Your Crunchy Arsenal

FireCider*This post has affiliate links, all brands and items are ones I use and own and most can be sourced locally even at Walmart.


We had a wonderfully relaxing and magical time at camp.

Cabin on the lake

Sweet Cabin Escape

Except this weird sore throat that I kept waking up with. Then Saturday it turned into a full blown sore throat and fever. A FEVER. I’m thirty-frickin-seven and a momma I cannot get sick.

Oh and we are on vacation. Who gets sick on vacation?

Birthday Vacation at that. The indignity.

My kids were swimming like little fish and basking in the lake life and I’m on the screened in porch wrapped in a blanket cursing whatever germ taxi infected me…

Not to mention the nearest hospital is 50 minutes away in a little po-dunk backwoods town. They probably send doctors that fail the medical exam 45 times before they passed with a C- to practice there on the unwashed masses and recluses that inhabit these seriously isolated plateaus. The sparsely populated “towns” that are made up of 1/4 mobile homes (usually circa 1975), 1/4 shanty’s (I wish I was kidding, there are true shanty shacks up thatta way), 1/4 abandoned houses that the earth has at least half reclaimed and 1/4 beautiful overbuilt well tended well landscaped compounds (pretty sure these are mostly retirees, part time snow birds and long haul truckers). And this “town” is *50* minutes away. We are 4 miles into twisty camp tote roads that are half grass that’s off a twisty rutted paved road that’s off the major route that actually goes to said town….

Loon's at Sunset

Yes those are actual Loon’s at sunset.

It might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not a stretch by any means… And I am thankful I wasn’t really THAT sick.

So what did I bring? A band aid laden first aid kit, witch hazel, some kind of voodoo balm with jewelweed my mom made, Epsom salt… And apple cider vinegar.


Luckily I’ve always had luck with Epsom. For those that aren’t knowledged in the great salt soak wonder. This stuff is the bomb dot com. We modern human’s lack magnesium. Big time. Magnesium is the salt of the earth that we no longer dig our fingers into or walk barefoot in. Our bodies draw minerals straight through our dermis (skin) and it’s immediately bio-available. It also works to relax muscles and detox the body.

Epsom is Magnesium Sulfate, I use this brand but you can literally buy it in any drug store, department store even the dollar store I’m pretty sure.

It’s like a mini detox, used with a tepid bath (when running a fever you do not want a hot or cold bath, you want to regulate your body temp, so lukewarm or tepid is ideal).

Apple Cider Vinegar. The health experts proclaim this to cure it all. While I’m skeptical about all the things. I know for certain it prevents heart burn and is a mild probiotic. For those two reasons alone I take it every morning in warm water. I always have it with me. As an added benefit it acts to cool a fever. *Only use RAW FERMENTED ORGANIC ACV (or homemade), with that mother in it. Yeah that weird floaty stuff at the bottom is important.

So in addition to my Epsom bath I add a few drops of ACV to a tepid cloth and put it on my forehead. You can also add a few tbsp to a bath (be careful not to do too much). These 2 things are what I do with my kids as you don’t actually want to suppress a fever, they have a purpose in the body. I personally only ever “treat” a fever with suppressants when they need the rest more than they need the fever. Which ends up being rare. Maybe we’ll explore this in a later post. These did not cure me, but I was able to enjoy the last bit of my vacation more comfortably. And that’s all the counted.

babywearing blueberry picking

Picking wild blueberries with a wild heathen on my back.

What I wish I’d brought:

These items are now on my do not ffff-ing leave home without it list:

