during cold and flu season....
I am so passionate about using natural remedies for many of our everyday ailments that I devote an entire chapter in my new book How to Prevent Autism.
For today's purpose, I am going to focus on cold and flu season as we are right in the midst of it! I find no matter how careful you are or how many times you wash your hands it is inevitable that your body may come down with something when you are feeling vulnerable due to stress or possibly lack of sleep. Our kids on the other hand sit in their classrooms all day, which can be like an incubator for these viruses. So besides being careful and diligent, it's great to arm yourself with some preventative strategies as well as some solid treatments in the event you or the kids come down with something.
Let's start with a good old-fashion cold. I like to give elderberry syrup at the first sign of a virus. It is a very potent antiviral and a general immune booster. If a sore throat or cough is present then I will add in Manuka honey 1-2 times daily. Manuka honey is a medicinal form of honey that is highly antibacterial, so it can help get rid of the germs associated with the cough and sore throat. If the cold is really bad I may add in olive leaf extract, which is antiviral and antibacterial as well as an immune enhancing supplement. Other herbs I use are Astralagus and Berberine. Many times I will rub the essential oil Frankincense on my children's feet to stimulate their immune system to work better. Once the symptoms of the cold are getting better then I taper off the the supplements, so that I may use them the next time they are needed.
Now this isn't to say that you can't put one or two of these in preventatively and rotate them throughout the wintertime. However, I would first make sure that I have my solid basics of a good quality vitamin D, probiotic and clean organic whole foods diet that will lay the foundation for a strong and healthy immune system. Remember if you put junk in then you will feel like JUNK!
Now that we covered the basic cold, let's move on to a stronger virus that may produce a high fever in kids and some other symptoms such as a headache that keeps them laid out in bed. The moment I detect a lack of appetite I always reach for the thermometer knowing that they are most likely registering a fever. My rule of thumb is that I normally don't give Ibuprofen right away unless they are incredibly uncomfortable or it's over 103. My first go to step for a fever is Peppermint essential oil rubbed on the feet every hour and a half in the beginning stages of a fever. This usually lowers it slowly over the first night and second day. If there is a headache I rub Lavender and Frankincense essential oil right in front of the hairline from one ear up across the forehead to the other ear. I also always put in the elderberry and Manuka honey right away as well as some of the immune boosting supplements such as olive leaf extract, berberine, and astralagus. My children always drink coconut water in addition to regular water as it will balance the electrolytes and help keep your child from getting dehyrated. And making a big pot of chicken soup with fresh herbs and a few cloves of garlic is a nutritious and delicious meal that keeps them hydrated during the virus.
So these are just some simple things that I do for my kids when they are experiencing one of those annoying viruses that they get in the Wintertime. Of course if your not sure what you are dealing with or if your child seems very uncomfortable then a quick trip to the doctor for a diagnosis and a quick check is never a bad idea. You can still go home and implement your natural cold and virus protocol afterwards.
You can find more wonderful tips on how to use natural medicine for all your everyday common complaints in my new book How to Prevent Autism.