Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be sick every single season, when others cruise through? It’s not just because they are lucky, it’s because of the old survival rule ‘Be Prepared’…
- Don’t “starve a fever and feed a cold” – don’t do either. Instead, drink a lot of water, preferably warm as it helps to soothe mucous membranes. Drink fresh juices – get yourself a juicer so you can do this at least once a day. Raw foods are proven immune strengtheners. Eat healthy – I know we all want to comfort eat but that is damaging and can in fact just start a downward spiral.
Don’t drink sugary or milky warm drinks – this increases acidity, which puts you in the sick room in the first place. It also increases mucous which you don’t want. Constant aggravation of your nervous system and digestive system will only aggravate your respiratory system. Instead, drink lots of warm water infused with beneficial herbs such as nasturtium thyme, sage, chamomile, mint and Himalayan salt. It replaces valuable electrolytes as well as soothing airways and flushing out toxins.
- Don’t sit indoors in warm rooms 24/7 – this actually allows the bugs to grow due to increased humidity. If you are suffering a fever, by all means rug up and warm your body but the fresh air outside is far more beneficial. As is the great big free Vitamin D machine – sunshine. Don’t cover up, don’t block out the sun’s rays. Considering we need a few hours a day to absorb sufficient D, many of us are lacking. And considering asthma is linked to a D deficiency, it explains why lots of kids and even adults suffer with asthma so frequently.
- Don’t just use mentholated rub on your chest or neck. Don’t laugh but the best place to use it is on the soles of your feet. I am not joking. If you cough, it will actually stop it faster than any cough medicine. For kids, rub it on before bed and cover feet with socks. It works. Of course, try and find a non-petroleum jelly based rub – there are many based on safer gels.
- Don’t share your germs! Don’t go to work, don’t send your kids to school or daycare, don’t cough in public and don’t cough into your hands. Each of these things will spread sickness faster than anything else. I personally get angry when I am forced to share the germs of others. I don’t share mine and I appreciate others offering the same respect.
- Don’t try and work it out of you. Think about the animals in the wild. When they are sick, they sleep and even hibernate. Sometimes they eat plants for instinctive healing, but most of all they sleep. We need to learn to do the same. If your body is telling you it is too tired or weak to work, listen. Go to bed, sleep it off. You’d do the same for a hangover or late night, and they are self inflicted. If your body speaks, just allow yourself to listen it. Rather than drag an illness out or make it worse (no, you can’t sweat it out by overburdening it) you may just find you cut the duration.
- Don’t just let your body suffer. That is one of the worst things you can do and I am amazed at the number of so-called experts who will advise you to do this very thing. The body cannot heal well while it is under duress. If a cut is inflamed and you irritate it, will it heal? The same can be said for any inflammatory illness. Soothe it with analgesia – that can range from willowbark and feverfew to a special paracetamol/codeine formulation.
- Don’t ignore it hoping it will go away. All you are doing is putting off the inevitable and inviting more chronic illness. I have lost count of the number of chronically unwell people who begin with “I thought it was just a cold and that it would go away.”
So what can you do?
Well, apart from what has been written above, there is a LOT you can do.
- A herbal ‘antibiotic’– of which there are many. Most will contain echinacea and garlic – funny enough, most doctors will say not to waste your time, yet studies have proven that in contagious disease, including drug-resistant strains, that herbal medicine is far more effective than any drug on the market. And with far less side effects. These herb-biotics can range from basic herbs to Chinese herbs (free of questionable and cruelly-derived animal ingredients) and can be in tablet or tonic forms. The taste does take some getting used to but in my house at least, the kids love the taste.
- Steaming and nasal washing – using neti pots, steam machines, even a hot shower – these all serve to clean and soothe the mucous membranes and actually speed healing.
- Look at your lifestyle and diet. If you find yourself getting repeated coughs, colds and flus, it is no coincidence. Overhaul your diet – include raw and fresh food, lots of water and remove all the usual triggers of ill health – wheat, yeast, sugar, dairy and meat. See these foods as a rare treat. If you have detrimental habits/addictions you may have to ask yourself what is more important.
- Hot baths (hydrotherapy). You may not believe this but if you run a hot bath and add a tablespoon each of powdered ginger, Epsom Salts and Bicarb, you will draw and ‘break’ the virus. Try it – it works. The same therapy is safe for all ages.
- Increase antioxidant intake. Fresh, raw juices – cucumber, celery, carrot, apple, orange, berry, cabbage, kale, spinach. The benefits of these foods raw, are far too numerous to mention. Studies have shown that antioxidant intake is better than just about any other option – A, C, E, curcuminoids (turmeric etc), pine bark extract, olive leaf extract, etc – all not only fight the virus but knock off free radicals and soothe tissues.
- Foot soaks. Foot spas or even a bucket of hot water with Epsom Salts, Eucalyptus and other essential oils will draw out toxins and warm the body.
- Washing – both your body and surroundings. You need to wash away the toxins that build up at least once every two days (if you are very unwell). Your clothing and bedding will need regular cleaning and disinfecting with a healthy option such as eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree oil.
- Excrete – no joke. There are herbs that help with expectoration (coughing up of mucous), diaphoresis (sweating), urination (flushing through the kidneys) and bowel evacuation which needs to be kept frequent in order to prevent stagnant build up and weakened processes. See my other articles on such herbs – it’s worth it for everyone to either have a little herb garden or a store of them in the pantry.
Be pro-active this season. If you are already unwell, please take the steps necessary to get well. If you are not yet affected, please take the steps to build your immunity and make your environment one that discourages poor immunity. Don’t ignore it hoping it will go away. All you are doing is putting off the inevitable and inviting more chronic illness. I have lost count of the number of chronically unwell people who begin with “I thought it was just a cold and that it would go away.”