Daily Maintenance: Immune Boosters

Since it’s technically winter, though I think it has skipped over Big D and I’m not complaining one bit, I thought it would be a good idea to let you in on a few of my medicinal alternatives.

While I was still prego with ‘Baby J’, a friend of mine told me about her daughter’s pediatrician, who had holistic approaches and happened to live close to our home.  She thought I’d be interested since she is crunchy like me and knew I would appreciate someone who used alternate methods in her practice.  I admit that being a first time mama, I never thought to interview any potential doctors to see if I liked their practice or not so I jumped right in and was instantly blessed.  I have to say that not only do I like the doc’s philosophy but I like the fact that she has opened my eyes to a new world of health and wellness for our daughter.  In fact, while I was in the hospital after having Emma one our friends asked if she could be her doctor!  Sorry, just children.

My intent is to share with you some of the methods I learned from Healthy Kids Pediatrics in hopes we can keep our little ones healthy without pumping them full of meds unnecessarily.

This is my stash that I keep in my arsenal for when Emma gets sick or just for daily maintenance: (Note: I am not a doctor nor pretend to play one-this just happens to work for my family.)

Allow me to elaborate from left to right.

Vitamin D3: Kids ≤ 7 years old Spring/Summer 400 I.U., Fall/Winter (well) 800 I.U., Fall/Winter (sick) 1,200-1,600 I.U. *Maximum safe dose for kids is 10,000 I.U.

Elderberry or Echinacea/Astragalus: to cure colds/use as an immune booster 5-8 drops

Briar Rose: Immune booster 5-8 drops, 2-3 times daily during acute illness, 2 times weekly for immune support *I live for this stuff & use it on Emma daily!*

Lithy Tree (think L for lungs): 5-8 drops, 2-3 times daily during acute illness (for cough)

Influenza Multi-Strain Flu Medicine (alternative to the flu shot): this spray can be used for infants, children, and adults.

These different products have helped us get through some crazy weather even while picking up sickness at daycare.  I found the majority of these items at Natural Grocers, Sprouts, or Market Street but I’m sure they can be found online with a little searching.  I like having multiple alternatives since I myself don’t get the flu shot and never intended to get one for Emma.  Lucky for me, I don’t have to fight the pediatrician on my beliefs/practices and she just lets me do my thang.

I started typing this post the other night only to find Emma waking up night with the ole reliable croupy cough, so I have yet more ‘goodies’ to share with you!  She first got croup when she was in daycare from the sitter’s kid and seems to get it at least twice a year.  I have her daddy to thank for that one because he had it multiple times for the first three years of his life.  Hooray for me-that means I still have a year and a half to go!

For new mamas, the clear sign is a barking-type cough that usually creeps up at nighttime and is kept at bay during the day.  When I first took Emma into see the doctor she sent me home with this laundry list to help her get through it.  Saline & suction/blow nose often, Briar rose, humidifier (cool mist recommended), Vitamin D3, steam showers, and Coconut Oil/Tea Tree Oil

I discovered from my holistic group to blend 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil to 5-7 drops of Tea Tree OilNote: you never want to put Essential Oils (EOs) directly on your skin, you always need a carrier oil like coconut oil.  This mixture of Coconut Oil (CO) and Tea Tree Oil (TTO) can work wonders on just about anything topically!

coconut oil with tea tree oil

So besides the aforementioned remedies, I put the CO/TTO blend on Emma’s chest as well as some on her feet covered with socks.  I recently discovered these spongia tosta pellets that are for croupy cough (also found at Sprouts, Whole Foods, or Natural Grocers) and think she has since become addicted.  I will say that I have both the warm and cool mist humidifier and I personally like the warm mist.  It’s easier to clean (with vinegar and water) and you don’t have to buy filter replacements nor risk mold.

I recently discovered yet another medicine to stock in my cabinet for Emma called chestal honey.  It’s a cough syrup good for dry and productive cough and is more homeopathic than those sweet flavored brands.  It says for 2 years and up but my doctor told me to give her half the recommended dose and she is doing fine.  Man, I love natural stuff!

UPDATE: You could also use a ½ to 1 teaspoon, depending on their age, of Raw Local Honey.

I would also like to add that as a good rule of thumb, every single person including little ones should be taking a probiotic.  If you haven’t heard of them they are definitely vital especially if you are on antibiotics.  Since antibiotics kill the good flora in our bodies taking a probiotic will put that good stuff back in.  I recently picked up a bottle where I sprinkle ¼ teaspoon on Emma’s food or put in her smoothie.  You can buy all sorts of different ones, but the more strains the better for adults and no more than 10 billion 3x a week for little ones.  Check with your doc on exact amounts.  Try this one or this one.

