Everywhere I go I am seeing signs and advertisements promoting flu vaccination. Local stores are all offering incentives for people to get their shots and doctor’s offices are pushing for them strongly. This year for us will be just like every year previous though…we politely decline any vaccines and instead concern ourselves with boosting immunity and staying healthy naturally and without injecting ourselves with a chemical cocktail. There is no data to available to show that the benefit of avoiding the big bad flu outweighs the potential side effects of injecting yourself with dangerous chemicals. Our system, to promote natural health and immunity, has worked swimmingly for us for all these years and I see no reason to change that now. I am sure my children also appreciate my not turning them into human pin cushions because of cold/flu hysteria.
There are so many ways to boost immunity and promote health during cold and flu season that it seems like a no brainer to me. Here are some ways to kick germs to curb and/or fly through illness this season with relative ease.
1. Use an air purifier to clean indoor air. I am partial to my Bionaire purifier which also has a negative ionizer for boosting mood and energy ( a double bonus). Also open windows and doors for 5-10 minute periods each day to let fresh, clean air inside.
2. Breastfeed your babies and toddlers!! Breastmilk is a live substance that CAN NOT BE DUPLICATED EVER and when you and/or the baby get exposed to something your body starts making antibodies to help protect the baby. Maybe even keep them from getting sick at all. This IS NOT something that formula can do.
3. Take fish oil supplements. Fish oils are rich in essential fatty acids, including omega-3s, so they provide a powerful immunity boost. Buy high quality oils to make sure no mercury, other metals, PCBs, or dioxins are contained in it.
4. Use probiotics. We should all have healthy bacteria in our bodies but this can be undermined by things like stress, an unhealthy diet, and the use of antibiotics. Taking daily probiotics reintroduces healthy bacteria, which can help with gastrointestinal viruses, eczema, food allergies, and asthma. You can also consume fermented food and drink…yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut. etc.
5. Use natural remedies and avoid most of the stuff sold in drugstores. Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy used when a cold or flu is coming on. If your reduced immunity does contribute to a cold, it’s most important to stay hydrated. Plain filtered water and sodium-light broths and may help reduce congestion. To further reduce pain and symptoms, you can take a multisymptom OTC cold and flu medication.
6. Take echinacea. If taken over a 3-5 day period this herb seems to shorten the duration of a cold and perhaps even stop it in its tracks. Love this stuff!!! Use only as needed and not on a continual basis. Also don’t use it if your child is allergic to ragweed since this is in the same plant family.
7. Avoid grains and sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system and leaves a door wide open for illness. Grains convert to sugar inside the body and do much the same. Do you think it is coincidence that we get sick during a time of year when sugary sweets, breads/rolls, crusts, and such are all the rage? Heck no. Limit or avoid these items to promote health.
8. Eat plenty of garlic. It has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties and can help ward of sickness. I will often use an entire bulb in our soups after we have had excessive candy exposure, such as after Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines.
9. Exercise! Physical activity boosts our immune system and keeps us healthy so hit the gym and take your kids out for walks or trips to the park after school. Stay active on the weekends. All that physical activity will do wonders to keep you healthy.
10. Get rid of germs. No need to dig out the bleach and sanitize your house with nasty chemicals but it does help if you kill nasty germs that make their way into your house. Make sure everyone washes hands frequently with soap and water and use a Thieves cleaner blend to clean your home. This amazing stuff was named for four thieves who during the 15th-century plague, used cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics to protect themselves while robbing plague victims. Make your own with clove, cinnamon, lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils or buy a ready made blend. I have used it for years!
11. Eat Ginger - Ginger raises your body temperature and fights off viruses and prevents them from replicating. It is also anti-inflammatory and it supports our immune system. When sick or feeling under the weather, drink a honey, ginger, lemon tea.
12. Take Elderberry - This amazing herb is an anti-viral and it helps to fight viruses by warming your body temperature, much like ginger. It also has strong antioxidant properties that boost the immune system. You can make your own or you can buy it in the form of Sambucol. An ebook by a talented blogger called Herbal Nurturing also has recipes for elderberry remedies.
13. Get outside a little bit each day. We need vitamin D for optimum health so get outside and/or take a supplement.
14. Get plenty of rest! When someone in the house gets sick we ALL have early bedtimes for the rest of week or longer. We also do this after candy laden holidays like Halloween…early bed time for the rest of the week. We heal while we sleep and missing out on ZZZZs can compromise our immunity.
15. Eat less processed food and more seasonal, fresh foods. Now is the season to treat your body with some TLC and that means high quality fuel and nourishment. We may be busy and rushed this time of year but relying on processed, convenience foods will only ensure that we get sick. It’s not worth it!
A book I recommend is Never Get Another Cold by Thomas Appell. It talks about something better than a cure…prevention.
Thursday, October 11th, 2012