Mary’s Winter Immune Boosting Regimen, Part 3
Today I’m sharing the last of the steps that I use to support my family’s health during the cooler months. I have led you on the same path that I take when encouraging and supporting my family’s health, and tried to share ideas on how I use each category of tools. Take a look back at Parts One and Two to see what we’ve covered together so far.
Sometimes, I’ll selectively use one or two to relieve a symptom, such as a particularly nasty sore throat or a fever that’s spiked higher than is comfortable.
I’ve learned over the years the remedies that I’m comfortable and confident in applying on my own, and what’s the most safe in our specific circumstances. Your own family’s health situation is unique, so of course, we always advise seeing your family healthcare provider to ensure you are caring for yourself and your family properly, especially in the case of worsening illness.
Here is how I use the strongest category of tools with my family to help decrease illness and boost health.
9. Herbal Tinctures – Whether they’re extracts I have purchased or made at home, tinctures are a great way to stop illnesses in their tracks! We use a variety of tinctures in our home to help support the liver and digestive and respiratory systems, and to aid the body when suffering specific symptoms or discomforts.
Try some of our family’s favorites.
- Elderberry Tincture – Sometimes it can be hard to get larger amounts of elderberry syrup in your little ones, and concentrated tinctures are a great way to get the benefits without the larger volume.
- Milk Thistle Tincture – This helps to support the liver and aid the body when suffering from illness.
- Wormwood – Not the best tasting, but a great way to help decrease candida infections.
- Red Raspberry Tincture – Soothing and a great boost to the immune system with a large amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Mullein – Soothing and calming, and supports glandular health.
- Lobelia – Very good for the respiratory system, and can also be used externally to help decrease coughs.
- Barberry – We have found this is not only incredible for liver support, but will also stop a cold in its tracks!
How to make a simple tincture
Vodka or Brandy (you may also use vinegar or vegetable glycerin)
Dried or Fresh Herbs
A clean jar
Select the herb and liquid combination. If using fresh herbs, your ratio of herb to liquid should be 1:2; with dried herbs, the ratio is 1:4. Add your herb to the jar, and then cover with the appropriate amount of liquid. Put the lid on and give a thorough mixing by shaking gently.
Let the jar sit on a windowsill or countertop for 2-4 weeks, occasionally giving it a gentle shake. When it has steeped sufficiently, strain out the herbs and pour the infused liquid into a dark glass container. I use bottles with dropper tops to easily dispense my tinctures.
Based on these steeping ratios, the dosage for an adult is usually considered two droppers full, and for a child 1/2 to 1 dropper. I always start with a smaller dose and work up as needed.
10. Colloidal Silver and Grapefruit Seed Extract – Sometimes despite our best efforts, it seems like we need a little extra oomph in our game plan. This is when I begin doses of Colloidal Silver or Grapefruit Seed Extract.
I use them with the knowledge that they are extremely potent and have the potential to damage gut flora. I make sure to replenish with good fermented foods and probiotics to build up a healthy diversity of gut bacteria once again.
11. Finally, I increase my use of Essential Oils. We do regularly run our diffuser and apply diluted essential oils to the bottom of our feet and spines, and while I use essential oils moderately throughout times of illness, I usually reserve aggressive use (such as hourly massages, soaks in the bath, or steam treatments) for the very end of my arsenal.
We use the Bath Salt Refill Kit to make our own bath salt soaks specific to our needs. We’ll add a drop of Lemongrass and Tea Tree to the salt and then soak during a fever, or use a drop of Ginger and Orange oils when our tummy wants to rumble.
We also like to give and receive massages to help stimulate the lymph system, as well as support the body systems affected. This is great for help when the illness is causing symptoms that are otherwise bothersome and unpleasant.
For this list of our favorite essential oils for massage, I have decided to focus on the oils that are considered kid friendly, but there are a lot of other oils that could be used. (Always check with a qualified aromatherapist or a reliable reference book to see if a specific oil should be used in your situation!)
Respiratory: Frankincense, Lavender, Tea Tree, most of the Citrus Oils (be careful to avoid sunlight for twelve hours following application due to increased photosensitivity), Chamomile and Pine.
Digestive: Ginger, Spearmint, Chamomile, and Orange
Soothing and Calming: Black Pepper, Marjoram, Lavender, and Chamomile
You can find dilution ratios in the product descriptions on each Beeyoutiful essential oil product description, or reference The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for precise instructions on how to dilute and apply essential oils when massaging.
For a list of additional oil recipes for children, head over to our Kid-Friendly Essential Oil Zone.
No matter how much we hope to avoid illness, with kids in the house the likelihood that we totally escape the sniffles or rumbly tummy is slim. So being ready and armed to fight off the monster bugs while making our families feel their best is a priority.
Assembling your arsenal and having a game plan in advance will help you better engage the enemy and come out the winner!