Natural ways to stay healthy in cold and flu season. 9 Natural ways to boost your immune system & help your family stay healthy all year long.
Do you feel like you might be coming down the a cold, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms? Do your kids exhibit any of the following symptoms? If so, it might be time to jumpstart your health regime and begin boosting your (and your family’s) immune system with a few natural ways!
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Muscle aches and body aches (feeling cold, feeling hot, overall body exhaustion)
- Runny nose
- Sore Through
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, now is the time to get started with any of these 9 natural ways to stay healthy, and help kick your cold or flu symptoms fast.
I’m no doctor, but I have found a lot of benefits and had success with treating my children with some of nature’s most powerful healers. These natural remedies are powerful immune boosters, antivirals and healthful ways to quickly get on the mend and even prevent your family, and yourself, from getting sick.
With my family, I begin to load up on these natural methods right about the time the kids head back to school and are exposed to a slew of germs and bugs flying around the classrooms and hallways. Flu season and seasonal weather changes are also times when I look for natural ways to boost our immunity.
Natural Ways to Help Your Kids Stay Healthy Through Cold & Flu Season
I’m a huge fan of once-a-week detox baths for my children, and myself. Everyday people are exposed to hundreds of toxics from household products, pollution and processed foods. These toxics create “body burden” which impairs the body’s ability to function properly, as it naturally would if it were free of toxins.
Detox Baths are relaxing and soothing and help draw the toxins out from the skin to ease the toxin burden on your body. Read more on the benefits of a detox bath, how to give a detox bath and essential oils you can add for extra natural benefits.
Elderberry (also called Sambucus, which is it’s botanical name) is a flower rich in antioxidants and is also an anti-microbial which studies have found to help fight influenza and some types of streptococcus, can help treat conjunctivitis and is a good remedy for upper respiratory infections related to the common cold.
In our house, the adults use this Black Elderberry Syrup and the kid’s use this children’s version because it doesn’t have any alcohol in it.
For most effectiveness, it’s recommended to use elderberry syrup within the first 48 hours of symptoms. If you are currently on any antidiabetic drugs, diuretics, or laxatives, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center advises that you skip this herb as it may interact with these drugs.
Vitamin C is a one of those necessary components of having a strong immune system, which is essential to fighting colds and the flu. This means you need to stock on Vitamin C to get ready for flu season!
The only natural vitamin line I like is Garden of Life which has Vitamin C Supplements but also Multivitamin chewables for kids (and men and women, too).
If you want to make your own Homemade Non-GMO Vitamin C Gummies, here is a great recipe from the Frugal Farm Wife and they taste great.
Probiotics are the “good” bugs your gut health and digestive system needs to thrive and help fight the “bad” bugs. Probiotics are good micro-organisms necessary to the digestive tract, which help keep balance to your health by fighting off the bad bugs which can wreck havoc on your immune system.
Probiotics can be taken in the chewable form or as powder and mixed into smoothies, oatmeals and even drinks such as water, juice, milk or coffee, if you’d like. (Culturelle for kids has handy little packets to keep in your purse for on-the-go and traveling.)
One study I came across, showed that people who take probiotics daily, experienced shorter colds by 2 days and were 34% less severe than those who didn’t.
Vitamin D is an easy, and natural way to boost your immune system, especially in the colder months. Specifically, Vitamin D produced from your skin’s exposure to sunlight has been shown to reduce susceptibility to illness, while encouraging your immune cells to function more efficiently.
The best way to get a daily dose of Vitamin D is to spend time outside in sunlight for 15 minutes a day. If you live in an area where this is tough because of cold weather climate, be sure you’re taking a vitamin D supplement, and eating plenty of fatty fish like salmon.
Raw honey is another immune system booster, which can help the body fight a cold or flu. Studies have shown that children who have a daily dose of raw honey, cough less and sleep more soundly than those who use cough and cold medicine. Research shows honey s effective at killing antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and boosting the immune system at the same time. Raw honey has been used for centuries and have no side effects.
I recommend using 100% pure and raw Tupelo Honey to best boost the immune system.
Note: Infants who are younger than one year should not be given honey.
Hot Water with Lemon
When it comes down to dealing with the symptoms of a cold or flu such as a stuffy nose or sore throat, try drinking a cup of hot water with lemon. Hot drinks help to reduce congestion by increasing mucus flow and lemon is a natural immune-booster because of it’s Vitamin C.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
The bitter and powerful taste of apple cider vinegar (ACV) isn’t for some taste buds, but it’s great at balancing the body’s pH levels which make it harder for bacteria to grow. I like to swish it in my mouth to kill bacteria and also sip on it when I have a sore throat.
Try mixing 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm water and drinking it several times a day.
Cut Out Certain Foods and Reduce Dairy
While you’re feeling under the weather, take a careful look at your diet and load up on nutrient rich foods to boost your immune system and steer clear of fatty foods, heavily processed foods and dairy products which contribute to inflammation, are hard to digest and particular dairy which can increase the amount of mucus in your body.
Natural Remedies to Keep In Your Cabinet:
- Epsom Salt or Magnesium Flakes
- Elderberry Syrup (For Adults and a Children’s Version)
- Vitamin C
- Probiotics (Chewable or Powder Form)
- Vitamin D
- Raw Tupelo Honey
- Apple Cider Vinegar
What other natural methods do you use to help you stay healthy, boost immunity and cope with cold and flu symptoms?
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