Thursday, January 31, 2013

Influenza, Sassy Style

Yeah, well, we got the flu.

Now just a minute and listen up.  The flu is NOT a stomach virus.  At all.  The flu is influenza.  It is a high fever, aches, head ache, exhaustion, burning dry cough in the chest, and maybe some head congestion.  It comes on fast.  And knocks you flat.

A stomach bug is gastroenteritis and you will vomit and go poo for a day and then be better.  Trust me on this one.  There is NO such thing as the stomach flu.  Some kids will get stomach upset with influenza, most likely from fever or nasty draining mucus into their tender tummies.

Ahem.

We have the flu.  It was generously brought home by Eric from a business trip.  Thanks, pal.  I figured we'd end up with it, being it's so widespread and he was flying on a plane, etc.

We don't get flu shots.  Ever.  My kids have never had one.  My last one was in the 1970s during the 'swine flu' epidemic scare.

We do, however, try to prevent the flu.  This elderberry syrup is the number one virus and illness prevention known to man.  Ok, known to me.  Cheap and easy to make.

http://sassyfamily8.blogspot.com/2011/11/elderberry-syrup.html

But some people still get sick.  Which brings me to "comfort care."

My big teen started the fun last week.  I found him fast asleep at 830 on a Friday night on my bed.  I woke him up, said "what's up?" and he coughed.  Oh yay!

I give tylenol or advil for fever relief if the fever interferes with sleep (theirs or mine).  Or if they are just plain miserable.  But if they can tolerate it a bit, we let it ride and do the good work fever was designed to do.

Healing Bath
This is basically 1 cup epsom salts (drug store, grocery store, Target), 1/4 cup sea salt (not necessary, but nice), 2 tablespoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and then 5-10 drops of each eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and peppermint oils.  I like to get my oils at:

www.beeyoutiful.com

Mix all those ingredients in a big bowl (with a spoon, or with your hands) and put it in a glass jar with a lid.  You might have to break up the clumps of oil in the salts first.

Then, when someone is sick, put 1/2 cup of this good mixture into a warm or hot bath, swirl to dissolve, and let the oils lift from the steam into the respiratory passages, and soak through the skin, and do wonders.

Winterbreeze
Another great product from Beeyoutiful.  Remember the old vapo-rub our moms would put on our chests when we had a cough?  This is the natural, healing, wonderfully safe and healthy version!

http://www.beeyoutiful.com/winter-breeze-vapor-rub-4oz.html

I rub this on their chests, their necks, their shoulders, and even under the nose for serious sinus congestion.  Be careful around the eyes, the essential oils can sting a bit.

Broth
I will never cease to wax poetic about the qualities of good, home made broth from chicken or turkey or beef bones, and a bunch of aromatics and herbs.  It is salty and full of minerals and vitamins and gelatin and so many good things to heal the body inside and out.  AND, with the low appetite of the flu, it's a way to get a few calories in the body while hydrating at the same time.

http://sassyfamily8.blogspot.com/2010/10/homemade-broth.html

Easy to make.  Really easy.  I just put 8 more quart containers of turkey broth into my freezer.  I bought up a bunch of frozen turkey parts (backs and necks) from my health food store.

Serve it by the mug to your flu patients.  Even tiny tots.

Sick Tea
Not a great title, but a great thing to sip.  Full of spicy aromatic ingredients, it revs up the internal furnace of the body to fight off sickness, soothe sore throats, ease coughs, and of course hydrate.


Three main ingredients - fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, and lemon.  Recipe?

About 2 inches of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped into big pieces.  3-4 cinnamon sticks.  1/2 a lemon, sliced or quartered.  One pot of water, at least a quart to start.  Raw (or not) honey at the ready.  Simmer the ginger, cinnamon and lemon in the water on low for as long as you like.  I keep it going all day, add more water as we drink the tea, turn it off at night and let it sit, start it up again the next day.  The longer, the better and stronger.

Pour off the liquid into a mug, stir in a big spoon of honey, and sip away.


Now, Sassy is not going to brag (much) but I am grateful for an easy flu outbreak in our home.  Eric had a light case, James got sacked pretty hard but only in bed for 3 days, Carlton and Elsa each had two days in bed followed by a wee lingering cough, and Asher is a new case today with a mild sore throat, bit of a head ache, and his chest hurts some.  No fever yet.  Wesley, Sally and I are still standing.

But if we fall?  We are ready.

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