The one resource you need for cold and flu

The winter of 2016 our family got hit pretty hard with the flu. If you're a regular reader you might remember I wrote about it on the blog. It was awful.

The kids and I all got hit with a virulent flu bug that had us each in bed for over a week. Then as soon as the kids started feeling well and life was once again full of social and school engagements, they were hit with secondary infections - conjunctivitis, bronchitis and sinusitis and ear aches.

I had dabbled in herbal medicine for years and had acquired a nice little stash of essential oils, but most of my knowledge was limited to topical skin care and making body care products. My general approach to illness, like cold and flu, was rather laissez faire; a minimal, mostly hands-off “strategy”.

I place a high importance on healthy habits to prevent illness and if we did happen to get sick my protocol was rest; drink lots of fluids that included ginger, garlic, and lemon; and when you remember (and if there’s some in the cupboard), take elderberry syrup. For many years, that mostly worked. But last winter was different.

We had recently moved to the city and were adjusting to a new home environment and new routines. Were our immune systems compromised from the stress of moving and shifts in diet? Were we exposed to new and more virulent infections? Maybe a bit of both. All I know is that my hands-off approach did not work.

Cold and flu season hit our home and like Old Mother Hubbard the cupboards were bare of the herbal remedies I had used in the past. I went into the winter unprepared.

my last batch of prepared remedies, dated 2011

The knowledge I thought I had acquired was “lost” in a long-term memory folder. And what I could remember was insufficient for what I was dealing with. Wait and see meant wait and be ill.

And if I'm completely honest, I was kind of hoping we were done with all that. That once the baby reached 13 maybe we’d been through the worst of the kid illnesses and that somehow just having the bottles of essential oil in the house would keep illness at bay.

When we emerged from the fog that was two months of flu and and then secondary infections (that required antibiotics, the first time in about fifteen years) I resolved to re-learn what I had lost, re-stock what I need in the cupboards, and to have a plan for winter 2017. I never wanted to be that ill-prepared again.

My goal was to develop an essential oil and herbal remedies path for treating cold and flu.

I didn't want to just have herbs in my cupboard, I wanted to create an if-then-else type flowchart for cold and flu. (At the first sign of... do this.... then this.... else this...) I didn't want to mess around anymore with vague notions about ginger, echinacea, onions, oregano oil, and zinc.

I had learned it wasn't sufficient to start searching the web and dusting the cobwebs off my memory when we start to get a scratchy throat. Especially if I was the one who got sick. I could barely function when I got the flu, never mind research remedies! I needed the knowledge and action plan already at my fingertips. No guessing, no delay.

When the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle came around last year I took advantage of its timely appearance. I read ebooks and watched teaching videos and enrolled in courses from that bundle sale. I took advantage of free materials on the web. And I started to build my own materia medica of herb and essential oil knowledge.

Then I painstakingly compiled all this information to create a cold and flu protocol so I would have the information at my fingertips, have the remedies at the ready, and clear instructions to follow so I could use those medicines and knowledge to help us prevent getting sick. And if we did get sick, to fight the infection and ease symptoms.

I didn’t want random recipes, I didn’t want extraneous information I wouldn’t use. What I wanted was a clear set of instructions to walk me through preparing for and dealing with cold and flu season, stage by stage, symptom by symptom.

I created a systematized approach to treating cold and flu, the Herb & Essential Oil Cold and Flu Protocol.

I'm sharing it with you so you too will be ready for cold and flu season.

Interestingly, our family did not get sick this winter, we didn't get past the scratchy throat stage. There's no way to know why this was.

Was it because I followed a strict "at first sign" strategy (see protocol)? Was it because I got serious about how much elderberry you really need to take in order to arrest the flu? Was it because I drank an immune supporting chai all winter? Was it the ginger and herbal teas, the essential oil diffusions (as soon as someone so much as coughed) that warded away any serious illness?

Who can tell? We had a healthy winter and the cupboard was stocked with what I needed in case we didn't. And maybe more importantly, I felt confident in my knowledge and ability to respond with appropriate remedies in a timely manner.

The protocol is completely free, you don't have to give me your email or sign up for a newsletter. (Can I just say I am so tired of giving my email address for free things. Not here.)

Click to view and print → Herb & Essential Oil Cold and Flu Protocol

Forward it to your friends, share it on Facebook, give it away.

I'm publishing this protocol in conjunction with this year's Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle Sale. I'm an affiliate for this bundle, which means I earn a commission if you purchase the bundle, through my links.

My protocol (the strategy I used for my family this winter, the one I created with months of research and personal preparation) lays out a step-by-step response to cold and flu with remedies and preparations for building winter immunity and fighting illness.

It's the document I wish I had before the winter we got sick.

The recipes to make those remedies are provided by this year's Herbs & Essentials Oil Super Bundle.

I’ve made it really easy for you to find the recipes by providing the exact ebook or ecourse title, including page and module number, in which to find the recipe.

You can also find similar recipes in your own herbal books, searching natural living blogs, last year's bundle content, websites and resource pages. Herbal knowledge is like that. It’s not proprietary.

You don’t have to buy the Herbs & Essential Oils Superbundle 2017, but I’ve prepared this protocol to help you easily reference and use the recipes in that library of resources.

If you buy the bundle you won't have to do any of your own research to prepare the remedies in this protocol.

But it's your choice. Regardless, the protocol is completely free. My gift to you.

Tomorrow I'll tell you a bit more about the bundle. And in a few more days I'm going to write about the herbs and essential oils I use to help me with my anxiety, and I have another gift for you at that time. If you are interested in essential oils for mental health and clarity, you'll definitely want to read that post.

And remember: please download, read, use, and share the protocol. Enjoy the free.

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Favorite resources and how I'm using this bundle »
  • Tori

    Tori on May 17, 2017, 5:38 p.m.

    This resource you created is amazing! This is something I've always wanted to do, but just haven't had the time to do while raising small children. Your systematic, organized thought pattern is very similar to mine, so I just loved how you have it all laid out. Thank you so much!


    • Renee

      Renee on May 17, 2017, 6:35 p.m.

      I'm so happy you think so. It was really a pleasure putting it together hoping it could be useful for people, super practical and organized. And to hear that you appreciate it makes it worth the effort.


  • Jacinda

    Jacinda on May 17, 2017, 7:59 p.m.

    Such perfect timing for us in the Southern Hemisphere and our family in particular. We seem to have started the season a little like your season last year - with my daughter just not being able to shake a cold and me scratching my head at my empty remedies cupboard. My children have always been so robust most of my remedies had expired - no really, I'm not fussy with expiry dates! - so I threw them out last year and hadn't got around to replacing them. Now I have one that really needs some building up and I've basically been a bit slow on the up take. What a treasure to find your Cold and Flu Protocol here. Many thanks.


    • Renee

      Renee on May 17, 2017, 8:04 p.m.

      yay! perfect timing. I was in exactly the same position last winter. I hope I can help save you some of the pain (and antibiotics) we went through last year.


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