This cold a flu season has been ca-ray-zeee. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been searching near and far for anything that can help build immunity and keep you and your family healthy. You’re in luck because I’ve been searching online, asking other mamas, and trying it all! If you’re already battling the cold or flu, you can still take advantage of all this goodness to help get you back on your feet a little quicker.
All of my suggestions are natural immune boosters and remedies. We have not used over the counter medications in about 2 years. I cleaned out my cabinet this summer and threw it all away because we didn’t touch it last year. While we still get the occasional cold, it’s NOTHING like it has been in the past. My poor little guy was always catching something. When he did, we were visiting the doctor multiple times because he could never kick it! Luckily that is in our past. If we do catch something, it’s in and out of our home quickly. Besides eating whole, healthy foods, staying hydrated, and washing your hands like a mad man, here are natural ways to boost your immune system and fight the cold and flu.
My go-to this year has been elderberry syrup. It’s known to boost the immune system and fight off the cold and flu. If you do have the flu, it’s proven to shorten the duration of your symptoms. Elderberries are high in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamins A and C. We take a daily dose of elderberry syrup and up the dose according to the directions if we are sick.
I found our favorite brand for a great price online here. I love this brand because it also contains raw honey, organic apple cider vinegar, propolis, and echinacea. I’m planning to make my own in the future, but haven’t tried it yet!
We have all heard that health starts in the gut and it is true! Probiotics help to reinforce out intestinal lining and boost good bacteria in our bodies. Studies show that they help boost immunity, balance hormones, and stabilize your metabolism. #allgoodthings. Up your probiotic intake by taking a live supplement and eating fermented foods. We do both! I currently take the Young Living Life 9 supplement and include fermented foods such as kimchi, raw sauerkraut, kefir, and probiotic yogurt in the whole fam’s diet. Heck, our favorite orange juice even has probiotics added!
Vitamins A, C, and Zinc
We are huge fans of Dr. Sears and he recommended these three specifically for boosting the immune system and fighting off illness. Vitamin A can work as an antiviral, while vitamin C is known for for fighting the cold. Studies have shown that zinc can reduce the duration of the cold and flu. Vitamin D is also a great way to boost your immune system. Be sure to get outside, even during the winter months.
I use essential oils in my home daily. Some of my favorite immune boosting oils include Thieves (a Young Living Blend), lemon, peppermint, tea tree, frankincense, lavender, and oregano. Some essential oils are known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. They are wonderful to use to boost your immune system and to make you more comfortable while battling an illness. To learn more about why I love essential oils, click here.
I have an immunity roller for the adults and another made with kid safe oils. I try to remember to apply them to the bottom of our feet daily. I also diffuse oils to make our home smell good and help us when we are sick. I love using lavender, lemon, and frankincense when we are under the weather.
My go-to for sick kiddos and myself is a steamy shower/bathroom. For myself, I take a hot shower with 2 drops of R.C. essential oil in the shower. This is a blend of multiple type of eucalyptus and peppermint. The steam and oil are perfect for opening my nasal passages and making me feel energized.
This method is not recommend for children as they should avoid scolding hot showers and eucalyptus and peppermint. Ha! For the kiddos, I close the bathroom door and turn the shower on hot so it will fill the room with steam. Once it is nice and steamy, we stand the the bathroom (with shower still running) for about 5 to 10 minutes. This helps to break up an congestion and aids in breathing. I will do this multiple times a day and before bed as needed.
After the steam, I use our Clearinse. This thing is magic. It sprays saline in the nose and sucks all the nasty stuff out. This thing is a life saver. Sometimes the kids fight it (oh joy), but it works wonders when I can use it!
Not only is it amazing for your hair, skin, and nails, bone broth is great for your immune system. It is rich in minerals that boost your immune system. It’s also full of collagen. I incorporate collagen into my diet daily! Read more about the benefits here. My hubby saves our chicken bones and boils them all day with carrots, onions, celery, turmeric, and other spices. It makes a thick, tasty broth that is perfect alone or as a base for soup.
Warm water with lemon and honey
My mom used to always make this for me when I was sick. Now, I love adding apple cider vinegar and fresh grated ginger. I find it comforting and it also relieves a sore throat. You can also gargle warm sea salt water to ease throat pain.
There you have it! Let me know if you have any other natural remedies you use in your home! I’d love to hear what you do! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018.