I love Fall! I love the color change of the leaves, the smell of bonfires in the air, and the slight crisp cool feeling that comes with harvest time. It always seems like, with the change of seasons, there is also an imaginary flood gate that opens with sicknesses. It’s almost as if the flu, pink eye, strep throat, gastroenteritis and any or all other germs are suddenly let out of a cage to invade and attack! Schools are like a breeding ground of illness, and even with all the many efforts put forth by teachers, it is really hard to keep the nasty germs at bay!
My journey in learning holistic ways to treat my family started with us having a high monthly insurance premium, in a high deductible plan, that doesn’t cover our “sick” costs even within network until we meet our deductible. We have the American Care Act coverage for our seven family members. We don’t receive a subsidy because we fall under the “family glitch”.
That, my friends, is another conversation for another day, but it can easily be found in a simple google search using the term “family glitch” if you are curious. Sickness spreads so easily among a large family and a medical bill of $400 for two strep tests taken at the doctor’s office is expensive! It was such a shock for me to have that happen. It can certainly break the budget. I’ve created an arsenal of herbs and other products that I use on a regular basis to either prevent or fight sickness with my family. In doing so, I’ve decreased the number of sick visits to the doctor we’ve had, and lowered our out of pocket medical costs. I also feel like I’m more in control of the amount of medical care that my family gets outside our home. I certainly feel more proactive and less reactive.
Please read this as it is my disclaimer about this article. We’ve been blessed with so many natural remedies to heal our bodies. I’ve simply tapped into those ways for the benefit of my family. It helps me keep my medical bills down, and I know that I’m doing something good for their bodies by letting them heal naturally. I’m a Mom & Wife- not a Doctor. If you’re looking for MEDICAL advice please contact your Doctor to discuss any questions before using any or all of these products that we discuss. Medicines, herbs, and holistic treatments can react with other over-the- counter drugs, but should always be used with caution so as to limit reactions.
- Elderberry – We always have Sambucus Elderberry Syrup for kids in my arsenal. This stuff rocks! From what I understand elderberries are antiviral. If you use this within the first 2 days of the flu it apparently shortens the span of your sick time. I have used this with my kids when they’ve had croup and I saw a faster healing. It is a immunity booster. We have used it both in “maintenance mode” meaning taking a teaspoon every day, and when they were sick which is doubling it up. The liquid version tastes like runny jelly so my kids have no issue taking it! It also comes in different forms like gummies, teas, or lozenges just to name a few. We love elderberries!
- Colloidal Silver – I have only within the last year learned about Colloidal Silver. It has been around for a very long time! You may have heard of the term “blue bloods” used to describe those that were wealthy. People who were wealthy a long time ago used silver platters and dishes with their food and drink. They also had lower levels of sickness and death compared to commoners and peasants. The silver would leach into their food. It has antibacterial and antiviral qualities thus keeping the wealthy people healthy. Unfortunately, over long periods of time of exposure, it would cause their skin to turn blue. Colloidal Silver has come a long way since those times. They have refined the way it is made so that that whole “blue part” is rare. It comes in liquid form. I have used this with pink eye, ear infections, caring for wounds, and immune support. Remember, it’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial! It is a must have for holistic arsenal!
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a great water soluble vitamin that is also a very powerful anti-oxidant. This vitamin kicks sickness to the curb! With my children I’ll give them orange juice, with a teaspoon of extra vitamin C powder. It’s also a great maintenance type routine to get into. Great boost for the morning breakfast and is so very good for you! I have found that we will forgo sickness if I keep their immune systems strong. When I was younger I went through a stage where I drank a ton of Tang. I was not sick even once that year! I attribute that to the high amounts of vitamin C intake. I’ve found the same results with my children.
- Cats Claw– From what I’ve read, in my year long effort to understanding this wonderful herb, Cat’s Claw is a great immune booster! I’ve found it helps if taken as a “maintenance” herb or essentially taking it regularly. I’ve used this herb with my older children and with the adults in our household. I’ve found it also helps with mucus and sinus issues. That has been our experience.
- Astragulus – This herb helps increase your white blood cells or “fighter” cells. This herb is one that we use regularly to “get on top of” the winter sick season. It has helped us curb the chronically sick kids in our family. My daughter was in a play last year, and the lead actress was really sick. She couldn’t even act her part in the play because she was in the first stages of having a respiratory illness. I gave the Astragulus herb (a kid’s liquid version) to her along with vitamin C , and within a 48 hour time frame, she was feeling so much better that she was able to go on stage! This stuff helps to kick your immune system into working harder.
- Echinacea – We look at this herb as an immune system stimulant! We do not take it regularly but with the hint of a cold or virus, we take it for the duration of the sickness. It is immune booster, anti-inflammatory that fights viral infections, and it is good for respiratory type illnesses. It has other powerful qualities, but these mentioned benefits are why we’ve added them to our arsenal!
- Probiotics – It’s all about the gut baby!! Gut health is SO incredibly important to staying healthy. A healthy gut keeps the bad bacteria from invading the blood stream. It’s kind of like the first defense to all the nasty germs that you come in contact with! The right gut flora created by a good strong probiotic will keep your intestinal barrier strong and keep you healthy! If you’re heard of anyone talk about leaky gut syndrome often times it comes from complaints of sickness or immune system struggles. We’ve simply got to keep our gut bacteria happy. Typically, I try to use a probiotic that has several strains of bacteria, and in my opinion, the more the merrier!
You can also keep your family healthy by minimizing sugar intake, drinking plenty of water, making sure everyone is getting a good night’s sleep, washing hands, and using plenty of hand sanitizer when out in public. Be proactive & ready to keep the sickness at bay!
Kid’s think it’s cool to “dab”, and moms KNOW it’s cool to not pass the germs on!
What do you do to help family stay healthy during cold season?
Wishing you ALL The Luck of a Magpie & a healthy winter!