Cold and Flu Season

Natural Drug-Free Solutions for Maintaining Good Health, Boosting Immunity and Addressing Illness during the Cold and Flu Season

Vibrant health is a lifestyle that requires continuous maintenance. In US, moms are the primary consumers of healthcare and guardians of health for their families. The goal of this article is to give moms specific tools for preventing and managing illness during the cold and flu season.

Letís start with some basic preventative measures: sleep and exercise.

Adequate sleep regenerates the body and helps build immunity. Sleep also plays a role in brain development, learning and memory. Teaching children good sleeping habits early on can prevent illness and improve their ability to focus in school. Unlike adults, children who donít get enough sleep donít act tired. Instead, they become more active than normal, and may have difficulty paying attention and behaving properly.

Teaching children fitness from an early age has been shown to improve learning skills, motivation, alertness, and attention. Aerobic exercise, like jumping, running, swimming and bicycling, has been shown to build new brain cells! The best time to exercise is in the morning, before the start of school or work.

Studies also show that sugar and probiotics play a role in your family membersí immune function.

Sugar has been shown to suppress the immune system and lower our bodiesí defenses against infection. Healthy subjects who were given carbohydrates from sugar, fructose (a sweetener found in soda), orange juice and honey all showed a decrease in their immune cellsí ability to detect and destroy bacteria. Eliminating or significantly reducing sugar, sweets, juice and soda is a great first step to boosting your familyís immune function.

Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines, reduce the occurrence of fever, cough, and runny nose. These beneficial bacteria are found in cultured and fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, aged cheese, brine-cured pickles, sauerkraut, shoyu, tamari, tempeh and kimchi. Incorporating these foods into your familyís diet can help to improve their immune function.

In combating illness, try a Magic Sock treatment or an Onion Poultice.

Magic Socks are an overnight treatment for reducing fevers, alleviating headaches, and improving sleep. It is also very effective in reducing sinus and chest congestion. Directions: At bedtime, wet a pair of thin, cotton socks in cold water, wring out well, and put on. Cover with heavy wool socks and climb into bed. Socks will be warm and dry in morning!

An Onion Poultice is an onion mash, thatís applied to the chest to improve circulation, ease an incessant cough, treat bronchial inflammation, and loosen mucus and congestion. Directions: Sautť or steam 2-3 thinly sliced onions in a small amount of distilled water until transparent. Fold the onion mash into several layers of cheesecloth or similar natural fiber cloth. Apply to chest as hot as can be tolerated and cover with a towel to keep heat in. Leave poultice on for 20-30 minutes. Remove, gently dry the chest and tuck patient into bed to rest.