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With all the news reports filled with outbreaks of illness across the world, my mind has been on how to be prepared for viral infections. It appears that it is going to be a doozy of a winter for illness. My inbox has been filling up with questions about viruses, so I thought I’d share a few things to help with viral infections.
(And before we go any further…I am not a doctor so please do not mistake my post for medical advice. If you, or your child, is seriously ill, please consult with a medical physician. If your child is struggling to breath, take them to the emergency room!)
First and foremost, PREVENTION is the best medicine, in my opinion. How do you prevent viral infections? We need to keep our immune system healthy.
In the fall I start to devote one week of doing consistent herbs for immune boosting. I give daily doses three times a day to help keep the kid’s systems up to par. If we have been exposed to illness or any sign of illness (I don’t even wait for illness, unexpected crankiness is enough for me) I will start on the immune boosting herbs and add elderberry.
My favorite immune system herbs:
My favorite supplements:
vitamin C (rose hips and hibiscus are a great source!)
Cod liver oil
Probiotics (in the form of cultured foods if possible)
This is a list of my favorite herbs to keep on hand:
If you don’t have these herbs on hands or can’t find them locally, Mountain Rose Herbs carries them. They are a great company with good quality products.
There are many more you can choose from, but these happen to be my favorite. Some because they are easy to use and don’t taste bad, others because I can use them in bathes and internally. And a few (olive leaf and oregano) are when I need to pull the big guns out for something persistent.
Are you now wondering how to use these herbs? Lots of ways!
2.) Teas and infusions. Seeping herbs in hot water (tea) for a few minutes or in cold water (infusion) over night can be sweetened with honey and lemon and drank throughout the day. For tea, I use a teaspoon or two per cup of dried herbs, for an infusion I use 1/4 cup for a quart of water.
3.) Baths are a great way to get herbs into little ones. I like to make a strong tea on the stove and then I just add it to the bath water. You can also bundle some herbs in a cheese cloth and tie it up with a rubber band and add that to the bath water. You can let it stay in there while the kids bathe.
My kids think ‘tea bathes’ are awesome….anytime your water is green, that’s pretty cool. 😉 Not only are they getting the herbs in, you are keeping them hydrated, which is very important during illness. (add some epsom salts too. )
My favorite blend for baths is 1 part lemon balm, 1 part yarrow, 1 part dried lavender.
4.) Poultices work well for garlic and onions. This is how I make garlic poultices. I love to use these for young ones to get those strong tastes into them with out a fight.
When it comes to dosing herbs, I like to dose in small amounts more frequently than bigger doses.
If you are dealing with chest congestion, check out these remedies that have worked for my family.
Another product that I have grown to love is a tincture called ASMA from Tri-Light Herbs. My youngest tended to have every cold turn into a chest issue. I decided he needed to build his lungs up and I used this formula….we have not had that problem since. (I do dose him when he had a cold to help prevent lung issues)
Essential oils are another way to help with viral illnesses. I personally don’t use oils internally, but I like to use them to diffuse and when they are diluted down, I apply to the chest, back and feet.
Anti Viral Oils:
I like to use oils for cleaning my home, keeping the air clean and diffusing. I am cautious with my oils and please, I can’t say it enough, make sure you are diluting them. Not sure how? This is a useful post about dilution.
With that in mind, some of the viral infections going around now are very fast moving and very serious. If you are going to attempt to use herbs and supplements to help with a viral infection you have to be persistent and on top of using them. If your child is in distress, seek medical attention. When in doubt we should always seek help.
(Use that phone service your doctor has…my office is great about telling me if I need to bring my kids in or if it’s okay to wait it out)
And I am always up for learning, tell me some of your favorite ways to help prevent viruses and bugs?