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Natural Home Remedies for Cold Ear Ache Flu and How to Avoid Ear Infections and Antibiotics

Natural home remedies for cold

Do you know of some effective home remedies for a cold or ear ache? How do you avoid colds, flu, ear infections and antibiotics at your house? I’ll share my tips, and I hope you’ll comment with yours, too, so we can learn from each other.

For the most part, our family has slipped through without getting sick this winter, but everyone around us is missing work and school like crazy. What should you do if you get a bug?

Before reading more, here’s how to avoid colds and flu in the first place:

10 Tips for Strengthening Your Immune System

First, the disclaimer:

I’m not telling you what to do and I’m not a doctor, I’m just sharing what has worked for us. Use your OWN judgment when illness hits your family!

Natural Home Remedies for Cold — Ear Ache — Flu, and How to Avoid Ear Infections and Antibiotics

There are a few things we do when one of us first begins to have a cold or any upper respiratory symptoms…

In the past I would usually give over-the-counter decongestants right away when one of the kids came down with cold symptoms, because the goal was NOT ending up on antibiotics (have you read “How we dodge antibiotic bullets“?), but these days I try other things first (especially since we’re homeschooling now and I can keep an eye on them here) — if we have to go that route, okay, but at least I give the natural stuff a good shot before hitting the pharmaceuticals…

  • Last fall, our daughter had a little cold and then developed a low grade fever. Remembering what the WAPF says about the potency of cod liver oil and butter oil from together for healing (read more about CLO benefits here), I gave her a dose of cod liver oil, and then made her the following chocolate milk “concoction”. This went over much better than giving her butter oil when she was younger – she threw up every time. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I don’t think so, because it has happened a few times like this: her fever was gone within a couple hours and hasn’t been back since. So here’s what I make, and the amounts don’t have to be exact… mix together the following ingredients very well so there are no egg yolk floaties for the kids to complain about:
    • 1 raw egg yolk (from pasture-fed chickens – don’t do this with eggs from the grocery store)
  • Don’t forget the benefits of a good bone broth/stock! You could put it in recipes, or get it lukewarm and drink it with a little sea salt – for healthy minerals! My kids love this.
  • Another time when one of the kids had a little cold or sore throat, I let them drink “honey juice”. (They’ll ask for it other times, too.) Just put a little raw local honey in some warm water, and it must soothe their throats at least a little. ***I’ve read that you shouldn’t give honey to kids under 2, but haven’t looked into it, if you have researched this let us know.
  • Most of you probably do this already, but when kids cough & sneeze, we teach them early to put their face into their arm, not to cover with their hand. I could be full of it, but this must cut down on the germs that get spread around.
  • Good handwashing is another no-brainer to keep germs from spreading, but I don’t use antibacterial soaps. As I said above, my goal is always limiting their exposure to antibiotics. This is why we avoided milk with antibiotics before they took it all out of the milk supply, and we buy our meat from farms that don’t inject the animals with antibiotics. This is all so that if we ever really need an antibiotic someday, our bodies will not be resistant – they’ll still respond. (Read more about how our environments have become too sterile from The Maker’s Diet.)
  • If symptoms aren’t improving I might give a dose of an over-the-counter decongestant at night before bed if I absolutely have to — if I think they’re not getting better, in order to avoid an antibiotic. This usually dries up the drainage (at least some anyway), so it doesn’t settle in their chest, ears, or throat all night, which can lead to irritation, inflammation, infections, and usually a sore throat and/or an ear ache, too. A year ago in the fall, our youngest woke up from his nap really crying and holding his right ear and then laying it on me and snuggling. He never cries, so I thought for sure he had an ear infection. I didn’t want to rush him right in to the med center, knowing that if he did have a little redness in his ear, they’d want to immediately put him on antibiotics. The next day was Thanksgiving, so we decided to just hit him with the cold meds and pain meds and wait. Thankfully we didn’t run right in, because by the next morning he was fine. The meds must have dried him up, so the fluid didn’t run into his ears all night and cause more pain and inflammation.

If they do get an infection and are prescribed an antibiotic, depending on the situation (sometimes you just have to bite the bullet), you may want to try some of the above ideas before filling the prescription, but use your own good judgment.

Most importantly, if you seem to catch everything that comes along and you always get it bad and end up on an antibiotic, read about how to heal your immune system!


photo by wordnerd411


  1. Hi Kelly
    When someone in my family is starting to get congested we will use a netti pot with a saline solution to rinse the sinuses. It’s a little weird the first couple times…but you get used to it and it really helps. I will also up their intake of vitamin C. We use a natural decongestant called D-hist which is an Ortho Molecular product (this is also made in a Jr. version for children). Pretty much the same idea as you only a more natural formula. Hope this info helps!

  2. Hi Kelley,

    Elderberry is our first line of defense. When one of us (except dh) is fighting something we take elderberry. Usually just one dose does it. If one of the dc actually get something then I give to all of us so it doesn’t get passed around. Here is the link to the one I settled on after trying different ones (Sambucol tastes better but has sodium benzoate). We just mix in a little bit of water. Tates awful but okay wih a little cracker or something right after. Dd-7 actually likes it. One little bottle lasts for months and months. I get it at the local HFS and they recommended 1/2 dose for children.

    For my ear aches and sinus stuff I do this (very weird, VERY effective): Dip a Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide and gently swab just inside the nostrils. Then sniff so it goes up into the cavity. It kills the germs up in there and believe it or not, my earaches go away very quickly. A natural doctor told me this and I finally got rid of a chronic painful infection that had lasted for years.

    Now I’m off to review your immune system tips :)


  3. I have only had earache issues with my dd, and only 1 time….. we’ve been fortunate in that!

    A friend of mine gave me this ear infection natural remedy, and I used it the *one* time that she woke up with an ear infection. Smash several cloves of fresh garlic, and place in a pan with some olive oil (not a lot – maybe a few tablespoons. Heat GENTLY to *just* infuse the oil with the garlic oil. GENTLY! Then, remove the garlic, and let the oil *completely cool*. Transfer to a container, and using a dropper, place a few drops into the ear. Massage gently to work it in. I did this every couple of hours. The garlic oil will heal the infection, and the olive oil is very soothing to the inflamed areas. (That’s what I was told).

    The remedy seemed to help enough that she was able to sleep lying down, and after a few days, she seemed to show no sign of infection. I think I may have caught it in the early stages, and I never had to take her into the doctor.



  4. Beth that is a fascinating remedy. : )

    Our family has some good experiences with major sinus infections (our youngest was on the antibiotic ‘cycle’ since age 2 or so, and by 3 I had determined to find natural solutions – which were 100% effective. At 6, he hasn’t had to use a Rx in over 3 years!)

    We treat sinus infection with a tincture I make called Double E Immunity which seems super effective on all the cold/flu stuff. (Google for recipe).

    I put Tea Tree Oil in the shower (or bath) and make sure to breathe it in at least once a day (and use TTO steam in addition, vaporizor, etc, if needed).

    Raw onion is amazing on an ear infection. Hold a fresh cut piece in ear (not a sharp piece of course) for 10-20 min. I give Ibuprofen for severe pain in a little one, to calm them and relax. I’ve never had to repeat this remedy twice – even for those sudden, feverish, raging infections that hit middle of the night.

    Lemon-Ginger-Honey tea is our standby, with the Double E immunity tincture.

    We use garlic presses, and GOOT (google) for just about EVERYTHING that seems to be an infection: throats most importantly. We have solved diagnosed cases of Strep with just these remedies and a bit of patience, within 36 hours. Garlic is an INCREDIBLE antibiotic, and frankly – it is far, far, far more effective than the pharmaceuticals that are so specific that the ‘bug’ is not effected by them. After years of experience, we automatically shoot for Garlic….knowing full well, that to take an Rx in most cases, is to settle for a very poor substitute (I’m talking for strep, ear and throat infection, and so on.)

    We avoid harsh OTC chemicals that the body must also detoxify as well as fight the infection….but there are occasions where we will use an OTC nasal decongestant, to get a good nights sleep, if it just seems the lesser of 2 evils. : )

    Eucalyptus oil steam is usually adequate, however, as a decongestant. Peppermint oil in the belly button relieves a fever, and EO and PO mixed in a bit of coconut oil on the chest/face, is better than Vicks vapor rub. (and counteracts the garlic smell, lol)

    Probiotics are great for an upset tummy: send millions of ‘good guys’ in when the ‘bad guys’ set up shop for battle. Peppermint (tea, oil diluted) is fabulous for relieving colic or bloat when resolving an upset tummy issue (flu).

    One thing I have read on this blog that makes a lot of sense to me, is that good nutrition and plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise, staying right with God and those around us (dealing with guilt and anger appropriately) – are the best ways to stay healthy. A strong immune system can handle the exposure we get to all these bugs. : ) Eating well is the best way to be ready for battle!

    Enjoying the new ideas here, too!

  5. Great timing. I would like to know more about your Double E Immunity tincture. My family has just started a cold this weekend and I really want to nick it in the butt right away.

  6. I ‘ve read on Mercola, to pour a little hydrogen peroxide in each ear and hold it there for 5 minutes, then let the remains drain out. It is annoying, because I have to stand there with my head cocked uncomfortably, or lie down and do nothing. You are supposed to do this when you feel a cold coming on and it can stop it, or shorten it. It seems to work when I remember to do it. I like Beth’s way, it seems quicker, though Mercola had some reason for why it was to go in the ears.

    Thanks everyone for all the great tips.

  7. Honestly, whenever my husband or I feel like we’re coming down with something, the very first thing we do is cut out all remaining sugar from our diets. All of it. No juice, no nothin’. If we want some tea for its soothing effects, we sweeten it with stevia. This goes a LONG way to shorten the time we’re sick and the severity of symptoms.

    We also try to let ourselves sleep as much as humanly possible, given our schedules.

  8. I’d just like to second the GOOT. After spending what seems like years of my life in doctor’s offices, I’ve been able to go almost four years without setting foot in one. GOOT is my best line of defense. I also use Echinacea, Goldenseal, and Elderberry tinctures quite a bit. Osha is another highly effective herb for fighting illness.

  9. I don’t think this has been mentioned, but when my youngest was a baby/toddler, he suffered all the time w/ear infections. Garlic oil, Vit. C, etc did not really work at getting rid of the infections, but neither did antibiotics, which I wanted to avoid so my son wouldn’t become resistant to them in the future.

