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PurpleButterfly 11-13-2008 10:09 AM

My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
I have to be extra vigilent during cold/flu season, due to ds's blood disorder. An ordinary cold can turn into a week of 105 fever and dangerous issues for him. So - aside from daily praise and prayer for my family's health, here's what I do as soon as we enter cold/flu season. (I started on Monday, btw).

Everyone in the house gets a daily capsule of Culturelle. After much research, I feel confident that this is the BEST probiotic available for my family. It's expensive but well worth it IMO as it really bolsters the entire immune system during such a critical time of the year. I break the capsules open for the dc and sprinkle it in a smoothie or organic OJ every morning. Don't bother with the kids version, btw, it's exactly the same strength as regular and you get less product for more $$. ;)

Daily vitamins for everyone. The kids are on Rainbow Light Nutristars, which they aren't crazy about flavorwise, but will tolerate. These vitas rock with all the usual stuff plus bioflavanoids, FOS, veggie concentrats, organic spirulina and wheat sprouts, digestive enzymes and immune boosting herbs. We have used them for years and I start my dc on them at 2 yo. I take Rainbow Light Prenatal Ones since I'm still nursing, and dh has Rainbow Light basics when I can get them in him.

Whenever I hear of a local outbreak of anything, or anytime we are going to be traveling, I start the kids on one daily dose of Herbs for Kids Astragalus (liquid herbal supplement). Astragalus is amazing for the immune system! (Don't give if your dc has fever, btw, as it contains salycites similar to aspirin). During travel, I up it to two doses per day.

Vitamin C, a mama's friend! My dc & dh get a continuous winter dose of 500 mg per day, while I take 1000 mg per day (includes bioflavanoids) of the Country Life capsule brand. The rest of the family gets a yummy Jungle Juice flavored of their fave Natural Factors brand. My kids BEG for these!

Soy protein and flax smoothies every morning. My VitaMix has been worth it's weight in gold already for our daily health smoothies! I use the Organic Cold Milled Flax from Costco and a big scoop of Whole Nectar soy protein smoothie mix, plus a hefty portion of organic peanut butter (also from Costco), vanilla almond milk, and a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate ovaltine in a pinch). I can sneak in any herbals and their Culturelle without them ever having a clue, and I make sure they get it all by asking them to sample a small portion (with their supplements in ) to "make sure it tastes good" before I pour a big cup.

Afternoon Fruit & Veggie Smoothies. Again, blessed with a VitaMix, these become easy and delicious ways to sneak in veggies like spinach, carrots, celery, kale, beets and more! The kids only taste a sweet fruit smoothie or "ice cream" but I know the goodness hiding within! :grin

Also on hand in my natural medicine cabinet:
Herbs for Kids Echinacea & Goldenroot (for use during fever, at first sign of any illness and for duration of illness up to 10 days)
Rhino Kids Zinc (for use during head colds)
Homeopathic Ferum Phos (helpful for regulating body temp, esp. in a vomiting child who cannot tolerate oral meds)
Homeopathic Nux Vomica (to ease vomiting)
Hyland's Earache Drops
Hyland's Calms Forte (wonderful for helping restless child rest/sleep, great for grown-ups, too!)
Jason Tea Tree Satin Soap - a wonderful natural antibac soap that is used before every meal at home
Herb Pharm liquid echinacea for dh and I
Herbs for Kids Nettles & Eyebright (wonderful for head colds/sinus issues)
Herbs for Kids Horehound blend (for lung/chest colds/cough/respiratory)
Throat Coat teabags

My two can't-live-without books:
Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, et al.
Your Vital Child by Mark & Angela Stengler, ND's

Where I get my stuff:
If needed, I will shop at WF, but most everything I purchase in advance in early November, through my fave online discounter, . They ship any size order for $5, it usually arrives within 2-3 days, and if you go through, you also get a 6% kickback into your PayPal account! Not to mention the larger sized products for about half the cost of what you'd pay at WF for the smaller versions!

Stuff I try to avoid:
Refined foods
Fast food
Greasy food
Food dyes

All those things must be cleaned out by the liver, which is the foundation for our immune system. If our liver is busy purifying the blood from food dyes, preservatives, etc., that is all the less attention being given to the rest of the body's needs. Did you know that just one teaspoon of sugar will suppress the immune system's natural response to illness for FOUR HOURS?!

Stuff I try to sneak in:
Fresh garlic
Fresh ginger
Fresh onions
All fresh veggies and fruits
Extra sleep, rest, and downtime

The first three are natural anti-virals with blood-strengthening and healing properties not to be missed. I sneak them in by making what I call, "Star Soup".

Star Soup
6 organic onions
2 tbs freshly grated ginger (peel the outer skin then use your fine cheese grater)
6-8 HEADS of fresh garlic, peeled and mashed (drizzle w/olive oil then oven-roast it in tin foil first, it will be sweet!)
3 cubes Knorr chicken boullion (or fresh chicken stock, WAY better)
4 slices your favorite bread, toasted and cut into star shapes w/cookie cutter or paring knife.

