Those two little words strike fear in the heart of mamas everywhere. In fact, many are afraid of influenza, and for good reason. American immunity is pretty much a figment of the imagination with our processed, trans-fatty diets full of sugar, GMOs, synthetic ‘vitamins and nutrients’, lab-made coloring and pesticides/herbicides/chemicals. Heck, the “heart-healthy” Cheerios is FULL of glyphosate (Round Up). Then add the highly virulent seasonal Flu shot that is chock full of neuro-toxic aluminum and mercury, you really can’t go wrong – with getting the Flu and every other sickness you can imagine during Flu season, that is. In fact, heavy metal or chemical toxicity can present as a bad cold or flu. (I know this from very personal experience.)
So here are some powerful things we either use or do during this crazy time of year known as flu season.
#1 Essential Oils
Frankincense I will use for just about anything, especially skin issues and sicknesses because of it’s antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral qualities. We dilute it with coconut oil and rub on the bottoms of feet and along the spine. Frankincense can also be used proactively. Dr. Axe suggests applying it (with a carrier oil) to the chest before going out and possibly being around others who are sick. I’ve yet to try this, but plan to this flu season. Oregano is also a potent natural antibiotic, but because of that potency we heavily dilute it IF we apply it topically.
Most everything else goes in the diffuser. I love to mix Frankincense, orange and lemon for a cozy, energizing, bug-butt-kicking blend. If we have coughs, phlegm or breathing issues going on, I’ll add Frankincense to Breathe Ease and Sacred Immune Strength (or Flu Time, whichever smell I’m preferring, but I usually always prefer the Immune Strength 😉 ). It is more of a fresh, clean smell. Adding a drop or two of oregano doesn’t seem to hurt the overall scent too much, and the benefits are so great it’s worth putting up with anyway!
There’s so much to essential oils, but I’ve found people are often afraid of them. First off, there are no regulations on EO companies. Any one of them can claim ‘organic’, ‘pure’, ‘natural’, etc. without a thing backing or verifying those words. That is a super good reason to be afraid, and to do tons of unbiased research. There are good companies, but probably just as many bad ones. I’ve used several, and one in specific, I like their oils, however a Holiday blend gave me my first ever migraine (which calls to question the purity), and I could never vouch for the company after ways they treated me as an advocate for them. So after plenty of our own unbiased research on both the integrity of the company and the purity of the oils, hubby and I have happily settled with Rocky Mountain Oils.
*Keep in mind I am not an EO expert or aromatherapist. This is not a recommendation regarding what you should use, it is an honest, behind-the-scenes look at what my family does. Always talk to your functional medicine or holistic doctor, or aromatherapist if you have any questions or concerns.*
Some of my Favorite Things for EOs
VicTsing diffuser – Friends, I. love. this. We had a smaller diffuser for a couple years actually, and I still recommend ones like this one for a child’s room or bathroom, but it can’t even begin to keep up with this powerhouse. Fill it up with filtered water, add oils to the water and plan on diffusing AND humidifying the house for a whole day. I’m still shocked how well this thing works. AND it’s gorgeous. Win win. 😉
Wooden EO Box – I was so sick of having oils all over my kitchen island or bathroom counters because the basket I was storing them in was too full. We finally gave in and started searching for options actually built to store them. This box is gorgeous, well built, holds 60 EO bottles (5 or 15 mL), and has extra storage for larger items. It keeps them safe from light and grubby toddler fingers. 😉 These were the runners up:
3 Drawer Oil Box – Hubby really liked this one, but it had too much storage for us right now, being able to hold 75 bottles. It doesn’t have the compartment for larger items either, which was a deal breaker for me.
SOLIGT Briefcase Box – This one holds a lot of oils too, plus it has specific spots for roller ball oils. It also doesn’t have the same kind of space for larger items though, like lotions or other holistic items, which is why we went with the first box.
#2 Immune Support
These are some proactive things we do before getting sick, at the beginning and throughout flu season.
We use the Herb Pharm brand. This is the kids version that I’ve used a lot with my little guy and I swear by it. Even after symptoms show up, it’s a great immune support.
We buy Systemic Formula’s Vitamin D3 drops from our chiropractor/NRT practitioner. It has the essential Vitamin K2 in it, so your body can actually use the Vitamin D. Being in WNY, we definitely don’t get nearly the sun exposure that we need, especially during flu season, so this is an essential supplement for health Fall through Spring. I’ve also taken Wegmans brand Vitamin D capsules and they did seem to help my levels when my midwife was watching them during my last pregnancy. (This was probably due to the fact that I was following Dr. Weston A. Price’s recommendations and eating lots of real butter, which is a good source of vitamin K2).
I’ve heard good things about Fire and Kettle bone broths, however it’s extremely NOT cost effective for us. So instead I use any grass-fed bones I can get my hands on to make dark, flavorful broth. For Thanksgiving we bought a 15lb. naturally raised, non-GMO fed turkey from a beloved local butcher. The meat was delicious and I got 24 cups of stock out of it! We split the bones, got two crock-pots going, added zero-water filtered water, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, bay leaves, sage, onions, and organic garlic and carrots. Mmmmm. We also got a bunch of soup bones with the half, grass-fed cow we bought in December. For chicken broth I use non-gmo fed whole chickens from the same local butcher. So good.
