Wash your hands!

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Pro tip: wash your hands with soap.

Why? Because the weakest layer of a virus is the lipid (fat) layer. Soap molecules act like a magnet, with one end that bonds with water, the other that bonds with fat. Through this sudsy miracle, SOAP DISSOLVES FAT.

And when a virus loses its fat layer, it dies.

In a pinch, you can also kill a virus using alcohol (ie: hand sanitizer) but soap + water is far more effective.

Wash your hands, yo.

You’re welcome.

Psst… if you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter now! Because we’ll be giving away free soap later today, and everybody loves free soap. Amiright?

 

Learn more about how soap works to kill viruses here.

Natural immune support for adults + kids (bonus elderberry gummies recipe)

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Cold season, the flu, and now the dreaded coronavirus. Many of us worry to some degree about falling ill in the winter every year, especially during the bridge between seasons when the weather swings unpredictably from cold to warm.

And with the onset of every potential pandemic, we worry even more.

Our first line of defense from any virus? A healthy, robust immune system.

Take simple, sensible actions to support a healthy immune response, and reduce your risk (and fears) for whatever bugs you might be exposed to. With regards to fear, I encourage you to not fall into the fear cycles perpetuated by an overzealous media. Weigh the actual risks, not the hype. Then get busy shoring up your immune system with some simple, tried-and-true tricks that can make all the difference in helping you stay healthy and strong.

Support a healthy immune system

Follow the six tips below for your healthiest immune system yet. Then talk to your holistic health care provider or family doctor for even more solid options to better health, and to ensure that the options below are a match for your family and your existing health conditions.

One Small Step toward sustainability: swap plastic bottles of soap for bars.

1.Wash those hands!

Sometimes the simplest tricks are the most effective. Your first line of defense to keep bugs out and good health in? Proper hand-washing, especially when you’re out-and-about.

Pro tip: My daughter and I carry a small bar of LüSa Organics soap in our bags whenever we go out, so that we don’t have to use the fragrance-drenched detergent in public bathrooms. We’re sure to practice better hand-washing if we have soap with us that won’t scent our skin or give us a fragrance oil-induced headache.

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2. De-stress + rest

High stress often translates to a suppressed immune response. Support your body, mind, and spirit with plenty of sleep, and by managing your stress.

3. Upgrade your diet

Reduce sugar intake, and boost your consumption of healthy veggies and proteins. These steps benefit more than just our immune system, and can lead us to greater health for bones, teeth, gut, and brain. You’ve got nothing to lose making this (relatively simple) shift.

What is the best education for your child? The answer might surprise you. #education #homeschooling #school #parenting

4. Check your D levels

Vitamin D3 is critical for a spunky immune response. Check your levels and supplement with a natural source, like fermented cod liver oil.

5. Oh, Mg

Look into topical magnesium (I offer my own version here), which can help support healthy sleep cycles and a healthy immune response.

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6. Herbs for the win

Bring on the immune-supporting herbs! From a daily shot of homemade fire cider to spiking your chai with astragalus, or adding medicinal mushrooms (like rishi + shitake) alongside aromatic herbs in your bone broth, there are a plethora of simple herbal ways to support your immune system.

Which herbs are a great place to begin your research to see if they’re a match for your family? A handful of my favorites include:

  • Astragalus
  • Echinacea
  • Usnea
  • Chaga
  • Rishi
  • Shitake
  • Rosehip
  • White Pine
  • Elderberry

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Elderberry love

One of our very favorite immune-supporting herbal remedies is elderberry. It’s is one of the ten herbs I feature in-depth in my beginner’s herbal book, Herbal Adventures. With tips on using foraged/fresh berries or purchased/dried, there are recipes within these pages to savor throughout the year.

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Whether you choose homemade our boughten elderberry tinctures, elixirs, teas, syrups, or gummies, there is a plethora of excellent options to incorporating this immune-supporting powerhouse into your winter and spring routine.

