November 12, 2008

Our Natural Remedies for Flu Season

Ever have your bed taken over by sick kids??

I've had several people ask me lately what natural things I use when we get sick, so I thought I'd just put it all here for reference. Generally, I try to avoid antibiotics at all costs! For Jacob, we have to find a dairy and corn free antibiotic which proves to be a challenge, and Mattie has to have a dairy free one with no food colorings, which proves to be a different challenge! Not to mention that she ends up with rashes almost every time... you get the idea!

I will say, when my kids have strep, I go for the antibiotics. Because they can't always articulate how they are feeling and the contagiousness (is that a word?) of strep, I know I need to nip that in the bud right away. Sometimes, antibiotics are best and I do realize that. I just wait as long as I can before using them for the kids. And I'll have to be on my deathbed, I think, before I use them for me.

So, here are the things I keep in our cabinet...

Oregano oil is a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal. I'm always sure to get an enteric coated product. It can give you heartburn if not. Also, all oregano oil is not the same potency, so look for a high percentage of carvacrol if you order a different brand. It is also sold as a liquid product. I WILL NEVER TRY TO TAKE THIS AGAIN! One drop... ONE drop was so potent it burned my mouth mixed into a 16 oz smoothie! No exaggeration. Not sure why anyone in their right mind would use the liquid form!

Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiviral. This product has parsley which makes it odor free. Jacob, Mattie and I have all taken this, and none of us has smelled like garlic yet! (I've seen this sold for anywhere fomr $3 to $10, so check your prices before ordering!)

Colloidal Silver
I don't use nearly as much as the guy who turned blue, but we do use it around here. I have a silver generator and mine is about 20 ppm. (The blue guy's was something like 700 ppm! It was also a different kind of silver.) We use it on skin, take it orally and gargle it. I have a lot of trouble with my throat when my allergies are bothering me, and I'm prone to strep. At the first sign of my throat starting to hurt I gargle with silver three or four times a day. No kidding, within 10 minutes of the first time, my throat feels better. I do it for several days just to be sure. I also did this recently when both of my kids had strep and I didn't get it!

Silver is a bit harder to get in the kids because they can't gargle, and it has a slight metallic taste. Both kids will drink in halved with juice if I make them. Robert and I just drink it straight. (I think it's way more tolerable than Pepto Bismol!) We inhale it using a nebulizer, rub it on the skin (for non skin issues as well), and use it as a nasal spray in addition to the gargle and swallowing. If possible, I get it as close to the problem site as I can. (i.e, eardrops for an ear infection, nasal spray for sinuses, etc.)

There is quite a controversy about the safety of silver. Use it at your own risk and do your own research! I read and read and read and feel good about what we're using. But after all I read, I'd be afraid to buy anything. It is VERY overpriced and not necessarily always what it says on the label.

Vitamin C
It speaks for itself.

As soon as the weather gets cooler and we start running our heat at night, I get a vaporizer going, especially in the kids' room. It keeps our sinuses moist and avoids the chronic winter snottiness that we all wake up with otherwise! It also helps us wake up without sore, dry throats.

So to prevent illness (if we've been exposed or we've been at a playland or Dollywood!), I do one garlic and oregano each day. If I forget to start it and we end up sick, I do one garlic and oregano with each meal for day one, then breakfast and dinner days 2 and 3 and maybe 4, then just one a day for several more days. I do 7-10 days like I would for an antibiotic. (I also use the silver, but the pills are easier for the kids so sometimes I forget about it.) My plan is to do a maintenance dose (especially for the kids who don't complain until it's too late) through the entire flu season this year and see how we do. We've already been caught off guard early this season, so I need to stay ahead of it from here on out.

I do know the echinacea is also very helpful, but I'm allergic to ragweed so it makes me sneeze. I have never tried it with the kids.

Using these products above, we've treated urinary tract infections, strep, bronchitis, pinkeye, and an ear infection. And those are the things that were diagnosed by a physician. We have encountered other things that we've managed to head off at the pass before they were full blown. My goal this year is to remember the maintenance doses so we can kill it all before it manifests itself!!

If you google the products (not necessarily the specific brand I like), there is a wealth of information about them on reliable websites. Prescription for Nutritional Healing is a sort of Bible for me as well.

These are also a couple of good online places to order. If a product is sold by these guys, I trust it to be a quality product, though I almost always check other places to be sure I can't find it cheaper. (not necessarily the best prices)

And if your kids don't swallow pills yet, there are some ways to sneak them in. I taught Jacob with a "big gulp" of applesauce without telling him there was a (small) pill. Only after he had swallowed it did I tell him it was there. Mattie's just so darned independent, she just had to do it because everyone else did. We moved up from there and they are both champs, applesauce or water! (I know some people do it in chocolate syrup too.)


There are a few random things I have noticed when treating our illnesses with natural remedies that I wanted to pass on too!

Rest really does matter! There is a reason they laid in bed for a week with the sniffles in the old days. Our body needs it.

The sicknesses seem to run the same course, just much more quickly.

I have the most success when I catch something very early and treat it with a few different things.

These natural remedies seem to be a bit more effective on bacterial infections. Viruses sometimes seem to have to just run their course, though I think this makes them a bit lighter.

Best Wishes for a Healthy Flu Season for your family!

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