Updated: Mar 15, 2019
Cold and flu season is coming quickly! As a mom it is so important to help your family stay ahead of getting sick. Having a good supplement and herbal regimen in place can help increase your immunity to naturally fight off illnesses! This article will tell you what you need to make it through the cold and flu season, how to take it, and my personal family favorites.
The biggest ways to help protect your family are the obvious: a healthy, nutritious diet and frequent hand washing! But here are some alternatives to have on hand to be used daily to keep away the yuck.
Vitamin C is great to help boost immunity! It is even safe for kids to take, at the right dose. Research has shown that Vitamin C can be used to help with increasing white blood cells, depression, thinking problems, physical and mental stress, fatigue, increasing iron absorption, and ADHD.
Dosing for an adult is recommended between 100 mg a day and 1,000 mg a day. When sick you can to up your dose to bowel tolerance (most people can't exceed 2,000 mg orally at one time). If you take too much, you’ll know it. Generally adults do well at 1,000 mg at a time.
According to Mayo clinic, “The tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for vitamin C are 400 milligrams daily for children 1-3 years old; 650 milligrams daily for children 4-8 years old; 1,200 milligrams daily for children 9-13 years old; and 1,800 milligrams daily for adolescents 14-18 years old.”
My family’s favorite vitamin C is this one.
Your entire microbiome starts in your gut. Your immune system is based off of your gut health. An overgrowth or under supply of a certain bacteria in your gut can throw off your entire health. Taking a daily probiotic is the absolute best way to increase your immunity. Probiotics can be passed to baby in utero and through breast milk. Many practitioners recommend infants take probiotics, even newborns. Especially babies born by cesarean.
If you have time you can make this at home with the right ingredients! Making it with local honey increases the healing benefits for you and your family. If you don’t have the time or would rather get it from a source you trust I have some in my shop. I make it with organic raw honey and another option of vegetable glycerine instead of honey for the babies under 1 year old.
Elderberry syrup has been proven by the University of Maryland to be more effective than Tamiflu in shortening the duration and minimizing symptoms for flu and cold.
These have been a life saver in our house. A chewable vitamin that has taken us from snotty days after being around other kids to being healthy year round! They taste good so my almost 2 year old will eat them (he even asks for them). They have all the good stuff for immunity in them. These things are amazing.
Miso paste (and other fermented foods) are fabulous for your gut health. Use it in a soup and add some garlic for an increase in immunity and antimicrobial properties. Hot soup is amazing to help thin out any mucus or congestion. This can be found in your natural food store or even in an asian aisle at any food store. It is found in a paste that you can add to boiling water along with herbs and vegetables to aid in immunity. Garlic, onions, astragalus root, even turmeric root can be added to the soup to make it even more immune supporting.
Some alternatives for when the sick gets you and your family!
More elderberry syrup: If the flu bug does get you, taking a tablespoon of elderberry syrup every two hours while you're feeling crummy really helps. Just as long as the symptoms persist.
Garlic Honey: Garlic is a powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal when taken raw. It increases the rate at which your white cells are made in your body. Raw honey is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal as well. It is full of antioxidants to help the body rid itself of free radicals. Local honey can help with the symptoms of allergies.
Essential oils: When it comes to essential oils please ensure you dilute properly and do plenty of research before putting any on children or babies. These are very strong plant medicine and should be seen and used as such! Frankincense is a fabulous essential oil for illness and health alike. Frankincense is antiseptic, astringent, anti inflammatory, expectorant, and friendly to all ages. Can be used diluted in a carrier oil or diffused. Eucalyptus can be amazing for coughs and chest congestion. This oil is not safe for young children. We like to use it when making a “steam shower” in our bathroom. I add a few drops to the walls and floor of the shower and we sit in the bathroom and breathe it in. Tea Tree oil is great to help disinfect the house. It is antiseptic, antiviral, and antimicrobial. I add it to a 1:3 vinegar and water spray bottle with lemon essential oil to help clean the house (even glass).
Homeopathy kit: Take belladonna at the first sign of illness. You know when your child is looking or acting off! That glassy eye look that they give the day before full blown sick takes over. Give belladonna and stop it in it’s tracks! I will get into homeopathy in a different article. But basically homeopathy is a diluted substance so much so that none of the original substance is left in the end product. Only the energy is left. Homeopathy works on an energetic level for healing. There are so many great books regarding how to use homeopathy. I love reading books by Dana Ullman, M.P.H. this one is my personal favorite for kids.
This is a great inexpensive kit by a company that I personally trust. My very first homeopathic kit was by Washington Homeopathic Products. I love how small their pellets are. They are so small that I don’t worry about an infant choking on them at all.
These are just some of the things my family uses during this upcoming season. I will do a separate article on use during pregnancy. Check with your obstetric provider or a source you trust to know what is okay to take while pregnant for immunity. I hope these help you and your family get through the colds and flu naturally.
What do you use for your family to get through the sick seasons? Do you use any of these methods?
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