I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on TV.
However, I'd prefer to be proactive rather than reactive. Thus I offer the things that I do so that the kids and I stay healthy - especially during flu season. *
I run a humidifier all winter season in both mine and the girls' bedrooms. Winter air or the heater in our house dries out mucous membranes. Germs can attach and hold on easier to dry membranes.
I LOVE my Neti Pot. I can't say enough good things about it. During allergy season or otherwise, it flushes out the sinuses of germs and allergens. I haven't tried it with my daughters yet but for them I use a saline spray.
Oil of Oregano
When I do begin to feel congested, I will begin taking Oil of Oregano to prevent infection. I also consult with my homeopath about which remedy to take to clear out the congestion. Thankfully, Oil of Oregano and homeopathy have saved me from needing antibiotics for quite some time.
A homeopathic remedy that helps if anyone in my house begins to show signs of the flu: body aches, fever, chills. If any of us begin to feel flu-ish, I will also give this remedy to the rest of us as a preventative.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another great natural remedy for a ton of different uses. When I feel a sore throat coming on, I will add a little apple cider vinegar in water and gargle. Apple Cider Vinegar kills bacteria in the throat. Also, if I feel achy from too much exercise or being flu-ish, I will add 2 cups of ACV to a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes or more. It helps to pull toxins from the body. Love this stuff.
Sambucol is black elderberry syrup. Lately, I've noticed more generic elderberry syrups at the store. One of my favorite remedies, Sambucol was written up in an article on WebMD about how it fights the flu. Sometimes, I add it to smoothies or I add other dark berries (blueberries, acai, pomegranate) and other fruits high in antioxidants. (Love Welch's black cherry grape juice. Yum.)
I have given this remedy at the first sign of a cold in my daughters and it chases it away. A few sneezes + a few doses of Sambucol = COLD BE GONE! I will rely on a Sambucol/Oscillococcinum protocol should the flu make an appearance in our house this year.
I use this all year long. My homeopath told me that one way to fight allergies is healthy doses of vitamin C. I also drink lots of extra water when I'm taking extra vitamin C.
I make sure all of us take a multivitamin and fish oils (omegas). I take extra vitamin D and a calcium/magnesium supplement. We drink Kefir or take acidophilus pearls to keep our digestive systems functioning well. A healthy digestive system goes a long way!
I saw on The Dirt Doctor (local organic gardening expert)'s website that "Drinking warm liquids... wash(es) off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm." So hot tea or hot lemonade with honey is definitely in order this winter season too!
I do what I can to keep our immune systems strong so that we are less likely to be down for long if any one of us does fall ill. If these items don't help, I have a homeopath and wonderful doctor that we love! Our homeopath is a long time friend whom I met while studying homeopathy. And our medical doctor also studies homeopathy so... we get each other. I am blessed to have both of them in my arsenal.
The girls and I hug, love, eat balanced meals, eat sweets in moderation, laugh, snuggle and play to stay healthy too! Gotta stay strong!
Because when a single parent falls ill, who's gonna take care of us??
*Note: these are tried and true remedies that I use at home. Please check with your doctor if you may possibly have allergies or reactions to any of the above items.