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Is it the Season to Get Sick?

In the middle of the night the other night, my husband gave a start and gasped.  What was it?  Did we forget to close the front/garage door again?  Did he forget to finish something at work?  "What's wrong?" I asked him.  "Nothing.  My throat just really hurts," he said. 

The next day, I got a voice mail that said, "I think I'm coming down with something."  Over the past couple of days, I see my husband drinking glassfuls of water mixed with the Target-brand Airborne or EmergenC, trying to boost his immunity to ward off autumnal germs.  Over the past couple of days, the girls' noses have become drippier and their noses sound stuffier.  I hand them gummi vitamins (also the Target-brand) ever morning.  Not sure if it helps but .... Aw man!  Staying healthy is so important!

Have you and your families managed to stay in good health?  Or, has return of cold winds and school season brought runny noses, coughs, or maybe fevers?  Are there homeopathic remedies or naturopathic treatments you use?  Vitamins to prevent further sickness?  And, when they're sick, how do you make them feel better?


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For the adults in the family, we use VitaBiotic and Emergeny-C whenever an illness is first showing itself in anyone in the house. For Mila, we are liberal with chewable Vitamin C tabs while there is illness in the house (not all the time). For Gael, we just kind of hope for the best but he is still a breastfed little guy so he has that going for him.

I started using VitaBiotic on the advice of a naturopath a few years ago and I have to say that it has really been effective in fending off illness. Although it can be used as a daily supplement, I only use it when there is illness in the house or I feel something coming on. They have it at New Seasons and Wild Oats.

Thanks for the recommendation. Your blog posting could have been about us this past week, and all it took was my little boy's first day at preschool. The Emergen-C packs have been working great for me, but my husband picked up the virus and and has felt pretty awful all winter. With a new baby due in Nov., I worry that we'll be sick twice as much with two kids. Before kids, I was only used to getting about one or two colds a year. It's hard on us adults being sick so much, especially when you have little ones to take care of. --Karli

P.S. Meant to see all week, not all winter, in the posting above.

We always run down to the grocery store and get an Odwalla Superfood smoothie. My 3 yr old son calls it "Moose Juice"--I guess because it is green?? We've found it often wards off a threatening cold!

I have been doing the following the moment my 2 yr old has gotten a fever/cold in the past 5 months and the illness goes away in 24 hours:
-His regular daily vitamins (We use Nordic Berries, get them at Wild Oats)
-1/2 of a chewable 500 mg Vit C
-The recommended drops per day of "Eclectic Kids" Echinacea and Goldenseal
I really believe that last one is how he gets through it so quickly. He's been burning with fever and instead of tylenol, I gave him these drops in his juice three times a day, and his fever came down in 12 hours. I think boosting the immune system has done wonders compared to giving him a treatment for the symptoms of a cold, such as tylenol.
P.S. I've done a similar regimen for my husband and I's colds and have the same effect: quick and clean recovery.
Good luck!

We don't have specific treatments for most bugs going around, but I think that for preventing illness, it's worth going back to the basics: good diet including enough fluids, plenty of rest, and good hygiene.

Ok, good diet means plenty of fruits and veggies, and no, my kids don't clamor to eat their broccoli. But if I eat it, at least I'm not sick myself while trying to take care of them. And I often make lists (I'm a compulsive list-maker) of the fruits and veggies my kids WILL eat (dried pineapple, watermelon, fresh tomatoes, edamame) and then try to incorporate those into our meals and snacks.

Plenty of rest--hard to get for little ones and adults sometimes, but if you feel yourself getting sick it pays to head to bed early for a few nights.

Good hygiene means training kids to cough and sneeze into their elbow (better than using their hands to cover their mouths) and washing hands A LOT. Hand washing is the single best way to prevent transmitting diseases from the common cold to those nasty stomach bugs. Most people (me included) don't wash their hands often enough or thoroughly enough.

And here's my one trick to contribute: if you're coming down with a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water. You can teach kids to do this once they're old enough to gargle--I made my 8-year-old do it two days ago. This really does work.

Oh, and for comforting a sick kid (or spouse) who is achy, we have a couple of heating pads that really help people feel better.

I also am a VitaBiotic fan. I've been using it for years....I first learned about it while going to chiropractic school. For the kids I make sure they each eat one kiwi a day during the winter (lots of vitC) and take it easy on dairy.

Last year I invested in several (like a dozen) pairs of gloves. I noticed that even though I was vigilant about washing hands, the little ones were still touching their faces with gloves whenever we were outside. So now I keep a basket full of clean gloves by the door where we leave the house each morning. I make sure they get a clean pair each day and the dirty ones go into the wash when we are done being outside for the day. (Sometimes I even change them when we get home from preschool). I have to tell you, that made a huge difference for our family last year. That and crazy hand washing!

If they do get sick, I find if I elevate the heads of their beds a little, run the vaporizer and put Vicks on their chests, they seem to be able to sleep really well and get over it quickly.

