gargle salt water a few times per day. Make sure your salt is unrefined eg sea salt. A salt water gargle is just as good and safer than any pharmaceutical-based throat gargle.

5. Loving Earth Gubinge Vitamin c powder. Vitamin C great for healing and immunity. 1 tsp / day dissolved in water. Sold at Ovvio Organics at Paddington 5 ways or The Health Emporium at Bondi.

6. In terms of nutrient-dense foods when ill- I advocate lots of home-made gelatinous broth/stock, cultured veggies for natural probiotics, pastured livers, garlic and pastured egg yolks. A tub of my ready-made chicken liver pate is an easy meal when you’re feeling too sick to cook.

7. Drink lots of filtered salted water (add 1/8 tsp per liter of filtered water). Herbal teas like home-made lemon and fresh ginger tea or Ovvio C-Strength tea are great too. Vabori Olive Leaf also now make a herbal tea. and throat lozenges. I have been sipping on their tea all week.

8. Coconut oil – I recommend both oil-pulling to speed up detoxification and adding extra coconut oil in your cooking (eg on steamed veggies or to pan fry) and in smoothies. Coconut oil is anti-microbial, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal and anti-viral… Meaning that it KILLS BAD BUGS! It’s also a natural inflammatory.

9. Immune Defence herbal tonic by Ethical Nutrients. I personally haven’t taken this but it comes highly recommended by integrative GP Dr Min Yeo as an addition to my above list (but not to be taken when pregnant or breastfeeding). Sold in the fridge at Chemist Warehouse (eg Oxford St mall at Bondi Junction). 1-2 per day.

Obviously if your symptoms persist I recommend seeing a holistic practitioner on the same nutritional page such as integrative GP Dr Min Yeo or natropath Anthia Koullouros at Ovvio Paddington 5 Ways. If you live in Melbourne I have a list of like-minded practitioners that I can email you.

Happy healthy healing!