'Tis the season ~ colds, coughs, croup, measles, tuberculosis, meningitis...fun!
Yes, each of those is in our town right now, and probably in yours too!
So, what can a parent do to help their little ones' (and their own) immune systems, besides rest, hydration and a good diet (limit those sugars!)?
Here are my top 10 ways to boost a child's (or anyone's) immune system:
(*consult your physician before the use of any of these supplements / products.)
1. Vitamin D
We Southern Californian's think this is never an issue, however we'd truly have to be in our bathing suits for many hours to absorb a good mega dose of this stuff, especially during the winter.
My favorite is D3 Serum, because it was recommended to me by my beloved superfood gurus, who explain that:
"only one specific source of D3 has met all four of our criteria:
(1) it is live source,
(2) has no toxic tagalongs,
(3) tests onto all four polarities, and
(4) it tests so strong that its biofield cannot be stress-tapped off even at 100+ stress-taps. (As a point of reference, we have found that the biofield of even the best organically grown American food typically stress-taps off at only 5 stress-taps.)"
One drop of this Gold has 1000 IU, and it tastes like olive oil, which my kids love!
2. Reishi Mushroom Powder
Reishi Mushroom has long been a prized immunity booster and adaptogen (a natural substance that increases the body's resistance to stressors and helps normalize the body) in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This powder can easily and discreetly be added to smoothies or teas.
Iodine? Yes, this iodine.
Iodine is a vital mineral that many well-fed people are deficient in! The superfood gurus' site says:
"Dr. David Brownstein, a leading Iodine researcher, has found that 96% of the population is deficient in this essential mineral. Iodine is critical for proper development and function of our glandular system, intellectual capacity, and immune function just to name a few.
Iodine is essential for our body to protect itself from saturation of contaminants such as radioactive isotopes, and toxic halogens such as flouride, chlorine, and bromine ever prevelant in our water, food and environment."
4. Magnesium Gel
Another vital mineral that many, many people are deficient in! A good friend of mine suffered from chronic migraines for 15 years, and even the strongest prescription her doc could give her did nothing. The only thing that made a difference was Magnesium! It is amazing for any kind of muscle cramp.
"Magnesium is a critical macro nutrient for human health. It is essential to more than 350 cellular processes, some of which include muscle & nerve function, heart rhythm, and peristalsis (muscular contractions of the digestive system). To be deficient in magnesium guarantees a sub-optimal level of health. Severe lack of magnesium can seriously impair all bodily functions.
Magnesium is a major component of your muscles and bones, with approximately 50% of total body magnesium stored in the bones. Magnesium is required for your body to properly absorb and regulate calcium, and thus maintain strong bones & ligaments.
Healthy levels of magnesium maintain cellular communication in the body. A deficiency of magnesium causes a disturbance to the flow of this electricity through the nervous system, producing a great deal of pain and illness." (rrsuperfoods.com)
The body does not assimilate oral magnesium very well - the best route is topical, so I adore my superfood gurus' Magnesium Gel with Aloe Vera in it. I smear some on the kids' feet and hands after they fall asleep, since they detest anything topically applied.
5. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
All Omega-3 supplements are definitely NOT created equal. After much research on Green Pasture's fermented cod liver oil (FCLO), theirs is the only one our family takes. Unlike many Omega-3 supplements, their FCLO is cold-processed throughout fermentation so it retains its high levels of fat-soluble vitamins and Omega-3's.
Green Pasture's site says, "many of the great historical cultures had one sacred food which they relied on to ensure strong mind, body, and spirit; fermented fish/fish liver oil. The Might Roman Soldier was given a daily ration of fermented fish oil. The Stoic Scandinavian Viking had a drum of fermenting cod livers outside the door of his home. Grandma always had a bottle of cod liver oil in the back cupboard."
Green Pasture's has many different flavors, with varying reviews as far as kids go...the Cinnamon Tingle is apparently loved by many kids, but mine gagged. They will gladly gobble up the Chocolate Cream flavor, though, with a small piece of dark chocolate as a chaser. Fireman and I just take whatever flavor they won't take, so that none of it goes to waste (I'll admit I have to plug my nose, myself, with all the flavors).
We were introduced to FCLO after learning about traditional foods via the Weston A. Price Foundation, and it has become one of the handful of things we would take with us to a desert island....it's pricey but it's THAT important! It's also crucial for dental health and reversing tooth decay, which you can learn more about on the WAPF site.
6. Freshly Aired Out Home
This may seem like a given, but oftentimes folks keep their windows closed all day if it's cloudy or drizzly out. Open those windows up for at least 20 minutes a day, at least a crack, even if it's cold or rainy! Make it a part of your daily routine so you don't forget - I open all our upstairs windows after getting dressed in the mornings, and then close them when we head up for bathtime in the evenings.
Consider getting screendoors for your front and back doors...I didn't love the look of our wrought iron front screen door when we first purchased our home, but I quickly came to love its ability to offer safety, privacy AND a fresh breeze! Let the old, stagnant air be replaced by fresh, clean oxygen-rich air so that the bodies in your home don't have to function on stale air! Fresh air not only makes you happier and cleans your lungs, but it actually strengthens your immune system and helps digestion!
7. Essential Oils
While you're airing out your house, throw some essential oils in the mix! The positive effects of essential oils are pretty well-known these days, however their power is often underestimated. Diffusing or applying the right essential oils can strengthen immunity, lower stress and purify air.
For diffusing, I've really liked Plant Therapy's Germ Fighter (similar to Thieves'...warm, cozy, Christmas-y scent), as well as various combinations of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemon and Sweet Orange.
I have, and love, a large diffuser similar to this one pictured for our downstairs, and love the AuraCacia little scent ball room diffusers for bathrooms and bedrooms.
For topical application, I add a drop or two of Peppermint or Eucalyptus to 3 tablespoons of a 100% pure carrier oil like this Apricot Kernel Oil (i've used Coconut Oil or Olive Oil in a pinch), and rub it on my kids' soles and chest.
Any parent can learn some super effective and easy pressure points and massage to do on kids and themselves for illness. Kids Love Acupuncture is my favorite site, and I was grateful to learn her Pediatric Tuina Massage and Line Pressing on Finger for my kids' croupy coughs. It definitely seems to help quickly each time I've done it, and is a nice tool to have for those middle of the night coughing spells when they're too asleep to take anything orally.
During outbreaks of rarer illnesses especially, parents are left wondering how the heck they can protect their family. Homeopathy offers an astoundingly simple, affordable and powerful answer...not to mention the fact that kids love the tasty little pellets!
Enter your email in the form below to access my FREE Guide To Homeopathic Vaccination Alternatives, which contains not only the protocols for using them in lieu of vaccinations, but also for using them in conjunction with vaccinations. It also contains links and contact information for a Homeopath you can consult, as well as sites from which to learn more and purchase homeopathic remedies. It was an invaluable resource for me, and will be for you, too.
Laughter truly is the best medicine! Whenever I catch myself stressing about outbreaks or illness or anything else for that matter, I try to pause, take in the sight of my beautiful, happy, healthy children, say a quick prayer of gratitude, and then do something silly to get that gorgeous sound of laughter reverberating throughout our home and hearts.
What are your go-to immunity boosters? Have you tried any/all of the above? I'd love to hear!
Love, light and health ~