I have an in-home playschool for the pre-preschool set, so runny noses pretty much come with the package, but I've picked up all sorts of tricks along the way to limit the bugs as much as I can. Keeping everyone hand-washing all of the time is the most important thing. My husband likes the airborne stuff, but it has never worked for me. I like zycam, which is also safe for kids three and up, so I just started using it on my daughter with great results.

For the grown-ups, a somewhat less pleasant, but extremely effective trick is eating raw garlic. I always make sure I have a full glass of water and a slice of bread ready for this one and just peel a big clove, pop it, chew it up (you have to chew it. I don't know why, but you do.) and wash it down with the bread and water. I have a fairly strong physical reaction immediately whenever I do this, but I swear it works.

A friend of mine just told me recently that apples are natural fever reducers as well. I haven't had the chance to test that one out for myself, but she's been bringing down her eight year old's fevers with apples for years.

And cod liver oil...our grandmothers knew what they were talking about!

This lovely, fun, and wonderful video helped us teach our two-year-old how to cough & sneeze into her elbow. We sing the song together all the time.


we do a combo of many of the things already mentioned...


~ eat lots of foods high in vit. C (don't forget cauliflower)
~ take our multi's & Omega-3s (yes, Nordic Berries are top quality for the little guys plus the Nordic Children's DHA which is just a cutely packaged cod liver oil)
~ wash hands, door knobs, keyboards, remote controls, stereo knobs, gloves, etc. often
~ and just good for the soul is drinking warm cider by the fire (with a splash of bourbon for us adults)

after we've hung out w/someone who is even the slightest bit sick:
~ take echinacea and vitamin C 2-3 times a day (Herb Pharm Children's Echinacea and Trader Joe's gummy C's for the kidlet, Herb Pharm Super Echinacea or Echinacea Propolis Spray, Emergen-C, or whatever chewable C for us parentals)

for the person that came down with or might be coming down with something:
~ lots of high vit. C fruits, fresh whole grain bread & chicken noodle soup (the fake variety for my vegetarian husband)
~ extra doses of echinacea
~ long baths with eucalyptus essential oil and epsom salts
~ soft tissues so that blowing doesn't hurt (unfortunately the recycled versions don't cut it)
~ a wonderful potion of strooooooong ginger tea, made with fresh ginger (not a tea bag), lemon juice and just a touch of cayenne powder

i have shopping info too:
wild oats will be having their 25% off supplements sale in early october, through the 17th i think. and the same for body care is on now, maybe through the 1st.
emergen-C is cheaper at trader joe's.
there's an herb pharm coupon in the '06-'07 chinook book.
nordic naturals products are regularly on sale at both wild oats and new seasons so we usually stock up when we see it 'cause those are spendy.

i'm adding vitabiotic to my shopping list. i'll try to remember to post again after i give it a try.

and that's the end of my little ramble.
be well!

Hi UrbanMamas,
My mom (an RN) always gave my family Echinacea to ward off sickness. She recommends going to your local natural foods store and picking it up in drop form. The drop form helps your body absorb it best. The taste is a little hard for some to swallow though so she would always mix the drops into a small glass of orange juice. We would take Echinacea before and during the cold season. Hope this helps:)

My 4 year old daughter has asthma so cold season makes for misery in our house as any cough brings the asthma on in full force.

Having tried conventional meds with varying degrees of success we are now bringing in some homeopathic remedies to supplement her asthma control meds. The result? The current cough/cold we are working through seems to be more controlled and less intense than prior colds which have lasted for up to a month.

We started using these at the first sign of the latest cold:
Mucolytic Drainage Formula from Professional Complimentary Health Formulas which helps with keeping down the mucus and stopping it from collecting in her chest or sinuses.
Eclectic Kids Echinacea and Goldenseal, and
Honey & Eucalyptus Cough Syrup.

Also keeping up the daily Probiotics and Multi-Vits, and using the Vaporizer and Vicks at night. I use Olbas Oil (a peppermint and eucalyptus oil) on a piece of cotton near her bed to help keep her airways clear.

As soon as I feel I'm coming down with a cold I up the Probiotics and take Echinicea/Goldenseal from Herb Pharm. Have to say this works well for me and my weak immune system.

Hope these ideas help.

What is emergency c is it liquid, a pill and what ages can take it?
I'm very concerned with my almost four year old daughter getting sick every couple weeks. I have had her to the doctor who said he thought she had allergies, gave her singulair, and the next day she had a fever, I called back and they gave her antibiotics.
She keeps getting these colds and cant get rid of them, and the singulair doesnt seem to be helping, they are actually causing mood swings.
I'm not sure what to do anymore, give her over the counter allergy medication or Motrin cold, cause niether seems to be doing much, and then she will break out with a fever for a day and be okay the next!

I made an appointment with an allergist for October, so I'm crossing my fingers. She started Pre-School this week, and I'm hoping that her symptoms doesn't get worse. She just sounds like she is stuffed up all the time and talks like it too!
I'm very worried because this has gone on for almost five months now, off and on.
Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
Thank You!

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