    Fed up with the ear ache, I called my chiropractor who had treated me during my pregnancy for my son. I asked if he adjusted children and he assured me he did on his own children. I brought my son in. He was 1.5 years old at the time. When I brought him in he was feverish, crying, no appetite, clingy, overall just miserable. My chiropractor adjusted him and we left the office. With in 30 minutes, my son’s fever had broke, he stopped crying and being clingy, reverting back to his normal happy baby self and his appetite returned with a vengeance. This same child who had not eaten for days consumed an adult sized portion of fish and pasta, etc. The best part, the ear infection was gone! His fever didn’t return and he got better over the course of a week with the rest of his symptoms.

    Afterwards, I continued to use the chiropractor when the kids came down with ear infections. I never again treated them with antibiotics for that.

    Some might say the infection had run its course, but this had been going on for months. He would never actually be rid of it.


  10. What a wealth of good info everyone is supplying!!

    I used straight garlic oil in my 4 year old’s and 16 month old’s ears for infections and apparently it is horrible…..they taste it! It is very concentrated. I liked Shauna’s idea better with the heating of the clove in EVOO. Will try that if there is a next time. :)

    Cindy talked about a netti pot with saline solution and we heard that saline sprays (Simply Saline has no preservatives, etc) were excellent for helping the sinuses. I also LOVE the hydrogen peroxide ideas!

    As for OTC meds, I would try to only use the homeopathic ones with decongestant or only ones with no dyes.

    Christina talked about probiotics for upset tummies, and this is so true and necessary if anyone ever needs to be on antibiotics (my daughter had walking pneumonia a few years back, and I had to have them because I was strep-B positive before delivery). The antibiotics wipe out all the good and bad guys, so taking a good probiotic (I like Shaklee) after being on them helps restore the normal flora.

    I had heard that no sugar was important when someone is sick, like Jessie talked about. Sugar lowers your immune system dramatically.

    Lastly, I was told about a remedy for sore throats, etc, but I have used it right when I feel something coming on, and it is: 50/50 mixture of local raw honey and organic (if possible) apple cider vinegar. Take 1 Tbsp. every hour, but be careful not to overdo it because the vinegar can be harsh on the stomach. By the way, I heard that if you eat local honey it is good for allergies and things because you are eating something produced by pollination of local plants….something like that…
    Sue E.

  11. Great ideas – I’ll have to reference this post when one of us is not feeling well. For sore throat, I mix a little raw honey with fresh lemon juice and warm it, then drink it. It’s very soothing to the throat. Eucalyptus EO in bath water or even the California Baby cold and flu bubble bath will clear my daughter’s congestion right up. We also give her a drop of the eucalyptus oil in a humidifier before bed. And I’m a firm believer in chiropractic medicine when one of us is sick.

  12. Christine and Michelle, I googled GOOT and could not find something that resembles for sickness. What is it and where can one purchase it or make it?

  13. Water, water, water. Our first line of defense when we feel that “dry spot where the throat and nose meet” is a big 16 ounce glass of water, followed by one every hour until bedtime. We turn away 80% of the colds we encounter this way. The remaining 20% are handled with the most gentle method first, as there is always time for the “bigger guns” later (Oregon Grape Root, Goldenseal, and lastly antibiotics ONLY if absolutely necessary) if we still need them.

    Local Nourishment

  14. Sorry! I had no idea there were so many other meanings for a word as weird as GOOT! I’m not positive what the correct way to give credit to the original author is, so I will just do my best. I got this recipe from,3310.msg21758.html#msg21758
    It’s very, very simple, and extremely effective. “Goot is a garlic oil ointment that uses 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 3 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic.” One thing they say is to be sure to chop the garlic finely, but not to use a garlic press. You whirl these ingredients with a hand blender or standard blender if you don’t have a hand one, and then strain out any big chunks. You can apply this to the soles of your feet and put on socks, and it will work systemically, or you can apply it to the affected area for even faster results.

  15. We are total converts to Neti Pots. They work wonders!! I can’t declare their virtues enough, particularly if you use them just as your symptoms are setting in.

    We use ours every day during allergy season, and don’t experience congestion any more. Cleaning out the sinuses with a saline solution really works wonders in preventing allergic reactions. It pretty much prevents all colds, allergies, or sinus infections.

    For sore throats, we gargle raw apple cider vinegar mixed with water. Takes the pain away AND kills any strep bacteria on contact.

    • Be very careful to use only water that has been purified and boiled for the neti pot. It is possible to get fatal bacterial infections in the sinus if using contaminated tapwater, or another unclean water source.

  16. Double E Immunity info

    (It is basically: Nettle Leaf, Peppermint Leaf, Echinacea Root, Echinacea Tops, Elderberries whole, Ginseng Root and Rosehips)


    Article, Recipe & Source:
    New research (2007) has opened amazing advances into herbal
    medicine, including information that will help rev up the immune system. We continually research and upgrade our pre-mixes to include all the best herbs available.

    Flu, virus, and infections all are enemies ready to lay us low. Our natural immune system is our first and best defense. God gave us leaves, roots and good sense to help us keep our immune systems working in top order to avoid sickness.

    One easy way to keep the immune system in high gear is raw garlic, but it stinks so bad that we use our NEW Double

  17. Ear infections and I don’t get along well… Last year I went on a plane at the end of May for a school trip and woke up the next day in intense pain, with green puss oozing from both ears. Could not hear a thing. I went to the ENT, who said one ear drum exploded,and one ripped open from the pressure of the flight, and gave me antibiotics. These didn’t work, and finally after 2 weeks of no results, my mom took me to the E.R., who after numerous tests, a spinal tap (they thought I might have meningitis), and icky hospital food said that I had had strep in my ear canal for a long time, but they didn’t know how long. At least a year or two. I left, with new meds, and a week later, I was back to normal. Of course I missed the last month of school and all of my finals, and it took a while to get most of my hearing back. I still think my ears are damaged, my hearing definitely isn’t perfect after all that happened.

  18. You guys are FULL of great info, what a resource this has all turned out to be, I have a feeling I’ll be referring back here a lot – thanks, everyone! :)

  19. One thing to keep in mind with garlic oil is not to put it in the ear if you have a ruptured ear drum like Vera experienced. Also, adding mullein and calendula to the garlic in a garlic oil makes it that much more effective!


  20. For ear aches – crush garlic and put inside a hanky or other thin cloth. Have child lay the ear on the cloth and the fumes are able to come up into ear. (My grandma did this for me as a child and it always worked!)
    I have also successfully used homeopathic ear drops and children’s garlic ear oil.
    For colds – eating lots of garlic infused foods. Can also slice garlic and bandaid a few slices to soles of feet. Eating a mixture of turmeric and honey (an Ayurvedic remedy) a few times a day. Hot Tulsi tea which boost the immune system. Raw organic honey will calm a cough when eaten. Saline nasal spray to ease sinus pain. Sambucal (an elderberry extract) boosts the immune system and works against viruses. Eucalyptus essential oil sprinkled around the bed or mixed with oil to make a chest rub helps breathing.
    Coconut oil is wonderful for the immune system as well. Coconut water can be taken instead of pedialite for flu when there is a loss of hydration. These are common flu and cold go to’s. Homeopathic flu preparations for the yearly flu season work great to take to prevent the flu. Works for us!

  21. Vera – I am so sorry for your horrible experience.

    I almost -never- use OTCs….but if we were planning to fly, I would give each of us one dose of Sudafed (or similar), and drink as much water as possible the day before, during and the day after. I’ve had good success doing this, and my ears were perfectly comfortable from here to Europe and back, and from here to the Middle East and back, and several shorter trips as well.

    When the first sign of any infection hits (pain – throat, ears, sinus) the first thing we do is get some type of natural antibiotic ON and IN it, asap. Garlic, Onion and Tea Tree oil are extremely strong, natural antibiotics (and very broad based) – and easy to keep on hand. We *always* have these items in our home, *always.* : )


  22. Angela,
    How do you get/make coconut water??? Love that advice (always looking for alternatives to pedialyte, although they do make a dye free version now….)

  23. Wow– so much information. I wish this had posted a month ago. My children (17, 14, 11) have beens sicker this winter than they have been in years. We went for 5 weeks in a cycle of different junk! I will defiantely refer back next time someone is sick! My 14 year old still gets chronic earaches — swimmers ear . . . I will definately try the olive oil and garlic ideas!

  24. I like to take baths when I feel sick. I will make a special bath salt. I add one cup Epsom salts, 1/2 cup table salt, and 1/4 cup baking soda. You gotta mix the salts good. I put in a jar and shake. Add 10 drops eucalyptus oil, 5 drops camphor oil, and 5 drops menthol oil. You might want to double the salt or half the oil for kids, because it can be a little stinging on the gentle parts. I make the water as hot as I can stand it, usually skin brush before hand, and stay in the water for at least 20 min. This salt works for soar muscles, and colds, flus, and infections.

    Another great bath is the ginger bath. You make the water hot, but not so hot, a good steam is good, but not a biol factor. You add 1 tbsp of ground ginger, and soak in the water for 20 min. This can make you feel icky so don’t worry too much, but listen to your body. When you get out of the water, wrap up in warm pjs and a blanket or robe. Don’t worry if you are hot, the ginger has heated your system. This is best for chilled colds, and flus. I will go to sleep after this and wake up feeling 100 times better.

  25. Jeanne, this may be repetitious, but swimmers ear can be prevented by placing alcohol or peroxide in each ear immediately after getting out of the water. It has worked really well for our family – I used to get swimmers ear often until my doctor recommended this.


  26. Rosy, can you tell what the benefit of baking soda and table salt are? Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is absorbed through the skin. I have stopped migraines in their tracks with a long, warm epsom salt bath, with lavendar essential oil. I’m curious about the soda and table salt.

    Thank you for posting your healing bath recipes!

  27. Christine,
    I had heard from a friend several years ago about the dangers of Isopropol Alcohol and what it does in the system (don’t remember them all now, but something to do with possible link to some cancers) and have avoided it since then. You gave the hydrogen peroxide alternative, though, for the swimmers ear, and that is a natural substance…..just a thought! :)

  28. Has anyone else heard that about the Isopropol Alcohol? I just told my son to try that for his occasional acne. It’s not too bad, but the colloidal silver alternating with CLO/tea tree oil isn’t taking it completely away and he’s begging for something “clinically proven” – ya think he’s seen too much TV??? So maybe I shouldn’t have him use that…?

