Ever since I decided to eat better, spend more time outside, exercise, use essential oils on my skin and in my home and add healthy spices to my meals, I can count on my fingers the number of times I have gotten sick during winter.

I listen to and follow the recommendations of specialists around me (they are super healthy)! Besides hand washing (viruses can survive up to 30 minutes on the skin), how do you protect against bacterial and viral infections?? How do you protect your children? 

Here are some great ideas that I have gathered over the past few years.

- Take Probiotics (as a supplement or in yogurt, make sure they contain colonies of lactobacillius or bifidobacterium). These « good » bacteria are responsible for maintaining a well-functioning digestive system. Please note that ibuprofen or aspirin taken more than twice a week can upset the balance of your digestive system.

- Open the windows often in order to circulate air. Then, spray water or gin (which helps to bind perfume) mixed with a few drops of fir, pine or eucalyptus essential oils to purify the air.

- Use a humidifier, because it is more difficult for viruses to stay in the air if it contains water droplets. Ideally, your home should stay maintain 30% humidity (greater humidity can encourage mold growth).

- Spice up your dishes with clove, cinnamon or ginger to keep you warm: Our grandparents used these warming spices in the winter (in meat pie for example). They increase inner body heat and can help us get rid of a cold/flu. NB: These warming spices are great for "wind-colds" (runny nose, clear mucus, no sore throat, no fever) in Chinese Medicine, but can aggravate a « wind-heat" illness (yellow/green mucus, feeling hot, fever, etc.).

- Reduce stress which, over time, can depress the immune system.

For a Strong Immune System:

These are all great ideas for your children, in addition, take a few minutes to massage their spine at night, this will stimulate their « olfactory memory » as well as multiply their antibody production.

Khadija, Ph. D. and acupuncturist (at SEQUOIA massothérapie), told me that children's "chi" is located on the surface of the body; the meridian located along the spine helps to tone the organs. To help with circulation, gently rub from top to bottom along both sides of the spine. I fill the palm of my hand with sweet almond oil mixed with a few drops of lavender or oregano essential oil (definitely a must-have in my pharmacy, adults can swallow a few drops as well).

Warning: Not to be done if your child has the flu as the increase of circulation may aggravate the condition.