This is a great time of year…the leaves have changed to a beautiful orange, yellow, and red and we have pulled out our favorite sweaters and boots. With all of the warm and fuzzies this time of year brings, the inevitable is around the corner…COLD & FLU SEASON!
It never fails, at my house, we usually have one round of the sickies winter. There are two ways that I prepare for cold and flu season. One is being proactive and the second is being ready to be reactive.
PROACTIVELY I like to make sure that we are taking our daily vitamins and supplements as well as trying to stay off both gluten and sugar as much as possible since they compromise your immune system. Our daily vitamins consist of:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is necessary for the development, growth, and repair of body tissue. Taking it before the onset of illness won’t prevent it but it may shorten the length of time you experience symptoms. Some people rush to buy Orange Juice and Vitamin C drops as soon as they feel the symptoms coming. Be mindful of your source of Vitamin C, as juice and some drops can be full of sugar and I’ll talk about the adverse effects of sugar for cold in a moment.
Probiotics are a must at my house because of their ability to affect and improve many body functions. Probiotics keep your gut healthy. When your gut is out of whack it stops your whole body from operating properly. The “good” bacteria in the probiotics keep your immune system strong and can help prevent respiratory infections and colds.
We all know a balanced diet greatly improves our health. A multivitamin provides the basic minerals and vitamins the body needs that your diet might be deficient in. Taking this supplement makes sure your body has everything it needs. It gives you another line of defense from an illness that can hit hard if essential nutrients are missing in your body.
Now, once the early signs of a cold or flu make their nasty appearance, I like to be prepared and stocked up so I can respond reactively with the following. The sooner you can attack these things, the shorter lived they are.
- Vicks Vapor Rub
- An onion
- A Crane Humidifier
- Cough Drops
- Manuka Honey Drops
- Elderberry Syrup
Let’s start with the Crane Humidifier that gets put next to the bed of anyone who has the sniffles. It really helps them sleep better at night. I love that it has anti-microbial material that reduces mold and bacteria growth by up to 99.96%
Next up is something we always have on hand. An onion. The doctors laugh at me when I tell them I do this, but it really works. I cut an onion in half and place it by their face. It draws and attracts all the yuckies. WARNING: leave the door to the bedroom open and if you can leave the window open a crack, even it better. It will S-M-E-L-L – but it works! And finally, I use Vicks Vapor rub and rub it on their feet and then put socks on their feet.
Now, if this doesn’t do the job 100%, I am stocked with cough drops for those scratchy throats. They are high in sugar which concerns me since sugar weakens the immune system but it’s the only way the kids will take them. A spoonful of honey does a pretty good job as well, but I can’t get my kids to take that yet.
Coldcalm is DA BOMB and really works! If you take it as soon as you start feeling symptoms, it really shortens the length and intensity of a cold. And who has time for that anyway?!?! These tablets help with the symptoms of every stage of the illness. I also love Coldcalm because it doesn’t cause drowsiness, interact with other medications, and it’s safe for children as young as 3 years old. Its sister product, Oscillococcinum helps relieve Flu-like symptoms and works naturally with your body. They dissolve under the tongue and require no water, swallowing or chewing.
Local honey is great but if you can get your hands on some Manuka honey, your sick body will thank you. Manaka Honey is produced by bees in New Zealand that pollinate the Manuka bush. This particular honey has some pretty amazing health benefits, one of which is healing sore throats. Manuka Honey has 4 times the nutritional value than normal flower honey. So using this honey in drop form when we get sick is a no-brainer. The Manuka Honey Drops taste great and is highly effective at soothing and healing inflammation in the throat.
The Elderberry is known as one of the best antiviral herbs. It’s higher in flavonoids and antioxidants than cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, and blueberries. A natural immune booster, that is great for shortening the duration of cold and flu symptoms. So, of course, we take Elderberry Syrup.
What are your go to remedies when your family gets the sniffles? Come over to The Busy and Healthy Moms Facebook Group and share.
Wishing you a healthy winter.