Being sick is the worst. We all like to joke that Mom’s do not get sick days. But what we do get is to take care of all the other people's sick days. As a mom, taking care of the sick people I love ranks up there with one of my greatest privileges. It used to be one of my biggest anxieties and burdens.
Last week my son came down with an abrupt cold and fever. On Valentines day and 3 days before his 10th birthday. We had work to do. We were both disappointed about the change of plans and schedule but we also knew that we had resources at our disposal. We were on a mission to get him healthy for his party. And we did. It took lots of different tools and a good amount of rest. But it all worked out and Nerf fun was had by all!
Most days, in our house, we focus on staying healthy and not letting the ick take us down. My daughter told me the other day that my job with Young Living was "to help other people stay healthy". And she isn’t wrong. I love my home remedies. I am constantly telling other people about them. If you hear me casually mention things like wet socks and elderberry syrup and detox salts, I’m not talking gibberish. I am talking science and natural health. Yes, those two do actually go hand in hand.
Let’s just get this out of the way: I love modern medicine. It saved my life 10 years ago when I was pregnant and pre-eclamptic. It has saved the life of my family members and it has its time and its place. AND I also can’t help but think that we are also losing our roots and awareness that the earth does give us ways to help our bodies stay healthy and get healthier. I’m proud of the fact that my kids don’t know a lot of the over the counter medicines. But they can give you a great explanation of Wet Sock treatment. And they do know to ask for elderberry syrup and they are regular essential oil users. My daughter realized this school year with some confusion and surprise that not all of her classmates use essential oils- or know what they are. I think she wants to help them learn more. So do I.
Starting with educating myself and my family on natural home remedies began a little over 4 years ago. I was no stranger to gargling with salt water when I had a sore throat but I had no idea all the amazing tools available to me in my kitchen. I definitely remember the frustration as a pregnant and then nursing mom with the general clueless-ness of the medical professionals on what I could do to help my sinus infection. I learned about the Neti pot and apple cider vinegar then. And then I discovered the importance of eliminating toxins in the house to give our bodies a chance to stay healthy. I also learned that there are tools that exist to keep our immune systems strong. As we integrated these into our home, I started to teach others on how to do the same. To have some simple places to point others, I wanted to write a series of articles on home remedies for cold and flu “season.”
Did you catch those quotes? If we were in person I would have totally thrown up some air quotes! I don’t really believe this to be a time of the year when colds and the flu virus must exist so much as it’s a time of the year when our body isn’t able to remain fortified naturally and our behaviors work against us. People can get colds and flu in May and they can get sick as a dog in August. Up here in the United States and specifically, the Northeast US we see an epidemic of this half of the year as a season for germ breeding. If we break it down and re-frame it we can also see it’s a season for physical and emotional turmoil and a season with physical temperature, social behavior and emotional fluctuations.
We are indoors more, not getting as much sun-borne vitamin D stimulation. We tend to congregate indoors if we do get together at places like schools, stores, malls and churches. We are sharing a lot of the same warm, dry air, allowing for easy transmission of germs. Our heating systems also blow around all this well used air and dries out our nasal passages- putting them at a deficit of doing their jobs. It’s also important for us to recognize that modern indoor air can be one of the worst places for pollution. The indoor pollutants such as artificial fragrances, toxic air fresheners, soot carrying candles and more can depress our respiratory system and our internal filtration (ie. Immune) system. Research done on the optimal breeding ground temperature and humidity for flu virus showed that low humidity in both 40 and 68 degree spaces allowed for 100% transmission of the flu virus. In addition, research on candles and chemical toxins in cleaners shows that we are creating our own indoor pollution.
During this time of year we often are more sedentary and more isolated in our lifestyle- kids aren’t out running around at recess, we tend to not be as social and it can be hard to want to be active in the short cold winter days. The shorter, grayer days also influence our mood. And when we feel less positive, we often feel more distress or stress or can't handle stress as easily. It’s also not a coincidence that some of the most stressful holidays land smack dab in the middle of the "flu season" too. Stress does a significant number on our immune system. Going hand in hand with the holidays is our increased consumption of sugar and treats and a decrease of fresh fruits and vegetables that are no longer in seasonal abundance.
So when we put it this way, it’s really not surprising that a whole season allows viruses to flourish.
I want to touch on all of these “Seasonal” deficits and what to do about them over time but I hope this sums up why it’s really important to be proactive in staying healthy.
Home remedies are not just for remedying the cold or flu someone is going through. They are also able to remedy the situation that encourages germ transmission and a weakened immune system. I don’t have time for sick and I would rather spend the time staying healthy in as many ways as possible. Some of the simplest rules for helping to keep a strong immune system are universal:
And the big add: Have lots of great physical immune supports integrated into your kitchen and personal care products. I can’t wait to share more about these! First up, because it’s an ancient and well known natural remedy: Elderberry Syrup. Have you used Elderberry or other home remedies? We love using this one to stay healthy and recover from colds faster. And there is some great science to back it up.
I am an eat, play, work at home Mom- a part time new-mom's support facilitator- full time dreamer of clay- an all the time thinker- a trained art therapist- and a home biz empower-er who never has enough minutes in the day, clay in my hands or ideas in my brain to create all the things!
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