Tuesday, October 16, 2012

9 ways to get well during cold & flu season

croupy sad baby
In my community it seems there is always something germy passing among the small kids and families.  It just seems to be a fact of life.  I'm not a germaphobe (nor am I a clean-freak, perhaps the two go hand-in-hand?) but of course, we like to stay healthy and not experience illness if at all possible.  Of course, it isn't always that easy. Just recently, we had a round of croup with the youngest one of our brood, and here is what we tried to help him get better.



Humidifier
Photo Credit
  1. Clean up the diet. It's sort of hard to "clean up" a breastfed baby's diet that much, but I tried to give him homemade chicken broth if possible, mix coconut oil into his pureed fruits or veggies, and focus on giving him foods with lots of Vitamin C.  Fermented cod liver oil, which contains Vitamins A & D, is extremely helpful, but go easy with little ones.  If you're really still struggling, remove grains & sugars from your diet, and load up on the probiotics.  
  2. Saline spray & suctioning. By far, this goes on the list as one of the LEAST favorite activities for a baby, but putting a salt water solution up their nostrils and sucking out the mucus with a nose bulb helps clear their nasal passages and allows them to breathe better.  Just be prepared for a few tears.
  3. A humidifier with a few drops of essential oils like Tea Tree or Eucalyptus.  We ran the humidifier every single day for about as strong as we could to help moisten the air and to allow nasal drainage.  
  4. Homemade vapo-rub.  I made a recipe very similar to this one last year and I have used it on the feet and chest.  
  5. Oil of Oregano can help relieve congestion, among many other benefits. Be careful to dilute it in another oil like olive as it is VERY strong.  (Thanks to JMK for this recommendation.)
  6. Colloidal Silver works for so many things. You can take it orally or even spray it in your ears for ear infections.
  7. Elderberry Syrup is an absolute necessity in your medicine cabinet for colds & flu.  It's loaded with antioxidants and tastes yummy too.  If you give it to a child under one, make sure the formula you have does not contain honey.  
  8. Homeopathy: See my post on what to stock in your medicine cabinet for specific remedies.  Our favorites around here are Aconitum, Chamomilla, Pulsatilla and Byronia Alba.  
  9. Chiropractics: Whenever we're coming down with something, a quick visit to the chiropractor often helps as there is probably something out of alignment. Chiropractors can be especially helpful with childhood ear infections.  When Gabe's ears were inflamed several months ago, we saw our chiropractor 3 times in 4 days, and Gabe improved rapidly.  
runny noses are no fun
How did these work out for us?  Well, Gabe had croup for ~6 days (the longest bout we'd ever experienced for either child), and naturally broke his own fever the last day, and then was over it.  I think the fever was the last straw, and once he got over that, the croup was finished.


There are no doubt many other things you can do try to try get over the common cold or typical fall & winter illnesses. What are your tried-and-true home remedies?

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