People who like to eat out and spend a lot of time in malls, shopping centers, and public places and or schools, beware, as we are still not finished with a nasty superbug that came to America earlier this year. Perhaps you never heard, but there is a new superbug in the form of a supped up strain of the norovirus, and it’s anything but pretty. ABC says: “This virus is like a Ferrari fast-moving and well designed.”
Unlike other cold and flu viruses that die off in 8 hours or so, this pesky new virus can stay alive on surfaces for weeks waiting for its host to come along and wreak havoc innocently. Symptoms manifest only a few hours after you are exposed and get this; you only need to breathe in about 18 norovirus particles to become violently ill. With the regular flu, you have to breathe in about 1,000 virus particles to get sick. This goes to show just how vicious this new strain is. How do we plan to stay healthy this winter and avoid this virus and other nasty airborne critters?
No Eating Out
For starters, we will avoid eating out. Especially in places where food is left open and or cooked in open spaces to the public. For us, not eating out is not a hard thing to do as we hardly ever eat out unless it is at our local health food store.
Wash, Wash, and Wash Again
I will also become a drill sergeant and ensure all family members wash their hands with regular soap and water to remove any virus or bacteria they may have picked up at school.
Clean Ears, Nose, Eyes & Throat
Cleansing of the nose, ears, eyes, and throat will continue throughout winter. This is easily done by washing the face first with soap and warm water and scrubbing around the nose and eyes. A gentle organic Shea butter soap in liquid form that is safe for families of all ages can be purchased here.
When I am distributing the liquid soap and placing it in containers for each bathroom, I usually add a few drops of organic essential oils of lemon and rosemary to each bottle. These essential oils don’t seem to bother me but may cause reactions in some people.
To clean the ears, we soak a cotton swab with garlic oil or peroxide and gently clean on the outer parts of the ear without penetrating the ear completely. We do this once a day. A swab can also be used in this manner with peroxide to clean the inside of each nostril. However, a very effective cleanser for the sinuses is Alkalol. It is made using herbs that contain anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Alkalol also makes a great gargle to cleanse the throat. During times of sickness or to prevent the onset of a virus, we gargle three times a day with Alkalol or a mixture of Thyme, Cloves, Echinacea, and ginger tea.
Do Like the Brits, Make Tea Time a Priority
I can’t even begin to recall the many times that my herbal concoctions of tea have saved me from the flu, bronchitis, Pneumonia, etc. In my lifetime, I have worked in hospitals, clinics, banks, gone to visit people who were hacking up from a bout of Pneumonia and have been around sick kids, and (knock on wood) I seldom got sick from being around sick people. This is because I’ve always made it a habit to travel with tea. I bathe in it, and I make it a mandatory activity in our home. Tea time during cold and flu season is usually about 3 – 4 times a day.
My all-time favorite concoction is mixing my homemade immunity and lung tea and adding extra thyme, ginger, lemon, and raw honey.
In your blender, blend about an inch or two of fresh, washed, unpeeled ginger in a cup of water. Boil for 1 minute with a teaspoon of thyme and a tea that supports the respiratory and immune systems. Cover for 10 minutes AWAY from heat; then strain into a mug. Add the juice of 1 lemon and a little raw honey. We drink this 3-4 times a day when feeling like something is trying to get us. This concoction has knocked out any cold or flu in just a few days. We also crush some garlic and let it steep along with the tea and ginger for a powerhouse of anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. The oil released from the garlic is a potent anti-viral and natural fever reducer and antibiotic.
Homemade Herbal Disinfecting Wipes
These are great to make and cleanse your hands and shopping carts. For an article on making homemade wipes click here. What makes these wipes an excellent option for cleansing is my secret ammo called Thieves Vinegar. The story tells of four thieves in 15th century England who used a blend of herbs to keep themselves from getting sick during the plague. The herbs used by the Thieves have become very popular in the last 2 decades due to the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-microbial properties of the herbs. Please note that I am NOT talking about essential oil blends.
To prepare Thieves Vinegar, we use equal parts of dried wormwood, lavender, peppermint rosemary, and sage. We brew this fantastic concoction in Apple Cider Vinegar for several weeks, then strain and soak our homemade wipes in it and place soaked wipes in Ziploc bags for use when we are on the go.
Herbal Supplements, Oils, and Green Juice
No healthy family would be complete without enjoying all the fantastic benefits and nutrients derived from the ground. We take Goldenseal, Echinacea, Astragalus, and Olive Leaf during winter to help keep us healthy and strong. I usually make my glycerites and tinctures, but when I can’t or when my superpowers lack, I go for a bottle of Gaia Herbs. They make some fantastic supplements you can read about here. We also rub handcrafted oils all over our feet every morning before school and or work. This has really helped me especially since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. Magnesium oil and oils made from arnica, thyme and cayenne have been a life saver for me.
And last but not least, lots of green juices and smoothies. Each morning our breakfast consists of a sizeable 16-ounce smoothie made with greens. We also juice carrots with lots of kale, avocado, cilantro, ginger, and green apples. There is nothing like fresh green juice or smoothies to keep your body remain alkaline and healthy.
Sleep, Probiotics & Healthy Eating
Sleep is a hard one, but we try our best to sleep at least a good 8 hours each night to allow our bodies to rest and recoup. If I am not sleeping well and around sick people or working too much, I will begin to feel my body collapse and crash more often. Although its been hard for me to have restful sleep due to working in a sick building I try to rest and sleep as much as I can because I understand that my body needs it. I also try not to overextend myself because doing that means I’ll be out of commission for hours or days.
Sleeping is especially crucial for children and the elderly. For kids, at least 9-12 hours of good sleep each night is a must to keep their defenses up and help their bodies stay healthy.
Probiotics are a vital part of keeping gut flora stable and battling against Noroviruses. When our kids have been exposed to vomiting kids at their school who have contracted a stomach virus, I immediately begin to increase their daily dose of probiotics. We try to incorporate some fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut, Kefir from grass-fed cows, or make our water kefir using grains easily purchased online. Besides eating the right foods high in good gut bacteria, we supplement with a fantastic probiotic by Garden of Life.
Probiotics are especially important for those who have taken antibiotics. If you have ever taken just one round of antibiotics, your gut flora has been destroyed. Replenishing gut flora is very important for optimal health. Without good flora, we become prone to all kinds of inflammatory diseases like asthma, arthritis Crohn’s, and more.
Alongside everything else listed here, our diet is key to keeping us healthy. A balanced diet composed of living foods is super essential for optimal health. If we put dead foods into our bodies, we will most likely only get dead, lifeless results in the end, like the many sicknesses and diseases that are plaguing our society. In many cases, they are the result of a dead food diet. Living foods, however, are life building foods that aid our body in the healing process. Deciding to eat healthier and eating organic is a life choice; it’s a decision to be pro-life, to want to see our children, and family members live healthier lives and do more on this earth. Eating to live is a fascinating concept where the human body desires to eat those things that will enhance its ability to fight off disease and ultimately live a more productive life.
Although I cant always control my environment I can control what I put into my mouth. Its the simplest and hardest thing to do, lol. But id encourage you to try eating heathier and document how you feel.
Here’s to a healthy, blessed New Year!
Lots of Love.