• Build a Better Beach Bag: 10 Natural Remedies for a Healthy Summer

    Happy summer everyone! I’ve had a lot of questions lately about how to treat summer’s most common ailments. Here’s a glimpse of what I keep in my beach bag during these dog days of summer.

    FullSizeRender.jpg-19

    SUNBURN

    While 15-30 minutes of unprotected sunlight per day (for children over 6 months) is always helpful to boost our ever-deficient vitamin D levels, it is still important to protect against sunburn.

    Did you know that nearly three quarters of all sunscreens are either ineffective or contain chemicals that are harmful to your health? Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, are two natural and safe ingredients to look for in sunscreen – they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

    The easiest way to relieve sunburn, of course, is to avoid it altogether by applying plenty of natural sunscreen. But sometimes, despite our best intentions, even the most liberal application is no match for the sun’s harsh rays. If that happens, taking a cool bath right after the burn starts to appear is a good idea. Add 5-7 drops of anti-inflammatory peppermint oil or one cup of apple cider vinegar to a tepid bath.

    As with every summer day, keep your child hydrated with plenty of water and cooling foods like cucumber and celery, which can help lower their body temperature. You can apply cucumber or potato slices to more localized burns.

    POISON IVY

    The key with poison ivy is to wash your child’s skin and clothes right away after exposure to remove the plant’s oils. Then, apply a paste made of equal parts water and either baking soda or apple cider vinegar—two natural antiseptics that can help ease inflammation—to the affected areas. When looking for a topical ointment, I try to avoid steroid creams, like cortisone. Instead, try homeopathic Calendula cream  The flowers of the Calendula officinalis plant, also known as Garden marigold, have been used topically for generations to heal skin irritations, such as minor burns and scrapes.

    BUG BITES

    No one repellent will work every single time, against every ornery pest. The repellent you might use for a Lyme-infested area might be different from the one that would suffice for a picnic on the beach.  So, it’s a good idea to do research about the diseases carried by insects specific to where you plan to spend time outside with your family.

    • Ticks

    As a general rule, it’s a good idea to take extra precautions to avoid tick bites. Cover your child with long sleeves and long pants, tucked into socks, when going for a hike or venturing into heavy brush where tick infestations are more common.  Do a frequent “tick check,” taking care to examine the scalp and ears where ticks tend to hide. If you search the EWG’s guide to insect repellents, specifically for repellents for ticks, you’ll find it lists three natural active ingredients catnip (Nepeta cataria), citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) and lemon eucalyptus  (Eucalyptus citriodora).

    If you’re a DIY person, you can certainly make your own essential oil-based sprays or lotions. The recipe I use is specifically targeted toward ticks, but is also helpful with mosquitos. It is safe for children 3 and older and pregnant/nursing moms. (Note: The EWG and Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises not to use Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD on children under 3.  Please note that Natural lemon and eucalyptus oil is not the same as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Although I don’t apply this directly to my 2 year old, I do spray it on his clothes and on the stroller when we are going outside.)

    Ingredients

    2 oz. apple cider vinegar or witch hazel

    2 oz. water

    20-40 drops total: geranium bourbon essential oil, citronella essential oil, and lemon eucalyptus oil (please note, lemon eucalyptus is not approved for children under the age of 3, so instead spray on their stroller or omit altogether and just use lemon!) I don’t love the smell of catnip oil, so I omit that one, but if you can tolerate it, it’s certainly worth adding. I also add: clove, rosemary, lavender, peppermint and geranium, for what I’ve found to be the perfect concoction!

    Add to a spray bottle, preferably one made of glass or PET plastic.

    Shake well before use. Spray on skin or clothes before going outside.

    If you prefer something ready-made, I like Badger Bug or Nanucket Spider spray. Badger Bug is an organic and natural repellent uses essential oils to naturally keep bugs, mosquitoes and insects away from you and your children. It contains no DEET, petroleum products, or synthetic chemicals, and has been independently lab tested for safety. Even the aluminum bottle is recyclable!

    Nantucket Spider Deet-free Bug Repellant is best for flies and mosquitoes and will    also repel ticks (but doesn’t last as long as their Extra Strength Tick repellent!  Both are light and refreshing sprays (people ask me what perfume I’m wearing!) made with a broad range of  essential oils including cedarwood, citronella, clove,geranium, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and spearmint.

    NantucketSpider

    Regardless of which product you choose to use, the key is to apply frequently, every 2 hours, more frequently if sweating or swimming. When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands first and then rub it onto the child. Avoid the child’s eyes and mouth and take care not to apply to hands as children may put their hands in their mouths.

    Don’t forget your hourly “tick checks”! The scalp and ears is where these buggers like to hide the most.

    • Bee stings

    If you’re dealing with a bee sting, be sure to remove the stinger with a sterilized pair of tweezers. Then, apply the same water and baking soda or apple cider vinegar combination used to ease poison ivy. The paste will help reduce bee sting swelling and discomfort.

    • Mosquito bites

    For a mosquito bite, apply Witch Hazel,  a natural astringent, to draw out the inflammatory fluid that causes swelling: Soak a piece of gauze in Witch Hazel and apply it to the skin, leaving it on as long as necessary until the itching stops. For multiple bites, a baking soda or apple cider vinegar bath can provide all-over relief.

    SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF  your child is having a more serious allergic reaction:  swelling of the lips and tongue, or your child is having difficulty speaking, swallowing or breathing.

    SWIMMER’S EAR

    Swimmers ear, or otitis externa, is an infection of the outer ear that is most often due to moisture being trapped in the ear which results in inflammation and infection. Pain is often the first sign of otitis externa. So if your child complains of pain, it is important to have them evaluated by their healthcare provider in the event an infection has occurred. Swimmer’s ear is treated with antibiotics. Those with frequent infections my try a homemade solution of half rubbing alcohol and half vinegar. The alcohol combines with water in the ear and then evaporates, removing the water, while the acidity of the vinegar keeps bacteria from growing. Apply 3 drops of solution in each ear three times per day. You may also want to use the homemade remedy after daily showers. The best way to avoid otitis externa is to keep ears clean and dry.

