easing flu symptoms

Well, the bad germs hit us this weekend. Saturday morning the little ladies both got up with high fevers, sore throats- “like I’ve never felt before,” claimed Fauna, and swollen glands. The day continued with Fauna not talking and barely moving, she couldn’t even watch the silly Halloween shows we had running. Araina sat in a daze, staring at the TV,  but she would interact with Dave and me. Araina’s fever got over 103, not quite 104; however, she actually seemed better off than Fauna although Fauna’s temp never went above 102. 8! Fauna started throwing up late that evening; ” just lovely,” I thought to myself. Fauna slept on the couch that night with Dave close by on the recliner. I slept with Araina; constantly getting up to check heads and administer fever reducing meds to both girls. Araina woke up Sunday morning screaming of a horrible stomach ache; she ended up with diarrhea that day (thank goodness there was not more vomit)! Fevers were lower as the day went on, color came back to their cheeks, little lady laughs could be heard. Shoooo, the worst was over! Now, I can’t tell you for sure if this is H1N1, we haven’t gotten the little ladies tested. The doctor’s over the phone weekend diagnosis was…..”banking on H1N1, that is the dominate virus going around here right now and they have all the symptoms.”

I love knowing flu traditions of other people; what they do to help ease the symptoms. Here are some of mine-

1. Essential oils- tea tree, lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus.  I mix 5 drops lavender, 5 drops eucalyptus and 5 drops tea tree into 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil. I rub a little of this mixture onto necks and swollen glands. Mmmm, it smells so medicinal. The little ladies also love eucalyptus and rosemary baths. The eucalyptus opens the nasal passages and the rosemary is a great pneumonia preventative. I also like to simmer rosemary and eucalyptus in a pot of water on the stove to cleanse the air. 

essential oils for flu

2. A cozy patchwork blanket made of cotten flannel. My mom has made each of us many of these amazing quilts! We snuggle in them on the couch in front of a warm wood fire. A hot water bottle under the blanket is comforting when a fever brings the chills too.

 flannel blankets

3. Warm tea made of lemon, thyme, sage, ginger, peppermint and lemonbalm in these cute owl mugs given to us by my sister Robin. We add 1 tablespoon of our elderberry syrup to each cup. It tastes great and we drink it throughout the day when we are sick. After this weekend we have used up half of our elderberry  syrup reserves already. I think I’m going to have to make some more. We drank a lot and I really believe it cut the girls sick time in half! Can’t forget the cinnamon toast to eat with the tea! Cinnamon toast is a flu tradition passed down from my grandma to my mom, to my sisters and me, and now to my little ladies.

owls for tea

4. When an appetite hits, we eat Amy’s No Chicken Noodle Soup, with a cup of garbanzo beans added to it. Being vegetarians this is the best thing to replace grandma’s chicken noodle soup. It is delicious and always hits the spot! For some fantastic homemade soup recipes visit Annie at Sensible Living.

vegitarina chicken soup

5. And finally, herbal ice pops are one of our favorite ways to help reduce fevers and increase liquid intake. We also have the store bought sugar free ones on hand.

Today the little ladies are off the couch, playing outside, doing yoga and eating like they haven’t eaten for weeks! I can’t believe how quickly they have recovered!


Fauna is not quite her usual self though, she is very congested and always has a tissue box nearby. Araina is great, you would have never known she was even sick. Dave has been running low fevers, bones ache, and swollen glands. I’m very tired with swollen glands but no fevers…..maybe Dave should have been drinking the tea with elderberry syrup with us!

*Note: I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be. These methods are what work for my family and are not substituted for seeing a doctor.


  • Judy
    December 25, 2009 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    What a lovely site! Great tips. I want to add a couple I picked up in Egypt.
    Chopped ginger root and cinnamon boiled together with honey added to taste is awesome for congestion and chest colds.

    Alot of people here take blackseed when sick. Either the oil or made as a tea and most all bakeries used blackseed as garnishes like poppyseeds are used in the US.I found an echinachea and blackseed tea I like when I start feeling ill.

  • October 31, 2009 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

    thanks for sharing these tips…we had a round a couple of weeks ago and managed to get through okay. lots of vit c and echinacea. I am still trying to find ways to get my little guy to drink tea;) those mugs are too cute!

  • October 30, 2009 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    we use astragulus and colloidal silver. so glad you all are recovering quickly!

  • October 29, 2009 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t find elderberries at my local health store, so I bought elderberry tea for now. I’m drinking some right now with agave nectar and it’s very good! Your blog reminds me of the herbal remedies my mom used on us when we were young. She always had slippery elm on hand for sore throats and golden seal for when we were sick. I don’t remember drinking any tea as tasty as the elderberry tea, though! :)

  • October 28, 2009 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing what you do. I think I am going to make some Elderberry Syrup. I wonder how it would be with agave nectar instead of honey?

