Over the past several weeks, our community seems to have experienced a couple of the “summer sniffles bugs.” These cold viruses are probably due in part to the major influx of tourist travel through our little town during this time of year, but thankfully, our family has been able to avoid it so far.
In years past, once the chilly winter weather has disappeared, I’ve tended to get more lax about “immune boosters,” since the flu season seems to be winding down. But then, we would get hit with a week of feeling poorly. This year, I’ve tried to be more conscious of our health needs, no matter what the season.
Here are a few simple things that I think have helped so far:
Quality brands of probiotic supplements are quite spendy for jars of capsules, so I mostly rely on my homemade sources. I have been regularly culturing batches of milk kefir, yogurt, and kombucha.
Probiotics are great for nourishing your gut flora, helping to guard against infections and seasonal allergies! I mix them into frozen fruit smoothies (and then sometimes freeze into popsicles), serve up bowlfuls for breakfasts or snacks, and pack them in jars (in the cooler) for camping/road trips.
My midwife was able to help me pinpoint a major deficiency a couple years ago, and this has stayed a staple supplement ever since (with her recommended dosing). If you need to, a simple blood test can diagnose your Vitamin D levels, and your natural healthcare practitioner can suggest a suitable dosage for you.
Also, my children basically live outside in the sun during the summer, splashing in the creek, running through the hills, and swinging on the swing set, so they’re soaking it in, I’m sure.
Once those sparkling, starry summer evenings arrive, it’s tempting to pull out the jars of lemonade or sweetened tea, roasting marshmallows sandwiched with melting chocolate over the campfire, or mix up batches of summer berry pies or jams.
We’ve found that sugar tends to deplete immune systems quickly. It has been a gradual transition over the years for our family, but we have gotten to the point where these aren’t our summer norms anymore- even with more natural sugar options.
We like a dash of sour lemon juice and/or lemon slices in our water (and my kids call it lemonade!). We enjoy the natural flavors of unsweetened herbal sun teas, as well. I actually did make a batch of naturally-sweetened marshmallows for a campfire at the beginning of the summer, and wasn’t too impressed.
And those precious summer berries? It’s just so much simpler for me to toss them into the freezer for smoothies, instead of making jam.
I have kept a germ-fighting blend of therapeutic essential oils with me, to clean hands on outings. I’ve also used it in a diffuser in the bedroom at night, or rubbed on the soles of feet at bedtime, if we feel like we’re coming down with something. We’ve woken up in the morning feeling much better!
I still keep our staple items on hand, such as my Immune-Booster Syrup with elderberries (from Herbal Nurturing), cod liver/krill oil, coconut oil, and raw honey, to use as needed. We also see our chiropractor for regular maintenance.
We are enjoying our summer, full of the bounty of our garden, slurping watermelon, and savoring the smell of lavender and green grass growing outside!