Guest Author - Rebecca Spooner
It seems the day of the first snowfall is a time of premonition in our household. A foreshadowing of things to come. Just as the beautiful snowflakes fall in intricate patterns out my front window, so do the complex virus' that threaten to infect fall all around us. This time of year it is expected that if I leave my house, I am sure to come back with at least one virus, sometimes more. Some of it is the age of my children, young children are still putting everything in their mouths. And some of it is just the age of my life. Kids get sick. You take care of kids, you are likely to get sick as well. So what do we do about it? Trust me, I have tried EVERYTHING, and there are definitely some tips and tricks to both help prevent this dreaded virus and also to help cure it.
What is influenza? For years I was so confused on this subject. I put sicknesses into two categories, if you were coughing, it was a cold, if you were throwing up, it was the flu. But the reality is that many "colds" are actually influenza, which is commonly the flu. Sometimes there is throwing up, sometimes there is not. Influenza is a highly contagious virus which usually causes a fever, cough, headache and malaise (tiredness). In some people it also causes nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and a sore throat. The strain is always changing and therefore it is impossible to have a cure for it. Some people swear by the flu shot, others do not. But either way, most people will still get it at least once in a season.
First and foremost is prevention. Everyone around you is sick, how do you avoid it? STAY HOME! Start a nice warm fire, pour a cup of coffee, cancel your plans to go shopping or take the kids to playgroup and just stay home. You are safer and can at least give your kids a chance to build their immune system before exposing them. Make sure your family is drinking plenty of fluids and washing their hands. This ensures that their bodies are in prime battle condition. I always make sure my kids are taking a multivitamin to help boost their immune system as well. You might say that these are the common sense methods, and perhaps you are looking for something new. I recently discovered a homeopathic prevention for influenza called influenzinum. You can find this at most natural health food stores and it has been proven to help protect you from the influenza virus. It is much like an oral inoculation against the virus, helping to boost your immune system to form antigens and fight off the infection. Each year, they change the strain according to how the flu virus was mutating the year before, so it has been proven to be highly effective without the pain, inconvenience, and danger of a vaccination.
If you have the flu, there is no turning back. Use common sense methods such as regular disinfecting, washing hands, refrain from sharing cups or kissing one another. I also found some natural remedies for colds, runny noses, and influenza. The one for runny noses can be purchased for children from 1 month to 3 years and from 1 year to 6 years. It is called Coryzalia, they are small capsules that are very easy to give, none of my children mind them. They are about $10 for a bunch of capsules and you can give them one to three times a day. They really do help. The one for coughing I have been trying and it is hard to know how effective it is or not. This one is made by the same company and called Stodal cough. For influenza, there is a homeopathic remedy as well called oscillococcinum. It is a small canister of grains that taste mostly like sugar, they dissolve into your mouth to help cure the flu and help with the symptoms. I just started these, so we will see how they go, but I can attest to the fact that within about an hour, the achiness, tiredness, etc. was MUCH improved.
All in all, with the wonder of Christmas comes the wonder of illness and there isn't much you can do about it. But check out your local health food store and prepare yourself for the season, you'll be glad that you did.