Guest Post: Tips for a Healthy and Happy Winter

While I’m in the process of moving, I’ve asked a few of my friends to play guest blogger. As I mentioned before, my friend Nuni and her family are very into healthy eating. Over time, they have also gotten more and more into natural remedies. Nuni will send me these boxes with dried herbs from her garden and medicinal tea to help with whatever my issue is at the time – usually stress.

As Nick and I head to the Pacific Northwest, we are preparing ourselves for the winter weather. All things considered, Seattle doesn’t get all that cold during the winter months, but compared to Arkansas it does. And of course with cold weather comes the season of colds. I thought it’d be fun for Nuni and her sister Amina to do a guest post with tips on staying healthy and happy this winter without overdosing on Nyquil. – Julia


Nuni & Amina

Nuni and Amina


As the cold months have come around again, so too has the flu season. Nothing bums us out more than being stuck in bed moaning while everyone else has all the fun. Plus, we believe that the key to looking good is feeling good! So we wanted to share some of our favorite ways to keep yourself in good health this season.

In our family we have always used home remedies among other medicines to treat ourselves. Recently our dad went even further and started making his own tinctures. There are many easy at-home remedies that can be used to help prevent and treat cold symptoms. Here are a few of our favorite tips using ingredients from your home or that can be found in your local health food store.

Oregano tea. Oregano is good for treating cough, congestion and easing sore throat. Add lemon if desired and sweeten with honey or agave.

Sage tea. Also good for cough and congestion.

Chamomile tea. A calming herb that promotes relaxation.

Oregano oil. Good for treating cold symptoms. You can get them in capsules from your local pharmacy or natural food store. It may have a nasty after-taste, but it does work wonders! My dad makes his own, so I always have it in the house; it isn’t that potent, so you can take it straight from the dropper.

Oregano collage

Apple Cider Vinegar. A spoonful of ACV will help relieve chest congestion. ACV is also good for any issue from the mouth to the bum: gas, constipation, upset stomach, etc. This is pretty much a must have in your fridge all year around.

Onion. Eating a few slices of raw onion will also help relieve chest congestion. My younger sister gets sick ALL THE TIME and this year we tried the raw onion and in minutes she was breathing better. (I am so never doing this! – J)

Garlic. Garlic is an antimicrobial that is helpful in treating ailments such as sore throats, upper respiratory infections, ear infections, sinus congestion and lung congestion. Mince garlic and swallow with a spoonful of honey. Or make garlic tea by steeping a few garlic cloves in boiling water. Sweeten with honey and add lemon if desired. To treat an ear infection, heat a little olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Let the garlic oil cool and place a few drops in the ear and place cotton to keep the oil in.


Steam baths. Great for treating upper respiratory congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl or pot of boiling hot water. Cover head with towel and breathe in the steam. Sage, thyme or mint leaves, which may be among your spices, or any of these as essential oils will work well too.

Elderberry syrup is useful to ward off colds. I always keep a bottle around and take a few spoonfuls if I am feeling a cold coming on.

Vitamin C. Same with vitamin C. I will start taking it if the beginning symptoms of a cold or flu present. You can get a good source of vitamin C from foods like oranges, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, lemons, etc.

Ginger. This is also a good remedy for congestion, colds and chills. Boil sliced ginger with lemon in a pot to make a tea. Sweeten with honey of desired. (My Vietnamese mother swears by fresh ginger tea – J)

Lemon. Lemon water helps to fight off fever. A spoonful of honey and lemon juice helps relieve sore throat and ease coughing.


For fevers, especially with little ones, placing slices of lemons or onions on the bottom of your feet helps relieve a fever. Simply place slices on the soles of the feet and cover with heavy socks.  The Lemon Calf Wrap works in the same way but with a few extra steps.

Do you use natural remedies or are you an over-the-counter type?

Have a happy and healthy winter!
Amina & Nuni

11 responses

  1. You’re moving to Seattle?? How exciting! The weather isn’t too cold right now, about 50-55 during the day. We’ve had a pretty dry winter so far, which has been wonderful!, but we’ve been having a slight rain storm since yesterday. Seems like we’ll be seeing more rain the next few weeks (no surprise there). Hope your move goes well and let me know if you have any questions about the area!


    • Thanks. I actually grew up here, but haven’t been back in about 8 years. I just checked out your blog (which I love), and saw that you’re Vietnamese! I’m half-Viet and can’t wait to have access to good Vietnamese food again.

  2. Such an awesome post! I love using natural remedies but also use over the counter options. I will definitely be referring back to this post. 😀

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