  29. I, too, have heard that isopropyl alcohol is bad. I was told it’s a petrolium distillate. I have never bothered to research it, but I do use grain alcohol (Everclear or the like) instead. It’s just as effective, and I know it’s a natural product.

    For swimmer’s ear or any fungal ear infections, I use equal parts vinegar, grain alcohol, and peroxide. It’s wonderful!

  30. Two things I’ve used to help me:
    Once when I had a bad cold that wouldn’t go away I got out my bottle of Tea Tree Oil and just inhaled it, or put some on a cloth and kept it under my nose. I did this constantly over a period of about 24 hours and got rid of the cold.
    The second time I started to feel the congestion in my lungs build up and I new bronchitis was coming (something that knocks me out for at least a week). I bought some chest salve from Wilderness Family Naturals, smeared that all over my chest one night and did NOT get bronchitis. They no longer make this (booo), but it contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax,peppermint essential oil, menthol crystals, essential oils of wintergreen, spearmint, and eucalyptus, camphor crystals, clove bud essential oil. A search of google will find some good salves similar to this.

  31. Sue, thanks for the heads up! I use peroxide with our own swimmers (we swim daily all summer), but only when one complains about water ‘stuck’ in the ear (maybe 2 or 3 times during the entire summer).

    Peroxide seems just as effective as alcohol….whether or not one is safer, I don’t know?

    Kind of frightening to think alcohol might be a problem, because isn’t every injection site swabbed with it?

  32. Oh, yes, Tei Fu! It helps drain my ears, sinus, etc. I rub it behind my eas when they are clogged and even near the opening. I also rub it on my forehead. I was told that you can also put a drop on your tongue and rub it on the roof of your mouth to unclog sinuses. Yes, this works immediately but I’m one who cannot tolerate peppermints so this upset my stomach for a few hours. Instant sinus relief though!


  33. Christine,
    I got the basic salt mix from a book about spiritual healing. The baking soda helps to soften the water, and draw out toxins from the skin. I use it to wash my face and my acne has cleared up. I have also made a paste out of it and drawn the poison out of bee stings and spider bites. I have heard the same for pimples, but never tried it my self. Now I make a paste out of the baking soda in my palm and scrub my skin with it. The table salt might be spiritual, as I am not sure of any healing benefits, and sea salt might be more symbolic.

    A great site I like to go to about natural healing is

  34. Thanks, Angela. I went to your link. Now, how do I get coconut water, aside from buying the whole coconut and getting it that way (which must be costly besides there not being a whole lot of water in a coconut.)??

  35. Thank you, Rosy. Salt water is an amazing healing thing, inside and out. My husband and I have used a (sea salt, fresh lemon juice and raw honey) water solution to drink on fast days. I’ve used plain water to (almost) instantly relieve migraines. It is amazing that 2 quarts of water (drinking) can be so effective.

    I didn’t know this about baking soda – it makes perfect sense! Thank you for the explanation.
    : )

  36. I have to second third and FORTH the raw onion for an ear ache! It sounded too good to be true … too easy. I tried the garlic in the ear, the mullien/garlic/olive oil combo. NOTHING worked as fast or as well as the onion. I put a little onion juice in the ear, then the warm onion (cut side) to the ear. it is healed overnight ever time.

    I also wanted to let you know there is a book out there called Herbal Antibiotics. I have it on my wishlist as the herbal forum I am a part of HIGHLY recommends it. For now, I just get something from the local HFS called HERBALBIOTIC. Get ths kids version, it tastes MUCH better! :)

    Anyways, the forum did an interview with the author of the book Herbal Antibiotics and he said that what he does now for when he feels something coming on is GINGER! Ginger for EVERYTHING! He said he no longer gets sick but maybe once every five years. He makes a ginger, honey, lemon tea, and drinks drinks DRINKS a lot of it. That, he says, is now always his FIRST defense.

    There is a free herbal course with a recipe for the tea (it is VERY basic) at (I do not get paid for sharing this with you, I just have been blessed by his course). There are TWO free courses (one is the herbal course and one is supermarket herbalism), BOTH are free, so be sure to find both. :) That is the forum I belong to (there is a monthly fee to join, but I consider it like an insurance policy, I have learned so much from it). There is also a free newsletter you can sign up for which has herbal remedies for things like cough syrup, elderberry syrup (I agree, we use that A LOT ourselves), and ginger cookies (a fun way to get ginger into the kids). :)

    Hope you like my “book” I wrote! :) Sorry, I am just a bit passionate about this subject. God has taught me so much! :)

  37. I’ve never, ever had the flu, and only one flu shot ever (I panicked that time because two people of a similar age in my neighborhood suffered devastating effects from severe flu complications – one even died).

    About 5 years ago I cut the number of colds I got by more than half when I greatly reduced the amount of concentrated sugars in my diet (any type of sugar beyond that in a moderate amount of whole fresh fruit). But I still had one or two colds a year, even with a kid in school. My husband wasn’t so diligent about his sugar intake and between the colds brought home from school and those he caught at work, he continued to have frequent colds until his sugar intake also went down.

    More recently I realized I was vitamin D3 deficient from all the sun avoidance (because of a history of basal cell skin cancer and now living in So Cal, I was so careful about sun exposure, which wasn’t so good after all), so I have been using Vitamin D3 supplementation (cholecalciferol) to get my level back into a healthy range (60-80 ng/mL).

    I’ve discovered adequate Vit D3 also keeps colds at bay (even living in So Cal, I can’t get my Vit D level up enough just with careful, regular short midday sun exposures, so I supplement with D3 oil as well). I’ve noticed lots of benefits, including stronger immune function.

    No colds for our family since getting our Vit D levels up to over 60 ng/mL – (25(OH)D tests to determine D3 levels can be obtained easily through your doctor, or without a doctor’s order, inexpensively by mail through a Vit D study conducted by www dot grassrootshealth dot net, btw). I’ve been relying on Vit D for two years to keep colds at bay, with great success. Now it’s also working for my family, and many of the other people I know online who supplement with fairly high doses of Vit D3 oil drops or capsules (tablets are not well absorbed and synthetic D2 (ergo-calciferol), which is cheaper and more common in D tablets, multi-vits, calcium supplements, and added to milk, is not what the same D3 molecule that animals make, so it needs to be converted in the body, which is inefficient). And most of the time, the D doses of any sort are waaaay too low, about 100iu a glass in milk, 200-400iU in vitamins and mineral supplements, etc. Compare that to the 10,000-20,000iU the skin can make with sun exposure (more than that and the UVB light actually breaks down excess D in the skin, so overproduction of D3 from sunlight isn’t possible). Other than in some foods like livers (foods that are usually restricted by conventional dietary advice) Vit D is not an abundant nutrient in foods. Animals are meant to get their D primarily via UVB exposure. With ozone issues, seasonal climate variables, modern indoor lifestyles, sunscreens and sun avoidance (fear of wrinkles and skin cancer), aging skin and low fat/low cholesterol diets that hinder D3 production, indoor CAFO animals provide even less D3 in food, etc., there are a number of things that work against us making or ingesting enough Vit D3 without some supplementation being necessary now. CLO has some D, but there are some concerns that to get enough D, the Vit A would be over consumed. Most people who don’t get much sun, need about 1000iU per each 25 lbs of body weight, at least in the late fall through late spring, perhaps all year if they don’t spend much time in the midday sun even in summer. Lots of indoor time with intense sun exposure just when on vacation is also not a great situation, like feast or famine. Regular but prudent exposure is better, no burning, and not getting too much of a tan (the pigment filters the UVB rays, requiring more UVB exposure to make D3). Intermittent combos of indoor *and* outdoor occupations are best in Vit D studies comparing indoor, outdoor, and combo occupations with health/disease, btw.

    Back to the colds & D3 – my husband was skeptical (that’s his nature, he’s a research scientist), until a chance situation where he and our son had been out of town together a few days and I had been home alone working. The day they came home, my husband and I had to go to Urgent Care (unrelated reason), and our son went to the neighbors’ house. 2-3 day later my husband and I (but not our son) started to have early cold symptoms, sore scratchy throat, etc. – probably caught simultaneously in the UC waiting room. Btw, we both used the automated alcohol hand gel dispenser on the way out of UC, but those don’t do a thing for viruses anyway, only bacteria. Colds and flu are viruses.

    The moment I recognized cold symptoms a couple days later I doubled my dose of Vit D from to 8000-10000iU/day, and my husband only wanted to continue to take his 4000iU day (I now know from D3 tests that his 25 (OH)D level was still too low at that point and he needed a higher daily dose to get it to an optimal level). My cold symptoms stopped after two days, subsided by the third day, and never developed into a “real cold”, but my husband had the full blown cold with a pronounced, lingering cough (that then spread around his lab employees – who despite their youth and the San Diego sun in mild November, apparently don’t get out enough midday to make adequate Vit D3). He’s more convinced now and was willing to take some more Vit D3 to fend off colds in the future.

    A month later we visited my family for a week in the Northeast after Christmas(no Vit D production from October-May is possible away at that far from the equator). The night we arrived, our BIL was in the early stages of a raging cold that spread through the family that week. I, my husband, and our son took *double* our usual daily Vit D doses (already pretty high at 1000iU for each 25 pounds of body weight) and never had so much as a sore throat or sniffle, despite ample time with all the sick ones.

    I double up my dose for a few days any time I am around someone with a raging cold. So far, so good. I do get my D level tested at least twice a year (late winter/early spring and late summer/early fall, so am sure that my levels don’t go too high, nor too low). Even though our family can get this done at our regular doctor’s office at no cost to us (covered by insurance), we are all participating in the Vit D study because more research data on health & Vit D levels is needed. And the inexpensive tests (ZRT Labs) are easy to do at home with a lancet finger prick and blotter paper. For kids especially, that is better than a lab blood syringe draw anyway. Results come in approx 3 weeks.

    In late January-early February, my son missed his usual Vit D intake for a few weeks because we ran out and my local source was out of the high iU oil capsule he can chew (Carlson Solar Gems 2000 and 4000iU). He began to have some nasal congestion at night, perhaps an early cold symptom, so I cut open and squeezed D3 from capsules for him. Until the Vit D caught up with the cold, he had some congestion each night for 2-3 nights making getting to sleep difficult. So I taught him how to use the neti pot each night with warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of plain sea salt (the only salt I had). Being a boy and fascinated with weird stuff, he loved watching via the mirror and quickly got the hang of it, breathing normally through his mouth while the water flowed into one nostril and out the other. That reduced the congestion so he could sleep. He had no significant daytime symptoms. After the third night of D3 and the neti pot nasal lavages, the congestion and cold symptoms were gone.

