As I lay with my feverish baby this weekend, nursing him and stroking his hot little forehead through the night, I had one thought- “I am done with SICKNESS.” I think the reason this winter was so difficult had to do with the fact that we were sick all the time, which is something I have never really experienced. I’m used to be healthy as a horse. However given our near sleepless existence, it’s no wonder our immunity has suffered. One of the boys would catch a cold, and inevitably, the entire family would pass it around and around for the next month, until the next virus attacked, and the cycle would begin again. It was pretty brutal. It has me thinking about our immunity, and how we can start boosting it in preparation for next winter. I have been doing some research, and consulting with everyone I know in the health profession (both modern medicine, and homeopathic). I thought I would share a few ideas that I have come across to help boost immunity, and I’m hoping you will share your wisdom (I’m no health professional, so take this with a grain of salt). I can’t take another winter like this past one…so here’s hoping we hit on the magic bullet:
Some of the things we have incorporated into our lives lately:
1. Vitamin C: Anything and everything you can do to boost your vitamin C intake- freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, vitamins and tea. I have been brewing a special blend of sun tea (pictured above) that is high in vitamin C thanks to orange peel, hibiscus, nettle and lemongrass. The boys love it served over ice, with a straw, of course. We also brewed buckets of Farmacy’s Sinus Tea this spring…and it is amazing!
2. Neti Pot: Although the boys are too young to use this (oh what a battle that would be!), I have been incorporating the Neti Pot into my nightly routine, flushing my sinuses before bed.
3. Zicam: I have had so many people recommend Zicam, which you take the minute you start to feel a cold coming on. I was living under a rock this past year, so I hadn’t heard of it…but you can bet we have it in our medicine cabinet now that I’m in the know!
4. Honey: Buckwheat honey, manuka honey, and raw, local honey are all touted to be health superstars, boosting immunity and fighting off the bacteria that lead to sinus infections. I put a hefty tablespoon in my nightly cup of tea, and in our daily smoothies.
5. Fermented foods: Kambucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles…it’s all good.
6. Elderberry Syrup: Elderberries have been used throughout history to treat a whole host of ailments, and they are proven to be immune boosters. I have been adding Farmacy’s elderberry syrup to smoothies, and our sun tea.
7. Essential Oils: I talked a bit about how I use essential oils here.
8. Juicing, and Smoothies: I love any and all green smoothies and juices- and they are just so good for you! I’m eager to try this immune boosting smoothie (chia seeds- they are my new thing!), though I would try to sneak in a few greens.
9. Exercise: I’m working out with a trainer twice a week now, and I can already feel a difference in my energy levels.
10. Turmeric: When I feel a cold coming on, I make a strong cup of turmeric tea- just hot water, and 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric (it’s not easy going down, but turmeric contains manganese and potassium, which stimulate the immune system, and it has been proven to aid in digestion, and protect against cardiac disease…so for all of that, you can choke it down!).
*Obviously- drinking a ton of water, and eating a mostly plant based diet is a great place to start. We do our best, but there is always room for improvement. I am always evaluating our eating habits, making changes for the better, and experimenting with what works for our family.*
Ideas we’ll be trying next winter:
1. The Ultimate Cold Cure
2. Oil Pulling: Sounds weird, but it “is an ancient Ayurvedic technique, touted by yogis as a natural way to strengthen the immune system by killing toxic yeast that makes its way from your stomach to mouth while you sleep.” Worth a try!
3. Herbal Cold and Cough Care
4. Lysine: I don’t know much about it…but I have friends that swear by it.
5. SLEEP…yeah right, wishful thinking 🙂
Anything you’d like to add?