As we approach cold and flu season and the weather gets cooler, we congregate indoors for parties and outdoors for sports and are exposed to more germs and bacteria. School aged children are exposed to viruses and bacteria on a daily basis in the classroom. You might wonder how we can prevent or treat a cold or the flu. There are many natural remedies that we can use.
If we give our bodies what they need on a daily basis and keep a steady supply of essential nutrients, we can help ensure that our bodies can resist any pathogen they come in contact with. Following some basic principles for a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing illness. Avoiding gluten, sugars, starchy foods, and even dairy can help ensure our bodies are at peak immunity performance. Taking a Vitamin D3 supplement or getting limited sun exposure without sunscreen will also boost immunity. Our bodies need anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 on a daily basis to maintain a healthy immune system. Spending 15-30 minutes in the sun for fair skin or an hour or more for darker skin can give you your Vitamin D supply for the day. Getting enough sleep every night is essential for preventing illness. Exercising regularly has been shown to decrease the number of times a year a person gets sick and shorten the illness.
There are many things you may already have in your home that you can use if you get sick.
- Garlic is a natural antibiotic powerhouse. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties. For the most effective treatment, finely mince 1-2 cloves of garlic and float in a small glass of water. Drink it down quickly.
- Hydrogen Peroxide– At the first sign of cold, flu, sinus infection, or ear infection, put a dropper full of hydrogen peroxide into each ear. You should lie still with the hydrogen peroxide in the ear until it stops bubbling. Do this on both sides. This is especially effective for kids. Repeat every few hours until the infection is gone.
- Hot Liquids– Drink plenty of hot herbal teas and hot lemon water at the first sign of sickness. The herbs from the tea can help with the infection and the heat boosts the immune system.
- Cinnamon– Cinnamon is an effective antiviral and antibiotic. Mix a tablespoon of cinnamon with a teaspoon of honey and stir. This helps alleviate cough, congestion, and lower fever.
- Face Steam– Boil 1-2 cups of water in a large pot. Remove it from the heat and add two teaspoons of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Cover and steep for 5 minutes, remove the lid, and breathe in the steam with a towel covering your head to hold the heat in. This helps loosen congestion and kill viruses and bacteria in the lungs, bronchials, and sinuses.
- Remove White Foods– Completely remove all white foods from your diet at the first sign of sickness. White foods include gluten, sugars, milk, cheese, dairy, sweeteners, soda, etc. These foods lower immune system function and decrease the body’s ability to heal. During times of sickness, you don’t need to eat as much. This way the body can focus more on healing than digesting food. Eating soups and drinking hot liquids will help comfort and nourish your body.
- Hydrate and Rest– If you are running a fever, the best thing you can do is rest and drink a lot of fluids. Our bodies require extra rest when we are sick.
While it is best to prevent illness before it starts, it is always good to have a natural remedy handy when you get sick. So give the prevention methods above a try, and if you get sick, try some of the remedies listed here. Often times, the natural remedies work better than the prescription or over the counter medications.