Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life

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Learn how to make natural cold remedies at home


Winter has arrived Down Under and the cold & flu season is upon us. Although I have chronic sinus issues, I rarely take prescriptions or over-the-counter medications for relief (but stay tuned because I think I need surgery again). And I never take that stuff for a common cold, nor does Mr M or Master T. I do take paracetamol for extreme pain when needed (I am human after all). But I wish I didn’t and I’m always impressed when I speak to someone who NEVER takes medication, like Cyndi O’Meara.

Of course the key to not needing medications is to not get sick. And to not get sick, you need a kick-ass immune system. Which is all good in a perfect world. And we all know we don’t live in a perfect world. So, what do you do if you get sick and don’t want to take over-the-counter cold and flu meds?

Make your own.

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How to take charge of your health for good

bee at work

Save the honey bee.

Today I met someone who could change my life, if I let her. As a writer, I often have to seek out experts to speak about my chosen subject and I have met some fascinating and knowledgable people this way. But none as fascinating and inspiring as Cyndi O’Meara.

Cyndi is a nutritionist, author and my newest health inspiration. Check this out:

She has never (NEVER) taken a pain killer or anti-biotic, nor has her children or her siblings. 

Cyndi’s father was a pharmacist back in the 50s and saw what prescription drugs were doing to society (pretty switched on, I’d say) and made it policy that his family would not pop a pill for any ache, pain or infection that came about.   Even through broken bones, Cyndi never took pain relief. Her father’s theory was that the drugs were just masking the symptoms (hear hear) and said that unless it was a life threatening situation, his children would never take medication.

Do we need to harden up?

Cyndi said that she thinks her threshold to pain is higher because she has never taken a pain killer.

“I think the fact that I have never taken a pain killer allows me to not be so sensitive to pain; I can deal with pain. My dad wouldn’t give me anything when I broke my collar bone. He made sure I was comfortable, physically. If I had a cold or flu, he wouldn’t allow anti-biotics.

“My father used to say, ‘Your body has to deal with the little infections in life so you can deal with the big ones later on’. He believed in the intelligence of the human body. We used food as our medicine, nothing else,” she said.

Growing up, Cyndi’s family used honey as their main cure-all.

“We always had honey straight from the apiary in our pantry. If we had a cold, mum would make up some lemon and honey drinks. A teaspoon of honey daily is the best probiotic out there,” she said.

Watch the signs, break the cycle

Society, especially Western society has been brought up to believe that they should never have to suffer or feel pain. There’s a pill for that. Although I do not take pills often, I am guilty of giving in to an infection or a headache or backaches and choking down paracetamol or taking a course of anti-biotics because I couldn’t handle the pain.

“We are so indoctrinated that if you have a headache, you take a pill. My indoctrination was very different. The headache was a signal, it was an indicator. Take the indicator away, you don’t solve the problem. Leave the indicator in place and investigate the cause: drink water, rest, eat, deal with your hormones whatever the issue is. My dad saw pain as an indicator to a problem,” Cyndi said.

I now feel embarrassed and shameful that I let myself fall prey to BIG PHARMA. I had myself convinced that I wasn’t a “user”. And what’s worse, I have raised my child to think that taking pain relief is the way to go. That “medicine” is a cure all. Sure, we use honey, ginger, lemons, apple cider vinegar and some food as natural medicine but when the going gets really tough (pain and infection is involved) it’s straight onto anti-biotics and pain relief.

And is it just an excuse? An excuse to numb away every uncomfortable feeling or emotion that we have? Some use prescription drugs (legal drugs), street drugs, booze, fast food, shopping, gambling…whatever makes you (un) happy.

Cyndi said it but I fully believe it to be true: Addiction starts at home. Is it any wonder that 20 million people around the world use illegal drugs or that prescription painkillers are the most abused substance in the USA?

According to Dr. Carr, a professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, there were 15,000 deaths due to opioids in the USA in 2008 and a half million emergency department visits due to prescription painkiller abuse in 2009. That’s an incredible amount of pain, and that’s just in the USA!

For the past year, I have been on and off anti-biotics. I have not been this unwell since I lived in Canada (where going to the doctor was a bi-weekly event)  in the late nineties and believe me, my lifestyle back then was the contributing factor to my ill health.

Cyndi’s story and way of life has made me realise that I can take charge of my own health. I need to question and investigate why I am having pain and recurring infections and stop putting a chemical bandaid over the issues and get to the bottom of it. Sure, my pain may increase but I have faith that nature will help: raw honey, ginger, vinegar, fermented foods, fresh produce, water, herbal tea…..I’m changing habits.  I’m worth it. My son is worth it.

Want to learn more about Cyndi? You can find her here.

Save the bees. They do so much more than just make honey!