Halloween treats can kick start flu season

Especially with the cold weather this year, I’ll be expecting phone calls about a week or two after Halloween.

Especially with the cold weather this year, I’ll be expecting phone calls from parents with sick children (or themselves if they were dipping into the candy too much) about a week or two after Halloween.

I see many colds and flues due to the increased amount of sugar. As I stated in a past article, 1 tsp of sugar decreases immune function by 50 per cent for five-to-eight hours. Just as an example, one Mars bar contains about two-to-three tsp of sugar.

So, here are some strategies to help balance out all that candy and improve immune function to get your child back on track!

Include in their food and drinks:

– Bright coloured fruits and vegetables- You can blend these in smoothies or soups

– Whole grains, such as brown rice/quinoa and anti-inflammatory foods, such as raw almonds and seeds, halibut, salmon, herring and sardines

– Beans and legumes in foods such as burritos, tacos or soups

– Herbal teas with Red clover, nettles, mint, fennel, calendula, Echinacea and ginger.  Traditionals teas makes some nice blends called Throat Remedy and Cold Remedy.  Other soothing teas are Lemon balm, slippery elm and licorice.

– Ginger (1 oz. grated or ½ oz. dried), ¼ oz. rice vinegar, 3 c. apple juice/cider and boil for 5 min. and drink as much as possible

– If there is pain, Chamomile, skullcap and lemon balm made into a tea, sweeten and give 1 tsp.-1 tbsp. as needed

Consider some physical treatments such as:

– Using tea tree oil salve applied externally on chest to help break up the cough and help kill bacteria

– Take hot baths to mount a temperature to kill off the bacteria or virus.  The body naturally raises the temperature to 100- 102 F to kill off the bacteria or virus.

– Apply mustard/onion/eucalyptus oil plasters on the chest to ease breathing and break up coughs

– Use steam inhalation with a few drops of oregano or eucalyptus oil to resolve a bacterial or viral chest infection

– Use Echinacea, Oregon grape, Myrrh, coltsfoot, gumweed, garlic and Mullien.  They can be mixed together and used to swab the throat area or given internally by gargling and then swallowing.  You can add a flavouring agent such as ginger, orange, lemon, cinnamon, honey or maple syrup

You may want to give them:

– A supplement with zinc, Vitamin C (non acidic form) and B complex

– Immune herbal capsules or tincture with garlic, reishi mushroom, astragalus and Ligusticum

– Soothing herbal cough syrups and Slippery Elm Lozenges to coat the throat

– Zinc lozenges on hand to prevent those night coughs

– Slippery elm lozenges to soothe those dry, irritating coughs

This should give you a good set of tools to nip those colds and flues before they get established.

If the cold or flu lasts more than three or four days, then you need to build up the immune system.

Dr. Brenda Gill is a naturopath in Rossland. Contact her at 250-352-3150 or 250-362-5035 for an appointment to understand what is needed.