Sea buckthorn immune system booster
... or why my 4 year old daughter hasn't catch flu this year
My whole family took a sea buckthorn immune system booster this year, like we do every year.
We had only a weekend of slight fever and a congested nose for a week, but nothing more serious than that.
It's a red-orange-yellow fall-winter parade and the weather outside is wonderful. I'm starting to think about Christmas activities with my daughter - snowmen, sledding ... and, ohm, yes, about cold, flu, stuffy noses, and post nasal drip.
Maybe not, because wouldn't you agree: "an ounce of prevention always beats a pound of cure"?
Have you prepared for the cold season? Did you take the recommended seasonal flu shot? I actually didn't take the flu shot for a decade now, partially because needles and I are not very good friends.
And you know what? Some of my coworkers who took the flu shot still got the flu, missed some days of work, and, from their tales, they felt very bad with fever and headaches. So I wouldn't wish to get the flu just to skip work :)
Certainly, there are mothers just like me who would like use a safe natural remedy instead of the seasonal flu vaccine to increase their child's immunity.
I used sea buckthorn for a couple of years now and I was so excited by the results, that I also wanted my child to take advantage of its benefits. After my daughter's two year old birthday, I searched for a sea buckthorn natural immunity treatment suitable for her age. Unfortunately, the label read "only on doctor's recommendation". At that time I gave her Echinacea syrup, pine seeds syrup and plantain syrup. I felt it was a great loss for her not to benefit from this "all-in-one small chemical laboratory", vitamins C, E, A, B complex, antioxidants, all natural and all in a single berry.
Only after my daughter, Roxana turned 4 years old, I believed I gathered enough information and gave her sea buckthorn without the feeling that I did something wrong. I was somewhat reluctant because you need to take precaution, primarily in terms of quantity, dosage based on age, weight, and whether or not the child has diseases. The juice and sea buckthorn oil are concentrated and have very powerful effects, so you do need to take caution.
Many sources I've found agreed it is preferable to eat the whole raw unprocessed berries. You can find fresh sea buckthorn berries at the farmers market late in the fall season.
There are a couple of homemade recipes you can use, and all of them are delicious. I wanted a recipe involving whole berries, but I knew Roxana, wouldn't eat them without a sweet incentive.
I bought one pound of raw berries and mixed them with 2 pounds of honey. I put the composition in two jars and stored them in the fridge. The recommended dosage is 1-3 tablespoons per day for adults or 1-3 teaspoons per day for children.
The berries are sour and a little bitter, but they are quite yummy with honey. The children may even enjoy cranking the seeds inside and think of them like candies. Well, Roxana was not fooled by the "candy story", but we've got through to her with other benefits. And yes, it involved a little Santa bribing too :)
If the children are too young for the cranking stuff, just let the berries to soak in honey for 1-2 months. Keep it in the fridge all the time so that the berries wouldn't spoil.
On the other hand, the sea buckthorn juice homemade recipe is even easier. Take two-three handfuls of sea buckthorn and run them through the juicer.
A healthier alternative is to crush them with a wooden spoon in porcelain bowl. You will avoid the metals and protect the juice from oxidation, which is unavoidable if you use a food processor, a blender or an electric centrifugal juicer. Strain the juice if you don't fancy the shell and the seeds, but you can also drink the whole thing.
You can drink the pure juice, but the taste is pungent, so mix it instead with honey or carrot juice. Add half a glass of carrot juice to 4-5 tablespoons of sea buckthorn juice.
Instead of drinking the juice on the same day, you can make a syrup for the winter by mixing 1/3 parts juice and 2/3 parts honey or sugar. If you don't add any sweetener, it will only last a couple of hours.
The syrup recipe for the "drink your juice because we're late for kindergarten" is as fast as pouring 20-30 ml of juice and 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of pure water.
The oil capsules
While these homemade recipes may appeal to my husband's do it yourself mindset, the "laziest" option (read the most comfortable for me and not rejected on the spot by the child) with many virtues nonetheless, is however the sea buckthorn oil capsules.
The sea buckthorn oil can be extracted only with special equipment so you can't make it at home. Actually, you could make your own sea buckthorn oil, but only for external use.
For internal use, take 1-2 capsules, 2-3 times per day, or up to 6 capsules per day, for adults, and up to 2 capsules per day for children. I give my daughter 1 capsule per day preventive, for a month in the cold season and 2 capsules per day if she begins to show cold symptoms.
Most experts say 2-3 months is ideal for a treatment. I've also read opinions that say there is no problem to take the oil all year round, because sea buckthorn has no side effects. I personally take sea buckthorn oil one month per year.
One last thing I would add is to give the oil capsules to the children during the day, because sea buckthorn is quite energizing and can disturb their sleep if they take it before bed.
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