Stay Healthy During the Cold and Flu Season…Naturally
It’s that time of year again. It’s only a matter of time before you and your kids are exposed to colds and flu at work, school, or even in your own home. As you can probably guess, the best time to treat a cold or the flu is when you don’t have it! The following are some natural steps you can take toward prevention and to help lessen the symptoms if you manage to catch a bug.
Preventing Colds and Flu
- Eating a diet of fresh, whole foods is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy immune system. A diet rich in whole grains & beans prepared properly, and fresh vegetables and fruits packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our bodies need every day to maintain health, should do the trick.
- Reduce or eliminate highly processed and refined foods, foods high in sugar, salt, and trans fats. These foods stress our bodies and rob them of the vital nutrients we need, contributing to illness and disease.
- Reduce stress in your life. Stress weakens the immune system and puts you at greater risk for disease. Try yoga or meditation, perhaps a brisk walk, or relax and listen to music or read.
- Do some form of exercise or activity at least three times a week. Walk, ski, dance or swim. Physical activity contributes to your overall health and well-being.
- Increase your consumption of foods that contain Vitamin C, like fruits and vegetables.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that are dark and rich in color. These foods are high in antioxidants. The phytonutrients found in the skins of many fruits and vegetables can enhance and strengthen the immune system. Great sources are dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, blueberries, purple grapes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash.
- Eat lots of fresh garlic and onions – they have natural antiviral properties.
- Eat plenty of cultured vegetables like raw, unheated sauerkraut, drink kombucha and/or kefir, and take a good probiotic supplement to keep your gut working at peak levels. A healthy digestive tract is our best defense against illness.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Get plenty of fresh air.
- In your home and workplace wipe down or wash (with non-toxic cleaners) frequently touched items such as phones, toys, knobs, etc. Try making your own alternative antiseptic using a liquid soap, water and tea tree essential oil. Tea tree oil has anti-microbial properties makes for an easy “green” cleaner.
Even with the most diligent efforts, you may still get sick. It is possible to effectively ease the pain and discomfort of colds and flu, naturally. Try some of these simple home remedies when managing your cold and flu symptoms.
Treating Colds and Flu
- Potent anti-viral medicinal herbs like elderberry, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, and olive leaf can all be helpful in both the prevention as well as the treatment of the flu. Echinacea’s reputation as an immune booster is well documented and is a wonderful ally during the cold and flu season. Strong medicinal teas and liquid extracts are the best way to take these herbs.
- Aromatherapy, the use of pure essential oils, has proven therapeutic benefits. Many essential oils like ravensara, tea tree, eucalyptus and thyme can help clear congestion and fight viral and bacterial infections. Try making a simple chest rub by diluting 20 drops of essential oil in one ounce of carrier oil, such as olive oil. Diffusion (the process of dispersing the essential oil so that their aroma fills a room or an area) is also an excellent way to benefit from their healing properties.
- Get plenty of sleep, as your body needs this time to repair and rebuild tissues.
- Have a cup of green tea daily or make yourself a cup of fresh ginger tea with honey and lemon.
- Put hydrogen peroxide in your ears: Get a bottle of hydrogen peroxide (3%). Tilt your head to one side and fill one ear canal with hydrogen peroxide using an eye dropper. Fill the ear canal completely. (Don’t do this if you have a ruptured ear drum) You will notice a loud bubbling in the ear. Let the peroxide stay in the ear until it stops bubbling. If the bubbling has not stopped after five minutes, drain out the peroxide and refill the ear with fresh peroxide. When the bubbling has stopped, drain out the ear. Repeat the procedure on the other ear.
- Be respectful of other people and stay home if you do come down with a cold or flu. Your body needs time to rest and recuperate from an illness. Also, going to work or school when you are sick spreads germs to other people.
Visit our Wellness Department for a great selection of immune boosting products and cold & flu remedies.