    BUMPS AND BRUISES

    Arnica, derived from the arnica montana plant, has anti-inflammatory properties when diluted for homeopathic treatments. Arnica is a common homeopathic remedy for bruising, swelling, and inflammation. It can be used up to three times a day as a topical gel applied directly to an injury or bruise. The key is to apply or treat within an hour of the injury, to stimulate the body’s healing mechanism as quickly as possible. Do not use on open wounds.

    HYDRATION

    Coconut water is a natural electrolyte drink rich in sodium and natural sugar, which is crucial for rehydration. I like to add a few drops of lemon essential oil to our big jug so we can enjoy a “lemonade” treat on those extra hot days.

    SANDY TOES

    Sandy feet

    There is no greater feeling than getting your feet in the sand at the beginning of summer. But that darn black sand is nearly impossible to get off! Many recommend baby power as the miracle means for removing sand from in between toes. Talc is an ingredient used in many cosmetics, including baby powder. However questions about baby powder’s safety are always a concern, as studies have shown talc to contain contaminants, such as asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Instead, I pack a Norwex Dusting Mitt. It miraculously removes every last piece of sand on those little beach bodies! With its plush fibers the dusting mitt can be used dry to attract and pick up sand, dust, and allergens for quick, chemical free cleaning throughout the house, and dust those little sandy feet before heading back home. Used wet, the patented BacLock™ (a micro silver antibacterial agent) goes to work to lift and inhibit bacteria, virus, protein, mold and mildew growth. Perfect for washing hands before that ice cream cone on the boardwalk!

    And of course my Tidal flip flops! Not only are they Made in the USA of domestically sourced material, but over half of Tidal’s staff are veterans.  They continue to hire and train veterans as they expand and every pair purchased helps to support this effort.

     

     

    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child. Megan provides consultation in:

    -prenatal health and wellness

    -Lactation counseling

    -newborn care

    -infant feeding

    -infant massage

    -vaccine consultation

    -nutritional analysis and counseling

    -toxin free home environment

    -self care for parents and children

    -natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

  • All Natural Sports Drink

    F6FFB6D2-94C0-45B6-B0F4-F2C925EB6827

    Commercial sports drinks, which contain artificial dyes pose a “rainbow of risks” (cancer, hyperactivity, emotional instability, and more). To boot, one of the top brands still contains brominated vegetable oil (BVO), which is patented as a flame retardant 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Try our homemade sports drink instead, which supports optimal hydration by replacing vital minerals and electrolytes, naturally.

    3 cups coconut water:

    Coconut water often referred to as “Nature’s Gatorade.” It contains 13 times more potassium – an electrolyte needed for proper cell function – plus twice the amount of sodium (another essential electrolyte).

    1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt:

    Sea salt is full of electrolytes and minerals. Salt reduces adrenaline levels and supports overall metabolic health.

    2 tablespoons raw honey (or maple syrup):

    Raw honey is rich in minerals and easily digestible sugars, which can be used for energy. We use local Franks Honey  available at our favorite downtown spot Creative Den .

    In the winter during 🏀and flu season, we add Manuka Honey which has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits 🙌🏼.

    1/2 cup freshly squeezed juice:

    We add freshly pressed juices such as lemon, lime, and orange which contain vitamins, enzymes and easily digestible sugars that help maintain energy during a workout, then help speed recovery afterwards. Our favorite is the carrot lemonade recipe from our local favorite, Nectar Cafe!

    *add up to 1 cup filtered water to dilute to taste preference.

    Of course we’re always conscious to use a reusable BPA-free (if using plastic) water bottle. Big into these Gatorade sports bottles these days, available personalized from Tiger Vinyl.

    Sit back, relax, sip and ENJOY!

  • You Give Me Fever

    Pediatric Fever: Myths and Management

    There is no question that fever remains a source of great concern to parents. The simple fact is, many parents act too quickly and immediately worry when it comes to their child having a fever. Parental fear of fever is the most common reason parents bring children to the emergency room, or pediatric provider. It’s responsible for 1.6 million pediatric ER visits and nearly one-third of pediatrician office visits each year. As providers we are swarmed with visits and phone calls requesting advice and diagnosis. These concerns focus the parents on fever control and away from the more important issue— fever is a good sign that your child‘s immune system is working and the body is trying to heal itself. It is my life’s great work to eradicate “fever phobia” and separate the facts from the myths so that every parent can keep a cool head when fever strikes!

    Click here to download your free copy:

    Mother Earth Mama- You Give Me Fever

     

  • Is it a cold or the flu?

    You’ve got the sniffles, you’re tired, and you can’t stop sneezing. Is it a common cold or the dreaded flu? Because the common cold and the flu have overlapping symptoms, it’s easy to mistake one for the other.

    is it a cold or the flu_.png

    Common cold

    A cold is a viral upper respiratory tract infection that typically affects the nasal part of the respiratory system. The infection is usually mild and goes away without treatment. Symptoms may include a runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever. Colds are most common in winter and spring months, and usually last 7-10 days. You can help prevent a cold with frequent handwashing and by avoiding contact with people who have a cold. Since research has shown that triclosan, commonly found in antibacterial soap, can negatively affect the immune and hormone systems, choose traditional soap and water. When flu prevention experts advise you to wash your hands, they don’t mean a light drizzle of water. They recommend washing for at least 15 to 20 seconds; that’s about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

    Flu symptoms

    The flu is caused by the influenza virus and lasts about 5-7 days. Symptoms of seasonal flu typically include fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. The best way to avoid getting the flu is by getting a flu shot, which takes about 2 weeks after injection to start protecting you from the flu virus. The flu season varies every year, and health officials must choose the influenza strains that should be targeted for an upcoming season, months in advance, when it is hard to know what strains might be circulating. When flu vaccines are well matched to circulating viruses, effectiveness is, at best, around 60 percent.

