I didn't, until my late-20s/early-30s. And I'm so grateful I learned it then, because that's when I became a parent!
Most parents I know assume that colds simply come with the territory of kids - that colds are normal. CJ and I have had a difference experience. Are colds "normal" in that they are common? Yes. Are they normal in that they are healthy? NO.
Kids (and adults) come down with a cold when the lymph system is unhealthy or the immune system is depleted. Thankfully, our bodies are designed to give us signs of exactly what is happening on the inside! Once I learned how to read the signs I knew how to prevent a cold.
Most people get snotty as soon as the weather turns cold. Snot is often a by-product of poorly digested food...which means it's important that we pay attention to when/how/what we eat. Serve your family cold cereal and milk after the weather turns cold…and you’re sure to end up with snot. Layer on mac & cheese and ice cream, and you’re asking for a full-blown cold.
Snot is a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. It's also a sign that the stomach lining is full of wet, soggy, mucus....which doesn't help you prevent colds. A strong digestive fire turns food into vibrant tissue. And if you've been around the Ombrella blog or library of videos you know by now that mucus coming out of your nose is a sign that your digestive fire is less than adequate. A mucus-laden stomach lining blocks the absorption of nutrients and creates stagnation in your lymph system. The job of your lymph system is to circulate nutrients, eliminate waste and fight infection. You don’t want to make this job harder than it already is.
Early Warning Signs - Catch Them & Prevent Illness!
Learn these early warning signs and you can cooperate with the body to restore balance. Don't cooperate and these early warning signs may develop into: colds, viruses, flus, headaches, sinus, lung or throat infections, poor immune function, asthma and allergies. No thank you.
a white, coated tongue
Tips to Prevent a Cold in your Family:
Warm, spiced foods are imperative on cold days. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to oatmeal. If you must serve up mac & cheese, add turmeric and black pepper. Me, I eat kitchari for breakfast at the first sign of a cold. And I'm training my kids to do the same. I also steer clear of cheese, in winter, if there is any sign of mucus in myself or my kids and drink only water between meals.
Enjoy “boo candy” at the first signs of snot, bad breath or a coated tongue. The recipe I learned from one of my Ayurvedic teachers for this turmeric/honey mixture is below. My kids love it and are quick to remind me if I've forgotten to give it to them any morning in winter. (The picture above is of 3 yr old Joy helping me make a fresh batch..."Can I lick the spoon Mommy?") Our deal is they must drink water before boo candy or breakfast! If it doesn’t taste good to your kids they are getting too many sweets or processed foods in their diet.
No more ice-cream or cold dairy after Halloween. Warm cereal (not cold cornflakes) in the morning and warm nut milk spiced with cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, black pepper (as well as ghee and honey) before bed.
Go to bed early, wake up early & move! Kids need 10-12 hours of sleep. Every night. Especially in winter. Adults also need more rest in winter! If you or your kids have a hard time getting started in the morning, you/they are probably staying up too late. Adjust the family schedule accordingly. Upon arising, play with putting on fun music and having everyone move & groove for 5 minutes!
Rub on oil after bath time. This. Is. Huge. Your kid’s skin will get dry (or itchy) before they get snot. This is a preliminary sign that the lymph system is getting dehydrated or stagnating. Either way, after the nightly tub, rub warm sesame oil into your child’s skin for a few minutes. There are a dozen side-BENEFITS, which are important for all ages – teach yourself and your teens to rub on oil before or after a shower. And again, use oil, not lotion.
Remedy for Kid’s Snot, Cough & Colds
Always have Boo Candy on hand! Turmeric, that bright yellow powder that stains your fingers and your kitchen counter, is a miracle plant. It’s anti-infectious, anti-mucousal, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-biotic.
I prefer to think of turmeric however as a pro-plant instead of an anti-plant. Turmeric keeps your digestive tract operating optimally, and when that happens your lymph stays clean. Thus, no mucus, no clogged lymph, no cough, no cold, no infection.
Recipe to Prevent a Cold
Boo Candy Get out a cutting board and a wide knife or spatula.
Add 1/2 cup raw honey to the cutting board.
Add 3 tbsp. turmeric powder (you can dry roast it first in a skillet for added benefit).
Add 2 tsp. ginger powder
Add a pinch of ground cloves
Add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Cut the spices into the honey with the knife until you have a smooth texture. Add more spices for desired taste. Store in a small tin or small glass jar.
Enjoy…and keep yourself and your kids snot-free this winter!