    So that’s our strategy.

  38. Anna, good info on Vitamin D – I think it’s more important than any of us know! I didn’t know that a tan can cut down on the amount of Vit. D we can absorb…

  39. So, Kelly, comments on the Vitamin D3 supplementation (cholecalciferol) that Anna takes as opposed to the CLO that we all take?? Any thoughts?? Living in Michigan it sure is hard to keep that Vit D up!!! I didn’t know that this far north of the equator that even on sunny, cold days when I go outside, sit in a chair directly facing the sun, and close my eyes hoping to absorb Vit D that I am wasting my time….:( Oh, well, maybe it increases the seritonin or something else….:)

  40. Sue, I’m looking into this more right now. (Or re-looking into it, I often have to do that when I forget what I found in my research!)

    Yeah, you’re not getting much vit. D, if any, this time of year. Won’t be long now, though!

  41. Vitamin D deficiency is found world wide – not just in the north. There is evidence of Vit. D deficiency in cultures that eat seafood daily and live at the equator.

    Anyone who takes cod liver oil should consider that it is an excellent source of Vitamin D.

    Vit. D – if I remember correctly – is not water solible (like C) and therefore, CAN be over taken. However, the current RDA is considered too low by many experts. Our nutritionist recommends 1,000 IUs per 100 lbs. of body weight, Sept – May for North Americans. And little or no sunscreen whenever possible during the summer. (We switch to fish oil over the summer months).

    Is it a ‘waste’ to get some winter sun and fresh air? Personally, I really don’t think it is EVER a waste, lol.

    In fact, my parents and their friends (9 children between them) swore we *never* got sick (as their grand children seem to) during our long Michigan winters…because my parents always flooded our yard and we were outdoors skating and playing, every day possible, all winter long. They called that their health plan for us. (I remember we would run home from school for lunch, throw on our skates and get 15 quick minutes of ice skating in before running back to school for the afternoon. Then we’d hit the ice as soon as the paper routes were done!).

    HTH :-)

    • Vitamin D is definitely fat-soluble, and while it is theoretically possible to overdose on it, it’s not a realistic risk unless you’re taking something like 100,000 iU day after day, and even then it might take months to develop a problem. Also, taking it in a balance with Vitamin A will prevent overdose toxicity in either one; they protect against excesses of the other. Plus, you need both. The WAPF suggests a 5:1 ratio of A to D, but I don’t think that is too hard-and-fast. Just approximate it. The only really risky thing to eat is polar bear liver, which has an extremely high concentration of D in it. (Or is it A? Or both?) But it’s not something most of us have any access to.

      An excellent book on Vitamin D is The Vitamin D Solution by a Dr. Hollick. It’s quite good EXCEPT he doesn’t mention the A:D ratio, and he is influenced by the low-fat diet propaganda, so ignore what he says about fats. (Do keep PUFAs low, naturally saturated and monounsaturated fats moderate to high) That’s not his area of research, so it doesn’t diminish his authority on Vitamin D, because he is probably the top researcher on D in the world. He discovered both the active form of Vitamin D and the main storage form of it.

      UVB rays are the ones that tan our skin and also produce Vitamin D when the sunlight hits the cholesterol in our skin, but you can only get the right effect when the sun is fairly directly overhead (the angle of the sun matters, for technical reasons I can’t explain), which is why unless you’re near the equator, your skin can’t make Vitamin D in the winter, especially if you’re north of Los Angeles. Hollick endorses the careful use of tanning beds and careful doses of sun exposure. The melanin that the skin produces in reaction to UVB exposure (which is naturally present in higher amounts in darker-skinned people, which makes them more resistant to sunburn but also means they must get more sun exposure to create Vitamin D) doesn’t get so intense in light-skinned people that a tan will really block Vitamin D production. If you have got that much of a tan, your body has probably made enough D to meet its needs. In fact, with exposure all summer, we could store enough to get through the winter.

      African Americans are particularly in need of getting good, controlled sun exposure in the summer because the concentration of melanin in dark skins does interfere with Vit. D production. Obviously, it was adaptive for early humans in equatorial climates to be protected from excess sun, and they got plenty to meet their Vitamin D production needs. But urbanized Blacks who are indoors all day are at risk of all kinds of diseases at much higher rates than Whites because of their worse Vitamin D status. So, everybody needs to get both sun exposure or tanning bed exposure as well as some dietary and perhaps supplemental D. I am convinced that increasing my regular D and A intake has made a huge positive difference in my health and immunity.

  42. Sue E.

    I take CLO, too, but I don’t rely on it for adequate D3 (most of them have a dose of only about 200-400iU per dose); CLO I’ve purchased in the past (Garden of Lie, Carlson’s, Nordic Naturals) were like this. I think I’ve read the manufacturers now remove quite a bit of naturally occurring Vit D in nearly all the OTC CLO (though I’ve not yet purchased the high-vitamin CLO like Blue Ice and fermented CLO, so those might have higher amounts). Nordic Naturals is the only one I’ve ever seen on a store shelf that had a higher dose – D3 at 1000iU per dose, but to get the 5,000iU D3 that I need daily 3/4 of the year (I take 4,000iU in the summer) I’d have to take 5 doses daily (gag) and that would be too much daily Vit A, too, as I also regularly eat Vit A-rich foods.

    BTW, there’s a bit of a public difference of opinion going on the past few months between Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council (he’s passionate about Vit D issues) and the WAPF (addressed mostly by Chris Masterjohn) regarding CLO and Vit D and how it relates to (preformed) Vit A intake. I think both are in agreement that most people could use more D3 from sun, diet, or supplementation, but they differ in how it relates to preformed Vitamin A.

    I admire the work of both Cannell (an experienced and dedicated researcher) and Masterjohn ( a PhD candidate, though not your average graduate student), and they are both so passionate about what they do. I’ve reviewed both their arguments and explanations of the Vit A & D issues, and when I inquire about this with other very biochemically and nutritionally knowledgeable people who can better dissect the biochemistry/physiology of this, some side bit more on Cannell’s side and some on Masterjohn’s. So for the time being, until I learn something definitive that tips my view in favor of one or the other I’m tending to stick to a mid-way view that they both are probably mostly right, but are seeing things in different “lights”, therefore are drawing different conclusions. So I take CLO, but not in huge doses, and I take D3 separately and check my levels at least 2 x year with the 25 (OH)D test.

    I recommend testing to see if your levels are adequate (over 50 ng/mL or into the optimal range 70-90 ng/ml) with CL0. If not, you could consider adding D3 rather than taking more CLO.

  43. BTW, I do think there is great value to getting some morning and midday sun (all year, but particularly in winter), even if there is little chance of Vit D3 production. Sunlight entering the eyes prompts the brain and endocrine system to “set the clock” and circadian rhythm, enhancing nighttime sleep and daytime energy, among other things.

    Lack of some good sunlight in the day can contribute to poor moods and low energy levels (overall sluggishness).

    And has anyone seen the TV advertisement for Afrin Pure Sea Nasal Rinse? OTC pharma is muscling into position next to the neti pot!
    Of course, the ads make neti pots sound so difficult and inconvenient, so like the makers of “convenience” foods, they have a “new and improved” product to offer to save us “all that trouble”. Hmmmph!

  44. Thanks, Anna, for all the great information regarding Vit D. Recently I read an article about Vitamin D and being able to get levels tested. When I had my yearly blood work done in January I asked about that one and the tech said, “Well, that’s not routinely done.” So, because I didn’t know what my insurance would do, I didn’t get it checked. I may look into doing it the way you do…..:)

  45. Sue,

    Getting Vit D tested is on the rise, but rather slow to catch on. I think this is one of those issues that might end up being patient-led, as most doctors keep up mostly on new developments by reading their specialty journals and by the drug reps. They just don’t have the time (or interest or motivation) that many patients have to exhaustively read up and learn about things like this, though the rare doctors who can “see the forest for the trees” (a longer way to say “holistically-minded”) are keeping up on Vit D research developments.

    I asked my endocrinologist about it in Dec 07 when he was writing lab orders for my thyroid tests, and he didn’t bat an eye and wrote it in (but he doesn’t focus on D levels at all and considers anything inside the bottom of ref range just fine). He tested it again in late Aug 08 when I tried no D3 in spring/summer, and just getting at least direct sun 15 minutes most days in the summer (it went down to 40 ng/mL, despite So Cal living and two weeks in late July in Italy). I mentioned it again in Nov 08 when I told him I was taking an even bigger dose of D3 to keep levels from falling, so he added it to the lab order for April. So it wasn’t a big deal with him, though he did warn about “taking too much D”, of course.

    One of the reasons I chose my new primary care doc was that he saw the recent Vit D test in my file (that the endo had ordered) and said I could stand to get that level up a bit (40 ng/mL in late Aug 08). Same level that the endo said was just fine. Same HMO, same lab, but diff docs, diff focus.

    My sunscreen slathering younger sister (in the Northeast) asked her doc about D tests, after I recommended testing. He had no problem adding the test to her lab slip (can you imagin if she’s said she *didn’t* want to have her cholesterol levels tested?), but did say he really didn’t see the need, because “she drinks milk and eats cheese” (1% or non-fat skimmed, ugh) and takes a multi-vit. He was very surprised when her test came back 13.5 ng/ml!).

    So she wanted her teenage daughters tested. Their pediatrician also sort of argued against it because “they drink milk”, but she said they all drink milk and use sunscreen and she was deficient, so they might be too). He humored her and wrote the order. He was very shocked when both their levels came back under 20 ng/mL. Wanted to know if she ever let them go outside! One of these girls has had spinal problems for a few years, which could very well be related to the low Vit D levels. Gotta wonder if these girls have decent bone densities at this critical age!

    I’ve heard of others, especially in the UK, whose NHS doctors flat out refused to order the test. But seems like many, if not most doctors will order the test if pushed enough and the right way, if for no other reason than than to humor the patient. But they sort of put up bit of a barrier to see if the patient will persist back down. I’ve learned it is sometimes necessary to be a bit insistent (but also important to know my grounds for insisting, not just on a whim).

