It came in the form of a cold that start mildly last Saturday. By Sunday, it had moved to my head. The head congestion was brutal and I struggled to find a comfortable position to get some rest. I usually don't turn to OTC medications, but had I not been pregnant, I might have on Sunday. Here's what I did instead. This would be beneficial to anyone, from child to adult, during sickness.
Lemon-Raw Honey-Apple Cider Vinegar Tea
- We all know that lemons are packed with vitamin C -- a key immune booster and cold fighter.
- Raw Honey -- I wrote a post about it a few years ago. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, basically anti-everything (in the best possible way!). It's a great cough remedy and a great addition to tea. The medicinal benefits can only be found in the raw, unpasturized honey.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) -- It is alkalinizing, which helps kill a cold because colds send the body into an overly acidic state (lemon is alkalinizing too).
- To make the drink, I squeeze half a lemon, about 1 tbsp of ACV (more if you can tolerate it) and 1 tsp-1tbsp of raw honey into hot water.
- As I said above, vitamin C is a key cold fighter.
- Being pregnant, I only take 3000mg per day, split into several 500mg doses approximately 2 hours apart. (Note: In the first trimester, limit vitamin C intake to 2000mg per day because it has been linked to miscarriages. In trimester two and three, limit intake to 4000mg.)
- If you live in a colder climate, you are likely deficient in vitamin D if you don't supplement. It is super important for immune health, but very often overlooked. The kids and I take it from October to May. I regularly take 2000-4000IU per day. The kids take 1000-2000IU per day.
- During colds, I usually double those amounts.
- Note: Take vitamin D with food, preferably foods with fat in them. Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning it needs fat to be absorbed by the body.
- I'm a huge fan of probiotics. It is one of the few supplements that I believe everyone, from a newborn to an elderly adult, should take.
- A healthy gut is needed for a healthy immune system. Probiotics, or "good" bacteria, help keep the digestive tract healthy and working optimally.
- Numerous studies show that young children who take a probiotic daily get less colds, coughs and fevers than those who do not. While its benefits are mostly preventative, I always double our probiotics dose during times of sickness.
- I won't lie, this stuff tastes terrible. Putting a dose in a shot of juice makes it completely manageable. And, this super high quality echinacea is a true powerhouse in the immune department. While echinacea is considered safe in pregnancy, my ND said that this is the only one she would recommend.
- Echinacea boosts the immune system's response by assisting the white blood cells in their attack against foreign cells.
- Note: Echinacea shouldn't be taken long term. I usually take it when I feel sickness coming on and continue taking it for several days after I recover. While pregnant, I take 1 tsp. per day. I give the kids 1/4 tsp. per day. Last weekend, I took an additional tsp. for two days straight to give me a boost.