    If you get your flu vaccine before the flu season starts, it not only reduces your risk of the flu, it can mitigate the symptoms and protect more vulnerable people around you who may not have good immunity, such as the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, or small children.

    Think you have the flu?

    Starting homeopathic and herbal preparations at the very beginning of flu symptoms can significantly shorten the duration and severity of illness.

    Oscillococcinum

    Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy made to treat aching of the body with upper respiratory symptoms, fever and coughing. It’s available over the counter at grocery and health food stores. And If taken early enough in the illness cycle, studies have shown that taking Oscillococcinum at the onset of flu significantly reduces symptoms and shortens the duration of illness.

    oscillococcinum

    The recommended dosage is one vial 3 times/day preferably at the very beginning of flu symptoms. The dosage is the same for children and adults. For an infant, you can dissolve the pellets in water and give with a syringe or in their bottle or sippy cup.

    My family takes one vial weekly as a preventative measure, and because I am in the field of nursing and exposed to flu on a daily basis, I take it daily. Check out their website for coupons!

    Elderberry

    The herb elderberry is my favorite for recurrent respiratory tract infections. The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly.  They can be used to make a simple elderberry syrup:

    IMG_0445

    Sinusalia

    Sinusalia works naturally with your body to temporarily relieve nasal congestion, sinus pain and headache due to the common cold. Paired with a Neti pot, you can say goodbye to sinus infections forever!!

    Coldcalm

    Coldcalm is a combination homeopathic formula that is great for general cold symptoms, especially when you’re not sure which specific medicine to give. We start it here in our home at the very first sniffle or runny nose, and adjust to more specific remedies as the symptoms evolve and change.

    Sinusalia

    Xlear

    Xlear is a saline nasal spray that contains xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. We use it morning and night during cold and flu season to keep those nasal passages clear of any harboring bacteria. Another reason to love this one, is it comes in nasal drops for babies and young children who don’t like the sensation of a nasal spray.

    xlear.jpeg

    Throat Coat Tea

    Sore throat got you down?

    Throat Coat Tea contains pharmacopoeial grade herbs (a ‘medicinal’ rather than a ‘food’ grade of herb) slippery elm and licorice, with hints of orange, peppermint and cinnamon. The makers, Traditional Medicinals, have put through this tea through the rigors and even published a clinical study. Hands down this the best remedy for sore throat!

    throatcoat

    Get that fresh air by opening windows for a bit every day. Florence Nightingale noted the virtues of open windows bakc in 1859. “True nursing ignores infection, except to prevent it. Cleanliness, fresh air from open windows, are the only defence a true nurse either asks or needs,” she wrote.

    Keep your home clean and germ free by using Norwex towels, specifically on doorknobs, faucets, remote controls. And get those essential oils diffusing! I like Thieves or On Guard for their cleaning power and immune-boasting abilities!

    EO

    See my post from October for more natural ways to prevent the flu. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2018!

    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child.
    Megan provides evidenced-based, family centered care in prenatal health and wellness, lactation counseling
, newborn care
-infant feeding
, infant massage
, vaccine consultation
, nutritional analysis and counseling
, toxin free home environment
, self care for parents and children, children’s yoga
 and a natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses. Contact

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

     

  • How to Stay Happy and Healthy this Cold and Flu season

    How to Stay Happy and Healthy this Cold and Flu season

    Each year there are millions of cases of the common cold in the US and anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the population will come down with the flu.. Luckily, there are many natural ways you can reduce your chances of getting sick.

    The basics:
    Make sure everyone in your family is getting enough sleep, moving and exercising daily, getting outside for some fresh air, eating immune supporting foods, managing their stress, and reducing exposure to toxins.
    IMG_1705

    GET OUTSIDE!
    Nature is fuel for the soul! Research shows that that spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 percent of people. In just one year, the presence of trees saved 850 lives and prevented 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms, according to new research published in the journal Environmental Pollution. Trees remove pollution from the air, making it healthier for us to take into our lungs.

    MOVEMENT AND EXERCISE
    Active free play, especially outdoors, is one of the most beneficial gifts we as parents…can bestow on our children. Playing outside not only provides them with exercise, but also builds their immune system, and provides the much needed Vitamin D we are all lacking, especially in the winter. As the winter months approach, there may be days when it’s just too cold to spend the recommended 3 hours a day outside.  Enter: Go Noodle!
    My son’s kindergarten class takes “brain breaks” and presses “Play” on movement and mindfulness every 7 minutes. And we have embraced this at home as well. Go Noodle turns “screen time” into active time and creates great family fun! Check it out here:https://www.gonoodle.com/

    IMG_1234

    GUT HEALTH
    The gut holds 80 percent of the body’s immune system. All along the digestive lining, white blood cells help protect us from viruses and bacteria that try to invader our system. Healthy gut bacteria work outnumber unwelcome pathogens. All of these functions promote a balanced immune system and ensure we are protected from the viruses that bring on colds and the flu.  The best way to keep your gut healthy and ready to fight off disease is to eat a clean diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.
    -EAT A RAINBOW
    Why are there so many songs about rainbows? Because choosing a variety of naturally occurring colored whole foods throughout the day and week are essential for good health and overall immunity.

    IMG_1223

    -SUPPLEMENTS
    Many kids are picky eaters and may not be getting enough of  immune-supportive nutrients from their diet alone.