Saute onions in a bit of olive oil. Add approx. 10 cups water and boullion cubes, stir til dissolved. Add ginger and garlic. Season to taste as needed. If it is too "strong", I add a packet of Stevia to slightly sweeten. Pour into pretty bowl and let cool slightly for children. Just before serving, float several toast stars on top. My dc also love to eat this using traditional Asian soup spoons for an extra special treat.

I also pull back from group activites and big indoor hangouts during this time of the year. Yeah, I'm sure my kids would love Chuck E. Cheese or local hands-on museums, but it's just not worth it to me. :no I would rather work extra hard to create individual playdates at home and other fun activities we can enjoy together at home. They still enjoy weekly activities (dance, martial arts - hand washing immediately after each class, bring own water bottles instead of using fountain like everyone else) but in general we do spend more time at home enjoying each other's company and creative play together. :smile :heart

PurpleButterfly 11-13-2008 10:16 AM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
And how could I forget to mention God's best medicine, breastmilk! I am SO glad to be able to provide my toddler with the amazing benefits of mama's milk, especially during such a crucial time of year! :cool

joyful mama 11-13-2008 10:22 AM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
adding to your list:

bostonsmama 11-13-2008 10:25 AM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
Kym, you rock! Could we please stickify this? Just until the cold/flu season is over :tu

Off to check out your Culterelle....

4MKfam 11-13-2008 10:31 AM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
We're giving Vitamin D3 a try this year --using Nature's Plus brand chewables, and I FINALLY :jump found a fish oil supplement the kids will take with a minimum of hassle! Nordic Naturals gummy Omega-3 --it's shaped like a gumdrop. It did take a couple days for them to acclimate to the taste (they're tangerine flavored), but they're FINALLY taking it without struggle :phew. I'm still on the lookout for a good all-purpose multi for the kids. My oldest is a super picky eater, and she's the one that needs to be on them the most :rolleyes, so it'll have to be something she likes. We did use KAL Multi-Saurus ones a couple years back and she LOVED those, but our HFS quit carrying them --wonder if they have them on :think.
Besides the D3, we're going to be avoiding sugar with a vengeance this year. I'm getting hard-core on 'em :lol. Unfortunately, they got quite sugared up at Awana last night --root beer float night, and (AND!) they got candy :doh :rolleyes. Yeah. Not a fun scene coming home :lol. I'm just planning on one of them getting a cold or something within a week :no2.

AmyDoll 11-13-2008 10:37 AM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
Now I have my shopping list & my marching orders ;) Thanks Kym!

One thing I :heart are the Arbonne Bath Salts that have Eucalyptus & other oils & herbs! I simmer them on the stove when the whole house has caught a bug.
I also keep Lavender & Eucalyptus oil to put into the kids baths or their vaporizers.
Hylands Vitamin C for the little ones is my favorite.

TestifyToLove 11-13-2008 03:56 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
We have one who cannot afford to get the Flu, like your ds for medical reasons.

I use hand sanitizer on the 2 who routinely pick their noses when we're out and about. I also don't allow M to play with toys in waiting rooms unless I wipe them down first.

Everyone gets a multi and extra C. Toddler girl won't take anything but her vitamins so I can't get Omegas into her.

M gets TONS of meds. He gets heavy dose probiotics. He's on 10,000IU Vitamin D per day (I think that's his dose, it might be higher). He gets Omega 3s, multis, and individual A, E, K, calcium and zinc. Now, if we could just get his gut to absorb the stuff, he'd be better off.

I did opt to get M a flu shot. He's moved cross-country and I'm very concerned about the viral infections he can be exposed to here which his immune system has never experienced before. But, most of what I do centers around working with the 2 nose pickers to prevent spread of gunk. I had to start in August when they started bringing in colds and they haven't had one in a month, so I think its starting to work

mamacat 11-13-2008 04:01 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
Been doing Vit D3 for everyone with great results so far & also we do drops of peroxide in the ears - especially if we have had an exposure or have any early symptoms of anything.

GodChick 11-13-2008 04:04 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!

rosesnsnails 11-13-2008 04:18 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
This is great!

SamRose 11-13-2008 04:20 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!

Lady TS 11-13-2008 05:19 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!

What about Sambucol? That's one thing I used a lot.

I used a lot of grapefruit seed extract, but recently discovered it is tainted with all kinds of icky chemicals(they don't lawfully have to put it on the label). So I think we will opt out of that one...

I am still trying to figure out what I can do for myself and my finicky allergy diet...other than taking my Allergy Multivitamin and some CLO and eating homemade plain yogurt every day. It's quite difficult to find ANY supplement not tainted with at least one of my allergens!

mom at home 11-13-2008 07:13 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
Dr Sears recommends Sinupret which has been used in Europe for years. I just bought a bottle of that as well!

Radosny Matka 11-13-2008 07:19 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
Well, you already have it listed, but garlic. At the very first nudge of a cold or whatever, I cut up a garlic clove into swallowable pieces, and down it with some apple juice. I do this 2-3 times a day for a few days, and I never get sick.

This is an AWESOME list. Can someone please sticky it?

musicmama 11-14-2008 10:54 PM

Re: My cold/flu season secret weapons, please share yours!
Kym, that vitacost site is awesome! SO cheap! And I signed up for MrRebates and used your address as a referral :tu

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