Beat Cold and flu season with natural remedies
As winter looms, the BEST time to boost your immune system is upon us. If your immune system is functioning optimally, you will have no problem fighting viruses even if you are exposed!
How to prevent cold or flu:
The following factors have the greatest impact on the immune system:
1. Vitamin D Levels - Less than optimum vitamin D levels impair your natural defenses and allow colds and infections to take hold. Aside from Vitamin D's immune-boosting function and cancer preventing mechanisms, it is also an effective microbial, producing 200 to 300 different virus and bacteria fighting peptides!
The best way to increase vitamin D levels is by direct sunlight on the skin. The best time of day is between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to avoid harmful rays and maximize the beneficial rays. For those who are not able to be outside during that time or are significantly deficient in vitamin D, supplementing with a high quality vitamin D may be necessary. For more extremely valuable information on this incredibly important vitamin, visit https://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm
2. Avoiding Sugar, Grains and Excess Dairy - If you begin to experience symptoms of a cold or flu, it is imperative to avoid sugars, grains, artificial sweeteners and processed foods. Sugar is known to suppress the immune system. For a boost of vitamin C, opt for lemon water rather than orange juice to avoid added sugar. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is also important to avoid dairy during this time as it is a mucus-forming food group.
3. Proper Rest - Your immune system is most effective when the body is getting adequate amounts of restorative sleep.
4. Addressing Emotional Stressors - Emotional stress can put you at a higher risk of infection. Managing stress not only boosts energy but contributes to a strong, functioning immune system. Finding stress-relieving activities and setting aside time for them is essential for any self-care routine and vital for overall health and well being.
5. Exercise - There is strong evidence that regular, moderate exercise boosts the immune system. One study found that those who exercise regularly cut their risk of catching a cold by 50 percent! See the study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21041243
However, if you already have a cold it is important not to overdo it. Exercise can be stressful for your body if it is already under attack.
What to do if you have a cold or flu:
1. Herbs, Spices and Vegetables: Turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, ginger and clove can be added liberally to your food while cooking. Add cilantro, onion, parsley and garlic to your soup to expedite recovery. Ancient Chinese remedies recommend covering up with a blanket after ingesting to allow your body to sweat out the pathogen. It is important to gently sweat too prevent loosing too much fluid while fighting an infection.
2. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and immune-booster. A natural form of vitamin C such as acerola can be particularly beneficial as it contains associated micronutrients. You may take several grams every hour until symptoms relieve, unless you start developing loose stool.
3. Probiotics: 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut! It is important to take a high quality probiotic during times of stress or illness.
4. Elder flower extract: Rich in vitamin C and flavinoids such as anthocyanins and quercetin, elder flower is a great tonic to boost immunity. It is known to promote lung and bronchial tract health.
5. Elderberry: In one study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, elderberry syrup reduced the severity of flu symptoms and shortened the duration by four days. Elderberry extract can help induce sweating and relieve congestion.
6. A tea made of elder flower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and frequently when combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, helping to eradicate the virus from your system.
7. Bone Broth: Contains amino acids and minerals that naturally support immunity. Consume soup made of real bone broth (free range and organic is best) and vegetables.
8. Essential Oils: Eucalyptus oil can open up the sinuses and lungs helping to heal quicker. Frankincense oil is known to naturally boost the immune system. Oregano and Clove oil are both anti-bacterial and anti-viral which can help you kick a cold quicker!
Also make sure to drink plenty of fresh, pure water and rest!
Homemade Cough Remedy
Honey can help relieve a sore throat and cough. Always use a raw honey for optimal benefits.
Honey Lemon Cough Syrup
Lemon helps to alkalinize your body, and honey can kill bacteria!
- Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties) .
- Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
- Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
- Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
- Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
- Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
- This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1 tablespoon doses.
This recipe came from Organic Consumers Association article. They have many more great recipes for cough and colds, be sure to check them out.
Most of the above information came from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/03/how-to-prevent-the-flu-easy-as-1-2-3.aspx and https://draxe.com/natural-cold-remedies/.