Want to get started making your own kid-approved elderberry gummies? Then turn to chapter 4 in Herbal Adventures. Don’t have your own copy yet? There’s  another way to try my recipe! (Read on.)

Sage: edit needed

I was honored last week to have Kelly from Primally Inspired share her love of Herbal Adventures (and my elderberry gummies recipe) on her blog.

Click here for both her feedback on my book and my recipe! Then get to work boosting your (and your children’s) immune systems.

Be well, friends.

Love,
Rachel

What are your family’s favorite natural immune boosters? Add them in the comments below!

 

One Small Step: up your laundry game

20200126-_RJW1172For challenge 8 in One Small Step, let’s dig in and make small changes to something nearly all of us do every week (if not almost every day!)–laundry.

Whether you wash your clothes at home or at the laundromat, in a modern, high-efficiency washer or a well-loved top-loader, chances are there’s still a little room for improvement. (I’m certain there is at our home.)

Read on to find suggestions for a more sustainable wash day–including better detergent options, tips on reducing drying time and saving energy, and more.

Plus, I’m sharing my tried and true HE-compatible DIY laundry powder recipe. We’ve used it with great results for over a decade!

Read on, then share your own ideas in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear your additions!

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Five easy tips for a more sustainable wash day

1. Do less laundry.

Let’s start with the most radical (yet simplest) item on my list: wash your clothes less frequently.

I know. Radical.

But it makes sense that when we do less laundry we save resources. We can reduce wear-and-tear on our clothing (too-frequent laundering wears them out in a hurry), save water, use less soap or detergent, and save electricity. And all it takes is washing our clothes a little less frequently!

No, I’m not suggesting you show up for work next week wearing a balsamic vinegar spattered top. But how about wearing the same spot-free shirt on Friday that you wore on Monday, or the same pants you’ve been rocking for most of the week?

Indeed, many clothes stand up to multiple wearings without looking any worse for the wear! So look over your clothing and linens before dropping them into the hamper to make sure that they really need to be washed (wool in particular is a wonder at staying clean without frequent washing).

And the next time you pick out new or upcycled clothing to add to your wardrobe, seek out clothes made of natural fibers, which wear better and require less frequent laundering. If possible, avoid white, which is the least forgiving of all (and most prone to a short life due to staining).

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2. Swap out your liquid liquid.

While there are a few notable exceptions, most liquid laundry detergents are packaged in plastic. We’ve already discussed how all too often plastic “recycling” is really a one-way trip to the landfill, so the less plastic the better.

Finish up your current plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, then upgrade to something more gentle on the earth.

Upgrade to what, you ask? There are loads of great options (see what I did there?). 

  • Find a liquid in a cardboard container. It’s still not perfect, but it’s leagues better than a plastic jug. Check your natural foods store if your grocery doesn’t have options.
  • Try a purchased powder. There are lots of great brands out there making fragrance-free, phosphate-free, environmentally sustainable powders. But read those labels. Because what’s in the detergent matters as much as the packaging material.
  • Make your own laundry powder. My DIY recipe (below) costs just 25¢ per load. We’ve been using it for over 10 years it in our HE washer with excellent results, despite our extremely hard well water. And it’s been trouble-free for our plumbing and septic system. You can find my recipe at the bottom of the post.
  • There are other low- to no-waste options out there, including “Sheets“, “Dropps“, and even homemade horse chestnut laundry liquid. Don’t discount Soap Nuts either, despite a bit of questionable press recently regarding their sustainability. Soap Nuts are still an excellent, sustainable option to keep on the table!

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3. Replace your synthetic fabric softener with vinegar.

A generous splash of white vinegar in the fabric softener cup of your washing machine can make all the difference in your laundry load (with none of the toxins found in conventional fabric softeners).

Vinegar helps remove detergent and soap reside, and results in brighter, cleaner laundry. Vinegar also helps to soften clothes, brighten whites, and reduce odor and stains. We keep a gallon in the laundry room and add it to nearly every load.