I think that wraps up the alternate meds for now.  I will leave you with the photo of Emma, um, wanting more of her Briar rose…I think I’ve created a monster.

What about you?  Does your family have any crunchy methods that you do in this crazy pill-popping, Rx-writing world?

30 thoughts on “Daily Maintenance: Immune Boosters

  1. Hi. Just wondering what probiotic you use. I’ve tried different ones and haven’t found the perfect one yet. Also what is your feeling about switching brands and stuff like that or just keep to the same brand all the time.

    • I got one from Betty Murray at Living Well called Metagenics: Ultra Flora Plus DF Capsules. I used to switch them up after each bottle since I had heard that too, but now that I have this one & it’s 15 billion, I may just keep using it.

  2. nice to know there are other pediatricians out there recommending these things. Our pedi sent us home with lithy tree/briar rose/vitamin d3 for our itty bitty baby with her first cold – and I was soooo thankful. They were a gentle, no side-effect RELIEF for her snotty little nose. I try to always have them on hand now! Thanks for this post!

    p.s. our doctor also recommends a 20 ppm Colloidal Silver for speeding up the healing process with colds

    • That is awesome! Yes, it is good to know there are other Pedis out there who suggest the same things. I recently got into colloidal silver, so I definitely need to update this post. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I am looking for a Pediatrician similar to Healthy Kids Pediatrics that does alternative meds. I live in Plano, but unfortunately they don’t take my insurance (Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield-yet to find anyone else who doesn’t take that?!?!?!) Any others in the area? I have all these herbs/meds in my home, but am unsure of the dose to give my kiddies. They have a pretty nasty cough. Ages 4, 3 and 6 months. Any help would be awesome!

  4. I love Healthy Kids Pediatrics! We used to go there when we lived in Dallas and make the trek up to Frisco. I miss that place and have yet to find another pediatrician like her! But thankful for what I learned while I was there!

  5. Try Eucalyptus oil instead of Vicks… it contains petroleum oil, which is on John Hopkins top list of carcinogens. The reason Vicks works on the feet is because this is the most porous part of your body, so when applying to the feet it enters your blood stream fairly quickly!

    • Thanks for the tip! I’m still learning about all the different EOs.

      I actually need to update this post, since I don’t use vicks anymore, and use coconut oil with tea tree oil on the skin and in the humidifier.

  6. Love everything I read uou are doing well. Here is my question and it’s not related. Do you know of anything gor an arthritic hip. I have tried tumeric, prickely Pear Cactus, all kinds of flex stuff, actually everything on the shelves of Whole Foods over the last 4 years. I finally could not walk and turned to “science”, Diclofenac Sodium. It works pretty well but I have spent the last 60 years living the prescription drug free life. It is a worry because thus tottaly organic, gmo free etc body is being poisoned and I either lay in bed or take the poison. Any thoughts? Ps we use colloidal silver for the first sign of a cold and it works so well it is a shame it has such a bad rap. Of course no one mentions what is in the otc potions.

  7. New mom with 5 month old baby girl . She has stuffy/runny nose. I’m looking for a natural remedy to help with her cold. Should I give her briar rose? How much? Do I mix with formula? Should I use co/tto too? What do you recommend?

    • You could definitely give her the briar rose-probably just a couple drops 2-3 times/day. I give it to my girls straight up and they don’t mind it. And yes, you can use the CO/TTO on her (1 Tbsp coco, 5 drops of tto). Hope that helps!

  8. How do u give ue daughter her briar rose?! It’s so strong my little one doesn’t like it at all!!! He will take any medicine but the briar rose 😦

  9. I live in the McKinney/Frisco area and searched sprouts but could only find the vitamin D3. I can’t seem to find the lithy tree or briar rose anywhere here?

  10. My 7 month old had croup, then took her to hospital as she wasn’t getting better and they diagnosed her with Bronchilitis. We are on week 3, and still has a very wet cough. Is it safe to give her lithy tree and briar rose? She only breastfeeds, no bottles…she’s already a picky eater.

  11. Where did you buy your lithy tree? We’re in the Dallas area too and have looked at Sprouts and Natural Grocers near us. We go to Healthy Kids too!

  12. Help! I’m new to being a “crunchy mom” and know basically nothing about oils and supplements. My 2yr old son has had a cough and snotty nose for weeks know. What does it look like to give him the vitamin d3, elderberry, briar rose, and lithy tree during this time? Is it safe to take this many things multiple times a day? I really need the broken down version of your regimen. TIA : )

    • Yes, you can give him all of those together. I usually line my girls up and run through the gamut of medicine. Definitely up the D3 (to maybe 4,000IU/day) and look at giving probiotics, Vit C, DHA, etc. Let me know if you have anymore ?s.

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