Flu Season is Coming! Everyone RUN AND HIDE!!! But really in all seriousness there are a few things that we can do to prepare for this time.
So here are a few ways we at the Rice family tries to combat and prepare for flu season.
Elderberry contains several healthful immune boosting properties, including antioxidants, tannins, vitamins A, B, and C, and flavonoids, just to name a few. There has been a study to show that elderberry also had treated/cured the flu faster then Tamiflu. (study here.) In addition, in a article on Science Daily it says, “”What our study has shown is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” said Dr Golnoosh Torabian.”
We have found Elderberry to be very popular in our local area, but one resource we have been getting our Elderberry GUMMIES from is: WILD ROOTS PANTRY. They have some amazing products and use Local ingredients (here in Oregon.)
At Wild Roots Pantry they use no added sugars (thats a PLUS!) which creates the purest form of elderberry syrup available on the market (extra PLUS!). Elderberry is effective on allergies, colds, and flu; also has been proven in its effectiveness in reducing severity of symptoms, as well as reducing length of illness by 2-4 days! (Super PLUS with kids and big families!)
Elderberry is for sure on the item list for helping my family stay healthy this flu season.
Wash your Hands
What seems like a “Duh” idea, actually is a huge way to help prevent all sicknesses. But, if you have littles like me, part of you might cringe when you think of all the places that your littles touch! I know I do! So washing your hands is great but to take it another step farther, I like to do two things, I am going to call these sub-categories of “washing-your-hands.”
- Teach your older kids to find ways to avoid touching high traffic spots. This is for sure out of the home but also in the home. Wiping down the handles of sink faucets, toilet handles and more can help to not only get germs at bay, but it can alsomake your bathroom nice and ready for the next user.
- Clean the door handles. At our house, we do what is called Daily Responsibilities (aka chores, I just like the name change haha, has a better ring and meaning to me). In the fall, one of the jobs is wiping down all the door handles in the house. We have this done at least once a day, each kid getting a turn. Our home is a high traffic home, with the number of living members and having an open door policy, as we LOVE to bring people into our home. Therefore wiping the door handles helps to keep germs away from our family and others.
It is important in preventing sickness to start the season healthy and make have healthy choices. Elements like getting enough rest (Huge! Especially for busy families!), eating healthy foods, and getting enough fluids to help your body be healthy when it runs into germs. And here is the hard one for us exercise. The reason I say it is hard, is because fall is upon us so less time outside playing, running around, and getting that “easy” exercise in. So creativity is the name of the game when it comes to family exercise during the fall and winter season. Exercise helps by sending white blood cells around the body to find those germ intruders and stop them in their tracks! I read, “Rita Beckford, MD, a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, which also cites studies that show that those who exercise four to five times a week are less likely to get colds or other viruses.” (source)
As my years of motherhood have increased so have my vitamins! We have been working hard to make this habit truly a preventable and healthy lifestyle choice. From doing a small amount of research, I found some fascinating information.
Here is a short break down of the illness/disease and deficiency:
Book source used in graphic: SOURCE, and taken from Dr. Sheri Tennpenny and Suzanne Humphries. In addition please note this is not defending or defusing vaccines, only to show the important of preventative care. Also I know I am from Oregon and so the whole Measles thing can be sensitive but look HERE even the vaccine makers say to treat with Vitamin A!
While below I provide a recommended vitamin list, some vitamins as you can see in the graphic above are SUPER helpful in preventing and fighting flu-like illnesses.
Vitamin D — I cannot say enough about. Here are some ways to get Vitamin D into your diet: salmon, canned tuna, shrimp, egg yolks, mushroom, and cheese. Also SUNSHINE is great!!! (Living in Oregon can be hard to get throughout the year). Supplements help with making sure we don’t get deficient in Vitamin D. The Mayo Clinic recommends “that adults get at least the RDA of 600 IU. However, 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D, from a supplement is generally safe, should help people achieve an adequate blood level of vitamin D, and may have additional health benefits.” In addition, Kids Health states,
- Babies younger than 1 year old need 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Baby formula has 400 IU per liter, so babies who drink at least 32 ounces of formula each day get enough. …
- Kids older than 1 year need 600 IU or more of vitamin D a day.