4. Give dryer balls a spin.

Ditch the toxic dryer sheets, and toss in a set of reusable, wool dryer balls instead. Wool dryer balls can reduce drying time by up to 25%, by helping fluff your laundry while it tumbles. 

Years ago, my kids and I made our own using a retired wool sweater cut into scraps, bundled with waste yarn, wrapped in wool roving, then felted. We’ve been using them for more than a decade, and they’re holding up brilliantly.

You can find a simple tutorial online, or buy wool dryer balls by the set. (4-6 is a good number to start with.)  Or go quick and dirty (er, clean), by washing and repurposing a few old tennis balls from your garage.

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5. Better yet, line dry.

If you can swing it, give line drying a go.

Full transparency: I can make some huge improvements here. I depend on our dryer nearly every day, even when line drying would be a more simple and sustainable option. We can all do better, myself included.

To my friends who line dry everything (year round!), despite having a consistent source of grid-power: you know who you are. I am humbled by your commitment and hard work and your fresh smelling linens.

If you have access to an outdoor space (whether a giant yard or a tiny patio) there’s probably room for a clothesline. Indoor spaces are drying friendly, too–especially in winter.

But avoid buying a cheap, flimsy drying rack which is nothing more than a wobbly legged frustration machine. Instead, find something stable and solid. (We use a long ago discontinued wall-mounting metal rack from IKEA, while my friend Ginny recommends handmade Homestead Drying Racks. Search around and you’re bound to find something good.)

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While there are countless other ways to reduce our laundry impact, these five tips felt easy and accessible. I look forward to seeing what you add in the comments below!

And now, are you ready to give homemade laundry powder a go? Find my easy recipe below.

 

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DIY Zero-Waste Laundry Soap Recipe + Tutorial

We love to make this by the double or triple batch. Then we have enough to last you for many weeks of daily use. Better yet, get together with a few friends and make a huge batch to share! Each load costs only 25¢ (with optional oxygen bleach).

Pro tip: our new Zero-Waste Dish Soap Bar is ideal for homemade laundry soap! It’s our favorite soap for this to date. We often have scratch-and-dent 1 lb. bags available at a bargain, just perfect for making laundry soap, or use ordinary LüSa soap bars or Imperfect Soap Samplers.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz LüSa Organics Dish Soap Bar or Classic Bar Soap, finely grated (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 1/3 cup washing soda
  • 2/3 cup oxygen bleach (optional)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax

Instructions

  • Finely grate your bar of soap on a box grater.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, being mindful to not stir to vigorously and create airborne dust that you might inhale. (Consider wearing a dust mask if you prefer your mixing on the enthusiastic side!)
  • When mixture is relatively uniform, transfer to a plastic pail or glass jar to store in laundry room.
  • To use, add 2 to 3 tbsp per load, directly into the drum of your washer. Wash laundry with warm or hot water.

How do you reduce your laundry’s environmental footprint?

You can find the entire One Small Step series here, or click through below for individual posts:

onesmallstep

It’s time to talk about Essential Oils

As many of you know, each year LüSa Organics embarks upon a sustainability initiative to bring our brand closer to the environmental ethics we hold most dear. Two years ago we cut the cord on palm oil, while last year we curbed our use of plastic by 90-plus percent. This year, we’re taking a closer look at essential oils (EOs) and sustainability.

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When I started LüSa Organics (then “Queen Bee Soaps and Baby Moon”) back in 2002, I was already smitten by essential oils.

I had been making body care since 1996, and EOs were already my go-to. They came highly recommended as a safe skin care choice, had a long history of effective use, and some highly rated benefits (be them physical, mental, or emotional).

They were also a natural way to create amazing scent profiles in our soaps and balms without resorting to synthetic chemicals.

In short: I loved them.

I was new to herbs back then as well. And though I dabbled in a few herbal infusions, I didn’t know much about working with whole plants. So EOs were a wonderful source of plant magic (if you will), not readily accessible to me in other forms.