    The best supplements to boost a child’s immune system are vitamin D and zinc. In general, you want to choose a supplement that is free of artificial flavors, colors, allergens and sugar. You can provide a Vitamin D supplement alone, in multivitamin form, particularly if for a picky eater. I like:
    Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Gold
    Smarty Pants Kids Complete
    Garden of Life My Kind Kids Multivitamin
    For infants try Swanson Baby D drops
    The herb elderberry is my favorite for recurrent respiratory tract infections.  The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly.  They can be used to make a simple elderberry syrup:IMG_0445

    For allergies, fish oil and vitamin C work wonders. I recommend:
    Nordic Naturals Nordic Omega 3 Fishies for older children or baby DHA for infants and babies.
    Natures Plus Animal Parade Sugar Free Vitamin C

    HipstamaticPhoto-530233401.186695

    Please make sure to see your physician before starting your child on any new supplement or herb.

    -PROBIOTICS
    As a supplement to a healthy diet you can also support your gut flora with probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that naturally occur in our guts. They protect our digestive tracts, help us to digest food, assist in toxin clearance, and shield us from invading bacteria and viruses. A good quality probiotic will contain at least three strains, and I recommend finding one that contains at least these two: lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The best cold-fighting strains to look for are lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosis GG, Bifidiobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum.
    I recommend starting children on a probiotic supplement  strains early on — between 5 and 25 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day depending on age.

    My favorite probiotics are made by Klaire Labs and available from your child’s healthcare provider.

    IMG_1258

    BONE BROTH
    Bone broth provides some of the most important trace minerals that we need for ongoing energy, immunity, and digestion. It is one of the most nutrient-dense, healing foods for the digestive system and therefore a great way to kick off a healthy cold and flu season! In short bone, or marrow broth is one of the best foods you can feed your family. It is a multivitamin, a medicine for all kinds of illness, and a delicious food wrapped up in one.

    IMG_0446

    AVOID TOXINS
    We are constantly surrounded by toxins in our food, water, air, and home environments. These toxins can damage the very cells that work to keep us healthy. When our body’s system is overwhelmed by trying to detoxify toxins, it is less able to support immune function.
    Eat organic foods when possible The Environmental Working Group (EWG) singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. Trust the DIRTY DOZEN to highlight foods you should be getting organic. https://www.ewg.org

    Support your body’s detox system by drinking a lot of filtered water.
    Air out your home frequently by opening the windows.
    Chemicals from our heating systems have nowhere to escape to. These toxins can damage the mucosa- the lining in your throat and nose that traps germs and is key for flu prevention
    Choose natural home and body products, like Norwex, which use a microfiber cloth and (only) water to clean your entire home….and body! http://www.MeganJolin.norwex.biz

    WASH HANDS
    It’s no surprise that hand washing is crucial to avoiding colds and flu. But, kids aren’t doing it well enough. The average person touches his face 60 times per hour. That’s a lot of chances for a virus to get from your hands to your nose, eyes or mouth. The key with kids is to make it easy and fun for them to wash up. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

    Since research has shown that triclosan, commonly found in antibacterial soap, can negatively affect the immune and hormone systems, choose traditional soap and water. Or avoid this problem altogether and grab Norwex cloth and wash your kids hands with just water and a cloth everywhere you go! I keep the travel cloth in my car, purse, and every lunch bag. And the pet-to-dry cloth hangs on my stroller and kids’ backpacks.

    IMG_1265

    I have talked a lot about the importance of downtime, rest, and nutrition in this space. See my Beat the Back-to-School Blues post from August 2017 https://motherearthmama.com/2017/08/30/welcome/ for more information.

    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child.
    Megan provides evidenced-based, family centered care in:

    -prenatal health and wellness

    -Lactation counseling

    
-newborn care

    -infant and child nutrition

    
-infant massage

    
-vaccine consultation

    -nutritional analysis and counseling

    
-toxin free home environment

    
-self care for parents and children

    -children’s yoga

    -natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

  • Kindness Elves: A Take on the Elf on the Shelf Tradition

    As the holidays are now upon us, how many of us sit and wonder how we can teach our children the meaning of the old adage, “It’s better to give than to receive”?

    In December 2013, when our first son was 21 months old, we were gifted the ever popular “Elf on the Shelf”. A gift of great fun that encourages a sense of magic and wonder for our children.

    In keeping with what we said we always wanted for our children, to be happy and kind, we came up with a a twist on that tradition in our home.  In our world full of  entitlement and “I want”,  we look for every opportunity to send our children a positive message emphasizing kindness, sharing, and gratitude. And so evolved, “Dot”,  our Kindness Elf.

    Dot arrives in our home each year on the first of December with an empty cradle, straw, and a note for the kids to find and read. Each act of kindness earns them a piece of straw to lay in the baby’s manger, preparing for His arrival at Christmas.

     

    Many are simple, everyday gestures such as smiling at those we pass, saying please and thank you, holding the door open, or playing with a new friend at school.

    Many of our ideas are for celebrating and thanking those in our local community who serve us, such as leaving a box of coffee for our DPW workers, fresh baked cookies for our postal worker, fire and police departments, and sending Christmas cards and socks to the men and women serving our country.

    There are also grander gestures of good will, such as filling a box with unwanted stuffed animals and blankets for our friends in the local animal shelter,  delivering groceries to the food bank and holiday shopping for a family we sponsor, who is in a less fortunate situation than our own.

    Some mornings they may wake up to find their elf has put away their shoes or fixed a broken toy, modeling direct ways to be kind and helpful.

    Of course, kindness is not just for Christmas and I love the open ended way our little friend has left us each year to continue our celebration with a weekly “Thoughtful Thursday”.  Every Thursday for the entire year, we choose something kind to do for someone else.

    The Kindness Elf has been a very valuable tool in helping our children learn and focus on the positive attributes that we try and teach them in everyday life…”love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

  • How to Stay Happy and Healthy this Cold and Flu season

    How to Stay Happy and Healthy this Cold and Flu season

    Each year there are millions of cases of the common cold in the US and anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the population will come down with the flu.. Luckily, there are many natural ways you can reduce your chances of getting sick.