Vitamin A is another one that is a common deficiency when it comes to flu-like illnesses. However, have you ever tried to go buy Vitamin A for kids at the store? It is super hard to find. ParentingScience.com helps explain saying, “Vitamin A supplements are helpful for children who have a vitamin A deficiency. But most healthy, well-nourished kids don’t need supplements. And some kids may be getting too much vitamin A — consuming excessive levels of preformed vitamin A in liver, dairy products, fish oil, multivitamins, and certain vitamin-fortified foods.” Two main sources of vitamin A are animal and plant. (source)
If you are focusing on a healthy balanced diet vitamin A will be more than covered. Healthline.com says, “kids eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein to obtain adequate nutrition. These foods contain all of the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development in children. Overall, kids who eat a balanced diet that includes all food groups don’t usually need vitamin or mineral supplements.”
Lets take a quick look at what kinds of vitamins we should make sure are getting into our kiddos diet:
Here are a few graphics to help make sure you are having well balanced meals that are including all the vitamins covered:
GREAT VITAMIN AND MINERAL RESOURCE: SOURCE!
After we had our first kid, something changed in our view of what we put in our house. From what we used to clean with, what smells we had in our house, ways we chose to keep healthy, EVERYTHING CHANGED! (Isn’t funny how having kids can make you think so differently.)
There is so many ways we use oils in our house but lets stick to the topic at hand: FLU SEASON! Here are some practical ways we use our oils for preventing and healing from illness.
Diffuse!!! We diffuse constantly to help clean the air! It super helps with a family of 7 (plus two dogs!) …. Need a diffuser???? Head on over HERE**
**** I would like to remind if you haven’t heard before, for ALL essentials oils: avoid using a cold diffuser that runs continuously. Young Living diffusers have a set amount of time before turning off. Long-term, on-going exposure (e.g 45-60 minutes) to any essential oil stresses the liver’s detoxification pathways, particularly for young children.
Another way we use our oils for both parents and kiddos is STEAMY BATHWATER (or SHOWER).
Need some oils, head over HERE**
ANOTHER one of my husband’s favorite essential oil flu prevention is: Massaging in oils to the head, neck, and feet. I mean who wouldn’t like that (I say that sarcastically because anyone who knows me, knows I don’t like massages lol silly me).
Same oils as above and I would add Thieves! Are GREAT for rubbing on your feet before bed, and your spine! Darren says don’t for get the back too!
This next one is a MAKE or BREAK for us in during the flu season and that is we get a large bowl of hot water, for steam inhalation along with a few of essential oils. Our favorites are Lemon, Peppermint, and Thieves. Don’t forget to close your eyes 😉 For more effectiveness we put a a towel over our heads, making a tented area with the steam and our faces. And be prepared to CLEAR our your sinus! (Great for allergies too). We don’t use the towel technique with the kiddos.
Again IF you are interested we love our essential oils and HERE is a place you can snag some!
Here is a small break down of some essential oils and their helpfulness in preventing the flu:
Oils and their Benefits
|lemon||clears your nasal passages and allows for steady breathing|
|lavender||relieves stress, fatigue, depression, and headaches|
|peppermint||reduces coughs, sinusitis, and throat infections|
|thyme||has antibacterial activity to help fight respiratory infections|
|eucalyptus||reduces fevers and fights viruses|
|tea tree oil||inhibits bacteria and fights infections|
|chamomile||relieves cold and flu symptoms|
|clove (eugenol)||has antiviral and antifungal properties to clean surfaces or air|
|cinnamon||can clean surfaces or air|
|rosemary||is a nontoxic way to clean surfaces or air|
We are in the battle field right along with you, SO if you have any tips and tricks you have implemented into your household, we would LOVE to hear from you!!!!
*FDA disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.”
**I am not a medical professional, just a momma who through the Grace of God tries my very best to help my kiddos through prayer, vitamins and essential oils. Please consult your doctor before using essential oils!
***The links to Young Living Essential Oils is our direct link to purchase, there is NO extra cost to you, but helps our family continue to spread the message of Raising households that serve the LORD, so thank you!