    New York is one of a few states that requires a doctor’s order for lab tests, but most states allow patients to order tests (not sure about foreign countries). Most people don’t know they order their own tests. Then there’s the bigger issue of they don’t want to pay for it or can’t afford it, if their insurance will cover their doctor’s test orders or no insurance. I’m finding some things are worth the expense ( and no hassle from a doctor, nor an argument to take meds :-).

    When I am continually curious about something, I generally find peace of mind knowing the answer (no matter what the result). Good to know if one is on the right track or needs to try something different. Good luck with your test.

  46. Tans or naturally dark skin filter some of the sunlight, so the darker the skin, the more sunlight is necessary for Vitamin D production. So the lighter the skin, the more potential for making Vit D in a shorter amount of time.

    So with a tan, there’s a diminishing return as the color develops. In other words, a pale person might be making lots of Vit D3, but as the tan develops, it will take more sunlight to produce the same amount. So a deep tan is no guarantee of good Vit D levels (I have a neighbor like this, she gardens a lot without sunscreen on most of her off days from work so she’s tan most of the year, even more in summer – she was shocked to learn her Vit D was hoveringly around the bottom of the reference range).

    But, there are lots of other variables with Vit D production, too. Pale or dark skin is just one of them. Age seems to reduce the amount of Vitamin D production, beginning in middle age. The skin thins, produces less sebum, etc. So elderly people (nursing home or “shut-in’s” are especially vulnerable) may make very little Vit D from sun exposure – even in sunny climes.

    Also, one needs cholesterol as a raw material for conversion, and how many are actively trying to reduce their cholesterol in middle and old age? Could be another factor in Vit D production, but I’m speculating here.

    Then I threw in the skin oil part. I’m still investigating this as that’s a new variable in Vit D production that I’m trying to learn about. But it makes sense when considering how furred and feathered animals make their Vit D with the oils they secrete, then ingest it from grooming (or or eating livers of other animals). Indoor chicken flocks *must* have Vit D provided in their feed due to lack of sunlight, or else they don’t grow/lay eggs properly.

    I have been aware of the disagreements with Cannell and WAPF, with Masterjohn and Mercola chiming in as well. I left another comment on this at another post (perhaps the Mercola one?). Leaving aside the issue of Mercola and his commercial interests and some of the Fallon’s/WAPF peculiarities (yes, as much as I am a WAPF supporter, I don’t 100% accept all the WAPF views as valid), I’m somewhere in the middle on this CLO/Vit A & D controversy, until I find info that tips me one way or another.

    When I looked at the Vit A to Vit D ratio of CLO ( including the fermented and high vitamin Green Pastures) the 10 to 1 ratio indicates that I can’t get all the Vit D I need (about 5000iU/Day) from CLO unless I’m willing to take a LOT of CLO (at that CLO dose it would be 10 doses of CLO per day and also contain 50,000 iU of Vit A, on top of the Vit A-rich foods I eat), and that would probably be *too much* Vit A for me, at least more than I am comfortable taking. I do consider it a supplement more than I consider it a food, though of course, it has food origins.

    So for me, the comfortable middle ground is eat the foods with Vit A, take a normal dose of CLO, and take what I need in Vit D separately. I’ll let the others “duke it out” on their own and draw their own conclusions.

  47. Anna, forgive me if you’ve already mentioned this (my eyes are getting heavy), but can you tell me again what brand vitamin D3 supplement you take, and how you decided on that one? THANK YOU once again for always being ready to help by sharing your wisdom. :)

    Also, if you don’t mind me asking, would you be willing to share with us specifically which parts of the WAPF teachings you disagree with? I’m sure we could learn more from you and it would spark some good conversations. However, let’s move that one over to the Weston Price post, if you don’t mind:

  48. Kelly,

    Mostly I have been buying Carlson’s brand D3 products. D3 in oil gel caps is usually sourced from fish liver or lanolin (sheep wool oil).
    Cost for Carlson products is reasonable (I think my last analysis put it at 2-4 cents per 1000iU at regular price, depending on product, ften on the lower end with a coupon or on sale). I stock up when my local stores or web sources have the ones I like on sale (I compare by calculating price per each 1000iU). I stock up when I get a good deal.

    I look for the larger dose options (1000-4000iU), because our daily doses are so high (8K for my husband, 5K for me, 3K for our son), to reduce the # we need to take.

    We are taking the dose that keeps our 25 (OH) D levels around 65-85 ng/mL (my husband and I started testing when our levels were in the 40s, when we were supplementing at about half the dose we now take – who knows how low our level was before we took only a low dose or no D3). What we now take is about 1000iU per each 25 pounds of body weight.

    When school’s out and our son will be outdoors more, I’ll probably lower his dose by half, maybe even more, but my husband and I probably won’t lower by more than 20-25% because we definitely don’t make enough Vit D from sun, even in summer, even living in So Cal.

    The Carlson oil drops are great for kids who can’t swallow pills or don’t like chewing the oil gelcaps, 365 drops per bottle. They also make a 400iU infant dose, but that might be too low for all but the smallest babies. The bottles are compact and convenient for travel, too.

    There is a kid’s D 1000iU in “gummy” form available (I can’t remember if it was Carlson), but I don’t want to give “candy” vitamins (and they are much more expensive). I’ve also seen D3 in pint liquid bottles which would be easy to add to smoothies or administer by teaspoon, but I think they were full of fructose, etc., so not my choice.

    Most of the CLO’s I’ve seen have about 400iU D3 per dose, which I consider negligible in terms of D. Great source of Vit A and omega 3, though. Nordic Naturals has one CLO option that contains 1000iU D3 per dose, which is a little better, but still not enough D for our family, so we need to add D3. If taking more than one dose of CLO per day (I know some people take several tablespoons CLO per day, then in that case the total amount of D3 in CLO should be subtracted from any calculated dose of additional D3. Also, if liver is eaten frequently or in large quantity, that needs to be taken into account when taking D3 supplements.

    Ultimately, it seems the best way to evaluate how much Vit D is stored in the body (from all sources, including UVB exposure) and how much more might be needed to reach optimal levels, is to do the 25 (OH)D test twice a year, preferably in late winter/early spring, and again in late summer or early fall. Then adjust supplements of D3/CLO/UVB exposure as necessary, esp if the test result is lower than 50 ng/mL.

  49. Anna,

    How do you know these are natural forms of Vitamin D3 in your supplements? I’m just curious, because that was the whole reason I switched my recommendations on CLO from Carlsons (or any others) to the fermented CLO, because the fermented has natural vitamins A & D – I’ve read many times over how harmful synthetic vitamins can be.


  50. Keep in mind that Vitamin D really isn’t a vitamin, but a hormone precursor. It’s actually a misnomer to call it a vitamin, but that’s the term used back when it was first discovered and not very well understood. Some countries don’t even allow Vitamin D to be sold OTC because it is a hormone.

    The bottle of D3 I have in front of me (Carlson Solar Gems) indicates it is CLO -derived D3 (also has some omega 3s). I also have a bottle of Solgar D3 that indicates it too is from CLO (also contains 3000iU of naturally occurring Vit A). I’ve seen a few brands that are from sheep lanolin but I don’t think I have bought any.

    This is an assumption on my part, but it looks like the Vit D3 Carlson is removing from their CLO (probably to avoid toxicity fears because the amount of D3 in natural CLO is much higher than the RDI) is then being sold as a separate Vit D3 supplement. Even the CLO sold by Green Pastures is not very high in vitamin D, plus appears to have a standardized content, so I wonder if they don’t remove some of the D, too. Might be worth looking into.

    What I haven’t been able to determine from the ongoing debate between WAPF and Dr. Cannell, is the optimum *ratio* of Vit A to Vitamin D intake. So for now, I’m aiming for something in the middle. For the most part, I get a good amount of preformed Vit A from the foods I eat, the CLO is like icing on the cake, an insurance policy to make sure I have enough Vit A. It’s the D3 I know I have a hard time getting enough of without supplementing.

    Everything I have read about Vit D over the past few years indicates that D3 is sourced from the D3 naturally found in fish liver or sheep lanolin, not synthesized. It would definitely get my attention to learn otherwise. The chemical name for D3 is cholecalciferol, and that is the molecule produced by animals.

    Ergocalciferol is the chemical name for D2, the synthetic version of Vitamin D. It is made from a form of D produced by plants (but then it’s irradiated to make it into the final supplement D2 form that is useable (sort of) by humans.

    The active form of Vitamin D is calcitriol, which is made when the liver and the kidneys convert D3 (inactive form). Calcitriol is tightly regulated and has a short half lie in the body. The test used to measure calcitriol is 1,25 (OH)D, and some doctors erroneously order this one to measure Vit D status (which is like estimating wealth based on the contents of a wallet), when instead they should order the 25 (OH)D test, which measures the D3 storage form (which better estimates “D wealth” like looking at a savings account or portfolio analysis). (there is a good graphic on the right side of of the molecular pathway of Vit D, but ignore the warning about supplementation at the bottom of the page).

    Now I think I’ll get a bit of D, by going outside to work in my garden! It’s a nice sunny day and 58

  51. Anna,

    I talked about this in earlier posts, but now there’s also an update here:
    that discusses how the natural A & D is no longer available for CLO – and I assume if it’s not available for CLO that it’s not available for anything, but I could be way off in my assumption. I’d love for someone else to clarify all this – if you’d be willing, you could call Dave (402-858-4818) or contact him through here:, but he gives short answers via email – if you talk to him you’ll get more info. He’s a great source for info on this and has visited CLO manufacturers in Norway. He had explained to me that the mill that extracted the natural A & D, and then put it back into the cleaned CLO, no longer is doing that. He said it is probably because there is no longer a demand for it when mainstream docs warn about too much vitamin A (not knowing the importance of the right ratios), and when the “in” thing now is mainly just the omega-3’s.

    BTW, my understanding is that the correct ratio of A to D (in CLO anyway) should be 10-1.

    When we get this all hammered out, I’ll probably do a post on all this – or do you have one on your site? Do you care if I use some of your info from here???

    Hey, get this – Michigan had the same temps as you guys in CA today, so I got some natural D, too! :)

  52. I just got an email from a friend (hope you don’t mind me answering you here instead of via email!) – it said, “Kelly……………….WHAT??????!!!!!! Am I out of the loop or what???? You are saying that CLO does NOT have A and D anymore???? What is up with THAT????!!!!!”

