This post contains affiliate links. Please read more about my disclosure policy here.
Well, the stomach flu bug has invaded our home and prompted this post. I have found it nearly impossible to avoid all forms of illness as long as my twins are in public school. They’re the breeding grounds for rapidly growing and spreading germs. After working in the public school system, owning my own preschool, and being married to a Type 1 diabetic I have tried several methods for beating multiple illness that sneak their way into our home.
Today I’m going to specifically cover the stomach flu because it has made it’s most unwelcome presence.
Stomach flu symptoms
The stomach flu symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps
This can lead to severe dehydration which inhibits the body’s ability to regain strength and fight off those nasty flu invaders. When my family members come down with something icky I try to heal them with healthy and natural alternatives. You may already have these items in your pantry or refrigerator and they can also be much more cost efficient than traditional over-the-counter medications.
When the stomach flu hits it usually has the domino effect. It starts with one person and just keeps jumping from person to person. If you can give the other family members pure grape juice without sugar added that will be their best defense if the illness is already in the home and they’re not already showing signs of flu symptoms. If they are then it’s too late. Don’t give grape juice at this point or you’ll be dealing with purple puke.
Grape juice works by changing the pH in the intestinal tract so that the virus can’t multiply. It contains strong anti-viral chemicals as well as Vitamin C and antioxidants. Pure grape juice is supposed to flush and kill the virus and severely lessen the symptoms. When someone gets the stomach virus it really isn’t even in the stomach at all but is in the large and small intestines. The stomach flu keeps changing the acidity in the intestines and makes you feel sick to your stomach. By keeping the pH of the intestines slightly more alkaline can prevent the virus from taking its toll and making you sick.
So if your other kiddos and you are around someone with the stomach flu, start drinking the grape juice as soon as you know you’ve been around it.
***UPDATE*** As soon as the twins showed symptoms of the stomach flu my toddler*, husband and I started drinking pure concord grape juice and didn’t come down with the flu so I can personally attest to the grape juice working. It’s definitely worth a shot!
*My toddler is 18-months old, is still breastfeeding, and hasn’t ever been sick. You can read more about how to increase and maintain your milk supply here.
In the past you would have found me hoarding bottles upon bottles of Lysol disinfectant spray. I used that stuff like it was going out of style when I owned my preschool and at the end of each school day I was wiping down tables, chairs, and doorknobs at school. Now, I can’t even stand the smell of the stuff. Commercialized cleaners have ingredients in them that I certainly have a difficult time pronouncing. I also have two dogs that live indoors with us and a toddler who is touching, climbing up on, and putting everything in her mouth. So, naturally, I had concerns about what I was spraying on everything in my home.
I’m new to essential oils but am really loving my experiences with them! Below is a natural disinfectant spray.
Natural disinfectant spray
1/2 cup Vodka
1/2 cup of water
15 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
25 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil
15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
15 drops of Lavender Oil
Mix all ingredients together and add to the glass spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle while cleaning. Spray all surfaces that are touched frequently in your home.
If you’re like me and don’t drink alcohol and don’t have any at home get a inexpensive bottle for $5. Do not leave it out of the disinfectant spray. It will help sterilize all of your surfaces.
Be sure you’re using only the highest quality essential oils and buying USDA Certified organic oils.
Get everyone to wash their hands and frequently! I’m the Soap Nazi at my house with this one. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of constantly asking my kids if they washed, how long they washed, did they get between their fingers, when they get home from school, after they use the restroom, before and after they eat or help out in the kitchen. I’ve even noticed how many people I know personally that I have observed first hand NOT washing their hands or getting their fingertips a little damp. C’mon guys! Eww!
Just like with disinfectant spray, hand soaps contain several harmful ingredients like triclosan and octylphenol. Here’s an easy and safe antibacterial hand soap you can make right at home.
DIY Antibacterial hand soap
2 Tbsp unscented castile soap
1-2 tsp fractionated coconut oil
10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice
- Pour the castile soap and fractionated coconut oil into the soap dispenser.
- Add the drops of essential oils – I like lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary because of their antibacterial properties.
- Fill the soap bottle up with water.
- Screw on the pump lid and shake gently to mix all of the ingredients together.
- Give the lid 2-3 pumps and wash thoroughly.
The fractionated coconut oil helps moisturize your hands while the essential oils smell great!
I wash my hands even more frequently when someone is sick in the home. More than usual! I feel like I’m washing my hands every few minutes and I notice my hands start to get dry. I absolutely loveThe Honest Company’s Organic Healing Balm. This balm truly is the all-purpose ointment and can be used for a multitude of reasons. They recently changed the name to All Purpose Balm because of it’s many uses.
As soon as the sicky can tolerate sipping on liquids I grab a box of coconut water. Coconut water has more hydrating properties than a glass of tap water and helps bowels. It also can fight off viruses because of its anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Its a rich source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and mangesium, which is crucial for rehydrating especially if that nasty flu bug attacked at both ends. Coconut water is a living food with easily absorbable electrolytes, sugars, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins. It’s very valuable in treating vomiting and is a much healthier alternative to sports drinks. I would highly recommend choosing the pineapple coconut water for kids since plain coconut milk may not be as fun for kids to drink down especially when they’re not feeling well. My kids lovepineapple coconut water and always ask for more of it!
When said sicky is no longer making trips to the restroom you can slowly start to offer solids. Here’s a list of easy to digest foods:
- Bananas – high in potassium, an electrolyte
- Applesauce – contains pectin which has antidiarrheal effects
- Bone Broth soup – easy to digest and heals the gut
- Ginger beer or ginger tea – ginger helps ease nausea and is more effective than OTC
- Whole grain toast or crackers – easy to digest and settle the stomach
My husband and I drink two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar every morning to help boost our immunity. Make sure it has “The Mother” in it. If you’re not used to drinking apple cider vinegar be prepared for the smell and taste. It reminds me of stinky feet and is so vinegary that I always pucker and shudder after taking two tablespoons. Think of it as taking a shot and having a “chaser” helps to get it down. I like to follow up with the pure concord grape juice.
This, along with with proper diet, exercise, plenty of water, and good hand-washing practice has kept us well. We haven’t been sick in two years! When our twins come home from school with any ickies we have been able to avoid getting sick ourselves by implementing these steps.
When I’m out and about running errands and can’t immediately get to a sink to wash my hands I always keep hand sanitizer on hand. Think of when a kiddo gets sick in the car. It’s happened too many times to count and when I have to pull over to clean them up I spray a generous amount on my hands. Make sure to follow up with a good hand washing. This works well for the kids when they’re at school and aren’t allowed to keep getting up from their desks to thoroughly wash their hands.