Just like that, cold season is upon us. I don't know about you, but I hear a lot of sniffles going on at my office! I've been lucky to escape them so far. I wanted to share some of my go-to remedies with you in case you find yourself with a cold or even the flu.
I rarely end up using the same combination of remedies when I'm feeling under the weather. I like to listen to my body and use what sounds good to me in the moment. There are definitely a few things I use every single time though. And I suggest using these remedies as soon as you have an inkling you might be coming down with something.
But first, let's talk about a couple things you can do to keep your body in tip-top shape and maybe prevent getting sick in the first place!
How to stay healthy during cold & flu season
- Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is so important for healing your body and for staying healthy. If you're not getting around 8 hours of sleep a night, try to go to bed a bit earlier. If you struggle falling asleep, you could look into buying some blue light blocking glasses like these babies. Blue light from our electronic devices harms our melatonin production. Getting sunlight as early in the morning as possible and keeping your room cool for sleeping also help.
- Reduce your stress: Chronic stress is bad news for your immune system, which makes you more prone to getting sick. Remember the info I shared about meditation two weeks ago? It might be time to give it a try if you've been stressed for a while and haven't found relief. I also suggest making some time for yourself even when life is busy. A nice massage, a long walk in the sunshine, or an Epsom salt bath can go a long way.
- Eat healthy & eliminate sugar/processed-foods: Did you know that even though sugar tastes so yummy, it decreases white blood cells that help fight off infection? Couple that with lack of sleep and you have an illness just waiting to happen. I always thought it is interesting that cold and flu season is also the time of year we eat a ton of sugar: Halloween treats, Thanksgiving pie, Christmas cookies, etc. Try to focus on foods that give you energy throughout the day - try eating higher fat, lower carb, as sugar cravings tend to disappear and you can be more clear headed and able to focus.
- Stay hydrated: Hey, I don't mean to be nosey, but what color is your pee? A faint or light yellow is what you're shooting for. Hydration helps your body flush out toxins and run more smoothly.
And if you still end up getting sick, here are some of my favorite remedies:
Natural cold & flu remedies
- Honey Lemon Ginger Tonic: I love this drink even when I’m not feeling under the weather! I like to add more ginger to it so it's a little spicy. And I often leave out the honey unless I'm actually sick. Manuka honey is what I like to use in this drink because of its powerful antimicrobial properties. This type of honey is actually beneficial to use both inside and outside your body. You can use it to help heal cuts as well as sore throats! Check out Dr. Josh Axe's article to learn more about benefits, uses, and how to purchase manuka honey. See this Honey Lemon Ginger Tonic Recipe for details on how to make this delicious, healing drink. You'll use a garlic press to make your own ginger juice, and it's amazing!
- Essential Oil Steam Treatment: Add eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl and fill with boiling water. Put your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel or scarf. Breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes. Eucalyptus has anti-bacterial and decongestant properties that'll help relieve your runny nose or congested lungs. I love to use a scarf to cover my head and then wear it around the rest of the day smelling wonderful.
- Elderberry: Elderberry boosts your immune system which helps you fend off the cold or flu. If you're already sick, using elderberry has been found to relieve symptoms an average of 4 days earlier. Check out the study here. I like to buy elderberry in syrup form at my local coop.
- Colloidal Silver: Colloidal silver is antibacterial and antiviral. It also has immune boosting benefits which is perfect for cold and flu season. When I feel something coming on, I often like to add this in for an extra boost. You can find it at health foods stores with the supplements.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is a flowering plant that grows in the U.S. and Canada, and it's been used as medicine for centuries. There are nine species. Some of its common names are the purple coneflower or black-eyed Susan. The leaves, stems, flower, and roots are used to make supplements, liquid extracts, and teas. You should start using echinacea at the first sign of a cold, taking a total of about 900 mg of extract divided into two or three doses per day for one to two weeks.
- Berberine: Berberine is an extract from Goldenseal, Oregon Grape and Barberry. You can see the bright gold color of the berberine glowing in the roots and rhizomes of these special plants. This is the bright yellow glow of nature's pure anti inflammatory action. It is oftentimes considered to be “nature’s antibiotic” and if you work we me, regardless of what for, there's a good chance at some point you'll be taking berberine. Berberine effectively restores serum blood sugar balance. Berberine herbs purify heat toxins from the blood and reconditions the mucous membranes that line and protect our vital organs. This makes them particularly suited to regenerating both the upper and lower digestive tracts. Berberine is very efficient at killing bacteria, preventing inflammation, and treating inflammation once it has already occurred. Because of this fact, it is a great option for treating both coughs and colds.
- Bone Broth: Contains amino acids and minerals that naturally support immunity. Consume soup made of real bone broth and vegetables.
*Please consult your doctor before any use of supplements.
You might choose to use one, a couple, or all of these remedies depending on how you're feeling. This isn't even an extensive list of all the natural options out there, but these are the ones I use myself and recommend to my clients. I hope they'll help you feel your best again quickly if you find yourself getting the sniffles!
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