    So I thought I’d better clarify…YES, the fermented CLO DOES have the natural vitamin A & D, and in the perfect ratios (the way they come in nature), that’s not the question. The question is, does it have enough vitamin D to keep our levels in the optimum range.

    To find that out, based on Anna’s comments, it sounds like we really need to be tested to be sure.

    If you find you DO need to supplement more, my next question, as you read above, is how to find a D3 supplement that is for sure NOT synthetic.

    Finding all the answers is sometimes a long process…I’m also looking into Iodine supplementation right now since my Mom was just diagnosed today with breast cancer. (Say a prayer if you think of it.)

  53. Hi Kelly,

    I guess I need more clarification by what you mean by “synthetic” and “natural”. There are a number of definitions for both words and how they are used depends on context. Not sure how Dave at Green Pastures uses the words natural and synthetic. I meant to call him today but ran out of time. But to me, in this context, “natural” is bio-identical.

    The D3 (cholecalciferol) molecular structure is what animals make, when UV light “irradiates” cholesterol in the skin (more recently I’m learning from several sources that it might really be the cholesterol in skin oils on the skin (sebum) which is then absorbed into the skin and blood stream (of not washed off) over the next hour or so. Not much detail to find on this, though.

    I make sure to take the D3 (cholecalciferol) form. If it doesn’t say D3 or cholecalciferol, I don’t take it. It may, in fact, be purified in a lab (so that it is only D3), but the molecule is the same as what animals make, so it is bioidentical. In the case of lanolin-derived D3, the cholesterol in the lanolin is isolated and purified, then exposed to UV light (irradiated). Being bioidentical, D3 made from fish liver oils or lanolin are considered “natural” though I can see that some might object to any processing involved in purification and isolation.

    D2 (ergocalciferol) is made by irradiation (exposing to UV light) sterols (similar to cholesterol) from plants and fungus (mushrooms), lichens, etc. I think the reason D2 is most often called “synthetic” is that it isn’t “bioidentical”, that is, not the same molecular structure that animals make. D2 must first be converted to D3 in the body, but then it does raise the serum 25 (OH)D levels (though there is some question of whether it works as well as D3).

    So this use of “natural” and “synthetic” is similar to the way these words are used to describe other hormones, like natural or bioidentical progesterone (synthesized (made) from soy or wild yams, but structurally the same molecule as made by the body) vs. “synthetic” progestin analog, which is slightly different molecularly from what is made by the body.

    I hope you don’t think I am arguing against taking CLO. I’m not, not by a long shot. I have some CLO and I take it (when I remember or haven’t been getting enough foods high in Vit A). I just want a higher intake of Vit D than I can get from CLO, food, or sun. So I guess I’m going for a different ratio of A:D. In the past few months I’m really noticing some benefit to taking all this D, more than any other supplement I’ve ever taken (though, truth be told, I also suspect going completely gluten-free in our household has been great, too).

    I was looking through some sites a little while ago and noted this from a page on the WAPF site:

    If you have symptoms of vitamin-D insufficiency or are unable to spend time in the sun, due to season or lifestyle or prior skin cancer, consider adding a supplement of 1,000 IU daily. Higher levels may be needed but should be recommended and monitored by your health care practitioner after testing serum 25(OH)D. 1,000 iu can be obtained from a concentrated supplement or from 2 teaspoons of high quality cod liver oil. Both Carlson Labs and Solgar make a 1,000 IU vitamin-D supplement naturally derived from fish oil. (Do not attempt to obtain large amounts of vitamin D from cod liver oil alone, as this would supply vitamin A in excessive and possibly toxic amounts.)”

    later on the same page:

    UV-B Meter: Sunsor, Inc. (800) 492-9815 Sunsor
    pH Testing Papers: Pike Agri-Lab Supplies (207) 684-5131 or
    Carlson Labs Vitamin D: (888) 880-3055
    Solgar Vitamin D: L & H Vitamins (800) 221-1152
    Sperti Sunlamps: (800) 544-3757

  54. Oh, Kelly, I just saw the end of your last comment as I hit the Send button. So sorry to hear about your mom. I know you’ll be a great source of support for her, but this will really stretch you, too. Both of you, take care.

  55. Anna,

    I just found your comment above in my spam, which I rarely even check, but just happened to check it tonight, thankfully!

    I guess just because Dave has cautioned so much against “synthetic” A & D (& I’ve read other places, too, how dangerous that can be), I really want the two of you to talk – I know you’ll ask great questions, and I know he’ll have great answers, and then if you will share, I can either post on it all, OR send my readers to YOUR post on it!

    Thanks so much!
    Kelly p.s. If you ever see a comment not showing up, let me know so I can check spam for it. Spam always kicks in when there’s links in the comment.

  56. whenever all of us were sick with the cold or flu, a friend of mine would eat HORSERADISH straight up and never ever got sick! His mother always gave it to him and i never believed it until i saw it …there was about 6 of us who were sick all around him and he would eat that horseradish and smile..never getting sick.
    thank you for this website! i will recommend it to everyone i know!

  57. I am too sleepy to read through the other comments, so I am sorry if I repeat something someone else has already touched on…..But Raw, unfiltered (and certainly unpasteurized!) Apple Cider Vinegar is the very first thing we turn to the moment we start feeling unwell. It’s gross for a minute, but it will HEAL you, not just cover the symptoms and make you feel all crazy inside, like most medicines do both my husband and I.

    I pour it on anything it will boost the flavor of for prevention, and pour shots of it when someone gets sick. If we are majorly clogged up, I’ll add some hot sauce to it, and if I am worried about it being a particularly nasty bug (or we are already in the throes of sickness), some fresh garlic. Like I said, it tastes bad for a moment, but it works. And some nice chamomile tea makes an excellent chaser.

    The other thing I stress a lot when one of us feels under the weather is lots of sleep. Not “rest” in front of the TeeVee, real SLEEP!

  58. Amanda, a few others had mentioned that, but it’s good to hear it again. The more I hear about that stuff, the more I realize the MANY ways it is so beneficial for us!

  59. I am swearing by raw apple cider vinegar, too!!! But, I had heard to mix it with equal parts of honey. I don’t know if that is for the taste factor, or for the healing properties of honey, too. Twice in the last two weeks I either woke up with, or throughout my day felt like, something was coming on in my nose/head. I took 1 Tbsp. every hour for about 4 hours, and then maybe another for good measure later in the day and kicked whatever was beginning to hit me! I read online that the vinegar kills whatever that foreign bacteria/germ is in your body that is ailing you. I gave my kids each a teaspoon to try, and they swear they will not try it again. I said, “Come on, for just a few seconds of gross taste, but knowing you will kick whatever is starting that will last DAYS, you won’t take it???!!!” Kids can be such wimps….:)
    Sue E.

  60. Even with honey they wouldn’t take it? I haven’t tried it yet but will try to remember it next time I feel something coming on. If I can take my CLO, I surely can take this, eh?

  61. Anyone know exactly what vegetable glycerin is and what it does to the body? I am also interested in making herbal tinctures for my children, but am cautious about using glycerin (and alcohol, for that matter!).

  62. Regarding Honey:

    “The concern is with infant botulism.

    Botulinum spores are found widely in soil, dust, and honey. Adults who swallow botulinum spores are almost never affected. When infants swallow the spores, however, the spores can germinate in their immature gastrointestinal tracts and begin producing botulinum toxin. This has occurred even when the honey was only used to sweeten a pacifier (European Journal of Epidemiology, Nov 1993).”
    Read more:

    Also, a helpful book I’ve found is The ABC Herbal on remedies. I’ve tried several of them and they work well, plus the kids cannot overdose on the mixtures. I have found that has wonderful herbs and information.


  63. I don’t remember the proportions, but years ago I was told to simmer some onions & garlic cloves in water maybe about 30 minutes (I don’t remember). Then periodically sip the liquid as warm as you can letting it trickle down the throat. Both garlic & onion have healing properties and it soothes the throat. Usually people turn their noses up when I tell them about this, but I like it and it does seem to help.

    Also, I had asthma as a child. I remember my mom using a vaporizer or humidifier (don’t know which one) in my room sometimes. But I never had to use inhalers and ‘sort of’ out grew it so it didn’t affect me as I grew up. However, as I’ve gotten older it has started giving me more trouble. For years it would flare up when I got a cold & turn into a hacking cough. The last few years the cough would hang on forever and oc cough medicines didn’t help. A couple years ago I had a spell where it was very difficult to breath & I went to an emergency clinic where they gave me an inhaler. After I got over the initial spell, I only used it when I could hear wheezing so it took awhile to use it up. When I tried to get a refill, the clinic no longer had a record of my visit & I didn’t want the expense of a doctor visit to get a refill so I went to a health food store to see if they had something. They told me about a homeopathic product called BHI Asthma by Heel BHI. I put 1-2 tablets under my tongue if I hear wheezing, which is not often now. I have also started taking it when I have a cold & just stat to cough. So far it has prevented the cough from developing into full blown asthma type cough & it goes away very quickly after the cold. I don’t know how much it will hep someone with severe asthma, but for milder cases it really works.

  64. Elderberry syrup is great prevention/treatment. I have a recipe for the homemade version on my site (because the stuff you buy in stores is expensive!)

    Also – no honey for kids under 12 months. It is because they lack the enzyme to digest the botulism spores that are naturally in honey and therefore can cause botulism toxin in them. After 12 months, they should be fine!

  65. I have an infant with sinus infection & feel bad about giving her antibiotics but after 2 + weeks of her being sick & being told by ped & my naturapathic dr. that we couldn’t do any thing but wet socks treatment, saline spray in nose, and continue on probiotics…she was a preemie & is 5 months adjusted age, 7 months by calendar…any ideas or resources for us? She drinks donor breast milk & no food yet…

    • I think you need to be especially careful with babies, and there are times when antibiotics really are needed!


