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Flu season is in full swing and with cooler temperatures mixed with the crowds - things that are inevitable will surely creep in.

Today I have some aid for these mere mortal bodies of ours in the small things, such as cold sores, chapped faces/lips, sore throats, and healthy hot cocoa. These things can help us all.

Cold sores: This is a tough outbreak to deal with, but there is a mineral that can help prevent. Lysine is a mineral that we can easily become deficient in. You can find it in buckwheat flour, milk, yogurt, cheese, cod, salmon, oats, and chicken (and more). You can now buy lip balm with this added in or lysine capsules to take when you think you are susceptible.

Topical options also include: Lavender, Tea Tree or Eucalyptus oils. If I were treating one, I would add about 5 to 8 drops of an essential oil with a dab of coconut oil (approx. 1/2 teaspoon) and mix it in a glass dish. Then apply throughout the days. I would also make sure to increase Lysine in whatever fashion I was most comfortable. These oils are antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral. Keeping your vitamin C intake on the high side is always a benefit too!

Also consider sterilizing your lip balm tubes or throwing out old lipsticks that could have the virus. As for children, keep those favorite cups clean and sterilize toothbrushes with peroxide. It’s contagious and if you have had them before you can be susceptible based upon hormones, stress, fatigue, immune health and other factors.

Chapped Faces/Lips: This seems harmless, but it can easily become a real bother. One of my daughters always deals with bright red cheeks and bright red lips during colder seasons and it is a pain. Then she licks her lips – "NO!" The cycle continues.

Simply providing a good moisturizer will really help. Make sure water is drank aplenty too. And if you can, rub in your Vaseline, Shea Butter, salve or what have you on before heading out. And if someone has nasal allergies or congestion this will intensify because you are breathing through your mouth more than normal. Preventative care is best.

Also watch for soaps and toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, as this can be a possible irritant to certain skin types.

Sore Throats: This is really a monster to write about, but I thought just a few basic ahead-of-time things could be most helpful. First, raw honey is a wonderful resource. It has over 75 different compounds in it and is a natural antibiotic. (Not for children under 2 years old). So is garlic but I get it – I don’t want garlic breath either. Capsules maybe?

Healthy Hot Cocoa: When sniffling and sore, hot cocoa! To a mug of hot water or hot milk, add the following: Almost 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of ginger powder and a pinch of cayenne. The cayenne is a pain reliever and is good for circulation and blood flow. It aids other properties and herbs get to where they are needed most in the body. Ginger reduces swelling and has anti-oxidants. Cinnamon is an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antibiotic. For pleasure, add a spoon of raw honey after everything else has mixed in (only for children 2 and up). This is so good at night, a true cold comforter. Adjust the portions as you like, this is a forgiving recipe.

What a wonderful time of year - these hopefully will keep it wonderful that is.

Michelle Hamlin is a Douglas County Mom blogger that specializes in all natural, homemade remedies.

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"Also watch for soaps and toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, as this can be a possible irritant to certain skin types." I don't recall soap and toothpaste boxes having ingredient labels on them.


What is sick soda?

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