13 Natural Ways to Fight Cold and Flu Season

This {most wonderful} time of the year not only signifies all things pumpkin spice, flannel, fuzzy and Pinterest-worthy, but also brings on sneezes, snotty faces, fevers, and whiny bodies.  

Cold and flu season is upon us, mommas.

{And experts are predicting it will be another rough one!}

white ceramic mug on white table beside black eyeglasses

Before you click over to your Amazon cart and order a family-sized protective bubble, check out these mom and toddler approved, effective and NATURAL tips for preventing and fighting the cold and flu this year.

  1. Hand Washing & Clothes Changing: As soon as my kiddos come in from any public place, we wash hands and wipe down faces. If we are around other children or at any child-centered establishment, we also change our clothes when we get home. Check yourselves at the door, germs. We mommas do NOT have time for you. 
  2. No Shoes Rule: Having a “no shoes in the house” rule is great for keeping extra germs and bacteria off your floors where your kids might be crawling or playing. A recent study reveals there is an average of 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of a single shoe! YUCK! The “no shoes” rule also means you can mop your floors less… so that’s a win-win in my book.
  3. Elderberry Syrup: This is probably my powerhouse favorite. Although elderberries are newly popular in the states, people have been turning to these berries for their many health benefits for hundreds of years. Elderberries contain antioxidants, anthocyanins {giving the berry that deep purple color}, and vitamins that boost your immune system. They also contain other proteins that disrupt a virus’ ability to infect cells. {Aka, it can help kick some major cold and flu booty!} We make our syrup with local, raw honey and spices, which gives us extra immunity boosts and helps with seasonal allergens. My son loves this concoction!
  4. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants, which helps to support a healthy immune system as it fights free radicals in the body. Our family gets extra Vitamin C through acerola cherry powder, which is the purest food form I can find. Other people also like taking ascorbic acid in powder form.
    Image may contain: 1 person

    Slipped his extra Vitamin C with fresh juice from home.

  5. Vitamin D: Vitamin D can help reduce inflammation caused by the flu virus and increase the number of antimicrobial proteins {tiny, little warriors in your body} that fight against ALL viruses. This is a must-have! You can make sure your kids’ multivitamin contains Vitamin D or you can get it through consuming other sources like fatty fish or egg yolks.
  6. Essential Oils: There are many kid-safe, antiviral essential oils and oil blends you can diffuse in your home or dilute and roll on your kiddos before going out. We love to do this! We also put it on the bottoms of their feet before bed. {Remember: Make sure you are using oils that are safe based on their age and the ingredients.} 
  7. Saline Nasal Spray: Did you know that most bacteria and viruses get into our system through our noses and upper airways? If you clean your nose each day with a saline nasal spray, you help to keep those unwanted intruders OUT! I know… your kiddos probably won’t be frolicking willingly towards you for this one, but trust me it will help! Hello, bribery.
  8. Echinacea: This herb helps to increase your white blood cell count and your white blood cells fight infections. Keeping echinacea in your system will help to strengthen your body’s natural defense against germs. We get a liquid herbal tincture and my toddler LOVES it!
  9. Bee Propolis: Propolis {also known as bee glue} is basically a mixture of bee saliva, beeswax and exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It’s used to seal unwanted holes in their hives. As crazy as it sounds, this “glue” is also antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory AND consumable. CHEERS!
    brown bees

    We get Propolis in a spray form and my oldest son asks for it daily.

  10. Epsom Salt Baths: A few times a week or more {depending on what we have going on}, we throw a couple handfuls of Epsom salt into our son’s baths for a natural detox. You can also add baking soda to help remove germs and to neutralize your water. Have the kids add the salt and baking soda! It becomes an easy and fun bath-time activity for them.
  11. Zinc: This little, but mighty mineral often gets overlooked. Zinc is a trace element that is critical to a healthy and properly functioning immune system. If your body doesn’t have enough zinc, you are more susceptible to illness. Some zinc-rich foods include meat, shellfish, seeds, nuts, and eggs. You can also get zinc in liquid form for your kiddos if they don’t love the food choices.
  12. Garlic: Basically, buy ALL the cloves and put them in ALL the things during cold and flu season. Garlic has been proven to help prevent colds and flu, and helps afflicted people recover faster. I will even eat raw cloves if I think I might be coming down with something. Garlic is also antiviral, antifungal, and helps to increase your white blood cell count.
    elbow noodles soup

    Add garlic. Step aside. Add more garlic. Rest. Warn family. Repeat. 

  13. Cut Out Sugar & Dairy: So sorry about this one! Consuming refined sugar makes it harder for your white blood cells to fight off infections and increases your body’s inflammation. Dairy also increases inflammation and mucus production, which just makes you feel crumbier all-around. So, skip the ice cream and go for the {garlic} soup!

So don’t worry mommas, you don’t have to hide at home all season. Just be aware, be proactive and up your defenses. We’ve got this! 

This post represents one mom’s view and experience in warding off cold & flu season. Her tips do not take the place of medical professionals. We advise you to seek the advice of your personal family doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
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