Each year about this time, I start preparing for the Winter months by making tinctures and elderberry syrup (you can freeze ahead) and other remedies to have on hand in case anyone gets sick.

If you're responsible for caring for sick family members, make a checklist like this so that if you get sick, you can use the same remedies.

Remedies Checklist for Common Cold, Flu, or Stomach Bug -Hydrate and relieve illness symptoms with herbal teas (hot or cold). Peppermint, Chamomile, and Nettle help most ailments. Over 1 year olds can add lemon juice and honey.

Give elderberry syrup (1 tsp for kids, 1 tbsp for adults) ever 2-3 hours until illness subsides. Raw Garlic: For adults, 1 clove of raw, organic garlic minced every few hours. (If pregnant, no more than 1 clove per day)

pple Cider Vinegar: Up to 1 teaspoon in a glass of water every few hours during illness. Vitamin C powder mixed into water every few hours as needed. Up to 1 teaspoon.

-As needed, cough syrup. Boil 1 inch of water for a face steam. Add rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme. To loosen congestion or calm a cough, cover head with a towel and inhale steam. Diffuse Lavender and Eucalyptus.

-Use digestive tincture as needed (30 drops) for nausea, stomach pain, or other digestive issues. Adults and older kids can diffuse peppermint. As needed, give activated charcoal capsules or water. -Cleanse skin and use herbal salve as needed. (Hand, foot, and mouth? (See here.)

-Warm/hot magnesium baths relieve aches, fever, and stress. Soak in a bath with 1 cup magnesium flakes or epsom salts. -Hot Rice Pack: Use as needed for chills, aches, etc.