    The basics:
    Make sure everyone in your family is getting enough sleep, moving and exercising daily, getting outside for some fresh air, eating immune supporting foods, managing their stress, and reducing exposure to toxins.
    IMG_1705

    GET OUTSIDE!
    Nature is fuel for the soul! Research shows that that spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 percent of people. In just one year, the presence of trees saved 850 lives and prevented 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms, according to new research published in the journal Environmental Pollution. Trees remove pollution from the air, making it healthier for us to take into our lungs.

    MOVEMENT AND EXERCISE
    Active free play, especially outdoors, is one of the most beneficial gifts we as parents…can bestow on our children. Playing outside not only provides them with exercise, but also builds their immune system, and provides the much needed Vitamin D we are all lacking, especially in the winter. As the winter months approach, there may be days when it’s just too cold to spend the recommended 3 hours a day outside.  Enter: Go Noodle!
    My son’s kindergarten class takes “brain breaks” and presses “Play” on movement and mindfulness every 7 minutes. And we have embraced this at home as well. Go Noodle turns “screen time” into active time and creates great family fun! Check it out here:https://www.gonoodle.com/

    IMG_1234

    GUT HEALTH
    The gut holds 80 percent of the body’s immune system. All along the digestive lining, white blood cells help protect us from viruses and bacteria that try to invader our system. Healthy gut bacteria work outnumber unwelcome pathogens. All of these functions promote a balanced immune system and ensure we are protected from the viruses that bring on colds and the flu.  The best way to keep your gut healthy and ready to fight off disease is to eat a clean diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.
    -EAT A RAINBOW
    Why are there so many songs about rainbows? Because choosing a variety of naturally occurring colored whole foods throughout the day and week are essential for good health and overall immunity.

    IMG_1223

    -SUPPLEMENTS
    Many kids are picky eaters and may not be getting enough of  immune-supportive nutrients from their diet alone.

    The best supplements to boost a child’s immune system are vitamin D and zinc. In general, you want to choose a supplement that is free of artificial flavors, colors, allergens and sugar. You can provide a Vitamin D supplement alone, in multivitamin form, particularly if for a picky eater. I like:
    Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Gold
    Smarty Pants Kids Complete
    Garden of Life My Kind Kids Multivitamin
    For infants try Swanson Baby D drops
    The herb elderberry is my favorite for recurrent respiratory tract infections.  The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly.  They can be used to make a simple elderberry syrup:IMG_0445

    For allergies, fish oil and vitamin C work wonders. I recommend:
    Nordic Naturals Nordic Omega 3 Fishies for older children or baby DHA for infants and babies.
    Natures Plus Animal Parade Sugar Free Vitamin C

    HipstamaticPhoto-530233401.186695

    Please make sure to see your physician before starting your child on any new supplement or herb.

    -PROBIOTICS
    As a supplement to a healthy diet you can also support your gut flora with probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that naturally occur in our guts. They protect our digestive tracts, help us to digest food, assist in toxin clearance, and shield us from invading bacteria and viruses. A good quality probiotic will contain at least three strains, and I recommend finding one that contains at least these two: lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The best cold-fighting strains to look for are lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosis GG, Bifidiobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum.
    I recommend starting children on a probiotic supplement  strains early on — between 5 and 25 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day depending on age.

    My favorite probiotics are made by Klaire Labs and available from your child’s healthcare provider.

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    BONE BROTH
    Bone broth provides some of the most important trace minerals that we need for ongoing energy, immunity, and digestion. It is one of the most nutrient-dense, healing foods for the digestive system and therefore a great way to kick off a healthy cold and flu season! In short bone, or marrow broth is one of the best foods you can feed your family. It is a multivitamin, a medicine for all kinds of illness, and a delicious food wrapped up in one.

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    AVOID TOXINS
    We are constantly surrounded by toxins in our food, water, air, and home environments. These toxins can damage the very cells that work to keep us healthy. When our body’s system is overwhelmed by trying to detoxify toxins, it is less able to support immune function.
    Eat organic foods when possible The Environmental Working Group (EWG) singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. Trust the DIRTY DOZEN to highlight foods you should be getting organic. https://www.ewg.org

    Support your body’s detox system by drinking a lot of filtered water.
    Air out your home frequently by opening the windows.
    Chemicals from our heating systems have nowhere to escape to. These toxins can damage the mucosa- the lining in your throat and nose that traps germs and is key for flu prevention
    Choose natural home and body products, like Norwex, which use a microfiber cloth and (only) water to clean your entire home….and body! http://www.MeganJolin.norwex.biz

    WASH HANDS
    It’s no surprise that hand washing is crucial to avoiding colds and flu. But, kids aren’t doing it well enough. The average person touches his face 60 times per hour. That’s a lot of chances for a virus to get from your hands to your nose, eyes or mouth. The key with kids is to make it easy and fun for them to wash up. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

    Since research has shown that triclosan, commonly found in antibacterial soap, can negatively affect the immune and hormone systems, choose traditional soap and water. Or avoid this problem altogether and grab Norwex cloth and wash your kids hands with just water and a cloth everywhere you go! I keep the travel cloth in my car, purse, and every lunch bag. And the pet-to-dry cloth hangs on my stroller and kids’ backpacks.

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    I have talked a lot about the importance of downtime, rest, and nutrition in this space. See my Beat the Back-to-School Blues post from August 2017 https://motherearthmama.com/2017/08/30/welcome/ for more information.

    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child.
    Megan provides evidenced-based, family centered care in:

    -prenatal health and wellness

    -Lactation counseling

    
-newborn care

    -infant and child nutrition

    
-infant massage

    
-vaccine consultation

    -nutritional analysis and counseling

    
-toxin free home environment

    
-self care for parents and children

    -children’s yoga

    -natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

  • Beat the Back-to-School Blues

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    Change, whether positive or negative has been rated one of the highest stressors for children. The seasonal schedule change from summer to fall can be enough to create feelings of stress and anxiety. Now add in the early morning rush to school, homework demands, and after school activities, and the entire family can feel overwhelmed.

