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It is flu season once again and I can say that as always and on time, that evil virus has made its way into our home. The thing about the flu and having a large family is that it attacks slow and hangs around for awhile. It seems that as soon as one child is getting better another begins to get worse. Really it is a never-ending, exhausting cycle.
I have always been one to believe that medication is not the best way.
I have always believed that medicine suppresses the symptoms that our body gives off to tell us that there is a virus and that it is fighting. In fact, each time my children have gotten a fever I reassure them that it is a good sign because “it means your body is working and fighting hard”. Of course, that usually doesn’t offer much consolation and my heart is just too soft not to offer some medication to alleviate their suffering. However, in my heart, I knew medication was just not the way to go.
Recently I began my journey of becoming a Registered Aromatherapist and achieving a degree in Holistic Medicine. Just in the short time of my studies, I knew that there were healing techniques and methods that could beat this flu virus that my children had come down with.
*Update September 2018: I am now a Professional Aromatherapist & Holistic Health Consultant.
This time around I was determined to get through things with no medicine.
***I DO NOT condone serious illness or illness that lasts an extended amount of time go without diagnosis and/or treatment from a medical doctor.
So when all four of my kids woke up with flu symptoms I knew we were in for a long day if we were going to beat this thing in a new way. Our symptoms ranged from fever, nausea, tear-causing headaches, sore throats, chest congestion, earaches, and of course the loss of appetite. The first thing I did was ask my husband to head to the store with a list of items, cleared my schedule, and broke out some of my favorite essential oils.
We started the morning off with some freshly made Cinnamon Honey Tea. Since cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties (among many other benefits) this is always the first remedy I go to. Plus, the warmth of the tea is great on the throat and helps loosen any congestion. (I also end the night with a small cup of tea as well to provide some nighttime comfort.)
I then prepared two rubs, one for nausea/ stomach cramps and another for headaches. For nausea and stomach cramp rub, I prepared 1 ounce of coconut oil and mixed in 3 drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil, 2 drops of Ginger, and 1 drop of Anise essential oil. For the headache rub, I prepared 1 ounce of coconut oil mixed with 3 drops of Peppermint essential oil.
This is where most of my time was spent- rubbing 4 children throughout the day. Anytime my children said they were feeling nauseous I began by pressing as firmly as they could handle (it is painful) on their wrists. This is located approximately 3 fingers width onto the wrist. Once their nausea calms, I rub their stomach with the oil mixture in small, clockwise circles as well as in a downward motion to help stimulate their digestive system. When it helps induce them going to the restroom that is always a plus. (It is important to note that this should not be done in too firm of a manner.) Lastly, I utilize this same oil on the bottoms of their feet, massaging as firmly as they can handle (again it is painful) in small clockwise circles. The location for where best to massage is guided by using the reflexology map. It is here that I pinpoint the area for the stomach, intestines, and even liver.
The Headache rub is also used throughout the day in which I rub onto the temples as well as the tips of their toes and also the middle of the bottom of the pinky toe (as guided by the reflexology map once again). Although the bottoms of the feet for not easily absorb essential oils, I find that applying a bit of rob has a placebo effect as well as providing lubrication for massage.
Reflexology is a wonderful holistic healing technique that can help numerous ailments in the body.
In my diffuser, I kept a blend of Bergamot essential oil & Rosemary essential oil going throughout the day and even at night at 20 minute intervals. I love this blend! Bergamot has been a personal favorite of mine since I began my journey in Aromatherapy. It holds so many benefits to health and really aids in fighting colds.
Another important step I took to ensure that I helped induce the detoxification of their bodies was to prepare Detox Baths. This is also good in keeping their fevers down and providing some comfort. I started by filling the bathtub with warm water. Then added 1/2 cup of Epsom salt, 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 ounce of Coconut oil, and a blend of a few of my favorite flu-fighting essential oils. I chose Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Ginger essential oils (2 drops of each). Each child took two 20 to 30-minute baths, one early on and one before bed. Two of my children were battling pretty rough fevers so they took an extra bath each with lukewarm water, epsom salt, and baking soda but no essential oils. The benefit of the baths alone on their little bodies was an amazing thing to witness!
