Throughout the winter months, it is important to keep a strong immune system. When you do feel illness coming on, there are a few simple steps you can take to help boost your immune response and (hopefully!) kick the bug before it begins or at least shorten the duration of illness. Learn how to rid ourselves of colds, flu and what you can do!
You might not know this about me, but I do not practice “conventional” medicine. Now don’t get you dander up, I’m not saying that some Western medicine is not good, I just don’t agree with it’s principle. Western medicine is an allopathic style. This means treating a “symptom” by using pharmacologically active drugs.
Personally, I don’t believe we get well by treating a symptom, but, by elevating healthier lifestyle choices. My intent is too share some alternative methods to help keep off bay or beat colds or flu.
Simple Cold and Flu Support
For Scratchy Throats
Colds and flu symptoms can include a nasty cough and can go straight to the lungs. A useful Homemade Chest Rub can be very beneficial. Also Eucalyptus oil is great for opening our sinus passages, bring water to a boil (then turn heat off) and add 5 -10 drop of Eucalyptus oil to the water. Bend over and breath in the steam with a towel covered over your head.
Vitamin D is incredibly supportive to the immune system. When we are sick, our body uses more vitamin D to support our immune response. High dose vitamin D can be used–up to 50,000 IU per day for 3 days at the initial onset of symptoms. Read more about how Vitamin D is MORE effective than anti-viral drugs and vaccines at flu prevention.
Homeopathic medicines (or remedies) are based on the theory that “like cures like” meaning you want to take a remedy that matches your current set of symptoms to “cure” the symptoms you are experiencing. I like using the example of an onion and allergy season. When you chop an onion– what happens? Often times your eyes water, sting, burn, or you may sneeze. It’s no surprise, then, that the homeopathic Allium cepa (Latin for onion) is a common remedy for allergy season.
One example of a commonly used combination homeopathic is Oscillococcinum. It seems to work best when taken within the first 12 hours of symptoms. This is available over the counter at most drugstores (Vitamin Shop, Whole food, or any good health food store)
Homeopathics are little white pellets that dissolve under the tongue or are in liquid form for dropping under the tongue.
- Water works wonders to get blood and lymphatic fluid moving. Here is a list of some at home hydro treatments that work!
- Warming socks—a fun night-time treatment! You need 1 pair of 100% cotton tube socks and 1 pair of 100% wool socks that will cover the tube socks. Get the cotton socks wet in ice cold water. Ring the socks so that they are not dripping wet, but still damp and cold. Cover the wet socks with dry wool socks and go to bed! Wake up in the morning with warmed socks and a feeling of refreshment. The socks will stimulate your body’s circulation and immune response.
- Hot foot bath for sinus congestion with cold towel on forehead.
- Hot bath (as hot as you can tolerate!) to stimulate sweating. Cover any exposed areas with a hot towel.
Nasosympatico treatment is a therapy that can be used specifically for sinus congestion. This treatment involves placing essential oils onto an extra-long cotton swab and inserting the cotton into the nasal passages. Look for a licensed Naturopatic Doctor in your area.
Of course, it’s always better to simply avoid getting sick if at all possible. Here are some tried-and-true natural methods of supporting my immune system during flu season:
- Wash your hands and use germ-fighting measures like my homemade hand sanitizer.
- Sleep! It’s vital that our body has adequate rest in order to ward off bugs.
- Eat healthy and nourishing foods
- Cut out the sugar. Sugar, refined sugar, should be eliminated when you are sick. Sugar has been linked to cancer.
- Up your daily Vitamin C dose to 3,000 – 5,000 units a day.
There’s never a guarantee that we won’t get sick, but a healthier lifestyle certainly lowers the chance we will!