Germs by themselves aren't bad, in fact exposure to germs can strengthen the immune system. Germs become a problem when our immune systems are run down and unable to fight off of the dreaded germ. Last week my kids came home from school feeling less than great. I immediately took action. The first line of defense is to boost and protect the immune system.
Here's what we did:
A couple of days before, on a whim, I had brewed a big pot of pau d'arco tea. I prefer the loose leaf and brew for at least half an hour. According to the website www.exhibithealth.com pau d'arco tea increases red blood cell counts. Bernhard Kreher a Munich researcher wrote his doctoral work on the immuno stimulating effects of Pau d’arco and found that the body’s defense system activity increased by more than 48% when Pau d’arco was regularly consumed. My children enjoy it cold with a little stevia in it. Honey would work nice too.
Next we upped our probiotics. There are numerous ways beside pill forms to do this such kombucha, fermented foods, yogurt with low sugar. I prefer the pill form when sickness is knocking at the door to avoid consuming any extra sugars that can feed what ever is trying to invade.
Two completely free and very important things to do are increasing water intake and getting extra sleep. Proper hydration is key to healthy immune system. It flushes out any toxins, keeps things moving and keeps our cells hydrated and working properly. I try to remember to put a pinch of Himalayan sea salt in their (and my) water. It helps the body's electrolyte system stay balanced by providing the appropriate minerals. My children know that if they come home feeling less than great it means an early bed time. If you need motivation for getting more sleep here's a great TED talk on the importance of sleep.TED talk-sleep.
To help the immune system we also began to take homeopathic remedies. If you don't know much about homeopathy I encourage you to learn more. Maybe I'll even do a post about them. The basic principle is that "like cures like". I really like the brand Professional Complementary Health Formulas. (I am in no way associated with them). We took the formulas Immune System Stimulator Drops and Bacterial Immune Stimulator.
Just by doing these things my son was back to normal within 48 hours. My daughter took a little longer and ended up with a lingering cough that we used essential oils for. We used eucalyptus and lavender oil down her spine. This really helped her to sleep and helped with congestion.
A few other things to do include sweating it out, either through a hot epsom salt bath or even better an infared sauna. Sweating is great because it not only excretes toxins, it increases your red blood cell count. It's a natural antibiotic and can actually kill bacteria that can cause infection through antimicrobial peptides. Supplements like echinacea and colostrum can boost the immune system. We are unable to take colostrum due to the dairy content but love Xymogen's IgG 2000 DF. (Again no way affiliated.) And last but not least good old chicken soup. Bonus points if its made with homemade bone broth.
What else would you add to this list?