I don’t know about you, but does it seem like everyone around you is sick? I know it’s common when summer ends and the kids go back to school, but the coughing and sneezing (not to mention those dreaded stomach bugs) really seem to have hit fast and often in these past few weeks.
As a nurse, I know how tough it can be to stay healthy when everyone around you is sick, especially when you’re frequently at the doctor’s office or hospital for a chronic health condition or you have small children who bring home every last “bug” from school. The increased stress of work, being back on a school schedule, longer days, and even the change of seasons from fall into winter all play a part in the increase in illnesses this time of year. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be laid out with the cold, flu or everything going around. Nor do you have to be (or even should be) on antibiotics every time you are ill, either. With these simple tips, you can use the power of nature’s pharmacy to treat some of the common illnesses that go around this time of year.
(Just a side note – of course you’ve heard the basics – when you or your children cough, cough into the bend at your elbow (not into your hands). This lessens the spray of micro droplets containing viruses or bacteria from the force of a cough or sneeze. Washing hands frequently helps, as does staying away from people who are visibly sick.
Pink Eye: Also known by it’s medical name of “conjunctivitis,” pink eye can be caused by viruses, bacteria or allergies. If it’s bacterial, the eye usually produces thick mucus. If it’s viral or allergic, it usually produces clear, thin, more watery discharge.
A warm compress made with chamomile tea (has antiviral and antimicrobial properties) can be helpful, as can homeopathic options such as Pulsatilla or Apis mellifica.
Ear Infections: These are very common in children and can be viral or bacterial. They’re aggravated by the fact that kids’ Eustachian tubes don’t drain well until later in childhood. Other factors increasing the risk are diets high in inflammatory foods (sugar, dairy, eggs, soy and gluten).
Natural ear drops such as Wally’s Ear Oil have antimicrobial properties as well as being soothing. Warm the drops first by putting the bottle in a cup filled with warm water for a few moments and ALWAYS test the temperature of the drops before putting in the ear. A warm compress over the ear can also help with any pain. If symptoms persist consult a health care provider.
Cold/flu: Upper respiratory infections are so common around this time of year. We think of it as just the kids being exposed to all those germs, but if you think about it, adult work places aren’t exactly free of illness either!
Boost immunity with Echinacea and vitamin C – studies are mixed about its effectiveness, but many, many people have experienced benefits from these supplements. A homeopathic remedy that many people have used for prevention and lessening of symptoms includes Muco Coccinum. My favorite cold remedy is Airborne® because of the Vitamin B’s, Vitamin C and herbs in their product.
While even the strongest immune systems can be caught off guard during cold and flu season, you don’t have to be sidelined for long when you know the natural remedies to help you feel better soon.
Which remedy was the most helpful for you to read about? I’d love to know – leave me a comment, would you?