Probiotic Rich Foods/Supplements
We use Standard Processes Lact Enz, which is a probiotic with a digestive enzyme. (We get that at our chiro’s office or a local acupuncturist who carries the line). I’ve also used Dr. Axe’s probiotic. There are some good ways to get them naturally from your diet, however the foods high in probiotics are generally fermented.
Foods High in Probiotics
- Raw, organic sauerkraut – my Dr. made some homemade kraut that was awesome. I could eat it by the forkful. I also like the brand Jacob’s Raw that we get at Wegmans.
- Kombucha – I personally HATE vinegar. This drink tastes and smells like it, so I don’t drink it. 😛
- Kefir – this has to be organic, from grass-fed cows or goats, if you want any real benefits. Or you can make your own with raw milk or coconut water.
- Coconut kefir – I’ve heard this isn’t as high in probiotics as regular kefir, and have yet to find some to try it myself.
- Yogurt – again, only buy organic, grass-fed, unsweetened yogurt, for any real benefits. (Add some raw honey or organic maple syrup!)
- Raw cheese – organic, grass-fed, raw cheese is so good for you. Pasteurization destroys the probiotics.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – this is not for me. See Kombucha above. 😉 If you like oil and vinegar on a salad though, reach for this!
#3 Real Food
This is a no-brainer to anyone at all versed in the vast differences regarding what we humans call “food”. Real food is basically organically grown or raised (NO pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, etc., in or on it), and it is going to nourish your body rather than create or encourage inflammation, immune responses (auto-immune diseases) and mutations (cancer).
We buy beef from a local farmer who exclusively grass feeds their cattle, even to finish. Red meat is nothing to be afraid of and is actually very healthful, IF it’s grass-fed and organic. Conventionally raised beef (and other meats in the grocery store) are generally corn-finished. At least 88% of all corn grown in America is genetically modified to contain the pesticide Round Up IN it. Organic corn is more expensive. You can bet your life the only corn fed to your conventionally raised beef is GMO. Add in the hormones, antibiotics and other processes the poor animal goes through before ending up on your plate, and you have a killer recipe for inflammation, cancer, auto-immune diseases – especially those of the gut like Crohn’s, and more.
Organic veggies, fruits, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions, ancient grains and flours like spelt, millet and kamut, and (minimal) natural sweeteners like raw honey and organic maple syrup all count as real food. If we are around someone sick, or feel something coming on, we cut out sweeteners entirely as sugars naturally feed infection.
Yes, organic is usually more expensive. However, you’re going to pay one way or the other – to keep your health now, or later trying to get it back. Local, grass-fed 1/2 or 1/4 cows are more costly upfront, but overall buying in bulk saves money and ends up cheaper than buying organic meat (that’s often lower quality and still fed corn and soy) at the store. Check local farmers and price them out. There was a thousand dollar difference between farmers we talked to, even only miles apart. Buying into an organic CSA can save costs on veggies and fruit, sometimes even meat. There are many ways to eat well even on a budget.
This has surprised me at how amazingly well it works. After we redid the flooring upstairs (stain and poly), the off-gassing was excruciating. We closed it off from the downstairs, opened windows, put an air filter up there and prayed. 😉 It was still giving me horrible headaches, extreme sinus drainage and sneezing, and making me nauseous. I put this ozone generator up there before leaving for an appointment and ran it for about an hour (the timer goes to 3 hours). Came home and could not believe my nose. The smell was almost entirely gone, and I could be up there without having symptoms at all.
It’s touted to work the same with viruses, bacteria, bugs, mold, house plants, etc. 😛 The ozone suffocates everything that needs oxygen to live. Including you, so do NOT run it while you, hubby, kids, pets, house plants, etc. are in the area. We make it a rule to be leaving the house for at least several hours before starting it, and make sure to give at least 45 minutes after it shuts off for some breathable air to come back in. 🙂
#5 Garlic – raw or cooked
I know I mentioned this with Real Food, but it really does deserve a category all to itself.
Garlic is potent stuff. Just ask any wife who’s husband ate a plate of garlic knots then wants to kiss her. 😉 Look at some of the things it can do:
- Detox heavy metals from the body, like mercury and aluminum (ask me how I know). I believe this is a huge reason why it’s tied to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
- Prevent heart disease
- Fight cancer
- Lower high blood pressure
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Prevent colds and the flu
I had a serious viral infection the year before my pregnancy with my first born. Along with other supplements from our NRT Dr, I did raw garlic on slices of fresh, organic tomatoes. I would swear by the benefits of this “God food”. It never ceases to amaze me how many natural substances God gave us that are so healing and beneficial to our bodies. And not just during the dreaded ‘Flu Season’. 😉
So there you have it, our top 5 ways to keep healthy during flu season. I’m sure there are tons more amazing options, and I love to keep learning and improving what we do. Share with us below – what are the top natural ways you help your family stay healthy through flu season?
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