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If you are anything like me you try to avoid getting sick as much as possible. If you have kids then that goal is all the more desired because if one kid goes down then odds are good that the others will follow and next thing you know you are stuck in a cycle of kids alternating sick weeks.
Through the years, I’ve found a few ways to help stay healthy during the sick season. I’ve also found some great remedies for if we do catch something.
The best part about having these resources is knowing that they are all natural and therefore do not have any weird and potentially harmful ingredients.
Just because it’s taken me a few years to learn about these remedies doesn’t mean you have to! I’m going to share with you the ways I help keep my family healthy and some of the ways that I help my family get back to healthy if one of us does get sick.
How to Survive Cold and Flu Season
How to Prevent Getting Sick
Fermented foods are really one of the best ways to get your probiotics in but only if you can eat them everyday.If you can’t or don’t want to rely on fermented foods then you can pick up a probiotic supplement. My family relies on yogurt and kefir.
Ever wonder why we tend to get sick more often in the winter and yet hardly ever get sick in the summer? I think a lot has to do with our Vitamin D levels.
Most people are deficient in Vitamin D to begin with and it just gets worse in the winter.Boosting your immune system with Vitamin D is a great way to stay healthy.
If you do supplement, make sure it’s Vitamin D3 and not D2 as D2 is not easily absorbed by the body.My family uses Carlson’s Vitamin D3 drops all year long but we try to stay extra vigilant in the sick season.
This one is a hard one in the fall/winter seasons. Not only because produce sometimes gets harder to find or more expensive but also because it’s baking season.
Unfortunately most baked goods and treats are loaded in sugar and sugar lowers the immune system. (This is probably another reason why we get sick in fall/winter more than in the summer.)
Try to load up on healthy foods and avoid foods high in sugar. This is also another good reason to try to make your home sugar-free. It’s hard to avoid sugar when you are out and about but if you can get your home sugar-free than that’s the majority of your food intake right there!
Load up on Fats
Yes, you read that right! I just told you to eat fat. Not just any fats though! Oh no, I’m talking about the good fats; particularly coconut oil.
Coconut oil is amazing for the immune system. It is not only antifungal but antibacterial and antiviral as well!The lauric acid (which is only found elsewhere in breastmilk) is converted to monoluarin by the body which can help destroy lipid coated viruses such as the flu.
Did you know that elderberry syrup has be shown to be better at preventing the flu than even the flu vaccine itself?! Elderberry syrup kills ten different strains of influenza!
Not only is it great at preventing the flu but it’s also a great remedy for if you do get sick. You can buy elderberry syrup at stores or online but I have found it to be much cheaper if you make your own.
Another area that we are exploring is Vitamin C. Which yes, I realize Vitamin C is probably the oldest immune booster out there but we just started trying it out again. I’ve also found an interesting post on Vitamin C protocol, which suggest we should be taking much more Vitamin C than you’d think.
Natural Remedies for When You Get Sick
Cinnamon Honey Remedy
This remedy seems more like candy than anything. It only contains two ingredients: Cinnamon for it’s antiviral and antibacterial properties and honey which if raw is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
This remedy is best for coughs but I find it works well with any cold. Best if taken at the very beginning of a cold. Check here for the recipe.
Homemade Cough Drops and Cough Drop Lollipops
Yet another great remedy for coughs. Nobody likes a cough but conventional cough drops can be full of not so healthy ingredients.
Not to mention if a younger child has a cough, you really can’t hand them a cough drop without it being a chocking hazard.The good news is that cough drops are really easy to make and you can even turn them into lollipops for kids! Here’s my recipe for cough drops and cough drop lollipops and it uses just one ingredient; honey!
Homemade Vapor Rub
Whether it’s for a cough or congestion, many people turn to vapor rub for help. Conventional vaporub has quite a few nasty ingredients and why bother buying it when it’s really easy to make at home?
There’s a reason why chicken soup is known as “Jewish Penicillin”. It’s packed full of minerals and helps your body absorb nutrients better.
While I listed this as a remedy, broth is also a great preventative as it will help your body stay healthy too. Just don’t rely on store bought broth, it’s full of ingredients that will not help you get healthy.Instead make some yourself, it’s very easy and it is more nutritious than store bought!
There is always a tea for the job! Chamomile is great for calming, peppermint for soothing tummies, thyme tea for coughs and congestion, ginger tea for nausea, and then there’s just all around great green, white, black, and red teas.
A soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts does wonders. I normally add in some eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils to help with colds as well.
If you need a disinfectant, don’t turn to a chemically laden product; just go to the pantry for some vinegar.
Vinegar kills germs and bacteria almost as good as that store bought junk (seriously it’s only 1% less or so). Spray down any and everything; you can even spray on toothbrushes where germs are sure to hide!
Let a Fever Run Its Course
If someone has a fever, it’s best to let it do its thing. Fevers are actually beneficial!
If you give medicine to bring a fever down, it can decrease antibodies by 50%! We only treat fevers if they hit the 104 mark and that is without medicine. Medicine has it’s place but we avoid it if we can.