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It’s time to trade the beach towel for a backpack, get the kids prepared for school and get ready for stress on the immune system due to the re-entry into the academic grind. Here are a few health hacks that I’ve used to get my kids fortified for their school year adventure.
Every year, from kindergarten to graduating college, my kids always seemed to catch a cold the first couple weeks of school; then promptly brought the germs homes to share with mom and dad. Oh, how I remember those years with a degree of dread and now a sense of relief that those years are gone.
The reality is that the classroom is the proverbial “germ watering hole” for those viruses that have been gathered over the summer of travel. During the summer, stress levels drop and immune systems, most often, enjoy a well-deserved rest. But now, your kids are sharing classroom supplies, the cafeteria and bathrooms with classmates and inevitably subjected to uncovered coughs and sneezes.
Natural Immune Support
Start off with a strong immune system strategy. I encourage my patients to stock their home medicine cabinets with the following herbals.
Echinacea and Black Elderberry - When it comes to preventive support of the immune system my “parent patients” love the ability to give their kids Echinacea and Elderberry. These potent, herbal liquid extracts taste good, and they are hassle free.
I am a big advocate of using a combination of both strains of organic Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. These can be used to preventively support the first signs of a compromised immune system. With high quality Echinacea grown and harvested at the peak of potency, there is often a natural tingle on the tongue when used letting you know it has active herbal ingredients.
Oregon’s Wild Harvest’s Black Elderberry Honey is favorite among my kid and adult patients alike. While my kids are now young adults, I keep this herbal remedy on hand for support during cold and flu season. I share with my patients that immune support needs to be used in a timely fashion. The Elder Tree has been referred to as a medicine chest. These berries have earned a reputation worldwide as an effective way to enhance the immune system, a fact that has been validated by modern science.
Natural Stress Support
Remember, it’s not just the immune system at risk, but stress can play in to the enjoyment of reconnecting with friends and “other” classmates. There is always nervousness in most kid’s minds regarding whether they will like their teachers and how hard this year of academics will be.
With my patients, I often recommend the use of an Oregon’s Wild Harvest “KIDS” product called, Tranquil Child. This all natural and tasty extract features a wonderful, alcohol-free blend of fresh, organic Catnip tops (Nepeta cataria), Passionflower tops (Passiflora incarnata), Peppermint leaf (Mentha piperita), and Chamomile flower (Matricaria recutita). Parents say it helps their kids stay calm, providing support with stressed sleep cycles. And, we all know stress and lack of sufficient sleep can increase susceptibility to catching a bug.
Mom and Dad! Here are a few helpful reminders for you and to share with your kids:
- Stay hydrated with water! Pack a refillable water bottle.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Don’t rub your nose or eyes with dirty hands. Use a tissue.
- Minimize sugar intake.
- Eat plenty of veggies and fresh fruit.
- Rest your body and mind by getting enough sleep.
- Minimize stressful situations inside and outside of school.
Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., has 24-years of experience practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor in Portland, Oregon. He is dedicated to using his vast knowledge about alternative medicine to help his patients and generously give to those in need. He has written over a dozen books and 100's of national articles, and was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Read more about Dr. Meletis here. Or, visit our "Ask Dr. Meletis, N.D." page for additional articles.
*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website, and provided by Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications. There is additional information linked within this site to HealthNotes®, a third party educational source, containing the latest research on health and supplements. Oregon's Wild Harvest will not be held accountable for this information and consider it an education reference only.