Yes. Flu season. If you are anything like me you’ve been watching the news and seeing reports of this being the worst. flu.season.ever. One year I went into full panic mode because sickness hit our home (not me) in the form of vomiting. I rarely use bleach because I believe it to cause more harm than good but I bleached things like a maniac. I also threw these cheap couch pillows into our washing machine which resulted in the pillow stuffing coming out and clogging said washing machine. I try not to panic so much these days. Or as my husband would say, “Easy, easy.”

My husband recently left a job in the healthcare system so I had even more of an inside look at how bad the flu has been this year. I am, by no means a medical expert but I have some ideas about WHY the flu is so infectious and contagious. Being that the flu shot is said to give only 10% effective protection against the flu this year…..I think I’ll go with some great all natural immune boosters and remedies that I’ve seen great results with in years prior. I’d love to share some of the natural remedies we use and things we do in our house to boost our immune systems, avoid sickness and/or cut sickness in half when it hits us.

Essential Oils

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I started using essential oils a few years ago at the prompting of my sister and my mom. They are both incredibly knowledgeable in the use of essential oils from trial and error. I too have learned so much over the years by educating myself. (my goal is to eventually get my aromatherapy license, YAY)

I will say this: USE them with caution. I learned the hard way that cinnamon (pictured above) is POTENT. I burned my legs when I stupidly made a lotion with this oil in it. I BURNED my legs. Do your research! Seriously, oils are so potent. Don’t mess around with these things.  You need to be informed as in all things. Test oils on your skin in very tiny amounts. Always use a carrier a oil such as almond, fractionated coconut oil, grape seed etc. and google the heck out of how much you should dilute your oils.

Pictured above is my immunity blend of cinnamon and clove, 2-5 drops cinnamon, 10 drops clove and the rest almond oil in a roller ball. Start with 1 drop of cinnamon and test the blend, then use more if you don’t react. Clove and cinnamon both have incredible antibacterial properties which can boost your body’s ability to FIGHT off sickness. I have the husband roll this on my spine every night, as well as my feet and I roll it behind my ears down my glands towards my collarbone. I purchased my rollerball bottles here.

I also diffuse my own immunity blend. I played around with a blend of clove, cinnamon, sweet orange, peppermint, and tea tree. Tea tree is a potent anti-fungal, antibacterial, disinfecting storm trooper of an oil. I purchase most of my oils through Voyageur Soap and Candle, a Canadian wholesale company located in BC. I know there is a lot of debate about the quality of essential oils, some being superior than others. I believe that to be true and that is why some are more expensive than others. That being said, I love this company. Their oils are therapeutic grade, affordable and I’ve always had excellent results using them.

Supplements

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I love my supplement drawer! It’s taken me years to build this supply (as with my oils) because supplements ain’t CHEAP. That being said, my go to supplements for boosting immunity during flu season or for when I start to feel run down are these garlic pillsoil of oregano soft gels, and these probiotics. You can use any brand of garlic pills, oil of oregano and probiotics. These are just the ones I use. Garlic is another GREAT anti-fungal as well as anti-inflammatory.

Quoted from Dr.’s Health Press online about oil of oregano:

Oregano oil contains high amounts of phenols, which are natural photochemical compounds (compounds produced by plants) that provide antioxidant effects. The two main phenols found in oregano oil are:

Thymol: A natural fungicide that helps boost the immune system, protect against toxins, prevent tissue damage, and speed up the healing process for injuries. Carvacrol: Helps fight against certain bacterial infections such as salmonella, candida, aspergillus mold, and listeria—just to name a few.

