Preparing for Cold and Flu Season

okay, I am going to try this one more time! This post has been mysteriously erased twice now, so I am hoping the third time is the charm!

I could NOT believe it when I awoke the other day to temperatures that were in the low 30's! I was freezing and laid in bed a lot longer than I should have, cuddling in the warmth of the blankets. Winter weather is quickly approaching and along with the cold temperature comes the beginning of cold and flu season. You can, however, create some products at home that will help you and your family minimize, or all together avoid the problems of the season. At the very least, these creations can offer some much needed winter-time relief

To begin with, we all know that we need to utilize frequent and good hand washing techniques in order to avoid the nasty bugs that others leave in/on public items, yet soap and water are not always available. This hand sanitizer recipe is a great, safe, alternative that you can carry in your purse, the car, or leave in your desk at work.


1/4 cup Everclear grain alcohol or 100 proof vodka

1/4 cup aloe vera gel

If you want to add scent, add 10-20 drops of fragrance oil, or 3-5 drops of Essential oil(s). In fact, if desired, you can even add one drop of food coloring.

Combine all of the ingredients and stir well. For ease of use, store in a bottle with a spray pump. This recipe has an indefinite shelf life and it makes 4oz.

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that occurs when dead skin is shed, producing white skin flakes. In addition to adding a B complex vitamin to your regimen, using one of the following after shampoo recipes should help keep nasty flakes from adorning your nice winter sweaters.


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
1 cup thyme infusion 
*to make an infusion; Take 1 teaspoon of thyme and place it in 8 ounces of almost boiling water. Cover it, set aside, and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes before straining and using.*

Mix all ingredients together and use it as a rinse after shampooing. You will probably use about 1/2 of this recipe, depending upon your hair length. You can store any left-overs in a bottle, jut make sure that you keep it in a dark, cool place. It will only last for about 1 week, so make it when you expect to use it.


1/4 cup tea tree extract
1/4 cup witch hazel
4 cups water

Mix all the ingredients together and use as a rinse after shampooing. You will use about 1/2 of this recipe, depending upon the length of your hair. Store the left-overs in a bottle. It should keep for about 2 weeks.

Unfortunately, almost everyone of us will need a cough formula during the upcoming winter season. Below are two formulas, one is an expectorant and the other is a night time formula.To make the night time formula more effective, consider taking both an Echinacea and a Rose Hip capsule before drinking the tea, then go straight to bed.


2 Tbs. lemon
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbs. 90 proof vodka

Mix all together and drink slowly, then go nightie night! *This recipe is NOT intended for children!

In the following recipe, the onion and the garlic are tough on colds and fevers. The honey and the glycerin help to sooth throats, the vodka helps to quiet a cough, and horehound has been used for almost 2000 years for respiratory relief. If you can find the flower tops and the leaves of the horehound herb, you can make your own extract, OR you can simply use a purchased extract. In fact, horehound is not necessary for this recipe to be effective, but it does make the recipe better, so it is worth the effort to find it. If making this recipe for a child, leave out the vodka.


1 tbs. chopped red onion
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. glycerin
2 Tbs. glycerin
2 Tbs 90 proof vodka
1 tsp. horehound extract

Scratchy or sore throats result from an irritation of the mucus membranes in the throat. To sooth and help settle the irritation, the throat needs to be coated in a pleasant way. The following recipe can be made ahead of time so you will be ready for your family's winter needs. This recipe can be adjusted to incorporate your favorite herbs, vitamins, and or flavors too!


1 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/2 cup water

Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil (make sure that the foil continues up the sides of the baking pan).

Butter the sides of a 2 quart saucepan. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and honey in the pan. Cook and stir over a medium-high heat until the mixture boils, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar (about 4-6 minutes). Turn the heat down to medium and continue a light boil at a steady rate, stirring occasionally until it reaches the soft crack stage (290 degrees on a candy thermometer). Continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool; over the next 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the lemon (and/or any other herbs or vitamins you desire). Then pour immediately into the foil-lined pan to cool. As it cools (another 3-10 minutes), you can use a spatula to "mark" your break lines into the cough drops, to make squares in the size you want for individual portions. The marks will stay when set up. If your marks do not stay, the mix is still too hot and needs to cool more; so wait a while and then try again.

Let the pan set overnight. Use the foil to lift it out of the pan and break it along the marks. Package in individual candy wrappers or wax paper, then store the individually wrapped pieces in a large baggie or a paper bag. This recipe will make 100-200 pieces, depending upon the sizes you mark and break. They will last 6-8 months if properly wrapped and stored.

**To pump up the volume on this drop recipe, making it a lot more herbal and holistic, try adding; 1 of each of the following tablets, crushed. Zinc, vitamin C, Echinacea, and Goldenseal. Make sure to add these at the end, stirring them in just before you pour the formula into the pan to cool.

So now that you have your dandruff under control and off of your nice winter sweaters, your cough eased, your sore throat soothed, and you can sleep through the night to spite your cold, what is left to make winter easier to endure? The following moisturizing facial mask, that's what!


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup honey
4 Tbs. powdered milk
2 drops rosemary essential oil

Heat the honey to make it easier to mix, then blend with the mayonnaise, powdered milk, and rosemary essential oil. Use the milk in its powdered form, do not add water to it. If the mixture is still warm from the honey, let it cool for a few minutes first, then stir again and apply to your face and throat. Allow it to set for 15 minutes, then wash off, rinsing with tepid water, and pat skin dry. This recipe has no shelf life, so use it right after you make it.

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