The Holton Homestead
Let me just start this post by saying: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. NOT STUDYING TO BE A DOCTOR, WILL NEVER BE A DOCTOR. NOT GIVING YOU MEDICAL ADVICE, JUST SHARING MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND BELIEFS.
In our household we are very open to alternative medicine and home remedies. We try to "fix it" ourselves before running to the doctors office. We prefer vitamins, essential oils, and honey over prescriptions and vaccines.
Something that is always a topic over the winter months is the flu. Avoiding the flu and recovering from the flu as fast as possible. Maybe I am more in tune with it this year, but it seems there is more fear and hype about the flu this year than in previous years. Maybe it is just hype so you will get scared and get your flu shot so big pharma can get their money, or maybe not. Although I am not trying to get into the politics of the whole thing, we don't believe in the flu shot in our household. It is far from "natural" medicine in my eyes. I know many people are forced to get the vaccine because of their work place and such, but I do encourage you to do some research and make an educated decision on getting the shot or not. Don't just do it because someone told you that you should.
Most of this "flu season" I have been thinking in the back of my head that we are just "lucky". It was luck that has helped us avoid this terrible sickness. But let's be realistic...
Most of my life I would consider myself to have a very weak immune system. Health issues as a very young child. Fevers of 104* & 106* and my parents rushing my limp body to the hospital. Health issues as a young adult too. Being diagnosed with a disease I don't believe I have. Missing lots of school from allergies. My ENT doctor, Mr. Brown told me I was the worst case of seasonal allergies he had seen is his 40 years of practice. WooHoo! I also had migraines. Migraines so bad I would have to be driven home from work and sometimes the pain would lead to vomiting. So you get the idea, I wasn't always healthy. So this year, there has been no flu in our household. We both work in public places. I work in a scary public place. People from all over and sometimes very crowded rooms. I know we have been in contact with people who have the flu and other seasonal colds. So why haven't we been sick?
I can say with confidence that the last couple years of my life have been the "healthiest". I believe it to be a number of things. The first being where we now live. Country life is so good for the soul. Working outside, feet in the soil, and skin being kissed by the sun is so good for your body! We also grow a lot of our own food in the summer months. Now days who knows what is really on your food when you buy it form the stores. Organic is more of a hip marketing word thrown around now, more than a safety label. The only way to REALLY know what you are eating is to raise it yourself. Then next best thing would be to have a transparent farmer friend. I also strive to preserve all the food we grow in the summer months. Nothing is better in the winter than delicious pasta sauce you made in July from your own tomatoes, or applesauce made from ONLY apples. NO sugar added, yet the best flavor you have ever tasted. Yet, we do live in Iowa, so winter there are a lot less options for fresh, local, chemical free fruit and vegetables. We still strive to find the best options, try to eat as clean as possible, and we don't eat out often.
Building your immune system is important. How do you expect to fight off any sickness or have a fast recovery without a strong immune system? Vitamin D- naturally provided by the sun. You are exposed to this so much more in the summer than in the winter months. Yes your body stores it, but what happens when it runs out? Maybe sickness? Vitamin D intake is recommended at 400–800 IU/day, or 10–20 micrograms. However, some studies suggest that a higher daily intake of 1000–4000 IU (25–100 micrograms) is needed to maintain optimal blood levels. (healthline.com) We supplement our direct sunshine with vitamin D drops. (the brand we use pictured below) Not only does this help my immune system, but it also helps my attitude. If the drops aren't your thing you can find vitamin D in food. Foods high in vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms, and tuna.
Another essential vitamin, Vitamin C. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adult men is 90 milligrams and for adult women is 75 milligrams (Mayo Clinic). For our vitamin C we use Elderberries, rosehips, and aronia berries. One serving of elderberries contain 87% of your daily value. Rose Hip is a fruit very rich in vitamin C. It outweighs other fruits like oranges, kiwi, and strawberries in its vitamin C content. Aronia berries are not nearly as high in vitamin C content, only 35% of the daily value, but they are one of the highest fruits in antioxidants. They have a very high ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity - a measure of an antioxidant's power to neutralize free radicals) - almost 80 units, the highest amongst fruits.
Something else we consume almost daily is raw honey. Raw honey contains disease-preventing and disease-fighting flavonoids. Raw honey contains both propolis and bee pollen so you get the benefits of those two natural powerhouses as well. It has been scientifically proven to help with allergies, diabetes, sleep problems, coughs and wound healing.
If you haven't yet heard of elderberry syrup or our Aronia Rosehip syrup, these are things we make to help with building the immune system. I started off just making it for Tyler and I, but saw the large demand in natural health, so I decided to be a local source for others in the area. You can learn more about these syrups by visiting our store. We do have them for sale, but we also list all of the benefits there too.
Since selling these products, the feedback has been incredible. As I said before, I was both a believer in alternative medicine, but also a skeptic. Having others tell me of their experiences only confirmed my beliefs further.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”