  • Pingback: get well gremlin and veggie chili | 5 Orange Potatoes

  • October 28, 2009 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

    What a great post – I’m bookmarking it. Sorry to ask such a silly question, but to make that tea, do I combine everything and steep it in boiling water?

    Hope you feel better very very soon!

  • October 28, 2009 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Hope you’re better now!

  • October 27, 2009 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    It sounds a lot like what I had a month ago. It does go away but it’s not fun when the kids are sick and parents too.. Hang in there. Sending you rays of sunshine. Hugs, Smiles, Love, Kyndale

  • pam
    October 27, 2009 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all those tips everyone,
    Also Orange potatoem for such an enjoyable ”down to earth” blog.

    Im in UK I make a drink from my dried or frozen Elderberries,cover a handful with hot water,add honey to taste and cinnamon stick/crushed ginger root/cloves..simmer for 20 mins then add fresh orange and lemon juice. Drink a wineglass every evening when in health..when sick as am when fancied.
    How do you make your Elderberry drink?
    Also a great believer in Manuka honey.
    Lavender essential oil to soothe,Ravensara essential oil for infection ( more powerful than T tree)
    Take care, get well all who are sick :O)

  • October 27, 2009 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I hope your girls are better! Thank you so much for these great ideas to ease the flu symptoms.

  • October 27, 2009 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh, AManda, the owl mugs came from a thrift store. My sister is the queen of thrift stores!


  • October 27, 2009 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I am so loving reading everyone else’s remedies! Some great wisdom here!

    Mama Rose, I know elderberries are safe for all ages, but I”m sure you’re familiar with the honey warning with little ones. I don’t know the dosage for ones that little though. Since it is safe I give my girls 1 T in a cup of tea at least 4x a day when they are sick. Araina is only 34 pounds if that helps. Fauna is 56.

    Sarah, how scarey. I hope Lou recovers quickly.

    Heather, I make the syrup when the elderberry are ripe b/c it’s easier that way for me. I’m almost out of syrup though so I’m going to order some from mountain rose herbs. They will come dry, make it the same way as with the fresh.

    Sarah, thanks for the compliment of sharing my posts on your Google Reader. Makes me happy.

    Thanks everyone for your well wishes! Stay healthy yourselves!


  • October 27, 2009 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    We are big fans of epsom salt baths for relieving the aches of fever. I will put a little lavender oil in the bath as well. Plenty of ginger tea with lemon and honey. Chicken soup with lots of garlic and lemon.

  • October 27, 2009 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    It’s a good thing your family has such a great mama to take care of them! I’m glad your ladies are feeling better and I hope both you and Dave stay well! Tell him to drink his tea. ;)

  • October 27, 2009 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    Dear Lisa and Little Ladies, hope you’re are getting well! Big and warm hugs!

  • October 27, 2009 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Our elderberry syrup is in low stocks (but well spent, keeping us all well so far). but the berries are all gone. Do you use dried berries? Do you freeze surplus berries from earlier in the season? ~H

  • October 27, 2009 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your advice. I don’t know much about herbal medicines. I love the cozy flannel quilt. I’m sure it’s a great comfort. Beth

  • October 27, 2009 - 6:21 am | Permalink

    I’m very interested in the Rosemary as a pneumonia preventative. I’m going to go get some. My Lou is sick now and I’m sure it’s the flu. She has very delicate lungs due to a birth defect so we watch her carefully.

  • October 27, 2009 - 5:58 am | Permalink

    Goodness, I’m so glad you’re on the mend. it sounds horrible. I am going to make some of your elderberry syrup – it souhnds as though it has excellent virus busting qualities and we have some in our hedge! I hope you all continue to mend and no more bugs come for a good while yet.

  • October 27, 2009 - 3:08 am | Permalink

    Wow, we had this same stuff last week. I hope you all continue recovering and feel better. I will have to try putting eucalyptus on the stove. I hadn’t thought about that in a while. I used to put it in the humidifier.

    Stay well friend.
    We will be thinking good thoughts for you all!

  • October 27, 2009 - 2:26 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing what you do when your family gets sick. It is fun to know what others try. I made Kiva’s Mother Elixer elderberry syrup months ago and have been sipping it as a preventative, yum!
    I am glad your little ladies are feeling better. I wish you all health and vitality!

  • October 27, 2009 - 12:47 am | Permalink

    Oh…I’m sorry your littles were sick! Sounds like they have healed quickly though! I like your essential oil remedies…..I always go for homeopathic remedies because I seem to know more about homeopathy. I like your idea to simmer rosemary and eucalyptus on the stove to purify the air!…and your disclosure at the end made me smile! I hope you stay well Lisa!

  • October 26, 2009 - 11:32 pm | Permalink

    ugh! i am sorry! we’ve had stomach virus here. it hit me last night and today. blech. i just ate for the first time all day. miso soup with tofu. paired it with a cup of tea.

