Last week I volunteered in my son’s preschool class. I was so looking forward to it, as was he. It was pajama day and my job was holding down the pancake station. Sweet, that’s easy enough… or so I thought. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the germs that were going to try and latch on. As I sat there making pancakes all I could focus on was the kid with the runny nose who kept using his hand to wipe it (I of course would have him go wash his hands and come back), but seriously you can imagine how many times that happened in one sitting. Then there was the kid who was coughing AT me. After several reminders he managed to cover his mouth… half of the time. I can’t forget the boy who had his finger in his nose the entire station or the girl who told me her whole family had pneumonia. Cool. Needless to say I was paranoid the entire class period and watching my son like a hawk. My head was filled with… “Don’t play with that toy, runny nose was just playing with it” or “go play with that boy, he’s not sick.” My poor kid had to wash his hands ten times that day. Better safe than sorry!
Runny noses, coughs, fevers, tummy aches, you name it and it’s going around. Germs are everywhere and it takes everything in me to keep these nasty things away. Like all moms, I don’t have time to get sick or entertain such ideas. So I wanted to share a few ways our family naturally fights of these demons that try to make their way in to our home. Remember, I work in a second grade classroom with twenty four kiddos, so I’m around it ALL THE TIME (you better believe I have a diffuser running right next to my desk).
By no means do we keep EVERY germ out, but I think we do pretty well considering. However, when we do get hit with something, we are able to stop it in it’s tracks or at least lighten the load so we can continue to function. Here are my top three Go To’s when it comes to staying healthy.
This little magic syrup is not only yummy (my crew asks for it every morning), but it also is crazy good for you. Elderberries are high in vitamin A and have more vitamin C than an orange. Although elderberry syrup works wonders for treating the cold and flu, we take it daily, not just cold and flu season, I’m talking 365 days a year! If someone isn’t feeling well, we will increase it to several times a day and it always shortens the sick time. You can buy elderberry syrup at any health food store (Nugget, Eco Chic, The Nutrition Shoppe, and if you’re not local you can check out Amazon), but I prefer to make my own. It’s cheaper because I can make it in bulk and is super simple. But please, I know your time is valuable, so buying it works just fine.
2/3 cup dried elderberries
3 1/2 cups of water
2 Tbsp. fresh or dried ginger root
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1 cup raw honey
*Bring to a boil all the ingredients (except honey). Lower to a simmer for 45 minutes. Next, you’ll drain the berries and save the syrup. Once the liquid has cooled add the honey, mix, and store in the refrigerator. I keep it in a large mason jar and one batch lasts several weeks for our family of six.
I give our kiddos 5mls each morning and increase it to several times a day if they are under the weather or if a sibling is. My hubby and I take 15mls daily.
In short, probiotics are good bacteria and help boost your immune system. Our family takes probiotic supplements several times a day, but there are also many probiotic foods you can implement into your diet.
fermented Kefir olives cured in brine
live cultured yogurt kimchi
kombucha dark chocolate (yes, get some right now)
They are many great supplements to choose from, we use Garden of Life. We like that there are options tailored to us.
Okay, if you are into oils this is my everyday go to. And if you’re not into oils, it’s time to be! This flu bomb will strengthen your immune system in no time. There are two different ways to make this flu bomb, in a roller (for the bottom of your feet) or in a capsule (homemade pill). In our house, the kids get the roller and my hubby and I take the capsules. Check out these super easy recipes…
On Guard 18-20 drops 5 drops
Lemon 18-20 drops 5 drops
Melaleuca 12-15 drops 4 drops
Oregano 12-15 drops 4 drops
*Fill the rest of a 10ml roller *I use the Doterra veggie caps, but any
with FCO (fractionated coconut oil) veggie caps will do.
When it comes to oils, I use them more often than not. I use the roller throughout the entire winter, I will roll it on the bottom of my kids’ feet throughout the day. Since my littles are still in diapers, I will do it every diaper change. I keep it in their diaper basket so I don’t forget… because prego brain has turned into mom brain and I forget everything.
If you plan on taking it orally, I only make them as needed, so if someone close to me is sick or I am trying to fight off something. In those instances, I will take up to 3 pills a day. These homemade capsules work wonders, I swear by them!
Keeping your family healthy is no easy task and although I do my best, I don’t always succeed. However, I will continue to provide my kiddos with the best possible care as I know you want to as well, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Hopefully one or all of these health secrets has resonated with you. Give them a shot! You won’t be disappointed.
Wishing you a happy and healthy winter,
**Disclaimer** I am not a physician and this is not medical advice. These are just recipes that work well for our family. Should you have questions or concerns, speak to a medical professional.