Cold and flu season has arrived, and with that comes the runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and worst of it all, the dreaded body aches.
Did you know that when you are inflicted by a virus, your white blood cells rush to attack that virus, leaving your body unable to fend off inflammation? The level of pain you experience could be an indication of the amount of inflammation that your body is fighting on a daily basis. Which, could also be an indication of some lifestyle changes that are calling. Below are seven remedies that can be used not only during and illness, but also before it strikes.
- Fluids – Say yes to chicken soup, and be sure to add turmeric, ginger, carrot and celery. You can also juice those four ingredients together and skip the soup. The combination is full of essential, disease-fighting nutrients, as well as is anti-inflammatory. If you need a little sweetener, studies have shown that honey really can be effective, especially for children. So the honey-lemon tea, like Grandma used to make, is still a good idea. Electrolyte drinks are also a good choice if for any reason dehydration is a concern. When choosing, look for ones that have the least amount of sugar and most vitamin C. The little packets full of nutrients can be added to a water bottle anytime. Do your part in keeping your cells fed and hydrated so that they can work optimally in keeping you healthy.
- Hot water bottle or a heating pad – Warmth on an aching body is like a mother’s kiss, it feels really good and it works. Heat can be placed where ever there is need of some extra love: chest, feet, upper back, lower back or neck. Mini bolsters filled with buckwheat are the perfect size and fit for all types of aches and all sizes of people. You can add an essential oil scent and move your heat around providing warmth to various body parts to help release tension . If you don’t have either, Grandma used to warm towels in the microwave and place them on my body with some vapo-rub. It felt like heaven.
- Infrared Sauna – If you are visiting a spa or pool where there is an infrared, be sure to try it out to help stave off any lingering, unwanted bugs. You can even purchase your own small infrared sauna for your home. Infrareds kill the bugs in your body from the inside out and offers relief to achy muscles.
- Reflexology with Oregano oil – Rubbing oregano oil on the soles of your feet is a great idea before bed, just be sure to cover your feet with socks or your bed will smell like an Italian restaurant. Oregano oil has wonderful “anti” benefits such as anti-biotic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. When the oil is rubbed on the soles of the feet it is absorbed up through the body and is one of the best ways to receive the nutrients without causing any stomach issues that can occur when oregano supplements are taken. Therapeutic reflexology can offer assistance and relief to the many parts of the body being affected, as well as help to remove toxins. You can focus on specific areas, such as head sinuses or chest, which are the toes and pads of the feet, but working the entire foot is always the most effective. Book a reflexology appointment or find out more.
- Bath with Epson salts or Baking Soda – Help your body remove toxins by bathing in salts. Epsom salts are also high in magnesium, which can provide muscle ache relief. Add a couple of drops of lavender to help soothe and relax the body.
- Warm Mist Humidifier – My personal preference is warm because the water gets boiled, which kills any bacteria. Adding some eucalyptus drops to the vapour dish helps to open up those sinuses. Again, Grandma used to boil water on the stove and let me inhale standing over it for a couple of minutes before my honey-lemon tea – just saying.
- 20 minute Yoga and 20 minute meditation – Even through illness, 20 minutes of light yoga and meditation that involves chest opening – or entire spine opening, helps to bring in and carry oxygen throughout the body. Yoga helps to flush out toxins and strengthens the body so it can function optimally. Open and release – as you do, take in healing breaths and positive thoughts. Lying in bed can start to feel depressing after a while and it is good to move and reconnect and find gratitude with, and for, your body, mind and soul.
One week to ten days is a normal cold or flu cycle; the worst day is usually day three. There are many reasons to contact your doctor, including extremely high fever, dehydration due to diarrhea or vomiting especially those with compromised immune systems or under a doctor’s care already for any reason. These are my favourites for non-severe illnesses and symptoms and are not intended to take place of a professional’s advice or seeking medical attention. There are also numerous over the counter medications to help with sleep, pain and nausea as well there are anti-viral prescription medications that are very effective.