Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Clove a Day...

It's that time of year for sniffles and bugs and other not so fun things. We are blessed with good immune systems and seem to miss many of the bugs going around, but I like to sneak in as much extra help as possible.

Sometime in October I start quadrupling the amount of garlic in everything from soup to mashed potatoes to just roasting heads and spreading it on fresh bread. We all like garlic and no one seems to notice, but then again, we are all eating the garlic.

Do you all have any immune boosting tips for us other than healthy eating, lots of water and good sleep?

Also, any natural cold/flu remedies you'd like to share?


Mary Alice said...

When my little boys had a cold a few weeks ago, I did nasal saline at every diaper change as well as vapo-bath. My toddlers often have runny noses from Oct-March, but this time we stayed home until it was gone, about 3 days, and they have been fine ever since.

I am also encouraging anyone child who is sniffling to actually BLOW, as it gets germs out and is better for your sinuses.

It has just gotten cold here, and I am debating about humidifiers in the bedrooms.

I think lots of oranges would also be a good addition to our diet, I may start having slices as an afternoon snack each day, now that apple season is waning anyway.

We eat lots of garlic, but I will start doubling up, can't hurt!

Olivia D said...

Lately I have been focusing on immune boosting foods like Probiotics (Kefit-yogurt smoothie drink), little oranges for Vit. C and hot liquids, apple cider and hot chocolate. Muli-vit. as usual, garlic and onions both have anti-bacterial properties.

I know that warm salt water in the throat and nasal passages can help ward off bacteria but those arent popular with the little ones.

I've also heard that Elderberry juice is supposed to be really good for boosting immune systems but you cant just buy it anywhere and you shouldnt drink large quantities, just a small glass a day.
Just some more ideas.

We have been really fortunate to have escaped all major illnesses so far this year. With three little ones under the age of 4 it's not a pretty sight when we are all sick....

Right Said Red said...

I have heard that extra garlic really does help. I believe, however, that you have to eat A TON of it (like an bulb a day) for a real immune system boost. Has anyone else heard this?

And with all this talk about getting sick, I think it is important to remember that "fear" doesn't do us any good. I have been really worried about my newborn baby getting sick, so much so that I almost went against my own motherly instincts and got my children flu shots. I have never done this in the past, and after a lot of research, I have decided against it again this year. So my basic point here is don't let fear drive your decisions.

On a different note, has anyone else heard that children's immune systems are actually down a bit for several weeks after receiving a vaccination? My children regularly get sick after their well-baby visits (and I always assumed this was due to picking something up at the doctor's office), but now I'm starting to think it might be related to a lower immune system after vaccinations. This of course makes me consider delaying some vaccines until the summer!

I was just warned today to be careful about all the H1N1 hype. According to my doc, many of the H1N1 reports are actually just seasonal flu--which is supposed to be particularly bad this year. Even so we all need to be careful, but I think some people have the regular flu, not H1N1.

One final thing...I read today that many of the severe flu complications from H1N1 (those who have to be admitted to the ICU and are otherwise healthy), are highly correlated with obesity? Apparently overweight individuals are more likely to have respiratory problems. I guess this is just another reason to exercise and eat right!

Juls said...

For this time of year we do SAMBUCUS- it is a homeopathic kid syrup of Elderberry, Echinacea and Propolis. It is made by Nature's Way and can be found at Whole Foods. I read, and can not remember where, that Elderberry is good in fighting the H1N1 virus, but we have been doing this supplement for years now, even before H1N1 reared it's ugly head.

Also a great homeopathic is Antimonium Tartarticum made by Boiron, I use it when my children are snotty and have a cough that they can not get up and out...this stuff works like a charm, helps to thin out the mucous and they are able to spit it up...actually the youngest ones vomit up all the mucous which is great, because once they do it you know they are on the mend. I know tmi, i can not help it.

I personally use a netty pot with the warm saline water. for the kids i use the saline drops/mists. they hate it, but i believe it does keep us healthy.

we also use the Emergen-C fizzy supplements a lot during this time of year. It boost the immune system and gives extra vit C.

as a side note to Red, A friend of mine a DO told me many years ago that when your child receives a vaccine it puts their immune system into overdrive. The immune system is so busy trying to recognize and produce antibodies to the "new" virus that has just entered the body that its everyday job is put on the back i guess your question about a lowered immune system is valid..I am certainly no doctor, but my hypothesis is that the immune system is like a multi-tasking's taking care of the most important things first..but sometimes it may drop the ball... :)

Good Health to you all !!


Erin said...

I had to laugh when I read this post-- I am 17 weeks pregnant and as I was making spaghetti sauce last night I vowed that I would not force myself to use garlic anymore while pregnant! The smell and taste are just way to much for my hypersenstive senses right now, but i kept chopping last night b/c husband loves garlic and, well, you can't make spaghetti sauce with out it. The irony? We both woke up with colds this morning!

Anyway, thanks for the other non-garlic tips... hopefully some of those will be less offending to my sensitive nose :).

Elena said...

I have to promote cod liver oil - especially a good quality oil. Carlsen's is particularly good and is not foul tasting in the slightest. It is actually lemon flavoured and all of us take a tsp each morning. My 2 year old started at three months and now protests if he is not the first to receive his dose. Cod liver oil is a super food with the right balance of vitamin D and A. Its benefits are manifold and is a great preventative of much more serious ailments than the flu. Check out what Weston A Price has to say about it. It is also great for the winter blues - trust me, I know, it is snowing right now.

Juris Mater said...

We stick to the three "M"s rule: Motrin, 'Moxy (MaryAlice's seasoned-mom nickname for Amoxicillin) and Movies : )

Here's hoping for a healthier winter than our past ones. We have two down with H1N1 and it's only early November. We'll visit Whole Foods and implement some of these suggestions when we can leave the house again. Thanks!

Right Said Red said...


Love the Moxy. Unfortunately, we have a penicillin allergy around here, so no Moxy for us! I need another M...

Juris Mater said...

Red, how very unfortunate about your Moxy deprivation. Here's a double M then: "Morphine for Mom". Oh wait, were we talking about natural remedies here?

texas mommy said...

How about Merlot for Mom...

Kristen said...

I, too, am pregnant, and have a hard time making myself eat veggies (I do it, but begrudgingly). I take alfalfa for allergies and any nasal congestion--the tabs are relatively cheap and it is great for pregnancy when you are increasing your blood volume so much.