I found this very helpful article on improving health and avoiding the winter flu by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies. I have done almost everything on her list and know how effective all her suggestions are.
If you or your family is currently suffering from illness I suggest that you start with the simplest remedies; cut out all sugar, get lots of sleep, wash hands and surfaces frequently, stay home and away from other people and drink lots of fluids.
It will take a while to build an medicine cabinet of herbs and supplements but get in the practice of always having fresh garlic on hand. This can be finely chopped and swallowed in a spoonful of honey and is an inexpensive way to get this very important food into your body!
Are you in the doldrums of Winter and suffering from sniffles and general malaise?(Isn’t that a cool word….malaise?)
Try these simple suggestions to live until the sun shines!
Vitamin D every single day.
Cod liver Oil every single day (oh and don’t even try complaining to me about trying to gag it down! You can get it orange or lemon flavored and it is so worth it so get over it!). To read about the wonderful benefits of Cod Liver Oil check out http://www.westonaprice.org. While you’re at it read the whole site!
Drops of hydrogen peroxide in both ears several times a day. Yes, it tickles but do it anyway.
Take this every hour when you first feel sick for about 24 to 48 hours. Then cut back to 4 times a day for a total of 10 days. It knocks just about any bug out and has resulted in most of our eight children never ever needing to be on antibiotics!
Cut all sugar. Sugar lowers immunity. I’ve noticed that just starting in October (when the days shorten radically in our part of the world) and the children get sugar everywhere we go because of Halloween and then Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we all get sick. When we cut the sugar radically we do much better.
Wash hands frequently especially after being in crowds or around little children.
There you have it! May God bless you with abundant health!
Cut all refined sugar and caffeine. Eat only whole foods.
Use a licorice root tincture (I use one with glycerin and the taste is pleasant) to revive you when your blood sugar is low. Put a few drops under your tongue (to absorb quickly). This will boost your energy levels, stabilize blood sugar and feed your adrenals. I had a newborn baby who would sleep too long and I could not get him to wake up to nurse so his blood sugar fell too low…a few drops of licorice root (under my midwife’s supervision) and he would wake up and stay awake to nurse. Licorice root is an important herb to have in the medicine cabinet.
Drink pure water throughout the day with a sprinkle of sea salt in each glass. Healthy salt is crucial for rebuilding adrenals.
Take Vitamin C throughout the day. If you are taking too much or not absorbing it you will have loose bowels.
Rest, rest rest. Can’t sleep? Check with your doctor. Melatonin can help some people drop off to sleep and stay asleep.
Do your research and take care of yourself. It takes a long time to rebuild adrenals!
____________________updated October 2011______________
A woman on the Mothers of Young Siblings Digest (located in my sidebar) asked how to keep children healthy at this time of year. Here is one reply from a mom (Sherry) with lots of children. I have used many of her suggestions and they do, indeed, work.
I too am getting ready! I really don’t want my family getting sick a lot this winter season. Especially since we will have a new baby in the house. We usually don’t get sick a lot, it just takes along time to get out of our house once someone get something.
Mostly what has worked for us is staying on top of vitamins and washing hands. They get a multivitamin and a 500mg vitamin C tablet every day. Not saying we will never get sick but when we do, it usually is not that bad because the vitamins have built up our immune system. When we go to co-op classes, the store, church, ANYWHERE, as soon as we get home, the kids wash their hands with soap and water. It sounds so simple but it really has worked. In the last 9 months, my husband and 2 of my kids have had very mild sniffles and that was it. Which is a huge accomplishment, considering in the past 9 months we have had friends with horrible colds, the flu, stomach bugs, hand foot and mouth disease, croup and chicken pox.
If we do get sick, this is what I have found that has worked for us. I always try natural remedies first:***(of course DO NOT give honey before 1 year old)***
Colds & coughs – Fresh lemon, raw honey, fresh garlic, fresh ginger. Mix and match these in warm water, works wonders!!!
Tea Tree oil, lavendar or eucalytus essitial oil drops in a humidifier
Another trick that has worked for us at bedtime is, 1 tsp of raw honey swallowed and then Vicks vapor rub on the soles of the feet. It has quieted coughs for us or at least long enough for kids to fall asleep. (Vicks is not natural but if all else fails, I use it)
Sore, crusty nose from blowing- olive oil, rubbed on the edge and inside the nose.
Allergies, Sinus & Nasal Congestion – Netti Pot
Strep – Colloidal Silver
Stomach Virus/nasuea – fresh ginger in warm water. Has helped with taking away that feeling of needing to vomit.
diarrhea – Acidopulus
dehydration – homemade pedialite/gatoraide (filtered water, fresh lemon, raw honey & sea salt)
Ear aches/infections – olive oil and tea tree oil (5 to 7 drops of TTO to 1 tbsp). Never use essential oils without adding it to a base/carrier oil such as olive oil.
-Sherry from Momys
Shannon (from Momys)writes this great advice:
The Lord showed me a few years ago that we got sick in December every year because I started buying candy and junk in Oct when it was on sale and we didn’t stop eating it till after Christmas. The whole season is filled with sugar and it would crash our immune systems every year. EXCEPT, the years I had a Dec baby. I didn’t buy the junk food, I didn’t bake cookies, we didn’t go to all the Christmas parties and eat all the junk there. And we were healthy.
So, now I might buy 1 small bag of candy in Oct, and that’s it. Then we do some snacks with Thanksgiving, but no more. Then we do a couple things in Dec, but not a ton of baking and parties and all of that. And we have a few nice things at Christmas, but we save it for our celebrations. For instance, there was eggnog in the store yesterday – it’s not even November yet! I used to buy it a lot during the whole 3 mths. Now I buy it for Christmas morning and maybe for Thanksgiving and that’s it.
BTW, we don’t do flu shots, but then we don’t vax at all. : ) We do take more vitamins in the winter, and when something is going around we increase Vit D supplements and Vit C too. If something gets one of us, we go around and disinfect the house – I Lysol door knobs and light switches and remotes and toilet handles and computer keyboards and game controllers; all of those places where hands go a lot, but they don’t ever get washed or disinfected…that helps a lot! I try to keep from sharing cups and such, but that doesn’t usually happen.
Oh, and I try to keep a chicken or two in the freezer so I can make homemade soup if people get sick. The collagen in the broth is great for helping you get better. And I buy the cough drops that have zinc and echinacea in them plus Vit C. My kids eat them like candy, but they are great for boosting the
immune system so I don’t mind. : )
And yes, I use garlic oil with mullein for ear aches. My kids tend to get sniffles/sneezes colds, or the tummy viruses instead of ear aches. : )