Probiotics #Digestive Health

I have mentioned that our family takes supplements and herbs in the past. I really do believe that supplements and herbs can help maintain and heal your body. My daughter was able to stop taking her asthma medications (under a doctor’s supervision), and just takes herbs now for her asthma.


Today I want to talk about one of the supplements that I consider to be the most important supplement for my family which is probiotics.  There are SO many reasons that we take probiotics, and I can tell a big difference in my family when we do not take them. Since my family might not appreciate me talking about their digestive health . . . I will just talk about me. (-: After all, I am the one that is choosing to share information about my personal life with you.

What Led Up To My Need For Probiotics

When I was pregnant with our second daughter, I was VERY sick. I was not able to eat for six months. I had to have surgery when I was 21 weeks pregnant, and I was on antibiotics one week on one week off for at least half of my pregnancy. When you have pain medicine and are on antibiotics, this kills the good bacteria in your gut. After I had her, I really started having issues with my gut.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria. These good bacteria are very important. There are so many studies about just how necessary it is. Did you know that serotonin which helps your mood, and helps you fall asleep is mainly found in your gut? Serotonin is associated with happiness, so everyone should really want a healthy gut. Much of your body’s immune defense is dependent on a healthy gut as well. Our guts hold a lot more than our poop, and we need good bacteria in our guts to thrive.

Before I took probiotics, I suffered from IBS and heartburn daily.  However, when I began taking probiotics, all of my digestive issues cleared up. I no longer have heartburn or IBS. I have actually run out of probiotic pill, and not taken them for two to three weeks in the past. However, after about three weeks with no probiotics, my digestive issues start to return.

When I started taking probiotics, I also noticed that I did not get sick as often, and just felt better in general. My children and husband would get sick, and I would be the only one to not become ill. So, I decided to start having my husband and older childrentake probiotics.

I talked to my doctor, and just give the children a smaller amount unless they have diarrhea or are on antibiotics. They did not all have digestive issues, but I think that probiotics are also important to a healthy immune system and the ability to have the amount of serotonin that they need.

Why I Want To Try Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic

I have done a TON of research about probiotics, and I have tried many different brands. Probiotics can be quite expensive. I have found a couple of brands in the past that I have really liked, but they are quite expensive.

When I talked to one of my friends who also takes probiotics daily for digestive issues, she said that she had started trying the Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic. My friend said that she had not noticed a difference between the really expensive probiotics that she was using and the Member’s Mark 4X probiotics. (She has used probiotics for YEARS, and can not go for more than a couple of days without using them.) So, I decided that if she was able to use them successfully, I wanted to give them a try as well. I am always looking for a way to save a few bucks as long as it does not adversely affect our family’s health.

So . . . I was super excited to be contacted last week about trying out Member’s Mark 4X probiotics. Seriously, it seemed meant to be. I had been seriously considering switching anyway, and being contacted to try them seemed like amazing timing.






Last week, I needed to pick up a few things items from Sam’s. So, I headed out with the three youngest kids (in the morning before naptime) to Sam’s Club to buy Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic as well as a few other items. My eldest daughter was spending some time with her friend, and my hubby was at work, so it was just the four of us.






The Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics was with the other probiotics that Sam’s Club sales. I had not realized that our Sam’s Club sold three different types of probiotics. The Member’s Mark 4X Probiotics was the cheapest of the three, and it was the one that was recommended to me by my friend, so I was VERY happy to see it was the cheapest!






I actually had several items that I need to buy. I had to buy chicken. This is something that I have not needed to purchase in quite a while since our family raises chickens, but until this fall, we are out of chicken. There were several types of chicken to choose from. I figured that Sam’s Club would probably have a cheaper price than grocery stores, and I was right.

There were several kinds to choose from. I went with the Members Mark boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I am used to cooking only whole chickens, so this was actually a splurge since it will be very easy to cook without having to cook the entire chicken and take the meat off the bones.






We were almost out of cat food as well, so I went to the cat food aisle to pick up the cat food. There were a couple of kinds to choose from. Lyn, our four year old loves pink! She is such a girly girl. She wants to be a queen when she grows up. So, she typically wears a crown all day long, and only wants to wear pink. She is so funny! So, she really wanted me to get the cat food that was in the pink box, but I went with the one that was cheaper. Our cats like both of them anyway. Above is a picture of her trying to convince me why pink boxed cat food is better than blue.






I picked up a few more items.






Other than the probiotics, I was the most excited to pick up the peeled garlic. I make pickled garlic because it is full of probiotics. (See I really am into probiotics.) And, usually I peel my own garlic and then pickle it. That takes HOURS!!! So, I am SO excited to have peeled garlic. I will be able to make the pickled garlic in no time. Yay!! Our two year old Boo will be thrilled, pickled garlic is one of her favorite things. Strange thing for a 2 year old to like, but she does. She has actually thrown a few temper tantrums wanting more garlic.






