The kids are going back to school just as the flu season kicks off. Now that all the kids are in close quarters, that slight cough or cold becomes harder for little bodies to defend against because they are so exhausted and stressed - illness is never preferable, and it always seems to hit at the worst times. Who wants to miss the big field trip or stay home sniffling when their friends are back at school playing with each other? As parents of more than one child, you know that means the sickness will make the rounds to the entire family.
Thankfully, we have lots of healthy herbs to build and strengthen our kids' immune systems as they go back to school so they can stay as healthy as possible even if they've been exposed to bacteria and viruses.
Pathogens are everywhere, but that's what keeps our kids' immune systems strong!
First, let's look at what is making our children sick so we can start protecting and building their strong immune systems. Most of us think about attacks on the immune system as just germs and the actual exposure to the virus. That's the threat of illness, but the barrage began before they were exposed.
Gut Health and Diet
Let's face it most kids don't enjoy eating all the fresh and healthy foods we prepare for them, which means they probably aren't getting the nutrients that will fortify their immune systems and cultivate healthy gut flora. Inside of the gut, in the deepest parts of the digestive tract, the body is prepared to pick up ingested germs and other sources of exposure to set the immune response into motion.
Without healthy foods to protect and strengthen the gut, it's hard for that immune response to work effectively. Lots of our modern-day diet is made up of sugars and processed "foods" - that tax the body to the point of dropping the immune system, leaving your child more susceptible to illness while they digest their meals.
Stress and Exhaustion
Stress and exhaustion play a significant role in your child's overall health. In our modern busy world school, kids have so much pressure mentally, emotionally, and physically. Getting some downtime, playing outside, and taking breaks from the screen are great ways to help them rest and restore.
And of course, direct exposure to viruses, bacteria, and other sick people becomes an attack on kids' immune systems, probably more than adults. Kids come into more direct contact with pathogens because they touch more things, get closer to people, and put more stuff into their mouths than adults do. And their immature immune system is being built. They haven't been exposed to as many pathogens for as long as adults have.
Cold & Flu Season
There are parts of the year that present more attacks on the immune system than others. Many factors play into the spread of a cold or flu, and we usually think of the "cold and flu season" as during late fall and winter. During cold & flu season, take extra care to build kids' immune systems and protect against as much exposure as possible.
The trick with kids is to make sure your immune system boosters are enjoyable. Nutrition can be sneaked in as pureed vegetables hidden in sauces, smoothies, or by including them in the kitchen to begin to enjoy the process of making and enjoying food. Deeply colored fruits and vegetables will be packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Limiting or avoiding sugary and processed foods - especially when you have other risks of exposure - can help protect your family during cold & flu season, too.
Herbal Immune System Boosters
Aside from eating good foods, getting good rest, and moving our bodies in healthy ways, specific herbal products can help build kids' immune systems that kids enjoy taking.
Daily Immune Strengthening Botanicals
Herbal medicine is proactive, not just for treating symptoms or diseases. That makes it ideally suited for immune boosts. We offer a daily immune tincture for kids that features astragalus, an adaptogen that helps your body adapt under stress.
Herbal Immune Boosting and Relaxing Baths
An herbal bath is an excellent way to calm busybodies while delivering nourishing herbs for immune support. The herbs treat the body through the skin and in the soothing steam that rises from it. Kids usually enjoy a warm bath anyway, so an herbal bath is one of my favorite remedies and preventatives for children. A soothing herb bath before bed can prevent illness and create a better routine for her. Try Children's Tranquility herbal tincture for sleep if your child is still having trouble resting after a bath and isn't getting the sleep they need.
Immune Boosting Herbal Medicine
When you know you or your child have been exposed to something, bump up the immune support with stronger tinctures. Have your child take the Immune Boost Tincture with Echinacea. You can put a few drops in their favorite juice or water to make it easy for them to take.
Sickness still happens. We can never prevent it entirely. But by boosting our kids' immune systems, we can give their bodies the tools they need to stay as healthy as possible. To keep your children healthy all cough, cold and flu season, download our Herbs For Kids Online Ebook and Online Course!