4/10/11

Cold Wars: Fighting bugs without drugs


We don't get sick that often. Unlike most families whose kids are in school or daycare or other germ infested locations, our kids simply aren't bringing home as many bugs and I am eternally grateful for this fact. But, everyone gets sick sometimes. We used to pack everyone up at the first sign of fever or green snot and head straight to the doctor, but after a few trips, I began to realize that they had no more effective ways to combat colds than I did. And their ways (antibiotics or narcotic cough syrup) usually had added risks along with them.

I discovered a number of ways to relieve and heal colds naturally when I was pregnant and unable to take any over the counter or prescription meds, and now, I employ the tools I learned to fight most of the bugs that come in our door.

General wellness and prevention:
Wash up: Most germs are spread with our hands, so I insist that the kids wash theirs often. I know it sounds stupid, but I'm convinced that omitting this step in busy preschool rooms contributes heavily to perpetually sick kids.

Vitamins: There’s still some debate about the real benefits of supplemental vitamins, but I believe they can’t hurt and can only help, so my kids get them every day, especially when they’ve been exposed to loads of germs like the grocery store or playgroups with other kids. I give them 500 mg of Vitamin C daily, a basic chewable multivitamin, and, during the winter when we’re locked indoors or when they are fighting off a cold, Vitamin D. Vitamin D is one you CAN give to much of, so I don’t just go giving it willy-nilly. When I think the kids are fighting a bug, I add Wish Garden's Kick-It Immune tincture for a little enhanced immune support.

When the cold bug strikes:
Sinus rinses:  I use the NeilMed sinus rinse bottle and pH balanced saline solution, mixed with a splash of Alkalol.


 Water temperature should be the same as your body temp...check using your wrist, not your finger.
 Keep your head down over the sink, align the nozzle with your nostril and squeeze GENTLY. Water should come out the other nostril, along with all the gunky stuff in your sinuses. This is such an effective way to get the boogies out of toddlers that I do one with a sick kid every 2-4 hours in the beginning. I started doing sinus rinses with Boy when he was 2 years old, and with Little Sister when she was 12 months old. Now, both kids are pros.
Controlling coughs: If the sinus bug starts working its way into an upper respiratory infection with a bunch of coughing, especially at night, I add Eldertussin Elderberry Syryp. This stuff is the best symptom treatment I've come across as it's loaded with immune boosting goodies, along with cough suppressant. I try to NEVER run out of Eldertussin. I add King Bio cough spray for immediate relief. At night and naptimes, I fill up the humidifier and keep it running in the sickie's room too and this helps cut down on the coughing.
Viruses: If we know we're dealing with a virus, the best antiviral in the world is honey, and specifically Manuka Honey from New Zeland. This stuff is so awesome, it's been shown to CURE the herpes virus. In addition, Melissa, aka Lemon Balm and colloidal silver are great antivirals too.
 Homeopathic treatments: When the bug is accompanied with fever and body aches I go for a homeopathic flu tabs. Homeopathics, unlike herbs are safe to take for toddlers, pregnant and nursing moms, making them awesome way to battle bugs without drugs. They are relatively inexpensive and come in varieties addressing a plethora of really specific symptoms. The ones I keep on hand are Post-nasal drip, dry cough, cough, sinus...oh, and of course Arnica Montana for muscle aches & bruising, but that's another post for another day.

I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV, but these tricks and tools have helped our family fight off infections and shorten the duration of colds. Do the research on your own, and then give natural remedies a shot next time a cold bug rears its ugly head in your house...you may be surprised!

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