I tore an envelope in half and wrote my shopping list on it before we left. I gave the list to my 4 year old daughter, Lyn and the other half of the envelope to my 2 year old, Boo. It was such a great shopping trip! Do you have any idea how well a child can entertain themselves with paper! Seriously, try it sometime. There was no fussing, screaming, crying, fighting. Ahhhhh!!! It was SO wonderful!







At Sam’s Club when you leave the store, they check your receipt. The woman at the door was so nice! She drew 2 girls and a baby boy on the receipt for my kids. They were so excited about that. It was a nice conclusion to a very pleasant shopping trip. I love it when people go out of their way to be kind to kids! It leaves you with a good feeling.

I am going to be trying these new Member’s Mark 4X probiotic for a couple of weeks, and I will let you know what I think of it!

 There will be a Twitter party on September 7 where you guys can participate and win the product, or gift cards. 

You can check out all the pics from my shop at my this moment.
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own, and have not been reviewed by another party. These opinions about probiotics are my own opinions. I am not a doctor, I have merely read quite a few medical journals and researched the use of probiotics as well as patient tests thoroughly.

Herbal Nurturing A Healing & Nurturing Guide

Herbal Nurturing from Frugal Granola

For the past couple of years, I have been trying to reduce and eliminate the medicines that my family uses, and instead use more herbal remedies. I have had tremendous success! My daughter who has asthma and has always had to be in the hospital a couple times a year, and could literally not walk up our driveway when she was taking the prescribed asthma medicine, can now literally run at least 1/4 of a mile, and has not been sick at all this year. We transitioned her off of her medications under her doctor’s supervision.

We have also been using thyme, fenugreek, garlic and elderberry syrup to treat colds this year. I could go on and on with the amazing herbs that God has provided which can provide healing to our bodies. My family has gone to classes & learned a lot about different herbs, but those classes can be quite expensive. SO, I was quite excited when my mom found this book, Herbal Nurturing A Healing & Nurturing Guide, this morning.

This book has over 30 different recipes for herbal healing.

They include:

  • cough syrup
  • headache & migraine soother
  • natural sunburn relief
  • chapped lip balm
  • slippery elm lozenges
  • bedtime tea
  • women’s monthly tea
  • & many more

To get these recipes can cost a fortune in classes. I know because I have paid a fortune and looked into this quite a bit. This really is an incredible deal if you are looking for more natural ways to treat your family. This book is only $8.95 which is by far the cheapest way to get these recipes that I have EVER seen, and I have been looking around for a couple of years now. If you are interested in purchasing one, you can click on the image above or here.

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How To Make Elderberry Syrup (Sambucol Cheap)

Medicinal Uses of Elderberry Syrup:

Elderberry syrup has been used for years for cold and flu symptoms. Elderberry syrup is incredibly easy to make & tastes really good. This is one “medicine” or actually berry that you will have no problem with your children wanting to take.   It tastes like pancake syrup. (-: Sambucol which is super expensive in the drug stores is made from elderberries.

Native Americans used this very helpful herb to treat fevers and joint pain/inflammation.

There has been research done on the how helpful elderberries are by Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu.

Elderberries contain flavenoids which are effective against some strains of the flu.

One problem with colds and flus are the inflammation that goes along with them making it difficult to breathe. The elderberry syrup helps to stop production of cytakines that cause inflation.

Elderberries also increase the cytokines that fight infection, but are not inflammatory by as much as 10 fold.

It is also an immune booster. I actually will give my kids a teaspoon before we go to the nursery during cold and flu season just to help keep them from getting sick.

How To Make Elderberry Syrup:

1.5 cups water

½ cup dried elderberries

½ cup honey

  1. Place elderberries in a pot and cover them with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Mash up the berries.
  5. Strain the liquid and squeeze the berries to get out all of the juice.
  6. Once the elderberry juice is cool, add the honey and stir. If your child is under 2, the honey will need to be added early on so that it is heated to kill any bacteria that might be in it.
  7. Store the elderberry syrup in the refrigerator.   It will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator.

I have also added cinnamon and cloves to the syrup in the past.  I use the proportions given from Rose Mountain Herbs where you can also purchase dried elderberries.

I give my family 1 teaspoon every 3 hours while they are awake when they have a cold or the flu.

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Just a common sense note – I am not a doctor. These are just methods that have been used for years, and I have learned from research, personal experience and have been passed down for generations. If you are concerned about something with your health and think that you should see a doctor, then by all means do & take his or her advice.

How To Use Fenugreek To Treat Colds Naturally

Yesterday, I talked about how we use thyme to naturally treat colds. Today, I want to talk about how fenugreek can be used to treat colds. Fenugreek is a spice that is used in cooking. It also has medicinal benefits.

Fenugreek naturally helps clear mucous, so this is a very helpful herb to use when you have head congestion or lung congestion.  It thins out your mucous and can ease the urge to cough. Fenugreek is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs and has many uses other than being used for colds.