    Cut down on the chaos and make this school year a smooth transition for both you and your child during the first sensitive weeks:

    Get on a Schedule 

    Begin preparing your child for school at least a week beforehand. Children thrive on routine. Knowing what to expect boosts confidence, provides reassurance and security for your child. Dry erase boards and calendars are great for writing the following day’s schedule. Kids love their own boards and feel less anxiety when they are aware of their schedule. Simply knowing what day they need to wear sneakers for gym can be a relief.

    “Listen” carefully and respectfully to children

    It’s very rare for kids to sit down and talk about their feelings. They show us what’s wrong through their behavior. Sleep trouble, resistance, crying, clinging, throwing tantrums, and increasing aggression are indications of anxiety. Observe what your kids are doing rather than what they’re saying. Encourage your child to have and share their feelings in their safe place of home. No matter how old a child is, loving reassurance and support is invaluable. This makes a positive difference to a child’s well being, and their behavior too.

    Limit your extra curricular activities

    Allow your kids time to adjust to one thing at a time, especially something “big” like school. I recommend choosing one activity per week.  Make sure it’s an activity that creates joy, not stress. There is no sense in heading to a weekly gymnastics class while adjusting to school, if it’s not something your child cares for. For younger ones, like my preschooler, simply going to the playground with new classmates can be enough.

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    Schedule down time

    Have one (or two) days, where there is nothing scheduled. My dear friend coined the phrase “Sleepy Saturdays”.  Use this time to connect with each other. Put your work aside and focus on being with your child. Have a pajama day. Take a walk. Crunch on leaves or collect acorns as you go.  These moments are relationship building and provide much needed stress relief for both adults and children.

    Stay organized

    The simplest organization solutions can save a lot of anxiety and chaos. For example, I love a system for organizing a weeks worth of clothes laid out by day. Get a small vertical shelf system and put the days of the week on it. Place your child’s outfit for the day in the slot and they can easily grab it out each morning without the fuss of “what should I wear?” We use the bottom slot for shoes which has eliminated that dreadful drop zone for misfit shoes!

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    Meal planning is another great way to stay ahead of the game and be organized. Head over to “Get Real Gal” for amazing (and healthy) recipes, shopping lists, prep day tips and freezer meal suggestions.

    Rest and nutrition 

    A well rested child is less irritable, cranky, and better able to respond to stressful situations in a balanced, calm manner.

    Nothing is more important than a sleep schedule, and consistency is key. Whenever possible, keep bedtimes and routines, the same across every night of the week. Avoid letting children stay up later and sleep in longer on the weekends. Any shift in your child’s sleep cycle can set you off course.

    Create a sleep friendly bedroom. Bedrooms should be dark, quiet and free of distractions like television sets and electronics. Avoid using the bedroom for punishment and time outs. It should be a place your child feels comfortable and safe and wants to go to to relax and unwind.

    Age:                    Sleep Needed:

    3-12 mos           14-15 hours

    1-3 years           12-14 hours

    3-5 years           11-13 hours

    5-12 years         10-11 hours

    12-18 years       8-9 hours

    Nutrition is also hugely important. Sugar, caffeine and food coloring can increase jitters and should be limited. A good balanced breakfast with protein can help your child start the day calmly. My favorite go-to are what my children call “Mommy Pancakes”:

    2 eggs (can use flax eggs)

    1 ripe banana

    1-2 Tbsp bone broth

    1/4 cup vegetable (spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, sweet potato are some favorites)

    Combine in blender and cook and flip on the griddle like pancakes!

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    Relaxation techniques

    It is never too early to introduce your child to relaxation techniques. It is a stress filled world and we need to show our children how to counteract that stress. Let them see you taking a few minutes to sit still and concentrate on your breathing. Tell them what you are doing. Children copy what they see and don’t be surprised if even your youngest child climbs up on your lap to experience belly breathing.

    Kids as young as three can practice belly breathing. It’s important to have kids first practice when they are in a relaxed state. Bedtime is a great place  to practice belly breathing. Once they have the feel of belly breathing mastered, then they can apply it to when they’re feeling stressed.

    1. Start by having your child breathe normally. Ask them if they notice anything about it. What parts of their body move as they breathe? What does it feel like?
    2. Now have them lie on their backs and place their hands on their bellies.
    3. With their mouths closed, have them breathe in for four seconds or until they feel their whole chest fill with air all the way down to their belly.
    4. Have them hold in the air for four seconds.
    5. Then have them slowly blow all the air out until it’s all gone.
    6. Repeat until the body feels relaxed.

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    Words of affirmation can be very beneficial for kids of all ages. From self-esteem building to reinforcing kindness and friendship, positive affirmations are a great tool to practice to help your child feel confident in tackling a new school year. Like watching you take a time out and breathe, kids will also mimic affirming themselves. Just yesterday, I overheard my little preschooler from the back seat saying, “I am brave. I am kind. And I got this!”

    Transitional items

    A child who seeks comfort with a security object is often one whose need for love and attention has been met consistently by his parents. Not only are these objects a sign of healthy development, but they serve a valuable purpose. Transitional items are helpful in any situation where a child feels anxiety or stress. When your child is separated from you — at day care, school, or for that first sleepover, for example — it allows him to take along a little piece of home that reminds him of his mom, dad, or in our family’s case….big brother.

    My sweet 5 year old, who struggled with separation anxiety himself, made a transitional object for his little 2 year-old brother when he headed off to his first day of nursery school. Drawing from his own experience, and remembering what helped him , this sweet boy drew a picture of himself with a big heart, symbolizing his love for his little brother. Our little one lovingly referred to this as his “brave newspaper” and brought it to school every day forward, without shedding one more tear.

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    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child.

