Updated: Mar 14
The corona virus has arrived on our shores. You might be wondering at this point: Should I be worried? Is there something I can do? Maybe you'd like to know some complimentary or holistic options to protect you and your family? Read on ...
Prickly looking buggers, aren't they? They are fierce invaders, just like the flu virus. Problem is, experts aren't familiar with this strain so they're not sure what it can do. What can you do?
First, don’t panic. Educate yourself. Check the CDC’s website.
Second, at this point most of us are at greater risk of getting the flu than the corona virus. The most at-risk populations are the elderly, sick, and medical staff. Hold off traveling to stricken areas like CA and WA.
A mask is not necessary if you are not sick. If you are and you’re coughing and sneezing, then you should consider it if you're going out in public. You'll be asked to wear one in a hospital or anywhere where there are immune-compromised individuals living or convalescing such as a hospital or senior care center. Also, a mask can't keep the virus out; it's more for keeping germs away from other people.
If you don’t have a mask, cough or sneeze into a tissue; not on your clothing or hands to keep germs from spreading. Try to teach your kids this, too.
If you are sick, please stay at home if at all possible. Keep sick kids at home whenever possible. Viruses are passed by sneezing and coughing.
Washing hands is still really important! Do it with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. It really kills bug if you do it right. Try singing the ABC's song with your kids. With all the hand washing, we’ve switched to this goat’s milk soap that’s more moisturizing.
Antibacterials are not going to kill viruses. Use disinfectants using alcohol, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide on surfaces around your work area and in your home. Hand sanitizers are a good idea. See below for my favorite DIY recipe that uses vodka vs. rubbing alcohol.
If you will be traveling or going to a hospital, you can spray anti-viral Tribindu or use an anti-microbial spray on a mask or a light scarf to help prevent the passage of germs into your airways.
The corona virus is a respiratory disease like the flu. Do your best to protect your respiratory system:
Humidify air at home and work to keep mucosal linings of the lungs and sinuses hydrated and protected.
Diffuse any of these anti-bac essential oils or make your own hand spray: lavender, sage, tea tree, lemongrass, tulsi (holy basil), cinnamon, lemon, and clove.
Use Tribundu on and around you when flying or in airports or hospitals.
Tulsi tea for the whole family. Add a few black peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, and a few clove buds and ginger root slices to help when you feel like you're coming down with a cough. A very warming tea!
If you notice that dreaded “tickle” in the back of your throat, fend off the infection with ½ teaspoon turmeric and ½ teaspoon salt in ½ cup of warm water and gargle every 2-3 hours. This really helps!
Take a teaspoon of Chyavanprash daily for a daily dose of immune supporting Ayurvedic herbs. My whole family loves it. Supposedly only older kids should have it but I literally can't keep it away from my younger ones. It looks like mud and tastes like buttery, herb-y honey. They love it.
Try this Immune Boosting tea for the whole family. If you can, drink tea away from meals as it can flush vitamins and minerals away. Still figuring this one out.
Get to know natural anti-virals like elderberry and turmeric. We make our own elderberry syrup - it's easy and much more affordable than store bought. I dilute it with hot water and drink it like tea with our breakfast. It has a super tangy taste so I will add ginger, cinnamon, and clove and lots of honey of course. You can buy it locally made at Tippecanoe Herbs. Now ‘s a good time to enjoy Golden Milk with turmeric. See my blog post on that plus my own recipe.
If you've made it this far, here come the annoying common sense suggestions where I sound like your mom waving a finger at you. I work on this stuff all the time myself as it is not easy to do with kids!
Please, keep reading.
You guessed it ... Get good rest. Our immune systems don't work great when we're tired. Going to bed early is something I keep working at. I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me to start winding down (aka turn off screens).
Drink more fluids. Warm fluids in particular are more hydrating and will better keep your system flushed. I like to start the day with a hot cup of water with a couple ginger slices and a lemon wedge. Add honey when it’s a drinkable temp to maintain its anti-microbial qualities. This will hydrate and wake up your digestion. Drink more warm water in between meals, which will keep your digestion strong. Don’t drown your digestion around or at meals. Strong digestion supports a healthy immune system as it produces less toxins released into our system.
Protect your gut. Avoid old, processed, convenience foods as much as you can and eat more fresh, whole, unprocessed foods. I know you're thinking ... What! I do not have hours every day to dedicate to cooking from scratch! Yep, me too. I just do my best. I still cook to have leftovers for the next day or two. That's a whole other blog post :) This ensures that you are getting good nutrition from your food for good immunity. And we also make less toxins (a white, sticky glue that is emitted from our digestion when we don’t properly digest our food - or ama).
Feed your gut. Microbes benefit most from plant matter: veggies, greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. They also love GHEE, which comes from butter. They turn their plant-fiber food into butyric acid, which is a main component of butter and ghee; however ghee is much richer in this naturally occurring fatty acid in our gut. This is scientifically proven. See my blog post on making ghee and watch my amusing home videos of me and my then-4 year old making it together :)
Supplement with food-based pro-biotics like yogurt or kefir. Food based because most pro-biotic supplements are not effective. Just a small amount is all that’s needed. Try a lassi (60/40 diluted yogurt drink) with ½ teaspoon Triphala (Ayurvedic super herb for digestion and detox). I add a pinch of salt and cardamom and sweeten to taste with honey. Yum! The boys love this too. That said, avoid cold dairy products when a cold comes on. This creates excess mucous and congestion. Avoid it also in the early morning and late at night. Eat it mid-day when digestion is strongest. A little warm spiced milk at night is still a great way to send little and big kids off to bed.
Again, be vigilant about hand washing for you and your kids. Here's that DIY recipe for a natural hand sanitizer that's all natural and moisturizing! I can't wait to try it.
This a lot, I know. I wish you a happy and disease-free March!