Sick season is well upon us. I know most people call it “flu season,” but that’s what the conventional medical community has dubbed it as a push for the flu shot. The truth is, cold weather doesn’t make us sick, but we do tend to be cooped up more, sharing our germs with one another, and dealing with dry indoor air from a ventilation system that is circulating those germs. Our nasal passages can dry out and lack the mucus that is a protective mechanism for keeping the germies at bay.
My family almost never gets sick, not even in winter, and when we do, it’s a mild sinus/upper respiratory thing that goes away in a day or two. I want to share what we do to stay healthy, but please remember I’m not a medical professional and this should not be construed as medical advice. Please research each of these on your own and form your own opinion.
Reduce Toxins in Your Household
First and foremost, you have to eliminate toxins that are currently tying up your body’s resources. If your body is detoxing things in your everyday life, it doesn’t have a chance to a) repair itself, or b) tackle germs you come into contact with. What household items could be hurting you? Consider anything with perfumes, dyes, chemicals, things you can’t pronounce. What drugs are you using or giving to your kids? Acetaminophen for every ache and pain causes the body to focus on getting rid of the drug and not on excreting other toxins. What foods are you eating that have a lot of additives? Preservatives or artificial flavors or sweeteners? Cut these things out. Get rid of them. They are inhibiting you from achieving a state of wellness. In a nutshell, think of what you are breathing, putting on your skin, eating, smelling, exposing yourself to in any way.
Eat Nutritious Foods
Next, give your body what it needs. This means nutrients from food. Eat whole foods, eat real foods. Not boxed or processed foods, at least as much as is practical and affordable. Try to make meals from scratch. Shortcuts are okay, but cutting out fast foods and anything from the freezer aisle is a positive step for the health of your family. No more Hamburger Helper or that kind of thing, either. Eat more vegetables. Eliminate or reduce sugar intake. Whatever your choice of diet might be, nobody can argue with make it from scratch, eat more veggies, and reduce sugar. Right?
Add in Supplements
Now I would recommend some supplements. These are both for general health (to get the vitamins and minerals that are typically lacking in our food supply) and for boosting the immune system. Again, giving your body what it needs so it can run optimally and fight off bacteria and viruses it may come into contact with. I’ve linked to each of the supplements we personally take for your further information.
- vitamin C
- magnesium (I prefer malate and glycinate)
- cod liver oil
- vitamin D (preferably from the sun)
- B complex
- milk thistle or other liver support like dandelion tea
- probiotics or ferments for gut health (much of the immune system is within the gut)
In case of illness, it’s important to start your sick protocol as soon as you feel something coming on. Some things you can include are:
- extra vitamin C (safe to megadose, but do it incrementally and do it every few hours…your body excretes this in your feces so it’s important to stay hydrated)
- an extra zinc
- extra cod liver oil
- vitamin D (extra time in the sun if possible)
- raw garlic (has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties)
- raw honey (same as above, local and unfiltered is best)
- items from your spice cabinet (or fresh if you can get them) such as ginger, cinnamon, clove
- herbal teas based on symptoms
- elderberry syrup – 100% natural and studies even show its efficacy against influenza! I like to make it myself using this recipe as it’s cheaper than store bought. These are the dried berries I use. Note that this is meant for short-term use as it can increase cytokine production, which is not good for all people.
- essential oils for whatever is going on (e.g., fir needle for respiratory issues, tea tree topically for skin troubles, peppermint for headache, Germ Fighter or similar for general malaise) – you can diffuse these, apply topically, or use a personal inhaler. Please review safety information from a certified aromatherapist before using on or around your children. I recommend this site.
- bone broth for gut health and general comfort
- rest, filtered water, and prayers
- neti pot for sinus congestion
Your sick protocol can also include homeopathics. There is some controversy over if these work or not but I find them to be helpful when I’ve used the right remedy for the ailment. I would encourage you to start with all of the above and then move on to homeopathics after some research. This site is an excellent source of information.
A Word About Fever
Lastly, I would suggest tossing out your thermometer. The body is capable of handling fever without us trying to bring it down. It means your body is actively fighting off whatever is invading it. Treat the symptoms to keep comfortable and get to the root of the problem and treat that. The above remedies (and many more) are effective but if they are not helping or the person is getting worse, please do seek medical attention. The body can usually heal itself if you are healthy to begin with and you start treatment sooner than later when you notice illness cropping up. But modern medicine does have its place, even if only as a last resort. You can read more about the myths surrouding fevers from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Do you have a sick protocol or a crunchy “medicine cabinet”? What remedies would you add?
This post is linked up at the Homeschool Review Crew!