But with time, we evolve and grow.

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I began studying herbs. Bit by bit, I learned more about working with whole fresh and dried plants, and I began creating herb-infused base oils as the foundation for many of my products.

And just like that EOs didn’t seem quite so magical as before.

Because in my experiments and experience, an essential oil-based product could rarely hold a candle to a whole herb infusions, except in the scent department. Sure, there were exceptions, but formulas I once created using lavender essential oil or peppermint were leagues more effective when created with a calendula or chickweed infusion (alone, or in conjunction with EOs).

And while essential oils still had their place at the table, I felt myself gradually inching away from them and toward the wholesome embrace of whole, organic herbs.

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Roots and leaves and flowers infused in raw, organic oils bring so much to a product, that once I began exploring this potential there was no looking back.

When I explain the difference to my students, I tell them this: that EOs are a wonderful tool, but they’re not everything. And to me (in some applications) they feel more heavily processed and less nourishing than an herbal preparation.

Put simply, herbal infusions feel whole.

And so products that I had been making for a decade or more with only essential oils were reborn, laced with long-infused herbal goodness.

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And everything felt different.

Instead of simply being a lavender-scented moisture balm and stretch-cream, Belly Balm became something more when infused with calendula, rose hips, marshmallow, and lavender.

Da Balm, infused with nine powerful plants, was added to our line (and our family’s grab-and-go first aid kit as well). Booby Balm arrived on the scene to great enthusiasm by nursing parents–an unscented, nursling-safe nipple balm for those early days of breastfeeding.

And these new products either didn’t need EOs at all, or just needed a few drops, to brighten up what the herbs were already bringing to the table.

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“But EOs are amazing!” you say. “They’re nearly magical!”

I hear you. I do! Even today I love and appreciate all that EOs offer. But I now also see the drawbacks of essential oils alongside the benefits.

I haven’t broken up with EOs, if you will, and I will continue to use them in much of the LüSa product line. But essential oils and I have grown apart a bit, from how smitten I was with them earlier in my life and career.

Because there is much more to herbal magic than potent, concentrated essential oils. So much more. And while I don’t foresee a day when there aren’t EOs in my home or business, they just aren’t at the forefront anymore.

And so we’re making a few changes here at LüSa Organics as to how (and what) EOs we use. Those changes (and why it’s important to us) are outlined below.

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What’s the issue?

Here are a few of the reasons we’re reevaluating our relationship with and usage of EOs, as well as some exciting changes we’re making to address these concerns.

1. Essential oils are resource-intensive.

Essential oils take a lot of resources to make. For example, it takes a whopping 2 lbs of fresh lavender to create a .33 oz bottle of lavender essential oil. That’s a lot of plant matter for a bottle of EOs! Some other oils take far, far more than that (it takes some 40,000 roses, for example, to make 1 oz of rose otto essential oil).

This raises some sustainability concerns for me, simply due to the amount of land we’re devoting to these crops, as well as pesticide use for non-organics.

And the more we move toward zero-waste in our lives and in our business, the more I want to face the fact that using a massive amount of EOs in our products contributes to resource waste.

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2. Overuse of EOs can be unsafe.

We live in a day and age when EOs are everywhere! You can buy essential oils from your friends, at the coop, even the pharmacy or grocery store. Because EOs have become so common, their misuse has become more commonplace as well. It’s not unusual for folks to apply essential oils neat (undiluted on their skin), while some even consume them on occasion (both of these are applications that most aromatherapists agree are unsafe).

As more and more people experiment with using essential oils at home, and the more EOs we use in our products, the more concerns are bubbling up that many of us are getting too much of a good thing.

And while we love our EO-scented products, we think that we can make some improvements with how we approach product-scenting (more on this below).

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3. Some essential oils are extracted from rare or endangered plants.