How To Use Fenugreek To Treat Colds Naturally:

My husband and I take a fenugreek pill every couple of hours for a day when we take our thyme pills while we have a cold. We usually only have to do this for one day. Taking large doses of fenugreek can cause diarrhea in some people, but we have never had that problem, and like I said using these herbal methods, our colds are usually over in about a day.  I actually just buy fenugreek and then scoop it into empty capsules that I bought off of Amazon with my Swagbucks, since this is a much cheaper way for me to get fenugreek.

I mix some fenugreek into my kid’s applesauce if they have a cold for them to eat. Fenugreek has kind of a maple syrup smell & is really tasty.  I give them fenugreek 3-4 times in a day.

If you have fresh fenugreek leaves or dehydrated leaves, you could also make fenugreek tea. Just bring a pot of water to a simmer, add the fenugreek and simmer for 20 minutes, strain and drink. You can add honey as well since that can coat a sore throat and make it feel better.

Fenugreek & Nursing Moms:

I know many women who have taken fenugreek to increase their milk supply at the advice of their lactation consultants. I have never needed to use fenugreek in this manner, but when I had a cold and was taking thyme and fenugreek, I definitely had an overabundance of milk, so it definitely worked to increase my milk supply as well. You might want to keep this in mind if you are nursing, have an abundance of milk & want to take fenugreek for a cold. Make sure that you have a pump handy for any extra milk that you might need to pump.

If you have diabetes or a blood clotting disorder or are on blood thinners, you will want to talk to your doctor before using fenugreek since fenugreek can be contraindicated with these conditions. Fenugreek can be used for labor induction, so if you are pregnant, don’t use fenugreek.

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Just a common sense note – I am not a doctor. These are just methods that have been used for years, and I have learned from research, personal experience and have been passed down for generations. If you are concerned about something with your health and think that you should see a doctor, then by all means do & take his or her advice.

Treating Colds Naturally With Thyme

It is that time of year where colds seem to abound. Before you reach for cold medicine though, there are actually several natural remedies that you can try. When we get a cold, we use thyme, garlic, fenugreek, and elderberry syrup to clear it up quickly. My whole family uses these when we get sick rather than using expensive cold medicines from the store. We are trying to use more natural items, and these are really easy to use. In this post, I will discuss using thyme to treat colds, and over the next several days, I will go over each of the other natural treatments that you can use.

How To Use Thyme To Treat Colds:

Thyme is a great herb that actually grows year round in the south where I live. I grow thyme right outside in my front flower bed, where it is easy to harvest when needed. For years and years people have used thyme when they have cold symptoms. Thyme is an anti-microbial and expectorant. So, it helps to fight off your cold infection and helps keep mucous from settling in your lungs. There are several different ways to take thyme. Thyme actually used to be placed inside of bandages to keep people from getting infections.  I think that it is pretty neat that many people naturally eat more thyme in the winter. Winter is when many people eat soups which are often flavored with thyme.

If you are pregnant, I would not use thyme since it is a uterine stimulant.

Here is how our family takes thyme:

1. I actually really like the taste of thyme. I just go outside, pick a few sprigs, pull the leaves off & literally eat a couple of tablespoons every 2 hours while I am awake. (No one else in my family does this, so I doubt that this method will appeal to many of you.)
2. Drink it as a tea. Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Turn the eye of your stove off and throw your thyme into the pot. Make sure to put a lid on your pot after placing your thyme into the water. Let your tea sit for about 20 minutes with a lid on, then strain and drink. You can add honey to help coat a sore throat and to improve the taste. (My daughters enjoy taking their thyme like this.) My kids drink 3 cups of this while they are sick during the day.
3. My husband doesn’t like tea or eating thyme. So, I actually have empty capsules that I bought with my Swagbucks off of Amazon, and his thyme is placed into capsules for him to swallow every couple of hours.

Our cold symptoms are usually gone within 2-3 days using these herbs, so this is not a regimen that we keep up for days on end, however, it works quickly to eliminate your cold symptoms.

You can also use thyme tea as a gargle for inflamed and painful throats. Just make the tea as shown above, and gargle with it several times a day once it has cooled.

Thyme Baths For Colds:

One of our daughters was born prematurely and has asthma. I always want to ensure that her lungs stay clear and are not inflamed. So, I really want her to get over her cold symptoms quickly. Thyme baths are another way to help cold symptoms. I give my children a couple of thyme baths each day when they have cold symptoms. I bring water to a simmer on the stove and add a big handful of thyme to the water. Then I turn the water off, and place a lid on the pot. I let the thyme sit for at least 20 minutes, but sometimes for up to an hour. Then, I draw the kids a bath, and pour the thyme water directly into the bath water over a strainer. Once I make sure the water is not too warm, my kids get in and take a bath. They stay in the water for at least 20 minutes so that the thyme can be adequately absorbed. I also add several drops of lavender essential oil to the water since it is a relaxant and can help with their cold symptoms.

More budget saving organic posts

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Just a common sense note – I am not a doctor. These are just methods that have been used for years, and I have learned from research, personal experience and have been passed down for generations. If you are concerned about something with your health and think that you should see a doctor, then by all means do & take his or her advice.