How we have managed to avoid any doctor visits during my kids lives...
So we are into winter here in New Zealand and it seems that in the last couple of weeks many of my friends, their kids and their partners have been getting sick.
I thought I would share the protocol that I typically use when we are faced with these kinds of illnesses at our house. Getting on top of sickness as soon as its noticed is super important to prevent it developing into complications. 'No one wakes up with pneumonia or bronchitis but colds or flu like symptoms that aren't treated immediately can quickly develop into these issues'.
It is my opinion that symptom-reducing medication for things like coughs and fevers, should really only be used in extreme situations or if the person is really sleep deprived. These symptoms are there to actually help your body to get rid of the germs that are making you feel miserable. By suppressing the detoxifying effects of fever and cough, the illness will be prolonged and/or made more severe.
My protocol is a mixture of comforting the person who is sick, while supporting the body in fighting off the illness. This greatly reduces the duration and severity of illness and I'm happy to say we have never had to go to a doctor for either child who are now 5 and 8.
Firstly though, we all get sick at some point, our immune system becomes stronger when we can fight of illness naturally but the below pointers certainly help reduce the frequency of illness and recovery is a lot faster!
All year round we make it a priority to:
Eat a deeply nutritious diet, based on wholefoods that are grown organically or spray free. We do this by growing some fruit and vegetables like leafy greens, herbs ourselves, incorporate the farmers markets into our weekend missions and crop swap with friends and family as much as possible.
Get plenty of sleep. Kids usually in bed by 8pm and adults 9.30-10pm in bed and sleep till 5.30-6.30am
Go outside for sunshine and fresh air everyday
Exercise daily in a way you enjoy. Aim to really get your heart rate up at least 4 times per week.
Practice forgiveness, pray and meditate daily.
The following supplements are what I use to maintain daily health
Food based Multi Vitamin - Even with a wholefood diet, we can often be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals that are either low in our soil or if we dislike a certain food group and don't eat it often. For more information on what NZer's are typically low on please read this blog
Therapeutic Probiotic - If your gut health is great - you are typically healthy with a great immune system. If gut health isn't good, a person is a lot more prone to health issue. Support gut health everyday! This should also include eating fermented foods everyday. Read this for Practical ideas
Medicinal Mushrooms - Reishi has been know for 1000’s of years as the king of immunity. This woodsy little mushroom along with it’s immune building buddies Maitake, Cordyceps, Lions mane and Shiitake have the power to kill viruses, bacteria, and yeast, destroy cancer cells, and even assist with nerve regeneration. There are lab studies to prove it. Using these daily will help prevent a myriad of health issues and ramping up your dosage at the first sign of cold or flu with shorten the duration of most illnesses significantly. The kids favourite way to have these medicinal mushrooms is in a Warming Tonic
Regularly add Astragalus Root into warm coconut milk tonic like above or a smoothie or soup.
Always have a batch of bone or vegetable broth either getting made, in the fridge or in the freezer
At the first sign of illness:
Magnesium salt bath (can get bags of Mag Salts from the supermarket for $2.50) I shut the door to the bathroom and start diffusing Doterra Onguard and Frankincense, if there is a snotty nose I would use Easy Air instead of Onguard and if there was a cough I would add Thyme essential oil. Stay in the bath for 20mins. Dry of and dress warmly. I can not stress this one enough! They help with aches and pains plus will assist a fever in rising your core temperature to burn out the bugs. Epsom salts ease aching joints and you get a dose of magnesium to help you sleep or relax. The essential oils open clogged bronchial pathways. Do this a few times a day if necessary!
Take Liposomal Vitamin C 3 x daily.
Ensure proper rest/sleep in a calm and warm environment. Highly recommend playing classical instrumental music. Cut out all unnecessary activities
Eliminate sugar, gluten, processed foods, and for mucus production eliminate dairy
Stay hydrated (broth, mineral water, fresh pressed veggie juice with lemon and ginger, coconut water, herbal teas. Warm fluids helps to body with lymph drainage and can unstuff a congested nose and throat. You can purchase organic herbal teas specifically formulated for colds, sore throats, stuffy noses and immunity building. I loved local raw honey, lemon and cayenne in warm water. Ginger and honey will help stomach aches and pains. Raw honey is a form of sugar but it also has anti bacterial properties that can support healing. The flavor of sweet is known to have a mothering effect, think of the sweetness of breast milk. The honey will coat the throat of your loved ones and give them the nurturing sweetness of mothering energy.
I give the kids 5mls of organic sauerkraut juice 3 x daily - High in Vitamin C and probiotics
Colloidal Silver. By having a direct effect on cellular respiration, colloidal silver benefits the body in major ways, including as an antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal.
Oregano Essential Oil. This oil has been proven in scientific studies to be an effective antimicrobial agent. Oregano oil contains 50 active compounds with immune-boosting and germ-fighting properties, and antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Its nutrient content includes vitamins A and C, both of which support respiratory health and help fight infection. Oregano oil also contains calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper and boron. It helps your lungs recover from a bout with a cold or flu by thinning the mucous, allowing for easier breathing and faster removal of the infecting virus. You can choose to diffuse or dilute and apply topically to the chest and soles of the feet.
If you can get raw garlic into yourself or children some way possible - maybe its through an Oxymel, maybe in a herby pesto or in cases when my kids have been young I've put a small amount of olive oil on the sole of the foot and plastered some slices of garlic to the foot overnight. You can smell it on their breath in the morning!
If illness persists to the point of fever:
Keep the person relaxed (no rough play, errands, etc.)
Keep the person hydrated (as above)
Keep the person warm but with a cool flannel on the head.
Dilute a drop of peppermint essential oil and massage into the back of the neck and temples for a cooling effect
No TV/screen time (your brain needs this capacity for healing), Books are ok
If the person can eat, clear brothy soups like chicken or vegetable soup, fresh pressed juices or fruit are good options
No Fever, but the illness progresses:
Continue to support your immune system by doing everything in “The First Signs of Illness”
Take this time to rest. Check in with yourself and see if stress or emotional upset could be the root cause. Addressing these issues is so important as they will manifest as physical symptoms in the body.
Continue to care for your body and get good sleep even after you are feeling better. It is easy to want to jump up and party as soon as the fever breaks. Knowing that even after cold and flu symptoms have subsided the body is still working with a less than par immune system. There is a variety of bugs that go around with the season and a healthy body and mind is the key preventive from becoming a host.
I hope this helps you and your family stay well over the winter months. If you have any questions I'm more than happy to help you out. This is by no means an exhaustive list of potential remedies but if you don't have a illness protocol its a good place to start!
Feeling empowered in your home to help yourself and your family when you are run down is a huge step in the right direction. Wishing you a healthy winter ahead!!