Some essential oils are simply unsustainable–and unethical–to continue to use. Here at LüSa, we researched the 70 essential oils we currently have on the shelf, and two of them are rare or threatened, due to unsustainable harvest techniques or poaching.

Those oils are Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansiand Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

What can we do about it?

Just like palm oil in 2018 and plastic use in 2019, we can look at our own status quo and move in a fresh direction. Change can be hard, but it leads us to better, more sustainable places time and again.

All this to say: we can change the way we choose to do things.

It won’t be easy, but we’re certain that it’s worth it.

How we’ll go about it is outlined below.

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Essential Oil Sustainability Plan

Here are the actions we are taking to bring our essential oil use in line with our sustainability goals in the coming year.

1. Phase out all rare essential oils

We’re starting in the simplest place: with the two oils on the list above. Just as we would not purchase an endangered animal, we will not purchase a rare or threatened plant oil simply to make something smell nice. While in some cases the therapeutic uses of these oils may be justified–I have a friend who is using frankincense oil as a part of her cancer treatment, for example–recreational/pleasure-only use feels inappropriate.

Spikenard is an oil we began working with more than a decade ago, but one we never got deeply involved with. We add it in small amounts to Sweet Soul Sister Soap as a scent anchor. In a small and easy swap out, we’ll replace this oil with a more sustainable one. Expect a subtle, negligible shift in the scent balance of this soap in the coming year.

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The second oil we’re phasing out is Frankincense. This one I’m certain that many of you will miss. We add small quantities of it to a few products for its therapeutic value, while it plays center stage in our Frankincense & Goat Milk Soap. Needless to say, we’ll have to retire this soap scent from our regular product line-up in order to achieve our sustainability mission.

And while that is one of our favorite soaps ever, we just can’t with good conscience keep offering it on our website. We hope you understand and can support us as we make this big change! We will keep selling it for the time being (as we are well stocked with the oil) but expect to see it disappear in the coming three to six months.

What other products contain Frankincense? Only three, and we’ll simply reformulate these in the coming months. Expect a small, subtle shift in the scent of Muscle Magic Arnica Oil, Charcoal Facial Bar, and Eye Serum, after we replace it with an oil with similar properties from a more sustainable source.

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2. Reduce EO use in many other products

In addition to phasing out these two threatened oils, we’re reevaluating our use of essential oils in our Pregnancy + Postpartum line, our Baby + Kids line, and our Everyday body care.

No, we won’t stop using EOs in our products! No way, no how.

We love good smells around us as much as you do. But we will be reducing the amount of essential oils in some of our products, in order to create a more subtle (but still aromatic and delightful) experience.

We’ve experimented with a few formulas already, and are smitten by the complex and subtle scents created with a higher dilution rate.

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3. Offer more scent-free products

In the coming season, we will start offering more luxurious unscented products for hair, skin, belly, and baby.

Products like an unscented, herb-infused shampoo bar (which we’re making now, for a March release), EO-Free Baby Wipe Juice, and more delightful unscented soaps and balms–all coming later this year.

We hope you’ll join us in this embrace of the unscented side of LüSa by trying out some of these new products (as well as our existing unscented line) in the coming months.

4. Continue seeking sources for certified organic essential oils

EOs are among the only ingredients we regularly purchase non-organic. A large number of the 70 EOs we use are simply not available as a wholesale, organic oil. Others are, but at a price point that is exponentially higher than those we currently use, which would drive up the cost of each product significantly (approximately a $2 increase per tin of balm).

Since many of our essential oils are wildcrafted, they are by their very nature organic, but others are farmed.

We will continue to seek certified organic essential oils for our products, in hopes of finding stable sources for enough of our oils to transition our Pregnancy + Postpartum, and Baby + Kids lines to 100% organic in 2021. By reducing the amount of essential oils in each product (or removing them all together), we’ll be able to do this while keeping prices stable. (We’d love to hear from you if organic certification matters to you, or if all organic ingredients is enough.)

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Growing up, my mom frequently told me two things:

“All things in moderation” and “The only thing constant is change.”

