Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Ounce of Prevention

Last weekend Campbell’s Nutrition, our locally owned natural food store, hosted a 75th anniversary celebration.  I took my little two, and we enjoyed guilt-free food samples from a variety of vendors.  This was a special treat for my kiddos because they are d-free and normally don’t get to eat samples!  I also got to meet Jenny from Jenuinely Pure in person.  We have emailed back and forth for the past few years but never met.  She was giving out sample for a body scrub that I may have to purchase for Christmas gifts in a couple of months!

While at Campbell’s, I decided to take advantage of a few sales to get ready for flu and cold season.  As much as I don’t want to think about it, soon we will be shutting up the house and will start passing around runny noses and fevers.  Yuck!  Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure that is how I prep our home for winter.


Multivitamins-Vitamins have been under debate for years.  We take food-based multis in the winter when the variety and quality of produce doesn’t give us the same vitamins and mineral as we would get in the summer.  Food-based vitamins contain powdered foods to increase absorption by the body.  The kids like Animal Parade and I like Nature's Plus and Rainbow Lite.

Essential Oils-We have been using eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil for the last couple of years.  I make a vapor rub with eucalyptus for congestion and a tummy rub with peppermint oil.  I add both oils to the kids’ bath water when they have coughs or colds.  It really clears them up.  I can add a few drops to a vaporizer or on their pillows to help keep them clear through the night.  Last month my oldest had a fever for 10 days that he could not shake.  I ended up purchasing Thieves Young Living essential oil which is both an antiviral and antibacterial essential oil.   His fever disappeared, and I am glad to go into winter with this versatile oil in the cupboard.

Herbal Teas-Since I was in grade school I have struggled during winters with tonsillitis and strep throat.   I really like Yogi Teas with honey when my throat starts to get scratchy.  I first bought the cold weather sampler, but Jordan and I both agree that our favorites are Echinacea Immune Support and Throat Comfort.  

Throat Lozenges-The rule at our house is that you have to have a cough that would keep you up at night to warrant getting a Zand throat lozenge.  The kids love them, and if they see them they will pretend to cough to get one.  J  I bought Elderberry and Zinc because it supports the immune system and they taste great.

Oscillicoccinum-I thought this was a little crazy, but I had it on hand last winter.  At the first symptoms of the flu last year both Jordan and my oldest son took Oscillicoccinum and were able to continue on with normal life the next day.  I will keep it on hand again this year.

Olive Leaf Complex-As I have said before I have trouble with my throat each winter.  Strep throat is super fun (hear my sarcasm) because there is a waiting game to see if it viral or bacterial.  Different doctors play it differently.  Some make you wait for test results before prescribing medicines, and some give an Rx even though it might be viral.  Olive leaf complex is both antibacterial and antiviral and is great for strep throat.  I have used it several times and been very impressed!

Onions and Garlic-I will use these as much as I can while cooking this winter especially in soups and stews.  I have to hide onion from the pickier eaters at our house so I buy a bag of frozen chopped onion and add a little to our meals.  We like garlic and I have some late garlic growing in my garden.

Garlic oil works wonders for ear infections.  Like strep throat, ear infections may be viral or bacterial; prescriptions are not useful for viral.  I started using garlic oil for my second son’s ear infections when he was around 6 months old and had been on a few rounds of antibiotics with no end in sight.  (Kids with dairy issues often have ear issues because dairy increases mucus secretions and the fluid builds up in their ears.)   When I first started using garlic oil I bought it at Campbell’s, but then started making my own.  I use it whenever I suspect an ear infection coming on.  Since I started using it three years ago my son who once was on a cycle of antibiotics for ear infections has only been on antibiotics once.   My son smells like the Olive Garden for a few days, but it is worth it to me.


Recipe for Garlic Oil

1/4 cup olive oil or sweet oil

4 cloves garlic finely minced

Put in a pan on low heat and let warm for 15-20 min ~ the idea is not to cook the garlic but to release the oils. Strain into a jar (preferably glass-I just used a baby food jar) and let cool. Drop 2-3 drops in each ear 2 or 3 times a day and put a small bit of cotton in the ear. The infection should clear up in a day or two. The mixture will keep in your fridge for 3 - 4 days then you will need to make a fresh batch. I don't put cold oil in the ears, but warm it up in a hot water bath first!

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