    Megan provides evidenced-based, family centered care in:
    -prenatal health and wellness
    -lactation counseling
    -newborn care
    -infant feeding
    -infant massage
    -vaccine consultation
    -nutritional analysis and counseling
    -toxin free home environment
    -self care for parents and children
    -natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

     

  • Healthy and Happy Easter 🐣

    Spring is upon us and Easter is here!
    Easter can be one of those occasions that can easily become excessive and overly commercialized. I thought I would share with you some healthy, ethical and natural ideas to ensure you and your little ones have a healthy and happy Easter celebration!

    The basket

    Finding a basket you can re-use year after year is a great eco-friendly option. One that is biodegradable that you can reuse for toy storage and pop in the compost bin when you no longer need it is even better. Support a local artist and head over to Etsy to find one that’s perfect for you.9C18556F-A140-4637-B09E-07B40FE46895

    Easter grass

    Traditional petroleum-based Easter grass generates tons of emission and landfill waste each year. Eco grass is made of 100% renewable content, is fully biodegradable or can be reused for years to come. It is available in a 1.25 oz bag size that fills a standard-size Easter basket and comes in 3 colors: pink, yellow, and green. Even better? It’s made in the USA!

    The eggs

    Traditional plastic Easter eggs also add to our carbon footprint.  Consider using eco eggs which are made in the USA from non-toxic, durable, plant-based plastic and have a secure closure, so you can safely fill them to the brim for those Easter egg hunts.  Eco eggs come in two sizes and 5 assorted colors: pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple. They can be stored and reused for many Easters or disposed in industrial compost.

    Dyeing and decorating eggs is a favorite Easter tradition! Decorative and symbolic for both at Easter and Passover, here are instructions from on how to dye eggs naturally…using food as dye!

    Materials

    Pasture raised white eggs
    White Vinegar such as Olive R Twist White Balsamic Vinegar
    Natural coloring agents from fruits/vegetables/spices (see below)
    Saucepan

    Filtered water

    Olive oil such as Olive R Twist Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    White crayon for drawing and decorating

     

    Choose which colors you’d like to dye your eggs.

    Red/Pink : 1 1/2 cups shredded beets

    Orange: 7 yellow onion skins

    Yellow: 3 tablespoons of ground tumeric

    Green: 2 cups Spinach leaves
    Robins Egg Blue: 1 1/2 cups of red chopped cabbage

    Blue: 2 cups grape juice

    Purple: 2 cups blueberry juice

    Brown: 2 cups of brewed coffee

    1. For each color, fill a saucepan with at least three inches of water.
    2. Add the natural ingredient of your choice from above.
    3. Bring contents to a boil.
    4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or longer for the deepest color.
    5. Strain liquid into a large mason jar, and allow to cool to room temperature, 2-3 hours. This is a good time to write and decorate your eggs with a crayon if you wish!
    6. Stir in 2 tablespoons white vinegar and add 3 hard-boiled eggs
    7. Seal the jar, and refrigerate overnight or until the egg is the desired color.
    8. Rub with olive oil to give them a glistening finish!

    Any food that gives off a tint when boiled is a potential dyeing agent – look around the kitchen with your kids for other natural ingredients that might produce a fun color!

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    A Prize

    A book for every occasion- that’s the motto in our house! Our friends at The Little Bean introduced us to this gem that both of my kids adore! Shop local and pick up your own copy or another Easter favorite at The Curious Reader.

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    The CANDY!

    Chocolate is so much more than candy. It’s a superfood packed with antioxidants and cardiovascular benefits, and studies show chocolate boosts energy, reduces stress, increases concentration and even improves mental health. WIN!

    So we know chocolate is good for us, but is it equally as good for the farmers who grow it? The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 250 million child slaves working to produce many of our everyday purchases such as coffee and cocoa. They are exploited for their work, forced to work long hours with little or no pay and have little rights. When we choose to buy Fair Trade products, we are casting a vote for the ethical treatment of the laborers around the world who are responsible for the food we eat. Fair Trade certification means not only that workers are paid fairly but also those farmers have safe and environmentally-friendly working conditions.

    UnReal is on a mission to unjunk the world by reinventing America’s favorite foods…candy!  Colorful candy shells coating a pop of milk chocolate that’s a treat we can get behind. But artificial colors and ingredients? No thank you.  You can get all of the great taste without any of the junk with these sweet little gems. Only fair trade ingredients found in nature cover their milk chocolate gems colored with red cabbage juice, beetroot juice, annatto extract and turmeric extract.  Every ingredient they use is non-GMO,  made without gluten, corn, or soy, and is sustainably sourced. Fair trade ingredients, less sugar and UnReal taste!

    3D4AB305-E563-496F-9B69-C424F0587A8AChoc Zero is a fair trade, gluten free, soy free, non-GMO and sugar alcohol free company. They’re also Kosher certified. They use an exclusive monk fruit formula to make a line of products with absolutely no added sugar for the every day sugar junkie in your life! Their Fair-trade, ethically sourced, premium cocoa beans are some of South America’s finest and they use real Madagascar vanilla beans to perfect their chocolate flavor.

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    Feel good about enjoying gummy bears this Easter! SmartSweets is tackling one of the largest and most concerning problems hidden in our everyday sweets — sugar. SmartSweets has innovated the first candy ever that kicks sugar—naturally! Every ingredient they use is non-GMO, free from sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners and colors. They use fruit and vegetable juice for color and flavor for that sweet and sour taste.

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    Surf Sweets Jelly Beans are made with organic fruit juice and organic sweeteners, are Non GMO verified, and include 100% of Vitamin C per serving.  They are produced and packaged in dedicated facilities free of the top 10 allergens, making them a top choice for safe treats to share with family and friends. In addition, Surf Sweets is a proud member of 1% for the Planet and will donate a minimum of 1% of the sales from their products to a number of organizations that support environmental causes, including Climate Cycle, Healthy Child Healthy World and EcoMom Alliance.