I think both of these gems of maternal wisdom apply here. Because we still love EOs, we’re just working on exercising some good, judicious moderation.

And that, of course, means it’s time for all of us to embrace a little change.

Thanks for standing by us while we make this shift. It means so much to have you here, cheering us along.

Sincerely,

Rachel Jepson Wolf and the rest of the LüSa Organics Team

 

Have a thought to share? Comments are open on this post. We welcome your input. Truly.

 

LüSa Organics product and production photographs by our friends Ray + Kelly Photography. All other photographs by Rachel Jepson Wolf.

 

Wellness, naturally: five simple tricks to help you get well soon

This winter has been a strange one, with temperatures fluctuating wildly from cold to warm, dry to wet. These weather fluctuations–whether atypical, like this year, or the normal changes common during the beginning and end of winter–often trigger bouts of winter colds for children and adults alike.

Last week a bug landed in our home, leaving half of our crew down for a couple of days. And like any time we find ourselves with a cold or flu, we reached for our herbal kitchen arsenal to bring comfort and healing–fast.

I thought some of you might be interested in hearing some fresh ideas to get well on the double. With this in mind, five of my favorite wellness tips for cold and flu season are below. I hope they help you and your loved ones feel 100% again soon!

(A few afflinks follow. That said, I always encourage you to purchase what you can locally!)

Get well soon! {A cold and flu season recipe round-up} Clean. www.lusaorganics.typepad.com

Five simple tips to help you get well soon

1. REST

Lots and lots of rest.

As a rule, we suck at this in western society. We go to school or work sick. We pound cold medicine to feel well enough to keep up with what we think we “should” be doing, despite being sick and needing rest.

No, not everyone has the luxury of missing a day of work because they are sick. But if you are in the group of folks that does, please stay home and rest.

For me, a comfy chair, quilt, and basket of knitting beside the fire helps (a lot). Press pause on any out-and-about activities. This will not only speed your own healing, but keep your friends, classmates, or coworkers from unnecessary exposure to your bug.

Getting adequate rest when you’re under the weather means falling asleep early and staying in bed as late as you can. It means taking it easy during the day, as much as you can manage.

Get well soon! {A cold and flu season recipe round-up} Clean. www.lusaorganics.typepad.com

2. Homemade (or purchased) Chicken Broth or Stock

Sipping flavorful mugs of bone broth is an easy way to nourish your body during cold and flu season, without overtaxing your digestive system. It’s my magic potion for getting well in a hurry.

My basic recipe is can be found here. During cold and flu season I love adding a giant knob of smashed ginger, a full head of smashed or sliced garlic, and two big handfuls of astragalus root at the start of my cooking cycle.

Make a big batch of homemade broth now, then sip it throughout your resting period and until you feel 100% again.

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3. Herbal Tinctures and Teas

I think simple, homemade tinctures and teas are the best medicines of all. Our family makes many different kinds each season, and we rely on them throughout out the year to support our health.

Tinctures are available for purchase in most natural food stores, but they are ridiculously simple to make at home. If you’ve never made tinctures before, give my simple folk remedy for homemade elderberry tincture a try!

Suggested teas are below. For tinctures, look into the specific symptoms you are looking to comfort, as well as your own constitution. Generally speaking, immune-supporting herbs like elderberry and echinacea area a good choice, as well as herbs for specific symptoms like fevers, body aches, chills, or herbs for lung support.

Get well soon! {A cold and flu season recipe round-up} Clean. www.lusaorganics.typepad.com

4. STAY HYDRATED

Warm drinks are key to a fast recovery. The aforementioned chicken broth and tea are key. Along with hot toddies, they are my top picks to deliver good medicine while helping us stay hydrated.

A hot toddy (in our world anyway!) is not a boozy concoction, but rather a strong lemon and ginger infusion, sweetened with honey, then spiked with optional herbs and tinctures. My easy hot toddy recipe – with variations from the most simple to more complex – can be found right over here.