Then came the thought of dinner. I knew that it would be a miracle to get any of my children to eat, however, I also knew that their bodies needed the nutrients to help fight the flu. The first thing that came to mind was chicken noodle soup! Pretty easy right? Well, I decided to make one but in a two-step process. I start out by making a broth of some super foods that they would never eat and then use that to make my Flu-Fighting Chicken Noodle Soup. I love this recipe because the broth alone is full of everything needed to keep the body healthy and provide enough energy to combat illness. Surprisingly, after all of the baths and rubs, all except for one of my kids were willing to eat a few veggies and noodles in their soup!
Lastly, I ended their night by spraying their pillows with a Lavender hydrosol to aid them in being able to rest easier.
Don’t Forget About Taking Care Of YOU!
This is important because the family cannot function without you. So no matter how exhausted you may be, you have to ensure you are not neglecting your own health and well-being. So once I got all of my children tucked into bed and the house picked up, I hopped in and took a detox bath myself with a few drops of Lavender, Cedarwood, and Oregano essential oils- to help me relax and support my immunity.
To my surprise, my day began at almost 9 o’clock. I was also surprised as I thought about the night and realized that I was only woken up once throughout the night by my youngest son due to his aching legs. Of course, a quick rub with the Chamomile rub, which I used for nausea, and his little legs were soothed enough for him to get some sleep. Waking up to see that my daughters were feeling well enough that they were giggling and playing with the dogs brought instant relief to my heart. I knew that it was going to be a better day; not the best, but better.
Once all four children were awake I assessed our flu situation and found that the only symptoms in 3 children were sore throats and some chest congestion. My fourth, my son, was battling a bit of nausea still (he had it the easiest the previous day so I was not surprised). After reassuring myself that we could go for day 2 of the flu war, I had my coffee and sent my husband to the store once again to resupply my beat-the-flu stock of items.
We began the day with another round of Cinnamon Honey Tea. Again, we would end our night with a cup as well.
I then prepared the Detox Baths once again as I did the previous day and began the lineup. The only child that I had take a second bath before bed was my son who was feeling the worst on the second day.
Luckily I had made plenty of soup the previous day so that was something I did not have to worry about, although my oldest children, my girls were excited to eat a sandwich at dinner time, which I must say is a big improvement! Usually, I cannot get my children to eat anything for a few days after the flu. So them having any kind of appetite was astonishing to me.
Of course, throughout the day I did routine stomach rubs in order to help their digestive systems keep functioning as well as it needed to in order to dispose of the virus. I also continued to utilize the reflexology map and give beneficial foot rubs (to which I noticed I could apply more pressure than I could the day before).
The main focus of today way Laundry. Literally, every blanket, pillow, sheet, towel, and stuffed animal was thrown in a pile by our laundry room and I made sure everything was washed. I added 1/4 cup of white vinegar to each load to help kill bacteria. I don’t think I have ever put my washer and dryer to as much use as I had this day. They definitely proved their investment worth it!
I also had my husband pick up some Lysol Disinfectant Spray. As much as I wish I could say I went all natural, I just don’t have enough diffusers in my home to clear it all. So I cheated a bit. I sprayed my home like I was battling an infestation of spiders. Every room, every switch, every little thing that my children touched, ever, I sprayed.
Just as the day before, I kept my diffuser running in the living room, where my children were laid out watching movies and documentaries. I also ended the night with a second cup of tea and more Lavender hydrosol on each child’s pillow. I was then able to unwind a bit and obsess to my husband about putting my education to work- and work well it did.
SUCCESS! The children all woke up feeling great. Only one of my boys had a slight sore throat. We had eggs and fresh orange juice with a side of strawberries for breakfast. My kids all laughed and attempted to run wild outside. And best of all, I sat there and watched my children, so full of life once again and we accomplished it with NO MEDICATION!
Was it easy? Oh no. Was it worth it? Every tiring bit was worth it! My children had never healed so quickly and thoroughly. In fact, I actually had to regulate their desired actions since they felt so well all of a sudden. But despite me being worn out and my feet aching from the constant back and forth in the past 2 days… I had succeeded! I proved to myself that there was something better, something more efficient than medication- and every day since I have thanked God for the knowledge, patience, and blessings that allowed us to heal so well.
Read more about safe essential oil usage.