How bad has this winter been for colds and flus? I have seen countless cases of families suffering with the nasty viruses that have been circulating around the home, schools and kindergartens.

Firstly the natural dilemma of when do you visit the doctor and what can be done if you do? The answer is within yourself. You know your body and your child’s reaction to being unwell better than anyone. At that very moment that you feel uncomfortable pop and see the doctor to check there is no infection present.

Naturally we can do a lot to prevent infection occurring if we are on to it immediately. Here in Auckland specifically the climate is associated with respiratory illness, especially asthma. The dampness in the home can create mould spores which when inhaled can cause a range of respiratory disorders.

Some simple Respiratory tips to keep the family healthy are:-

1. Burn eucalyptus essential oil in the home. It is especially good for improving breathing and clearing congestion. Mixed with a little Manuka or Thyme oil can also be very antibacterial and antiviral. Investing in an electric oil burner is really worth it.

2. Use ear candles every month to keep the airways clear and prevent wax build up and sinus congestion. The ears are a major gateway for infection.

3. Have lemon, honey and ginger drinks each day to support the immune system. For the kids Davidsons put out a great lemon and honey drink to which you just add water. It is like a cross between a honey pot with lemon butter. Yum.

4. Avoid dairy drinks where possible it only builds up the mucus production.

Mullein and ribwort are great herbs for breaking up mucus in cases such as chest infection. Use your essential oils mentioned above in a small amount of carrier oil such as apricot kernel oil and massage directly on to the chest and back.

5. Belladonna is a great homeopathic remedy for fever and throbbing pain

In the case of earache, headache or general body heat.

6. Using crushed garlic cloves mixed into tepid olive oil and then placed with

A dropper into the ear canal and plugged with cotton wool is a great remedy

For earache and ear infection. Garlic is a natural antibiotic.


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Tracy Harris is a registered NZ naturopath and herbalist, and natural health writer, who has both a natural health shop and a natural mother & child store in Auckland.

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