Go ahead and smother your sick kid in kisses–I truly think I’ve discovered the secret to not catching their colds. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and nothing I’m about to say should be confused as medical advice. I’m simply telling you what seems to be working for me this winter (or “spring” according to the calendar but not the weather here in NYC!).
The Winter of My Discontent
This winter has been pretty standard in terms of illnesses for my kids–not the worst they’ve had, but not the best by any stretch.
For me, though, it was brutal beginning around Thanksgiving: lots of colds and even fevers and days where I just wanted to lie in bed all day (which of course isn’t an option as a mom). My first thought was that I needed to clean up my act and prevent catching every cold my kids got: I vowed to get more sleep, take a daily immune tonic, drink more green smoothies.
Unfortunately, I’m just not the type to remember to take anything daily, be it a probiotic or a tonic! I’m more the type to frantically clean up my act once I am in the throes of a miserable flu. And now, I’ve found a way to sort of do that.
Things really turned around for me this winter with the discovery of a natural remedy (which is found in both health food stores and regular drug stores). For my mom, the savior has been a different product, but also one that you take once you feel yourself coming down with something, rather than beforehand.
What We Take to Quickly Clear Up Colds
Option 1: Nature’s Way Umcka Cold Care
I take Umcka because I prefer a chewable option, which just happens to taste like candy:). I take it at the first sign of a cold, every four or five hours. I’m now buying it on Amazon because it’s much cheaper there than in any stores in my neighborhood.
Option 2: Urban Moonshine Immune Zoom
My mom (and my brother) are taking Immune Zoom; they like the liquid formula, and my mom knows and trusts the herbalist who makes this stuff. (Btw, my accountant recently bought a bottle of this for his wife, and said she had the exact same experience that my family has–which is the complete cessation of cold symptoms shortly after she started taking it).
What Happens When You Take This Stuff?
My mom and I are taking two different products, but experiencing the same thing. Let’s say we start to feel a sore throat and nasal congestion coming on. Before we started using these products, within 24 hours we’d have a full-blown cold: the raw throat, the cough, the faucet-nose, and possibly even a fever or aches.
Now, when we take either Umcka or Immune Zoom, our symptoms either stop completely within about a day, or remain for a couple of days at that low-level stage, never turning into anything more.
Just this weekend, I felt the beginnings of what I was CERTAIN was going to be a real doozy of a cold–it was incredibly painful to swallow, and I felt pressure building in my sinuses. I thought it would be too much for Umcka to possibly clear up, but I was wrong. By the next morning after starting Umcka, I had barely a scratch in my throat, and within 24 hours I was back to normal. My mom fought of similar set up symptoms with Immune Zoom earlier this month.
How Do They Work?
Honestly, I don’t really care! There are actually good studies showing that Umcka works, and Immune Zoom contains a combo of known immune boosters such as echinacea, elderberries, honey, ginger, and cayenne.
I also wonder if there is some bio-individuality process going on, because I have friends that swear by zinc to prevent colds, but this has done nothing for me. And studies aren’t consistent about on the benefits of echinacea (though some studies do show it to reduce the duration of a cold), yet there is no question that it’s working for my mom and brother.
For us, the proof is in the pudding–if it works and contains nothing dangerous, then we are hooked!
Can I Give Umcka or Immune Zoom to My Kids (or Take If I’m Pregnant)?
Immune Zoom is definitely safe for kids over the age of 2, but you’ll want to adjust the dose according to their weight. The recommended serving sizes on the bottles are for 150-pound adults, so just divide by your child’s weight to find the correct ratio.
Umcka can be given to kids over the age of 6 (and because it’s so tasty, you won’t have a problem getting them to eat it!).
So that’s what’s working for us this winter/”spring.” What remedies do you feel like REALLY work to stop a cold or flu in its tracks? Please comment below!
(I am terrified to publish this post because I feel like I’m totally jinxing myself and will now get sick tomorrow, but here goes!)
Stay sane and healthy,
P.S. Here are seven other resources for either preventing illness or dealing once it gets you:
- This soothing spray for raw, painful throats.
- My thoughts on giving kids fever reducers.
- A safe chest syrup for those never-ending coughs.
- This air filter, which removes bacteria and viruses from the air (mine is running 24/7 right now).
- This incredibly luxurious lavender rub. (On sale right now.)
- Help choosing the right humidifier.
- This goo for healing raw noses in, like, 2 seconds.