‘Tis the Season of sickness at the Andersen household. Last week it was stomach flu, and this week it is an ear and sinus infection. What is a poor mom to do when all this sickness strikes?! Years ago as a new mother, I used to rush to the doctor’s office and wait in line with all the other sick kids to get a prescription for an antibiotic. Then I would come home and sanitize my home from top to bottom in an attempt to make the the germs stop their spread. Now days, I am doing things a little differently. Sure, I still keep our home very clean, and I consult with our family pediatrician when necessary, but I try to offer some natural remedies to my family before rushing to the doctor’s office.
Sugar is not bad. However, many sweet desserts and snacks have low nutrition density. When you are sick, you need as much nutrition as you can possibly consume. Instead of getting empty-calorie energy from foods high in sugar and low in vitamins and minerals, I flip that around for myself and my family. Therefore, we cut the sweets when we are sick.
So here’s what happened this week with my 8-year-old daughter: After a week of stomach flu making its way around the family, her immune system was understandably decreased and she woke up days later complaining of a sore throat. For breakfast, I made her a Blueberry Ginger Smoothie with Kefir (recipe below). The rest of the day, I pumped her full of water. All the good probiotics in kefir helped replenish her gut flora and start building her immune system back up. Read more about the health benefits of kefir here. In the evening, she was really in a lot of pain in her ears and sinuses, and she was beginning to have a low-grade fever. Following is what I did for her:
1. I gave her 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and told her to chew it for just 10 seconds before swallowing. She resisted this one, but after explaining to her that garlic is a natural antimicrobial, she humored me. Allicin is an enzyme in garlic which is activated when it is freshly crushed or chopped. Not only does it provide a strong aroma, but it has also been found to ward off various strains of bacteria, fungus, and parasites.
2. Gratefully, she immediately washed down the garlic with the (delicious) Smoothie below.
3. To open up her sinuses, she took a hot shower and slept with a humidifier in her room.
4. As I tucked her into bed, I gave her ibuprofen for the pain so she could sleep. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which reduces fever, pain, and inflammation. I also rubbed “Breathe” oil (doTERRA) behind her ears and on her chest. This is the only essential oil I own, but I like it because it works like a vapor rub.
5. The final thing done for her was a Priesthood Blessing. In the Latter-day Saint faith, we believe that the divine authority to act in God’s name is given to worthy men of the Church. My husband holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and has the power to give blessings to those who are sick as described in James 5:14-15.
Live happy and enjoy this lovely winter season!
Blueberry Ginger Smoothie with Kefir
- 1 Cup Raw Spinach packed tightly into blender
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
- 1 teaspoon Ginger root peeled and sliced
- 1 Banana ripe
- 1 Cup frozen Blueberries
- ½ Cup Plain, Unsweetened Kefir
- Tightly pack spinach into the blender and fill the almond milk to the 1 Cup mark. Add peeled ginger and banana. Blend until very smooth.
- Add blueberries and blend another minute on high.
- Add kefir and either mix by hand or blend on the lowest setting for just 5 seconds. Blending it too long will decrease the effectiveness of the probiotics.
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