Friday, November 12, 2010

Guest Blog by Sprout Right: How To Avoid Winter Flu's

I came across this posts for alternative ways to boost your immune system and avoid illness this winter and was happy when Lianne from Sprout Right let me post on the blog. I will definitely be printing this out to try and stay healthy!

How to Avoid Winter Flu's
By: Lianne Phillipson-Webb,
It’s cold and dark outside. Yes winter is coming and we all know what that means—colds, flu, and other bugs flying around the office, school or daycare, and then brought home to circulate the family.

So far I’ve heard of Norwalk hitting hard, lingering coughs and colds, but not the flu… yet. Whether you find yourself achy all over, warming up with a fever, that scratchy throat feeling or nose is running like a tap, it means something’s coming. Those damn bugs gotcha!

Do you go for the medicine cabinet, or vitamin cupboard? In my house, well you can guess, I get out my remedy first aid kit and start there. I pull out the oregano oil (mixed in some Echinacea syrup so we can get it down), probiotics, vitamin C, garlic drink and specific homeopathic remedies depending on what the symptoms are. My daughters know that feeling sick means the caster oil and cold wet socks are coming at bedtime too (I’ll explain that craziness later on).

That may sound like quite a list, but I really hate being sick. If I could just lie on the couch and let it ride, I still wouldn’t like it. So I throw it all at us. And it works. If we’ve had some virus or whatever bug gets us, it generally hits us less or leaves faster.

What can you do to help your family? Here are my top tips:

Find yourself a naturopath or homeopath. As well as booking an intro consult, ask if they offer phone/email consults for acute situations. I’m able to email mine with symptoms and get feedback of what homeopathic remedies that will help speed recovery and lessen symptoms. If you aren’t familiar with homeopathy, it sure packs a punch. Your naturopath or homeopath can help you with specifics, so don’t worry about not knowing what it’s all about.
Create your own remedy first aid kit.
Start with vitamin C. A powder is best and most versatile for the family. It should dissolve in water or dilute juice and can be downed in one or sipped throughout the day. Adults can take about 2000 mg once or twice a day and kids 200 – 400 mg per day (too much vit C = diarrhoea, so ease off if that’s the case). Chech out the link below for my favourite product, Ascorbate C.

Oil of Oregano has potent antiviral and antifungal properties. It is taken against colds and flu’s, candida and parasites. Start it as any symptoms start. Adult dose – one to two drops mixed in with juice. Babies and children – put one drop on the soles of their feet. *Oregano oil is not recommended for breastfeeding. Use for no longer than three weeks and dose up on probiotics too while taking it.

Echinacea is an herbal immune booster. It works best when you feel the start of a cold or other symptoms. Long-term use is not advised. Take for one week then not the next. Continue over the winter months.

Probiotics are a sneaky way to boost the immune system. It sounds kind of backwards, taking good bacteria when it will go to my intestines – but when you understand that about 80 per cent of your immune system is in your digestive system, it all makes sense. Check out the link below for a description of Genestra’s products that I’ve used for years.

When you are hit with something, these crazy sounding remedies can be used on the whole family.

Castor Oil - Rub a loonie size of caster oil on the chest, over the lung area, front and back. Do this before bed, and use a hot water bottle over the area if age appropriate.

Cold Wet Socks – This is a great natural remedy for coughs, colds and congestion. Here’s what you do:

Before bed, make a pair of cotton socks with cold water, squeeze out excess water. Put the socks on the feet and cover with wool or wooly overtop. As crazy as it sounds, it really works. I’ve got up in the middle of the night before to re-wet my socks so I stop coughing. It’s better than cough medicine.

I have not made either of these up, they’ve been around for years. I know it sounds completely nuts, but I promise you it really helps!

Check out here for more information on specific supplements.

Other suggestions include:

Avoid sugar – I know, I know, you only feel like snacking on comfort foods. Sugar can suppress the immune system for a period of hours, so it might be the difference to one day off to a few.

Drink immune boosting herbal teas and ease off the coffee and milk – don’t send me packing with my ideas just yet – let me explain. Your body (or your kid’s) need fluids so herb teas are warm, wet and also can help give a boost. Dairy products are mucus forming, so you may find yourself not needing any help in the mucus-producing department (both coughs and colds), so just shelve it for now.

Try the ‘Garlic Bomb’. You are at home anyway so it doesn’t matter if you have garlic breath. This one is probably only for adults, not kiddies. Fill a mug with boiled water from the kettle. Use a garlic press to crush a clove of garlic into the water. Add a teaspoon of honey, a squeeze of lemon and even a chunk of fresh ginger if you have it. Drink it all. The garlic bits at the bottom too.

So now that you’ve got more than enough ideas of how to make this a healthier winter, go stock up and be ready for what comes!

This is not meant to take the place of medical advice or a visit to the doctors.