After the stress of the holidays our bodies are run down and it is no wonder that colds and the flu run rampant! Our resistance is low from lack of sleep, anxiety and, of course, a diet of less than healthy foods that tend to be typical holiday fare. So, when germs come our way, there is a good chance we might not feel our best. We thought we would share some of our best picks for all these events.
One trick we use at the first indication of a sore or scratchy throat is to chop up half a lemon and place it in the blender with a small quantity of water- skin and all! Blend and drink the entire thing. If that’s too powerful use only the juice. You can even enjoy sipping warm or hot water with fresh lemon juice and a few organic raw honey. For much more relief you may add fresh ginger. This helps for cough relief but recall ginger is spicy. So for sore throats you might choose to bypass the ginger.
We love garlic and cook with it in almost everything! But when garlic cloves are eaten raw they’ve anti-viral, antibacterial, and immune boosting benefits. At the first sign of a cold, mash or chop a spoonful and consume it or add it to some food before eating. Cooking can destroy a few of the advantages but adding more garlic into your cooking will still supply some of the very same effects.
These nutritional supplements can help boost immunity by providing large supplies of healthy bacteria to the intestinal tract. Since nearly 400 unique kinds of bacteria normally reside in the intestinal tract, keeping a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria is important to your health. When this balance is upset, your health can be compromised. To help alleviate this, probiotic supplements can be quite helpful. They come as pills, capsules, powders, and refrigerated liquids. You may even get probiotics from eating yogurt, acidophilus milk and kefir (be sure they’re labeled that they feature L-acidophilus). Remember, whenever you choose antibiotics that they kill off the “good” bacteria and this causes an imbalance. If that’s the case, probiotics are essential!
There are an assortment of supplements available to help fight colds and flu, however my top two favorites are Chinese Goldenseal Root and Olive Leaf Extract. Golden Seal Root is considered one of nature’s best antibiotics. It’s very beneficial in relieving congestion and combating disease. Additionally it is helpful to the liver, gall bladderblood flow, pancreas and veins. Olive Leaf Extract is from the leaves of the Mediterranean olive tree. It’s an exceptional antimicrobial and antibiotic. Along with helping combat colds and flu it’s been reported to assist with a variety of kinds of ailments and chronic conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. The most important element for me when selecting a brand is great quality. Both are always available in my home.
Therapeutic grade essential oils can help your lymph system and your whole body by encouraging your body’s natural defense system. Unlike antibiotics, they don’t kill off the beneficial bacteria in the intestines. They also don’t make you drowsy or present a problem to your liver or kidneys by placing harsh chemicals from the blood flow. Oils may be applied directly to the body, often with a carrier oil or could be taken internally in very little amounts. They may also be diffused in the atmosphere (dividing into a fine mist) to help the respiratory system. My favorites for chest congestion are lavender and lavender oil blended with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, or olive.
Whole Foods Diet
When we are feeling under the weather a mild and easy diet of whole fresh foods is best. The body requires as much energy as possible to combat all that’s going on inside and when it must use energy digesting heavy foods there is less energy for recovery. So, go with a restricted diet and concentrate on integrating as many of the healing foods as you can. A tasty bowl of homemade chicken soup remains a excellent idea!
Never underestimate the value of a great night’s sleep. When you are under the weather this isn’t the time to attempt and accomplish everything on your own to-do list. Give your body every benefit to conserve energy and use it to heal yourself. In the long run – your down time will be shortened.
As a preventative measure maintain your workout regimen even in winter! Physically active men and women are reported to catch fewer colds and respiratory ailments.
Wash your Hands
Of course we have all heard this before – but now this can not be stated too frequently. Recent studies even report that there’s greater chance of passing infection from shaking hands than simply sharing a kiss! So, be certain to use soap, warm water and wash for 30 minutes!