  66. Does anyone have any suggestions for Chronic fatigue?
    Some of my issues with it that persist are sinus issues, pain, hand and feet issues. skin looks terrible too. Now clogged ear anxiety, of-course fatigue.
    These are the most intense. I have read a lot taken many things nothing seems to help it all.
    I do take vitamin D, D ribose, Actyl L carnitine, Collidal silver as needed, vitamin C. sudafed (ephedra) as needed. I have always respected ephedra as an herbal and never abuse it or any things i take.
    Any suggestions or comments on what are taken would be appreciated

  67. He has no other symptoms, so I gave him some probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, and colloidal silver. We had broth with dinner that I wanted to get down him, but he just wanted to sleep. My Mom said, “But if his fever goes too high he could have seizures!” – does anyone know how high is too high? I don’t think he’s EVER had 103* fever before… I wonder if I should wake him up to get some liquids into him, or maybe the concoction recipe in this post: – any suggestions anyone?

  68. I have been told that at higher than 103 you should give fever reducing meds, but if it remains at 103 or lower, you can let the fever do it’s job. Not sure if that is correct or not, but that is the general rule we follow in our house.

  69. I agree with Mindy – 103 or higher I’d give Tylenol or Motrin. Febrile seizures are USUALLY caused from a quick spike in a fever and USUALLY in younger children. If it was during the day I’d even say watch a 103 fever and wait to give meds, but since it is evening, I’d probably give the Tylenol or Ibuprofen (that one lasts longer than Tylenol).

  70. I remember Sarah Pope writing about how she would not use fever reducing meds for a fever that high. Don’t remember what the post was, but she wrote about natural ways to control it. I also thought seizures were not caused by how high the temp got, but how fast it rose (rising several degrees very rapidly is what causes a febrile seizure). At least, that’s what I’ve read.

  71. We also follow the 103 or higher, we give meds and lots of fluids, especially at night if I can’t watch them. My youngest has had some really high fevers at night and has night terrors with them which can be scary, so we don’t let fevers get high at night at all.

  72. I don’t worry under 104. I hope he feels better soon and whatever he’s got gets cooked off quickly!

  73. I know it’s the weekend but if he’d still got a fever on Monday you might consider taking him to a chiropractor. I’ve seen fevers break in less than 30 min. after an adjustment when there were no other symptoms. I usually only give fever reducers at night if the fever is causing sleep problems.

  74. Wow, there are a lot of recommendations. I love the netti pot for clearing up congestion, honey for a sore throat, and H2O2 for ear infections and really any upper respiratory illness. We use apple cider vinegar for clearing up a sore throat as well. The only thing I would add is to research old uses for Baking Soda. An acidic system, feeding on sugars, is bad news for immunity. A small dose of Baking Soda in water 3-4 times a day was used for AGES to shorten viral infections. It follows that a bacterial infection would strengthen itself against an acidic environment the same way it does against repeated antibiotic treatments. Change up the environment and lots of things happen.

  75. Hi Kelly, just found the post. The post itself is great, and then Sarah has a lot of great advice in the comments. Here’s one of them: ” once you get in the 105F range, it is up to the parent’s level of comfort in dealing with the fever and knowing the status of their child’s health whether or not to treat. I personally would not, but I feel comfortable handling high fevers but others may not feel the same way. The key to prevent a seizure is to keep the child from running out of blood glucose which is the cause of a fever induced seizure. This is because the metabolism in a high fever is racing so fast that the child runs out of fuel to maintain it. If the child is too sleepy to take diluted fruit juice by mouth due to the high fever, you can inject the diluted fruit juice rectally with a bulb nasal aspirator and achieve the same effect as swallowing it.”

    Here’s the link to the whole post:

  76. A natural fever will not kill a child. A fever from heat exposure will. If he’s uncomfortable I would treat the fever, if not I wouldn’t give anything. Let the fever do its job. A fever heats the body to kill the invasion of viruses and bacteria. I would be a lot more worried about the adverse effects of colloidal silver than I would a fever.

  77. My husband was prone to febrile seizures as a child, so I was concerned about the possibility in our children. Our pediatrician explained to me that seizures are caused by a spike in the fever rather than a prolonged “high” fever and you can’t really predict when a spike will occur. Here’s a good article from an old WAPF journal.

  78. Also, I haven’t tried it yet, but I just got some lemongrass essential oil because it is supposed to bring fevers down. Peppermint also. Use a theraputic grade like Young Living brand.

  79. My chiropractor explained that a fever is the bodies way of getting calcium from the soft tissue. The body wants the calcium so it can restore the body to its optimum pH. When the body is at its optimum pH, only good bacteria can live in it. It is when our pH becomes too high or too low that disease and illness can run out of control. Our poor American diet causes most Americans to have a too high or too low pH in their body. Very interesting how God worked it for us to be perfectly balanced when we eat the foods he created for us.

  80. Olive oil can be used to bring down a fever and when my kids came home with flu symptoms a couple of weeks ago I gave them all Silver-biotics and zinc along with water and a nap. They didn’t have any more symptoms at all. It was wonderful!!! When I got the symptoms I didn’t take anything because I was afraid to use the “meds” and not have any left for the kids. I ended up getting the flu and now pneumonia. SO! Now, I’m on all kinds of synthetic junk that I hate. I learned my lesson….take the immune boosting stuff!!!

  81. My chiropractor explained that a fever is the bodies way of getting calcium from the soft tissue. The body wants the calcium so it can restore the body to its optimum pH. When the body is at its optimum pH, only good bacteria can live in it. It is when our pH becomes too high or too low that disease and illness can run out of control. Our poor American diet causes most Americans to have a too high or too low pH in their body. Very interesting how God worked it for us to be perfectly balanced when we eat the foods he created for us.

  82. My chiropractor explained that a fever is the bodies way of getting calcium from the soft tissue. The body wants the calcium so it can restore the body to its optimum pH. When the body is at its optimum pH, only good bacteria can live in it. It is when our pH becomes too high or too low that disease and illness can run out of control. Our poor American diet causes most Americans to have a too high or too low pH in their body. Very interesting how God worked it for us to be perfectly balanced when we eat the foods he created for us.

  83. I use pure essential oils for everything. Fever a few drops of diluted peppermint oil down the spine, lavender too for nighttime to help sleep. For ear infections: 1-2 drops of melaleuca (tea tree oil) on a cotton ball inserted in the infected ear (not to far and not enough oil to drip) then rub a few drops of lavender oil around the outside of the ear.

  84. I use pure essential oils for everything. Fever a few drops of diluted peppermint oil down the spine, lavender too for nighttime to help sleep. For ear infections: 1-2 drops of melaleuca (tea tree oil) on a cotton ball inserted in the infected ear (not to far and not enough oil to drip) then rub a few drops of lavender oil around the outside of the ear.

  85. I called the doctor once for a 103˚ fever – he said it was O.K. and to call if it got any higher. You could always give tylenol as a last resort if it gets any higher than that.

  86. I called the doctor once for a 103˚ fever – he said it was O.K. and to call if it got any higher. You could always give tylenol as a last resort if it gets any higher than that.

  87. What one thinks and then what you do when in the situation are always to different things :) I would say that up to 105 I would let it go unless they became noticably in distress

  88. What one thinks and then what you do when in the situation are always to different things :) I would say that up to 105 I would let it go unless they became noticably in distress

  89. One of my sons had a fever that peaked at 104.5 during the swine flu “epidemic”. Then is very slowly went down. He was fine. No seizure. Not even close. It took nerves of steel though.

  90. One of my sons had a fever that peaked at 104.5 during the swine flu “epidemic”. Then is very slowly went down. He was fine. No seizure. Not even close. It took nerves of steel though.

  91. Hi Kel – It is common for kids to spike really high fevers up to 105. Febrile seizures, though scary, are not usually anything to worry about. If a child has a prolonged fever for more than 3 days, it’s a good idea to check in with your health practitioner to make sure there’s nothing else going on. Have you tried the lemon socks remedy?

  92. Hi Kel – It is common for kids to spike really high fevers up to 105. Febrile seizures, though scary, are not usually anything to worry about. If a child has a prolonged fever for more than 3 days, it’s a good idea to check in with your health practitioner to make sure there’s nothing else going on. Have you tried the lemon socks remedy?

  93. The key is to not let him get dehydrated. You can use a plastic syringe to squeeze a diluted juice, kefir soda or kombucha into his mouth. Homeopathic belladonna can also be helpful for lowering fevers. Do you have chamomile tea or essential oil? Add it to a small bowl of warm water and give him a sponge bath with it. You could also try smashing some garlic, mixing it with olive oil and smearing it on the soles of his feet. Wrap in gauze bandage and put socks on to keep in place. Good luck Kelly!

  94. My son does the same thing, fevers with no other systems and he does get 103 sometimes. Before I would get meds I would get him out from under any blankets and clothes and put cold wash clothes on the back of his neck and forehead. Wait 10-15 minutes and see if it comes down. If not you might want to give meds.

  95. Kelly, we just went through an illness situation and I learned a lot. First of all, as a mom, we need to RELAX as children sense our fear. We can be quietly fearful but we need to be calm for the child to see that we believe that they will inherently heal. The lemon socks remedy mentioned above is good and Dr. Cowan has lots of suggestions to help the body support itself. He recommends a one time dose of vitamin d3 of several thousand (maybe 5000 iu) to help immune system, a homeopathic remedy called meteoric iron by uriel to give the pellets several times a day. Then of course add more probiotics and cod liver oil. Elderberry Thyme syrup from True botanica is very good. If needed you can move to standard process Congaplex and Andrographis during acute phase of illness… I am not a doctor so take this as simply just something to think about but you might want to follow up on these suggestions. Please feel free to call me if you want– or email me– you should have it from when we talked about my blog this past spring… if not send me a message and I will give it to you. You are strong Kelly, listen to your inner voice and you will do the best thing for your child. And also it is a good time after you have done all you can do… which also includes chicken stock and broth… and a good time to read Grimm’s fairy tales… and then you ask Mary our Mother to watch over your child and heal your family and give you the strength you need to get through this. And when you do, know that your child has done very important healing work and will now be ready to take on new challenges having revved up the immune system.

  96. Been a nurse for 31 yrs, ICU, ER, Trauma, Pediatrics, Surgical, etc. 103 temp is not dangerous. Especially in a 6 yr old or older. The fever will help heal your child…it’s your body’s way of dealing with the “invader”, the bug that’s causing the illness. I’ll see if I can find you a link with info. Temps in preemies or new babies call for a lot more concern…I’d call my pediatrician right away, but your child is 6 I believe? Just natural things you’d do to help your child feel more comfortable. Broth is good. Lot’s of fluids; you don’t want them to get dehydrated. Good real food and probiotics and fluids are what I’ve done for my son…no fever reducer. If you take your child to the E.R., they will give a fever reducer…that’s how modern conventional medicine deals with illness…they treat the symptoms. Let me see if I can find you a good link on fever.