I have seen amazing results with just garlic and oil of oregano combined. When I start to feel sick or want a boost, I take 2 capsules of each every 4-6 hours. *When I had mastitis I would take just garlic every 2 hours and knocked that mastitis outa the park! My crazy, brave sister minces fresh cloves of garlic and washes it down with water, EVERY day! She’s my hero. *A tip for stomaching oil of oregano-the oil straight up is the most effective. Capsules work really well too and I freeze mine so that they go down easier =)

Probiotics are essential for restoring and maintaining gut health. When we start to get sick our bodies are totally out of whack, essentially our guts! Probiotics will only help get things back on track. Also, if you aren’t a fan of antibiotics like me, but find that you have to take them for something, always follow with a strong dose of probiotics. I had GBS when I was pregnant and was required to have strong hospital antibiotics so I purchased some potent strains of probiotics to offset any damage the other medicine would do. (As it turned out, I didn’t end up having antibiotics and my son was born completely healthy!)

 Chiropractic Care

I didn’t grow up seeing a Chiropractor and it wasn’t until our first year of marriage that I began to see one. I was in incredible pain from a car accident that had happened years prior. My husband grew up receiving chiropractic care so he was a big part in convincing me. All it took was one adjustment and I was SOLD. My body has never responded so WELL to something as it has with Chiropractic. Say what you will about it being quacky-it works for our family. Our chiro is incredibly old school and doesn’t use ANYTHING but his hands and body. It worked wonders for me during my pregnancy and I believe it brought on incredibly swift labour for me, at 39 weeks. We go once a month, all three of us or whenever we feel run down. Apart from a mild fever and congestion baby boy had around 2 months, he’s never had any other sickness. Any time he’s exhibited signs of feeling unwell, that is where we head to first. He’s never been on antibiotics and I hope in this lifetime he will rarely need them. I really believe it’s chiropractic care that has set him up so well! But do your research and decide what is best for you and your family. I love my chiro’s motto, that, “God has given us everything we need within our bodies, to get better!” AMEN.

Bone Broth, hot baths and not medicating fever!

It sounds crazy to not take pain meds when you have a yucky fever, right? Well, the science behind that is fevers are actually useful in fighting off infection in the body. It’s a balance though because I do find myself reaching for a pain reliever if my fever is high enough that I’m too uncomfortable to sleep. I have found when I push through the fever without meds I’m able to monitor how I’m really feeling and give my body a chance to heal naturally. When I let myself ride out a fever I’m more prone to REST because I don’t feel good. When I’m taking a pain reliever the symptoms of fever are masked by the pain reliever which results in me NOT resting. I also swear by a good, hot bath with essential oils and epsom salt. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium which aids the body in fight inflammation! Bone broth is an amazing food to consume all year around but especially during flu season. It promotes healthy immune system function along with so many other benefits! It also feels good to sip a hot cup of bone broth when your throat feels sore. My mom consumes bone broth on the daily and attributes it to boosting her health immensely. When baby boy has run a low grade fever, I’ve waited it out to see how he does and if he’s appearing uncomfortable I have used tylenol. It’s a balance people!

*I’m not advising that you don’t treat fever in infants. Always consult with your pediatrician when it comes to fever in infants.

Staying Home

I tread carefully as I write this because I know not everyone feels this is realistic. I’m really careful what I expose baby boy to.  We stay home 90% of the time right now, especially during the height of flu season. I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom so I can do this. But you may have 4 kids and feel like you are going to lose your mind if you stay home one.more.day. It’s all a balance right? Right now, baby boy is little and I’m building his immune system. I was able to give him breastmilk for the first 12 weeks of his life which was wonderful. Now, I have to be more intentional about what I expose him to. For me, it’s worth it to stay home and be boring, to avoid sickness right now. I also really believe in sleep training which has been such a gift for our little guy (and for us!!!). He sleeps really well and we all know how crucial sleep is to health! That being said, you do what is right and what works for your family. That is important!

*I’m not medical expert and I’m not advising anyone to refrain from conventional medicine. I also would never abstain from seeking medical treatment for my infant son should he require it.

In closing, I hope you found some useful tips here. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep and cutting out stress are also HUGE factors in having a strong immune system. It’s a LOT of work to be healthy and stay healthy using natural methods. Every night I pray good health over my son. I pray a happy, healthy winter season for everyone out there. Feel free to comment with your favourite natural remedies and immune boosters that you use during flu season or any time of the year =)

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