For teas, think of immune-supporting herbs like echinacea, elderberry, and chaga; lung-support like mullein and wild cherry bark; or fever remedies like yarrow and elderflower.

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ANOTHER FAVORITE WARM DRINK AROUND HERE IS HOMEMADE PINE NEEDLE TEA.

Made from a simple decoction of white pine needles and thin branches, pine needle tea feels excellent on the throat, quiets coughs, and is loaded with vitamin C. I share a how-to for my favorite version on page 160 in my book.

If you don’t have a copy on hand, simply harvest fresh white pine needles, twigs, and bark. Cut into pieces and place in a large nonreactive pot. Fill pot with water and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 10 additional minutes. If desired, additional herbs can be added to the pot, depending on the cold or flu you’re working through. Consider mullein leaf, bee balm, yarrow, elderberry, elecampane, or wild cherry bark.

If you’re aren’t up for making your own tea blends, choose a purchased herbal tea that matches your symptoms. We love the Traditional Medicinals brand, especially Throat CoatBreathe Easy, and Gypsy Cold Care

Get well soon! {A cold and flu season recipe round-up} Clean. www.lusaorganics.typepad.com

5. TREAT YOUR SYMPTOMS

Body aches? Epsom salt baths are a wonder for sore muscles. Arnica massage oil also supports healthy, happy muscles and joints. Also try a hot water bottle tucked up against an aching back or sore neck.

Earache? You can’t beat garlic ear oil. There is a recipe for my favorite version with mullein flowers in Herbal Adventures. I also shared this simple garlic recipe years ago (along with a few other holistic earache remedies).

Support healthy respiration with LuSa EOs

How are your lungs? Support them with herbal steams and by keeping your humidifier filled and running.

Here at LüSa we also make two lines of essential oils and chest rubs to support healthy respiration. Our Breathe Easy EO blends and Children’s Chest Rub are eucalyptus-free designed specifically for kids under 10, while our Breathe Deep EO blends and Original Chest Rub are just the thing for ages 10 and up.

The undiluted oils can be added to a diffuser or humidifier, or mixed with a carrier oil along with your epsom salts in the bath. 

Get well soon! {A cold and flu season recipe round-up} Clean. www.lusaorganics.typepad.com

Sore Throat? Those hot toddies (above) work wonders; so does gargling a simple cup of hot salt water. My go-to remedy for sore throat is homemade Monarda tonic or oxymel. Made with just wild bee balm, raw honey, and brandy or organic apple cider vinegar, it soothes sore throats in a hurry.

I share an entire chapter of Bee Balm/Monarda recipes in my book, Herbal Adventures (including a Bee Balm Oxymel recipe). If you already own a copy, head to page 118 and dive in.

Since many of you don’t have bee balm on hand, try a tea made from sage and thyme instead–herbs with similar medicinal properties to bee balm, but found right in your spice cabinet.

Pro tip: always steep herbal teas covered to keep the healing aromatics in the cup.

Fever? My favorite herbal remedy is a tea made of 2 parts peppermint leaf, 1 part yarrow, 1 part elder flower, and 1/2 part catnip. Again, there’s a proper recipe in Herbal Adventures! (Noticing a theme? These are most certainly my favorite, go-to home remedies.)

Try Belladona 12C homeopathic remedy. This along with our homemade fever tea and the other wellness steps above are our best defense.

Get well soon! {A cold and flu season recipe round-up} Clean. www.lusaorganics.typepad.com

Cough? I can’t sing the praises of this remedy enough. If you don’t have elecampane on hand I urge you to pick some up now and have this remedy ready for your next round of coughs. It works like magic. 

What would you add to the list of wellness tips above? What are your go-to solutions to cold and flu season?

Pssst, LüSa Fans…From now until January 15, jump in on a buy-3-get-1-free offer on all LüSa Organics cold and flu season wellness products. Find the details here

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5 simple tricks for healing from cold or flu, naturally.