Our entire household is ill.
It all started last week when Madilyn woke up one morning with a temperature. She didn’t have the fever long but she did develop a nasty cough and has a constant runny nose.
A few days later, Grady started hacking his brains out and if I could bottle snot and sell it, I’d be a rich woman.
Yesterday, Kyle woke up feeling like schweddy balls and he’s even worse today. OH man cold. Just kidding, this time he’s not being half bad. He even did the dishes while I took Grady to the doctor today!
SO then Styles comes into our room this morning looking like he doused himself in baby powder. He was so white you couldn’t even see his birthmark. He then proceeded to puke all morning long. Thakfully, he made it to the restroom.
Naturally, this happens on the day that I’m feeling a little nasaly.
It just seemed appropriate that I use today to let you, my faithful and wonderful readers in on how we combat illness with both traditional and conventional medicine in our household.
Elderberry is, by far, my favorite natural remedy. I have used it for 10 years for cold and flu season. It is revered as a wonderdrug in our house. I prefer the chewables because they are SO yummy delicousness, but our natural food store didn’t have any so I bought capsules for both Kyle and I to take, and Elderberry gummies for Madilyn & Styles. I thought that Grady would be getting some elderberry in my milk but I haven’t seen much difference in him so I’m not sure that’s happening.
It is assumed that some of the chemicals found in elderberry help reduce the swelling in mucous membranes which helps reduce the amount of sputum made by your body during a cold or the flu.
I don’t know how it works, I just know that it does. I started taking elderberry 2 days ago in hopes that Grady would feel better by getting it in my milk. If the worst thing I deal with are semi-sore sinuses, then I’m stoked considering the rest of the family is sick.
Peppermint tea is fantastic for digestive health. When someone in my family has an upset stomach, they are prescribed a piping hot cup of pepperminty goodness.
In addition to being good for nausea or diarrhea, it is also great for warding off a cold. It is one of the things that I ALWAYS have in stock in my pantry.
If you are breastfeeding, beware of Peppermint Tea because it can be associated with reduced milk supply. If you are a dairy cow, you’re good. Kinda like me. I make tons of milk and feel comfortable taking it but if you have ever had an issue with supply, be careful.
Not only is this cone flower beautiful to look at, it is highly effective at promoting a healthy immune system. It should not be used consistently, only when you NEED it. Don’t let your doctor tell you that it won’t work, it does. Remember: Doctors are paid by big pharma to push drugs onto you (which are often times made from plant sources). That said, I’m not even remotely against conventional medicine but my first thought is to always turn to the things that nature pours out unto us.
Echinacea is good at reducing the duration of a cold or flu virus by more than 24 hours and if taken in time, can ward off a cold or flu when exposed.
Unfortunately, it is not recommended during breastfeeding or pregnancy so I haven’t been able to take it in almost 3 years.
Either way, Traditional Medicinals has a really good Triple Echinacea tea that we keep here at home. Kyle swears by it and drinks it every time he begins to feel sick in place of his coffee**.
At the first sign of illness in my kids, I begin using Wally’s Ear Oil to reduce their chances of getting an ear infection. I am a bad, bad, bad mommy and didn’t use any this time with Grady and guess what? He got an ear infection. Now I’m out $100 for the doctor’s visit and even more for the prescription that I have to go pick up today.
I fully believe that if I had used WEO from the first day of his illness, he would have been fine. Wally’s is a blend of Sweet Almond Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Garlic, and other extracts. It doesn’t smell delicious but it works like a charm. I started using it on Styles when he was 2 after several ear infections and he hasn’t had one since. I was sold.
Did you know that your gut controls many, many processes in your body? A healthy gut = a healthy immune system. It’s true.
Probiotics work by putting good flora into your gut which causes you to digest better and aids in a healthier immune system. My kids don’t take them on a regular basis like I do, but when they are sick, I always give them their daily probiotics. They make probiotics for children who are too young to swallow pills, in a powder form. You put it in their water, shake it up, and let them drink it. It also helps with constipation and yeast infection.
I know, amazing.
Saline drops in your children’s nostrils helps to wash away any bacteria residing there which reduces their risk for sinus or ear infection. A couple drops in each nostril 3 or 4 times per day should do the trick.
Forget the bulb syringe they give you in the hospital. This snot sucker will suck the sinuses right out of your children. Not literally. But it will remove SO much more sputum than the good ole’ bulb syringe and it also is easier to use. I’m not going to lie, my kids hate the NoseFrida too but it is easier for me to use and much quicker than the bulb. You get in there, suck some snot out, and get out. DONE.
A great demonstration can be found here: If You Have a Baby You Need a NoseFrida.
The Neti Pot has saved my family’s sinuses. OK, not the whole family – just Kyle and me.
A neti pot works to rinse your sinuses out with a saline solution. Like dropping saline into your children’s noses, the Neti flushes your sinuses out with bacterial fighting saline. Bacteria HATE saline so the best way to keep a sinus infection at bay is to rinse, blow, rinse, blow.
Want to see a Neti at work? Check this out.
We DO use antibiotics here. If I forget to use Wally’s Ear Oil on one of the kids, or if they get an upper respiratory infection, I am not opposed to using antibiotics.
HOWEVER, antibiotics cannot be used to treat a virus, be it the common cold or the flu. It is not intended to cure runny noses or coughs. It IS intended to be used in its entirety.
Not much peeves me off more than hearing about someone just “having antibiotics lying around from the last time”. WHAT LAST TIME???? You should have finished it THEN. And NO, it is NOT safe for you to take 2 or 3 days worth of antibiotics to “feel better”. It is that type of irresponsibility that is allowing bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant which then gives birth to super-bacteria like MRSA that is difficult to treat.
Do yourself a favor and take ALL of your antibiotics.
And for God’s sake, do NOT share them.
So that about sums it up. I LOVE natural healing and would love to hear what you or your family does when they get sick. Come list it here in the comments section. If I get enough information, I’ll put together a Banana Hammocks & Tutus Guide to Natural healing!
**Adding sweeteners has been known to reduce the effectiveness of herbal teas. They are also more potent the hotter you drink them.
Images courtesy Dreamstime, thefuntimesguide.com and awholelottastuff.com