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    A toothbrush

    Brushing those teeth is important after indulging in all of those Easter treats!
    Did you know the most common bacteria found on toothbrushes are the same ones that cause plaque, cavities, gingivitis and bad breath? The solution? Use a Norwex Silver Care Toothbrush. On contact with water, the silver covering the toothbrush’s base releases active ions that eliminate 99.9% of the bacteria commonly found on toothbrushes. This natural, self-sanitizing process also prevents the growth of these bacteria. The unique, replaceable Silver Care Plus Head snaps in and out, and the plastic handle is reusable. Find it here.

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    The belly-ache

    Nux vomica is the main remedy to have on standby during this festive season to treat signs such as overindulgence and hangover. After gobbling up that Easter candy and the like, you may have some digestive issues. Reach for homeopathic remedy, Nux vomica by Boiron to relieve symptoms of heartburn or drowsiness caused by overeating or over drinking.

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    Blessed and Happy Easter!

    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child.
    Megan provides evidenced-based, family centered care in prenatal health and wellness, lactation counseling
, newborn care
-infant feeding
, infant massage
, vaccine consultation
, nutritional analysis and counseling
, toxin free home environment
, self care for parents and children, children’s yoga
 and a natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses. Contact

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

     

  • Is it a cold or the flu?

    You’ve got the sniffles, you’re tired, and you can’t stop sneezing. Is it a common cold or the dreaded flu? Because the common cold and the flu have overlapping symptoms, it’s easy to mistake one for the other.

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    Common cold

    A cold is a viral upper respiratory tract infection that typically affects the nasal part of the respiratory system. The infection is usually mild and goes away without treatment. Symptoms may include a runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever. Colds are most common in winter and spring months, and usually last 7-10 days. You can help prevent a cold with frequent handwashing and by avoiding contact with people who have a cold. Since research has shown that triclosan, commonly found in antibacterial soap, can negatively affect the immune and hormone systems, choose traditional soap and water. When flu prevention experts advise you to wash your hands, they don’t mean a light drizzle of water. They recommend washing for at least 15 to 20 seconds; that’s about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

    Flu symptoms

    The flu is caused by the influenza virus and lasts about 5-7 days. Symptoms of seasonal flu typically include fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. The best way to avoid getting the flu is by getting a flu shot, which takes about 2 weeks after injection to start protecting you from the flu virus. The flu season varies every year, and health officials must choose the influenza strains that should be targeted for an upcoming season, months in advance, when it is hard to know what strains might be circulating. When flu vaccines are well matched to circulating viruses, effectiveness is, at best, around 60 percent.

    If you get your flu vaccine before the flu season starts, it not only reduces your risk of the flu, it can mitigate the symptoms and protect more vulnerable people around you who may not have good immunity, such as the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, or small children.

    Think you have the flu?

    Starting homeopathic and herbal preparations at the very beginning of flu symptoms can significantly shorten the duration and severity of illness.

    Oscillococcinum

    Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy made to treat aching of the body with upper respiratory symptoms, fever and coughing. It’s available over the counter at grocery and health food stores. And If taken early enough in the illness cycle, studies have shown that taking Oscillococcinum at the onset of flu significantly reduces symptoms and shortens the duration of illness.

    oscillococcinum

    The recommended dosage is one vial 3 times/day preferably at the very beginning of flu symptoms. The dosage is the same for children and adults. For an infant, you can dissolve the pellets in water and give with a syringe or in their bottle or sippy cup.

    My family takes one vial weekly as a preventative measure, and because I am in the field of nursing and exposed to flu on a daily basis, I take it daily. Check out their website for coupons!

    Elderberry

    The herb elderberry is my favorite for recurrent respiratory tract infections. The dried berries of the Sambucis Nigra plant are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly.  They can be used to make a simple elderberry syrup:

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    Sinusalia

    Sinusalia works naturally with your body to temporarily relieve nasal congestion, sinus pain and headache due to the common cold. Paired with a Neti pot, you can say goodbye to sinus infections forever!!

    Coldcalm

    Coldcalm is a combination homeopathic formula that is great for general cold symptoms, especially when you’re not sure which specific medicine to give. We start it here in our home at the very first sniffle or runny nose, and adjust to more specific remedies as the symptoms evolve and change.

    Sinusalia

    Xlear

    Xlear is a saline nasal spray that contains xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. We use it morning and night during cold and flu season to keep those nasal passages clear of any harboring bacteria. Another reason to love this one, is it comes in nasal drops for babies and young children who don’t like the sensation of a nasal spray.

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    Throat Coat Tea

    Sore throat got you down?

    Throat Coat Tea contains pharmacopoeial grade herbs (a ‘medicinal’ rather than a ‘food’ grade of herb) slippery elm and licorice, with hints of orange, peppermint and cinnamon. The makers, Traditional Medicinals, have put through this tea through the rigors and even published a clinical study. Hands down this the best remedy for sore throat!

    throatcoat

    Get that fresh air by opening windows for a bit every day. Florence Nightingale noted the virtues of open windows bakc in 1859. “True nursing ignores infection, except to prevent it. Cleanliness, fresh air from open windows, are the only defence a true nurse either asks or needs,” she wrote.

    Keep your home clean and germ free by using Norwex towels, specifically on doorknobs, faucets, remote controls. And get those essential oils diffusing! I like Thieves or On Guard for their cleaning power and immune-boasting abilities!

    EO

    See my post from October for more natural ways to prevent the flu. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2018!

    Megan Jolin of Mother Earth Mama is a board certified Holistic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner whose passion is to bring health and wellness to the whole child.
    Megan provides evidenced-based, family centered care in prenatal health and wellness, lactation counseling
, newborn care
-infant feeding
, infant massage
, vaccine consultation
, nutritional analysis and counseling
, toxin free home environment
, self care for parents and children, children’s yoga
 and a natural/integrative approach to common childhood illnesses. Contact

    Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not rely solely on this content, and Mother Earth Mama assumes no liability for inaccuracies. These products and recommendations are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.