Cold & flu season….what to do7 min read

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You’re sick with a cold or flu. Now what? For many it is a quick trip tot he pharmacy to stock up on a whole lot of medication.

This past few days I (Sharon) have been sick with a respiratory `bug’ of some kind. It’s just par for the course really. Bugs go around and we arent immune to everything. There are new strains of something going around all the time. As I write this there are a lot of people I know that have a respiratory `bug’. Normally I would spend most of the winter & spring with one that would leave me with a terrible cough and chronic sinusitis.

Since going primal I have had a few odd bouts of sickness. Once was more just feeling `off’ with a bit of a sore throat for a day or so, and the other was this week. I have had the common cold. Slightly elevated temperature, sore throat, runny nose with sore and blocked ears.

This time it has not been as severe as I have had in the past, but definitely the worst I have had all year. I try to avoid anti-biotics at all costs. On a recent Wellness Guys podcast, Cyndi O’Meara said that it takes 2 years to recover from one course of anti-biotics. Good motivation to try other remedies!

I have seen people with autoimmune diseases go on round after round of anti-biotics, with the time between each course getting less and less, and them get sicker each time. It has happened to me in the past and I wanted to put a stop to the vicious cycle. I’ve not had any antibiotics since last winter!! Of course, back then, I wasn’t eating well enough to give my body a fighting chance to heal itself. I know that I have recovered much more quickly from this current bout.

I thought it was a good time to share some of the things that can boost your immunity and support your body through a cold or flu.

What do I do to get better/alleviate the symptoms?

Nutrition

Firstly, good nutrient dense foods are a must. If you feel like eating, make sure its good food. Even make up a batch of soup to get you through. I have bone broth constantly in my freezer so I can at least use it as a base for soups. It’s rich in all sorts of necessary nutrients and is very easily absorbed by the body.

Rest

This is a big one for me. I’ve always felt guilty taking time out for myself to rest. With 4 busy kids (3 at school 1 at kinder) I really dont get a chance to “be sick”. I also dont get heaps of help with one set of grandparents being interstate.

BUT….. lately I have learned the value of resting, and listening to my body telling me when I need it. Listen carefully mums. This is important. (One mum to another.) We are not any good to anyone when we are only running at half steam (or less), and feeling like crap for days, weeks or even months on end.

I used to be of the opinion that I needed to keep on going. If I dont do it then who will? I had tried to do that for many years. I was constantly tired and run down from a cold, or just plain doing too much. No longer! I have been making sure I rest and not feeling guilty about it (as much as possible). There are still things I need to do like school runs etc, but if I can make it as easy as possible I will try from now on. There is NO shame in asking for help.

Garlic

The humble garlic promotes a health immune system and helps strengthen your body against allergies. It is also packed with vitamins and nutrients such as VitaminsA, B, B2, C, Calcium and Zinc. Just chop a clove of fresh garlic and swallow. Avoid garlic breath by drinking some lemon juice or eating some slices of lemon. Another good way to stop the odour on your breath is to chew on a sprig of fresh parsley. Remember though that garlic is both absorbed and excreted through the skin. In fact, if swallowing the garlic messes with your stomach, then put a chopped clove in your socks and it will be absorbed through the skin on the soles of your feet.

Ginger

Ginger dries things up and has antiviral compounds to it so its great for helping to dry up that runny nose and mucus. Great for the sinuses. It helps with a sore throat to have a tea of ginger, lemon and honey. You can eat it fresh dipped in honey or add it fresh to your everyday cooking as well.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive Leaf Extract helps boosts the immune system. I have also found it to help reduce a fever, toothache pain and teething symptoms. You can get it in liquid or tablet form. I use the liquid form and add a bit to some apple juice. Apple juice masks the flavour of a lot of things.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is a great general tonic and I’ve also have found that it helps a sore throat greatly. Some people say to gargle it, but I find it too strong to do that. If I block/hold my nose (it really helps) to swallow it slowly then I can still get the benefits for the throat. Be aware though that it is very strong. Make sure you rinse your mouth and drink something afterwards (I find this helps take the taste away anyway.) It can burn your throat and can also cause problems for the enamal on your teeth. (Judith: I recommend that you have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of room temperature water….with a few drops of liquid stevia to take away the `bite’ of the vinegar. DOn’t leave this to just when you feel you have a cold coming on – have it every morning.)

Probiotics

Again these help to boost your immunity which in turn can help prevent or fight a cold if you have one. Some of the ways you can incorporate them into your diet are with kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi, to name a few. Of course if you haven’t yet gotten into preparing your own, you could purchase a good quality probiotic. We recommend USANA Probiotic Plus. It’s high quality, stable at room temperature and in a convenient single serve sachet.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps boost your immunity too. I think we all feel so much better after having spent some time outside in the sun. Try to get a good dose every day! In some parts of the world this may not work and you may need to get your Vitamin D from another source. Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a good source for Vitamin D.

Coconut oil

I can’t sing its praises enough. Coconut oil has many benefits including having anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It aids and supports the immune system and helps us fight off those bugs. We have found these guys to have the most amazingly beautiful coconut oil (and other coconut products).

Chicken soup and bone broths

There are many, many, many good reasons to have bone broth and boosting your immunity and healing the gut are just a few of them. We’ll try to get a recipe up here very soon.

Himalayan Salt Inhaler

I had done a fair bit of research on these a few months ago and finally picked one up the other day. The main reason I got mine for was to help Miss Rae with her asthma. Well, the added bonus for me has been to dry up the mucus and stop that running nose. I also found after using it, that my throat wasn’t as sore afterwards. Some people have found it to help with asthma, allergies, sinus and problems.

The salt contains anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits. It can also act as an anti- inflamatory. It aids in promoting sound sleep. Because of the way you breath through it, it deepens breath capacity and promotes mental calmness. As a reasult it may help lower blood pressure. (Information from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/himalayan-salt-inhaler-benefits/)

You will notice that a lot of the things that help are to do with both the immune system (of course) and the gut. I truly believe that good health starts in the gut and that for good general health, we need to be boosting our immunity and helping our gut get well long before we get one of these ‘bugs’.

How are you going to get through the cold and flu season?

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