Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and have no medical training. Please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner if you have medical problems or a medical history that needs to be considered prior to consuming any oils/ herbs/ remedies. This information is intended to motivate you to make your own health decisions after consulting with your healthcare provider should you feel this is necessary.
Every year, around August, I begin to work on an immunity boosting routine for my children, to get them through the winter. This year, I was a little behind, but have worked on implementing this as soon as possible because my oldest has just started school and Saturday school, so it’s twice the exposure and vital that his body is equipped to handle it all. I know lots of parents worry about the same thing at the beginning of the school year, so I thought I’d share easy ways to boost your child’s immunity.
I’ve demonstrated some of these in the video below, and all products are linked to help you find them easily.
Blackseed oil has a number of health benefits, is a prophetic medicine, and is a regular in our home. I purchase my blackseed oil from Sunnah Skincare. When purchasing blackseed oil, always ensure that it is organic, pure, unrefined, food grade, and cold-pressed. Heat destroys beneficial properties of the oil so if it hasn’t been cold-pressed, the quality of the oil has diminished. It needs to be pure, as you do not want it mixed with any other oils and needs to be bottled in UV filtering glass to preserve the oils qualities.
I usually mix some blackseed oil with honey for my children to swallow on a daily basis, but I’ve cut back on the honey and they usually consume blackseed oil on its own through a syringe without complaint. It is a strong flavoured oil, so to start off with, mix it with honey to make it easier for your child to consume.
Note: Honey is not to be offered to babies under one because of the risk of botulism. Please do not offer this mixture to babies under one.
Vitamin D is said to trigger and arm the immune system. Since we live in England and have summers that last about 2-3 months only, lots of us are deficient in Vitamin D, especially if we’re not eating foods rich in it. Vitamin D is particularly important for bone and teeth support and with one of my children having milk protein allergies, I try to ensure he gets his Vitamin D from other sources besides milk. We like the Nature’s Aid brand and have been using it for a few years now. These are sugar-free and free from preservatives and colouring.
Note – Vitamin D has the greatest potential for toxicity of all the vitamins so please ensure you are not giving your child this in excess. Take stock of their diet and other sources of vitamin D that they are consuming in addition to this, before giving it to your child.
Elderberry syrup has become a staple in our home during the winter. It tastes great and is an excellent immune booster. It can be expensive, so I don’t give it to the children during the summer as they rarely fall ill then. When the weather begins to change and as we head into September/ October, I begin to give it to them every other day to prevent illnesses. If they do fall ill, I give it to them every day. It helps them recover fairly quickly and has anti-inflammatory properties. I am keen to make our own elderberry syrup but haven’t been able to source dried, organic elderberries just yet. As soon as I’ve made some, I’ll share a recipe on the blog.
Note: Elderberry syrup is NOT to be given to children under the age of 1. Please follow dosage guidelines on the packaging.
We started using probiotics when my oldest was only six months old to ease his allergy symptoms and to help his gut recover after three rounds of antibiotics that were given to fight an aggressive eczema infection. They have worked really well, not just for the children but for me too as someone that suffers from IBS. They have several benefits, but in a nutshell, they help to support the immune system by supporting digestive health and if your child has just been through a round of antibiotics, this will be particularly helpful. We previously used Bio-Kult’s sachets, but I find them a little difficult to use now with the kids constantly on the move and having to check that they’ve drunk all the liquid I dissolve it in etc, so we are now trying the micro-pearl version that offers sustained release and is something they can just swallow.
Omega 3 fish oils
Essential fatty acids are vital for our immune systems to be at their best. My children don’t eat a diet rich in oily fish, so I like to offer them this oil to help with their overall health and to support their eye and brain development. There are fruity chews that you can get for children, but these contain gelatine which we don’t consume. Another brand that we have used in the past is the one linked below.
Oregano oil has anti-microbial and antihistamine properties. If the children have already caught something, I find that oregano oil helps considerably with faster recovery. The last thing we need is the whole household ill, so the sooner this is started, the better.
It is a very strong oil so please ensure you use this carefully. It should not be used on its own for children, it should be diluted with a carrier oil. The brand I have linked below is the one we use and it is already diluted with olive oil in a 4:1 ratio.
For children under 5 (like mine), apply the oil externally to the soles of the feet and the spine. If you use the brand I have linked below, you will not need to dilute it to do this, but if you purchase 100% oregano oil, you must dilute it first with olive oil (4 parts olive oil, 1 part oregano oil). Avoid getting the oil anywhere near the eyes, mouth, nose or genitals.
For children aged 5 – 10 – Start with 1 to 3 drops a day added to a flavoured liquid like juice or milk.
For children over 10 – 3 drops a day added to a flavoured liquid like juice or milk.
Note: If your child is allergic to oregano or thyme or anything in the thyme family – they should NOT consume this oil. Do not administer this oil for longer than 7-10 days.
Apple Cider Vinegar ‘Tea’
This is a great way to get kids consuming apple cider vinegar which has tons of healing properties and is again, a prophetic food. Our children will sometimes ask to taste our tea or coffee, whatever we’re drinking in mugs, and we have to say no. I’ve noticed that if they think they’re drinking/ eating something for ‘grown-ups’, they’re a lot more enthusiastic about it so I call this their tea. The video above details how I make it and is a great warm drink for children who are suffering from a cold, fever, congestion, a sore throat – you name it.
It is important to remember to purchase apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother.’ I’ve linked the Braggs brand below, this is probably the most popular apple cider vinegar brand. If you’re looking to support small businesses though, I have also purchased our apple cider vinegar from Sunnah Skincare and Health Means Wealth.
We use frankincense, eucalyptus and pine needle essential oils from Sunnah Skincare in our humidifier to boost immunity, fight viral infections, help with eczema and psoriasis (which I suffer from quite badly in the fall/ winter) and a host of other benefits. There are several options for diffusers, but this is one we particularly like:
Note: Check that your diffuser/ humidifier can accept essential oils and that it will not affect or disintegrate the plastic casing, before using oils in it.
How else can I boost my child’s immunity?
Raw milk, bone broth, ginger, garlic and turmeric are all really good additions to your children’s diet to help boost their immunity. Children with sensitive guts or allergies will struggle to digest too much garlic, so ensure you don’t overdo the garlic. Cutting down on sugary and refined foods will also help to ensure that their immune systems are in the best possible state to take on whatever’s thrown at them!
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