For the past three nights of nonstop baby congestion, Micah has concluded the best place to sleep is on my chest. While I’m sitting up. It’s pretty inconvenient, but I know it’s for a good cause. Micah’s practicing his housekeeping skills . . . at least his immune system is. What mama wouldn’t want THAT?
My sweet boy is currently a miserable little ball of pukey mucous. So why not give him some Tylenol or (if he were older) at least something to dry up all that phlegm? Because the symptoms of illness: fever and mucus, are the body’s way of pushing junk out of our bodies.
“The function of the immune system is to create inflammation. Inflammation, as the word implies, is like a fire in the body (fever) which burns up waste and debris, along with the germs that feed on waste and debris, and cleanses the body.” (source)
Mucus is very useful stuff. When bacteria and viruses overpopulate in the body it reacts by suspending/neutralizing them in slimy goo. They are then pushed out of the body via a runny nose or by coughing up phlegm. Using decongestants cripples our first line of defense by allowing bacteria/viruses to penetrate our bloodstream and go to our organs, thus worsening and prolonging illness.
Last night Micah couldn’t sleep at all, so I called my friend Dr. Cindy to get some advice on helping his immune system kick this. Here’s are some of her suggestions:
The Thymus Tap
This quick, simple technique is great for releasing emotional tension and/or boosting the immune system.
“This exercise helps to stimulate the production of T-cells, which are primary immune factors, and nourishes the thymus.
If you practice this exercise daily, it will increase the size of thymus and improve its immune system. As you tap on your chest, you also massage and energies the other organs such as the lungs, heart, bronchial tubes and throat.”
The thymus tap is really easy and I have actually seen it practiced in a clinical setting. Unfortunately the only demonstration videos I found on YouTube are a bit on the “woo” side. Trust me, though, it works!
At the bottom of this vapor rub recipe you’ll find a respiratory support diffuser blend recipe that is appropriate for children over six months.
Fenugreek tea helps to expel phlegm. So if your “baby” can walk you might consider brewing him/her a cup . . . and if you’re nursing a younger babe you can drink some and deliver it via breastmilk.
To make the tea, boil a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in 2½ cups of water for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let the seeds steep for 10-15 minutes.
Other Immune Boosters You Can Take
If you’re still breastfeeding, load up on immune boosting foods/supplements like probiotics, garlic and fermented foods so that your milk will be rich in these immune building nutrients.
Nosefrieda ~ The Snot Sucker
Seriously, when I first heard about the Snot Sucker I thought I actually had to suck the snot out. Ewwww. Now that I have confirmed that is NOT the case, I think I’ll be ordering one soon. (UPDATE: I did order one – very helpful!)
If You Thought That Was Weird, You’re Gonna Love This
Squirt breastmilk in baby’s nose. Oh yes! It really works. First of all, breastmilk has all kinds of antibacterial benefits tailored to the needs of your child. Second, the milk thins out the mucus so it is easier to suction.
Let Baby Sleep on Your Chest
Because it’s comforting for both of you . . . and because keeping baby elevated will help him/her breathe better so you can both get some sleep.
What did I miss? Please share your natural remedies below!
DISCLAIMER: These ideas are not medical advice. If your baby is ill please seek proper medical attention.