I was awoken early Friday morning to a moaning child. My eldest wasn’t feeling well. She was complaining of a headache, achy muscles, a stomach ache and a general feeling of weakness…. As the day wore on, she developed a fever and vomited several times. Today, 48 hrs later, we’re outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine and she is laughing and playing. Here’s what we’ve done over the course of the past few days.
First off, we’ve spent most of those 2 days resting; either in bed with some relaxing music playing, or downstairs on the couch…not as restful with her sisters playing, but she preferred to have the company. Throughout the day she dozed on and off and her symptoms and her energy level oscillated.
From a dietary perspective we’ve focused on staying hydrated, and light eating. Because it’s often a challenge to get nourishment into children when they’re sick, I allow my children to guide me in what I prepare for them. In the morning, her stomach was feeling very unsettled and she didn’t want anything to eat. She did want something warm to drink though. I filled a mason jar with warm water and Cold & Flu Exilir to make a “tea.” This is a herbal combination of Elder berries, Rosehips, Elder Flowers, Echinacea, Boneset, Usnea, Licorice, Wild blueberries and Chokecherries. She sipped on this “tea” throughout the day, alternating with water, broth and some Emergen-C. Midway through the day, we added a bit of Manuka honey to the Elixir.
She wasn’t hungry for most of the day, and her stomach continued to feel unsettled, so we stuck to teas, broth (I prepared a chicken broth for lunch) and dry crackers. By dinner time she had a bit more of an appetite, so we had brown rice and lentils. I had soaked the lentils in the afternoon, and prepared them with the leftover broth from lunch, as well as some garlic, onions and a bit of sea salt. She ate very little, which was ok.
In terms of supplements, in addition to the Cold & Flu Elixir and Vitamin C, we used Oscillococcinum every few hours; when her symptoms returned. Occillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy for flu symptoms. Her most prominent complaint was the achy feeling in her legs, which we addressed with the use of a hot water bottle.
Many parents chose to use tylenol or advil when their children have a fever, and when they complain of aches and pains. I find that once a child is medicated, it is very difficult to assess how they are really doing. In addition, eliminating a fever actually makes it harder for the body to fight off any viral or bacterial infection. Although the use of such medications is sometimes necessary, we try to avoid them as much as possible.
The following day, we followed a similar recipe. The only change was the addition of apple sauce, which was what she wanted to eat. I prepared a batch (just apples, cinnamon and a tiny bit of cloves) which she nibbled on throughout the day. As her fever dissipated towards mid-day, she began to feel a bit better.
And that’s it. That was our simple recipe for the flu. Of course in addition to this, a heap of TLC.
As a side note, I feel it’s prudent to give other family members a boost when someone in the household is sick. The rest of used the Cold & Flu Elixir, increased our Vitamin C and our Vitamin D intake. Everyone got tucked in with “hot socks*” on. During the day we went outside for some fresh air (and sunshine!) while DD napped on the couch. As I often do, even during winter months, I cracked several windows open throughout the day to encourage airflow in our house. As I sensed the energy level was generally low in our household, everyone got into bed early to get a bit of extra rest.
*Hot Socks is a simple hydrotherapy treatment that can help to moderate a fever, decrease pain and congestion in the head and chest region, and increase lympathic (and immune) response. Here’s how you do it:
Soak a pair of cotton sports socks in COLD water. Wring them out and put them on. Cover with a pair of dry wool socks. Get into bed. By morning, the socks will be dry and feet will be HOT.