  97. My son was on antibiotics almost monthly for ear infections from 12 months to 2 1/2 years. I tried garlic oil drops but they didn’t seem to help much. My chiropractor recommended hydrogen peroxide in the ear or colloidal silver. Last year my son woke up in the middle of the night screaming and holding his ear, I immediately assumed ear infection. All I had on hand was hydrogen peroxide so I put 1-2 drops in one ear, I think it tingled and he didn’t like that so I followed it up with garlic oil. He was completely fine by the morning.

    A month ago he woke up screaming and crying and it was a painful cry. He cried for 2 hours before he could tell me it was his ear. I immediately put colloidal silver in his ear. I put 3-4 drops in his ear and within 30 minutes he was playing and said his pain was gone. Nothing ever came of it and when I told him I wanted to put some more drops in just to be sure he didn’t want me to do it because he said he was all better. I will also use Hyland’s Ear Drops along with the colloidal silver sometimes and they seem to work well.

    This all such helpful information. I do not have time to read through everything but I am going to bookmark this page for future reference.

  98. clarification on my above comment…the “call your pediatrician” was for preemies/newborns.

  99. I haven’t read all the comments so I may be double here, but I would recommend specific use of Colloidal silver only.
    Being a herbalist and intestinal flora therapist, I use cs in my practice to kill of a large part of the intestinal flora if necessary. It’s an antibiotic allright, but that also means it has the capability of killing off the good intestinal flora, too.

    So I personally wouldn’t use it unless the situation specifically calls for it, and most important, I’d definately back it up with a good probiotic.

    Aside from that, my favorite sickness-warder-offer is Pelargonium sidoides-root (I don’t know the english name). It’s a great acute immune-enhancer. Especially if (like me) you’ve used up all your Echinacea credits and it’s not working anymore, Pelargoniumroot is a wonderful replacement.

  100. what works every time for my kids for ear infection is cbg extract by nature’s sunshine-a few drops in the ear. also, one time i was out of cbg and my daughter had an earache so i chopped up an onion and put it in a sock and held it over her ear; within ten minutes she was asleep and it never returned.

  101. Watch the other symptoms and don’t let fever itself scare you. My youngest son, and overall the healthiest, sometimes gets a fever but usually no other symptoms and he will just stop and go to bed. He’s good at listening to his body and anymore I don’t even take his temp, that just makes me more nervous. I can kiss his forehead to see that he’s not super hot and it usually clears within 24 hours. I pay more attention to his other symptoms. If it went longer I would be concerned, but his body is fighting off something and usually about 12-18 hours he’ll pop up and be ready to go again.

  102. Retired pediatric nurse here: Seizures can happen at any temperature, so don’t worry about the number in and of itself. At the 103 range, we usually put them in cold wet sheets or a tepid bath. You don’t want it too cold or the shivering will Increase the temperature. Peroxide or colloidal silver ear drops are safe and effective. If you have access to a nebulizer like the kids with asthma use, you can also put colloidal silver in that and do breathing treatments. this can also be done preventively, so the infection doesn’t go around to all of the family members.

  103. @ Davette Brown – H.E.A.L.T.H.y C.H.O.I.C.E.s – your post here the other day was perfectly timed! Sunday our daughter’s ears were SO pinkish red that I was *this* close to giving in on the antibiotic but SO didn’t want to. I put colloidal silver drops in her ears and within 2 hours the redness started going away. I did it 2 more times that day and they’ve been great ever since! Thank you!

  104. Hi there, I need some suggestions about my daughters cough. She has been coughing for a month! I took her to the dr. and she said that she had a bacterial infection(upper respiratory) and gave me prescription for antibiotics. I didn’t fill it. My DD has never been on them and shes 2 1/2. She is acting normal except for this darn cough that will not go away! She is on probiotics, FCLO, vitamin D, eats fish eggs almost everyday. We tried an elderberry cough syrup, Stodal cough syrup and goldenseal but I dont think they worked so she is off of them now. Any suggestions? Oh and also the 2 times that I gave her kombucha she started getting a cough shortly after. We also try to avoid pasturized milk, we get mucousy when we have it.

    • For a cough that has lasted that long I would consider food allergies of some sort. The food allergy causes inflammation throughout the body, which makes kids much more prone to illness, especially any sort of upper respiratory infections. I found out my kids had food allergies because they had a really bad cough that just wouldn’t go away, and then had like 9 months of respiratory infections and ear infections. And in my opinion you were right to hold off on the antibiotics because, in my case, I feel that I made the problem much worse by giving them antibiotics after that first cold, as the food allergies were probably caused by an imbalance in their gut flora, the antibiotics made it worse, and (as I said) it was followed my months of near constant infections. So, my recommendation would be to avoid all grain and dairy (the most likely offenders) and see if that helps, then gradually reintroduce until you can figure out exactly what is the problem. If that doesn’t help you may want to check out GAPS (Kelly has post on it). The good news- my kids were healed from their food sensitivities in 6 months. During that time I eliminated the foods that bothered them as well as feeding a lot of healing foods (many of which you list) and eliminating all refined sugars (and limiting unrefined).

      • Yes, my older daughter and myself have problems with dairy. We are all off of it now and I just started the GAPS intro on boxing day. I’m the only one on it but I’m getting them to have bone broth and some fermented veggies. My older DD was on antibiotic after antibiotic so I’m deff. doing things diff. with my second one.

  105. (Continued from above…) “I need some suggestions about my daughters cough. She has been coughing for a month! I took her to the dr. and she said that her throat and ears were good, but she had a bacterial infection (upper respiratory) and gave me prescription for antibiotics. I didn’t fill it. My DD has never been on them and she’s 2 1/2. She is acting normal except for this darn cough that will not go away! She is on probiotics, FCLO, vitamin D, eats fish eggs almost everyday. We tried an elderberry cough syrup, Stodal cough syrup and Goldenseal but I don’t think they worked so she is off of them now. Any suggestions? Oh and also the 2 times that I gave her kombucha she started getting a cough shortly after. We also try to avoid pasteurized milk, we get mucousy when we have it.”

  106. (Continued from above…) “I need some suggestions about my daughters cough. She has been coughing for a month! I took her to the dr. and she said that her throat and ears were good, but she had a bacterial infection (upper respiratory) and gave me prescription for antibiotics. I didn’t fill it. My DD has never been on them and she’s 2 1/2. She is acting normal except for this darn cough that will not go away! She is on probiotics, FCLO, vitamin D, eats fish eggs almost everyday. We tried an elderberry cough syrup, Stodal cough syrup and Goldenseal but I don’t think they worked so she is off of them now. Any suggestions? Oh and also the 2 times that I gave her kombucha she started getting a cough shortly after. We also try to avoid pasteurized milk, we get mucousy when we have it.”

  107. has your kombucha been compromised and gotten moldy? I”m highly allergic to mold and will cough or get a sore throat after it rains, etc. Just a thought.

  108. has your kombucha been compromised and gotten moldy? I”m highly allergic to mold and will cough or get a sore throat after it rains, etc. Just a thought.

  109. I have to agree with the no-dairy as well. My natural doc just took my daughter off dairy. She had a cough/cold for over a month. She sounds better already, after just a few days!

  110. I have to agree with the no-dairy as well. My natural doc just took my daughter off dairy. She had a cough/cold for over a month. She sounds better already, after just a few days!

  111. I just responded to her on the actual post… and not to hijack, but I’m miserable and can’t think of how to get relief. I have a mild sore throat (improving) and a pounding, throbbing sinus headache that starts at the bridge of my nose and radiates out to my ears. I’ve been taking an herbal infection remedy as well as shooting ACV (which I think is why the sore throat is receding) but this sinus headache is kicking my a$$. Going to hit the netti pot now- any other suggestions?

  112. seconding the mullein. also, there is an aurvedic remedy I swear by for coughs. 1 tablespoon honey with 1/4 teaspon freshly ground (and it must be that to get the oils in there) black pepper mixed in. eat that and you’re all set. though if the cough also comes with a scratchy voice, use ghee instead of honey.

    • Thats interesting! Not sure if I would be able to get her to take that though. I should try it on my older DD and myself. Older DD has a cough thats not bad at all.

    • Ok I will check this out. I did have her on various homeopathics but they didn’t seem to help. I prob didn’t have the right remedy.

    • I am giving her 2-3000 IUs per day. We are going to get her blood checked today so it will be interesting to see what they are.

  113. My son’s chronic cough started around then, and lasted for several months as we worked with a naturopath through various herbal and other remedies. He had more of an asthmatic cough (also eczema, which the naturopath said often coexists with asthma), which eventually cleared up on its own except for returning with every cold. In those cases eucalyptus oil on the feet works great at night.

  114. Oh my goodness, my co-worker is making me bonkers. If she gets a cough that she can’t shake in a week, she’s off to the doc for a shot and a z-pack. This is the second time in 3 months. Hello!!! Antibiotics don’t work for cold viruses!!! Add to that, yesterday we had a ‘treat’ day for a co-worker’s birthday and she was hoovering ungodly amounts of candy and sweets. People just do not get the connection. Let’s just eat all sorts of garbage and take a pill (which didn’t work the last time, BTW). Bleck, and she’ll sit and polish off a bag of cough drops every day. For one, I’m pretty sure that’s overdosing; for another thing, they don’t work; thirdly, how ’bout that red dye? Those things make my belly ache!

    Thank you Dr. Mercola: The First Thing to do When a Cold or Flu Strikes.

  115. i found that a cotton ball with just a little bit of meluca oil in the ear works wonders. i treid the heating pad and my six years old jsut cried but i put the meluca oil on a cotton ball and it worked great

  116. Woke up at middle of the night realizing i had ear ache.this has not occured for years now.the otc ear drop did not help(most prob bcos it was meant for my 7 month old dd ;-), when she had ear inf a week back)so had to wake my mom to know about home remedy, she removed the seeds from dried chilli, poured warm oil into it and drained it out . This oil she cooled and poured in my ear. It worked almost immediately.

  117. When I feel a sinus infection coming on, or one of my eustachian tubes become inflamed. i put a tea kettle (with a whistler) on the stove, bring to a slow boil and inhale the steam through my nasal passages for 10 to 15 minutes. If you can do this early enough, it will kill the infection and you will be good to go.

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