Thursday, November 1, 2012

How To Be Prepared for Cold and Flu Season

My family and I do not take the flu shot, I don't believe in them. I do, however, believe in using the things God has given us naturally to stay healthy and to help fight when we're not!

A staple in our house is elderberry syrup! It is super easy to make or you can buy it pre-made at your local natural food store. Making it yourself is more cost effective, though. It can be pretty pricey at the stores.

A good multi-vitamin. If you are eating a wonderful diet of real foods that haven't been tampered with (grown in your own yard), then you might not need a multi-vitamin. However, those who eat more of a standard American diet OR a diet with real foods from the stores (most of them not being organic), then a multi-vitamin is for you! The multi-vitamin I give my kids contain Vitamin D, Probiotics, and Whole Foods in addition to standard vitamins of A, C, and B vitamins! Whole foods is the key word here! They're getting a good dose of Vitamin D- crucial to your health and it's something that the natural source (the sun) is often limited during the fall and winter. I supplement it with a Vitamin C because what they get in their multi-vitamin is next to nothing! I'm doing the best I can by making sure that they are getting nutrients that their food (even healthy foods) might lack.

Sunlight! I try to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine daily. Even during the cold winter months. Now, some days are harder to get then others- it may be too cold or cloudy, but if the sun is shining and the weather is tolerable go outside for a few minutes! The fresh air and straight vitamin D will do you some good!

Air out the house! I commonly open windows around the house even during the winter. It may not stay open long, but having the heat run and the windows shut tightly just make for an excellent breeding ground for germs. So yeah, occasionally I air out the house! Again, it's like the Vitamin D- it may not happen a lot, but when I get a chance I do! 

Drink Lemon Water! An acidic body is a sick body, so it's crucial that you keep your body properly alkalined. The best way to do that is by consuming alkali foods- spinach, kale, cucumbers, etc... but lemon water is also an excellent source! Plus it's high in vitamin C! Lemons are acidic alone, but when consumed they turn into alkaline! Meaning.... drinking lemon water will help you have the PH level that your body needs to be healthy!

What I Keep- Just In Case
Always, always, always have onions and garlic on hand! Garlic is a potent, natural antibiotic so you can take it whole when illness strikes. Onions make for great chest poultices to relieve chest congestion. Onions and garlic are excellent foods to eat especially during the cold and flu season. Onions help draw out infections!

Tea and lots of it! Fluids are great when you are under the weather and warm tea helps with the cold. Drink peppermint when you have a fever or an upset tummy. It can help relieve headaches. Safe for children and adults! My oldest daughter loves drinking peppermint tea- well or ill- because of how yummy it tastes! I also have Double-E Immune Booster tea from The Bulk Herb Store. This tea is to be drank when you feel like you are coming down with something! It contains Nettle Leaf, Peppermint Leaf, Echinacea Root, Echinacea Tops, Elderberries whole, Ginseng Root, and Rosehips- all perfect for building up the immune system and helping your body fight! I also have other teas that are for specific ailments- tea for sore throats, etc!

Honey is a staple- not just for cooking and baking. Honey can relieve a sore throat as well as boost your immune system. It will help sweeten the tea naturally and can be mixed with onion for a cough syrup.

Essential Oils
I would be lost without my Eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti inflammatory and decongestant. Perfect for fighting cold and flu and helping with respiratory problems such as coughs, asthma, bronchitis, and nasal congestion. The oil can also be mixed with carrier oil and massaged into the skin, helping to relieve the soreness often associated with the flu.
 We add it to the kid's humidifiers and rub it on chests and feet (homemade Vapor Rub mixing it with some coconut oil) at the first sign of illness or to help relieve cough. I inhale it to help clear my nasal passages- sometimes inhaling it straight, sometimes adding it to steamy water. Because it is antibacterial, it's also great to mix with water and use as an alternative to Lysol to disinfect! Peppermint and Lavender are also must have essential oils. They help reduce fever and headaches, stomach pains, and sore muscles.

How do you prepare for cold and flu season? Do you have anything to add to this list? 

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Laura said...

Thanks for your post! Sometimes I forget these things staying busy with everything else as a mom. Good info. My husband is coming down with something, think I'll make him some elderberry tea.

Emily Cook said...

Great post!!! You are helping me make my grocery list for next week!


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