Friday, February 4, 2011

Healthy Mama

In the past, when Tye has fallen ill before me, I've eventually caught whatever bug she had and we both ended up simultaneously sick.  I don't know if she passes the cold along to me or if her immature immune system caves in faster than mine, but somehow, she falls sick first, with me trailing close behind.  On the other hand, when I had the flu this winter, even cuddling under the covers didn't pass my sickness on to Tye, who was provided the protection of my own immune defenses, already hard at work defeating invaders, through my breastmilk.  

When Tye came down with a fever last a week and a half ago, I feared we might be in for the same pattern.  Then Monday morning last week, I barely woke up and felt achy and exhausted- clearly fighting Tye's bug.  To protect myself, I chopped 4 small garlic cloves into pill-sized pieces.  Then I swallowed them with water, raw, as if I was taking several pills (some people prefer to chew it with a piece of bread).  I chased that with a sweet spoonful of Manuka honey, renowned for its healing antibacterial properties.  A couple hours (and a short, fitful nap with Tye) later, I felt an incredible difference- I went from feeling 30% of myself to probably 85%.  At noon, I swallowed another two cloves and stirred a large spoonful of Manuka honey into my warm green tea.  Dinner was lentil soup, with extra garlic and ginger for immune-boosting power.  Before bed, I downed another two cloves of garlic. 

The next day,  I felt completely healthy!  Once again, I took two cloves in the morning and two in the evening, just to continue supporting my immune system as it fought off any lingering illness.  By this point, I was starting to smell like I belonged in an Italian restaurant (I wonder how my breastmilk tasted...).  I also made some iced green tea sweetened with honey to drink throughout the day, a natural remedy that worked wonders for me as a teacher.

I've been good about using natural remedies to help relieve Tye's symptoms and boost her immunity when she's sick, but in caring for Tye, I sometimes postpone self-care until it's too late.  I also think it can be easy to forget, in our world bombarded with prescription and OTC drug commercials and a-drugstore-on-every-corner, that natural remedies work on adults, too.  Just because we can take decongestants and antihistamines doesn't mean we need to, or should.  In this case, I was able to prevent the cold from coming on and didn't need any medication to mask my symptoms later- because there weren't any.  To top it off, my entire 100% organic treatment cost just two or three dollars.  Having a healthy mama to care for her sick babe, though, is priceless.


  1. That's so interesting, Emily. I knew garlic was good for you, but had no idea of it's healing power! Thanks so much for the tip!

  2. i would have never thought to just swallow it like pills! i will DEFINITELY be trying this! we have a garden full of garlic ready for harvest next summer so we will have plenty in the future!

  3. I know it sounds too easy and too natural to be effective, but it really does work. My brother in law tried the garlic/manuka honey combo when he had mono and one dose relieved the swelling in his golf-ball-sized gland in his neck. It's amazing!

  4. The garlic pills almost always work, especially if you're right on the verge of a cold. My mom use to make me take them growing up along with the honey. I don't think it's fool proof (sometimes colds just happen) but there's certainly power in the process!


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