  • Fire Cider– Hands down my FAVORITE way to treat viral infections. You can sprinkle it on salads, take it by the spoonful. Eat it with some Raw Honey. Yummm. I’ve used this brand and Herbal Revolution’s fire tonic. Or you can make your own! Mountain Rose Herb has a recipe posted (I believe it’s Rosemary Gladstars recipe, I have a lot of her books, she’s AWESOME) here.
  • Elderflower and/or Catnip Tea- Elderflower tea is a natural diuretic, so be sure you only drink this until the fever breaks and that you are intaking plenty of fluids. It works by helping you ‘sweat it out’. Catnip is similar, though much milder and safe for little children. Just keep it far away from the felines.  I’m a huge herbal buff (amateur, though of course). Mostly thanks to my mom- she’s a true tree-hugging-dirt worshipping-steep-by-the-moonlight-crystal-reading-enigma. I love her anyway.
    • as an aside a few teas that I like to keep around (but do not take while I’m nursing/pregnant- kellymom has a great safe while lactating database I try to follow) Throat Coat (my oldest son LOVES this tea) and Cup of Calm (good for younger kids), plain old Chamomile (this is safe while nursing), Ginger and Gypsy Cold Care.

      tea cabinet

      Anyone else’s tea cabinet a hot mess? Just me?

  • Raw Honey, Ginger and Garlic– Frankly these 3 are the powerhouses. And I usually have them in my house at all times. And somehow I forgot them all this trip. I made do with garlic and jalapeno stuffed olives. Which while DELICIOUS aren’t the same. Chop it steep it eat it raw. Grind it up and snort it(really this is a joke guys). Just don’t boil it.
    • Sidekicks with these 3 bad dudes: Turmeric, Cayenne and Cinnamon. Good, organic grade and raw if you have access but they are good supporters dried as well.
  • My Bonus Runner Up: Zinc, particularly Zinc Lozenges– these are great if you like choking down chalk. But they work. But ick. I gag them down when I’m desperate. And my momma makes me.
  • Culinary Yums that are always good to have around:
    • Saurkraut or Kimchi-ZOMG my momma brought me some of this (this is not an affiliate link) after i got home and I cannot stay out of it. I do make my own saurkraut and we’ll chat about ferments at some point. It is COMPLETELY important that you get RAW FERMENTED or LIVING krauts or kimchi (or pickles or garlic). The canned or pasteurized stuff has about zilch for benefits.

      organic kimchi

      So. Tasty.

    • Kombucha or Kefir– I will eventually get around to trying to make this stuff, it’s really pricey to buy, but if you are sick grabbing a ginger based one of these will do way more for you than Canada Dry. I grabbed this at a Walmart on our way back to civilization this weekend and it was super tasty.
    • Bone Broth (the real stuff you make or your grandma makes not that canned or carton garbage)- I keep a few jars of this in my freezer at all times. Chicken is the easiest and cheapest to make. Don’t boil this and please don’t use your microwave, slow quiet simmer if you are making soup or just drink out of a tea cup.

That really wraps my list up. And I know you are all sitting and scratching your heads. WHERE’S THE ELDERBERRY SYRUP. I know. And I do have Elderberries, I do make syrup time to time but it’s like Echinacea. It’s best taken in cycles and as an early chase-it-away. I have mixed feelings on Elderberry syrup. Part of my mixed feelings are with it’s immune system trigger effect and persons that have or are prone to auto-immune disorders. I reserve judgement and WELCOME any evidence based (non corporate funded) info on the topic. And we do take it time to time.

Also, where I’m a sustainable herbalist I avoid using essential oils. I’m not into the MLM purity wars, I do not believe they should be ingested or sprinkled on everything (guys… these are EXTREMELY concentrated plant oils, some that are volatile, like napalm volatile….) and do you know how many plants must be used to make a single little bottle of lavender oil? Herbalist law, take a little leave a lot. Hard to do when you need thousands of pounds to make mere gallons. I have a few bottles of the basics I use sparingly. Mostly for insect repellents and aroma therapy.

Ahh I digress.

Really the Fire Cider is gold standard here.

And: I’m not a doctor, trained herbalist, nutritionist etc. I’m a mom. Not-A-Pro and am just sharing what my family uses with success. This is for information only. Not intended to treat or diagnose. If you are sick consult your care giver or physician.

Also: Not everyone does the natural route. I respect that and we balance here. I’m not crunchy enough for some and too crunchy for others. *Shrugs* I don’t really care what people think of me. And I encourage you to do what’s best for you and yours. Namaste. No mom hate please.

What are your go-to’s to support health? What do you pack in your travel kit? What’s in your first aid?

*last note, please no MLM trolling or pushing. Please and Thanks.


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