  • October 26, 2009 - 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Lisa… you all did so well. We have just had our 3rd bout of flu this weekend.. 3 in just 6 weeks! My friend has made us some of your Elderberry Syrup and I am so grateful… we are drinking it happily! This last flu passed in two days too! Glad the Little Ladies are feeling well again and I really hope your and your hubby’s passes quickly.
    Thinking of you,
    Blessings and magic.

  • October 26, 2009 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I am crossing my fingers and doing everything else I can think of to try and keep this flu away! Araina and Fauna healed so quickly. Even if there are still stuffed noses! I definitely believe healthy kids heal faster! Your family remedies are wonderful! We drink a lot of tea with honey when we are sick! I hope you and Dave get better quick! We are sending lots of healing hugs your way!
    Lisa, Goose and Binky xoxo

  • October 26, 2009 - 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I’m so sorry you all caught sick! I hope everyone’s back to full spirits asap! Good thing those little ladies have such a well-prepared mama!

  • October 26, 2009 - 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh, so sorry the sickies have hit your house, too. I’m raising my tea cup in a toast to quick healing. Speaking of tea cups, wherever did your sister get those amazing owl mugs? I want, I want, I want!

  • October 26, 2009 - 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry for their illness, but am glad they’re recovering well. I shared this post with my Google Reader – sometimes it seems like I share every post you write, you have such a great weblog!

  • October 26, 2009 - 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Aw, I hope everybody feels better quickly. If it is the H1N1, I hope they feel better soon and don’t have to worry about getting it again.

  • October 26, 2009 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Tis the season…glad they are mending quickly. We do similar things for speedy recovery – I would add that we put some eucalyptus drops on flannel squares which my girls like to carry around and sniff for congestion and that I pull out any foods I can sneak more raw garlic into (mostly dips like hummous). We are loving the elderberry syrup and are almost through it all…

  • October 26, 2009 - 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’re all back to normal soon! Your remedies all sound so comforting!

  • October 26, 2009 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s good to hear that everyone’s almost back to normal. I know how heartbreaking it can be when the little one’s get sick! I’ve been reading so much about Elderberry Syrup lately, that I seriously must make a batch of my own. What is the youngest age that can take this? My little one’s are 2.5 years old and 10 months. Also, do I give the same amount as an adult would take? Thanks so much mama!!

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Feel better all of you, thinking of you. EMily and Ellie have it, and we’re coping. Went to GNC and have every kind of antibody and nutritional vitamin available. Thinking of you!

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:51 pm | Permalink

    We’ve had the sicklies too. I think both of my stepsons might have had h1n1 this past week although no fevers went over 102. Hard to say. We did the elderberry, lots of medicinal tea, Amy’s no chicken noodle, of course!, astragalus, vit C (especially in the form of EmergenC for kids). The other kids, and us adults too, have been taking lots of astragalus, vit C, vit D, and putting hydrogen peroxide in our ears every other day or so. Feel better soon!

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    So glad your ladies are recovered. I’m thinking of writing a similar post also… how to ease and recover.

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks ladies. I hope not to get worse either. I’ve been taking it easy and drinking a lot of fluids.

    Ivy, I consider myself so lucky that my girls are tea drinkers. I know every kid does not like tea. For some reason my girls love it. Any kind I give them, they’ll drink it.

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you all made it through relatively unscathed. This is probably the 5th or 6th post I’ve read about elderberry syrup. I think I need to get some. We usually drink lots of tea with lemon and honey, do tea tree steams over a bowl with a towel, and rest, rest, rest. Feel better!

  • Jane
    October 26, 2009 - 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear you’ve all been sick. Glad Araina is better and Fauna is recovering. Take care of yourself! I’ve got some of Amy’s No Chicken Noodle Soup in the cabinet too. Thanks for all those good tips!

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:31 pm | Permalink

    My three kids all had it about two weeks ago now (no stomach upset thankfully). Glad to hear your girls got better so quickly. I also use eucalyptus and lavender in baths and I rub a mentholated ointment that my mom always used on their chests to help open up the nasal passages. I tried to get them to drink echenicea tea, but none of them would touch it — I drank lots of it that week though and didn’t seem to get sick except for a cough.

  • Anet
    October 26, 2009 - 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad the girls are feeling better! Now take care of you!!!
    Thanks for sharing your comfort tips.

    We’ve been lucky so far. But the public school kids in the neighborhood are sick. ugh!
    Also the school were my preschool is located, closed because of high flu rates. They closed on Friday. Opened today and now they are closing again on Tues and Wed.
    So we’re closed too. Time off for me!
    But there is a bunch of homeschooling stuff on the schedule this week. Keeping fingers crossed!!!

    Sending you healing vibes. :)

  • October 26, 2009 - 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad the girls seem to have bounced back so quickly. Good tips you have shared here…. I’d like to say I won’t need them but that’s unlikely.

    Take care of yourself Lisa ~ I hope you don’t begin to feel any worse!

  • Comments are closed.