Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter Immunity Boosters and a Smoothie Recipe

So the winter yuckies have hit our house! Being that I'm 9 months pregnant I REALLY don't want to catch what's going around, know what I mean?

Our oldest currently has a confirmed case of type A flu -I didn't even realize they could test for that- and was given scripts for Tamiflu and steriods. Mind you, he's not having difficulty breathing and his worst symptoms are a headache and fever.

We decided to home treat and fill the steroid prescription later, if needed (he has a history of lung issues, we don't mess around).

Yesterday he looked terrible. He asked to go to the doctor, which he doesn't do unless he really feels bad. Since pneumonia is a problem for him I always listen to his pleas to go and get checked. His eyes were dull, he slept and moaned and threw up a few times. Bad.

This morning, after beginning home treatment for his flu yesterday, he is bright-eyed! He says he feels so much better. His appetite is back and he can read while resting in bed. We're continuing treatment today and I expect he'll be back up and on his feet tomorrow! The doctor we saw at urgent care made sure to tell us that he will be very sick for at least 7 days. We'll see, but I think he is really on the mend thanks to herbs, powerful flu-fighting foods and rest.

I'm always curious about what others do to treat or prevent illness at home and thought I'd share our routine and a recipe!

The stuff we use:

  • Elderberry - I really want to make my own syrup but we were caught off guard so I made due with some lozenges
  • Zinc - came as part of the lozenge I picked out but we do this anyway at the first sign of illness
  • Echinacea - in tea form from Yogi teas (along with peppermint, rose hip, mullein and a host of other immunity boosters)
  • Vitamin C - the big one! Mega doses of vitamin C are the surest way that I know of to prevent and treat the flu. Use the ascorbic acid form.
  • Garlic - fresh garlic in everything!
  • Lemon - I use it in tea with honey, ginger and cinnamon
  • Bone broth - I make up stock on a regular basis - whenever I have chicken bones to use up - and I use this to simmer fresh, minced garlic, oregano and mushrooms. Salt to taste with sea salt.
I started Jake on 1000mg of vitamin c each hour. We were trying to reach bowel tolerance but it never happened for him. He must have really needed the C! I cut back to 1000mg every 2 hours this morning.

He also got tea or broth once an hour. The tea is steeped extra long and I add a chunk of ginger root to the hot water. Pull out the tea bag(s) - I use 2 in the beginning - and the ginger. Add a squeeze of lemon, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and honey to taste.

The broth is simmered on the stove and I just use the liquid because Jake won't eat the minced garlic or mushrooms. He's still getting some great immunity boosters from the garlic oil. Plus, bone broth is full of nutrition - gelatin, postassium, calcium and more!

Every time he takes the vitamin C he also dissolves one elderberry and zinc lozenge in his mouth.

Add to this routine lots of rest and water!

Since he was feeling so much better this morning I made him an immune boosting smoothie! This recipe is yummy, easy on the tummy and uses things that you probably already have around the house.

Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipe

  • 3 clementines - peeled
  • 1 cup of echinacea tea infusion - kept in the fridge overnight
  • 1/2 cup kefir - probiotics are key in maintaining immunities
  • 2 bananas - mostly for sweetness but I'm sure the potassium doesn't hurt
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil - the lauric acid will help fight viruses and bacteria
  • 5 ice cubes
This comes out like a milkshake! It makes a little over a quart of smoothie so he can have some for lunch too.

I also took him off any sugar or refined grain as this can make your system work harder to heal.

For the rest of us who are hoping to avoid this crud I do a modified, scaled down version. Rest, water, no sugar. We start drinking the tea right away, washing our hands a lot and eating soup made from bone broth. I also up my dose of vitamin C to about 2-3000mg per day (in comparision Jake is taking about 5000mg per day).

What do you do to boost your immune system during cold and flu season?

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