This has been one of the worst cold and flu seasons I’ve witnessed in my life. Most people I know, vaccinated or not, have felt the rage of the viruses and bacteria this year. This alone causes a whirlwind of questions in my mind…could it be that less people are vaccinated? Could the viruses be getting stronger? Are people not supporting their bodies well with healthy food? Are people eating too much sugar? Maybe it’s the stress of the election? General negativity? Ultimately, I don’t know why, chances are it’s some combination of all of the above.
The lines at the clinics are long, and the posts on social media regarding emergency room visits are common.
It’s inspired me to share my natural soothing arsenal of remedies with you. Often, when steps are taken immediately, you can avoid a heightened or more severe infection or sickness. The key is prevention.
#1 – at the first sign of feeling low, tired, or depleted, cut the sugar completely. Sugar suppresses your immune system and gives the virus or bacteria a chance to get a stronghold on your system. Often people notice an unusual craving for sugar at the onset of sickness, this in itself might be your sign that it’s time to take action.
#2 – Boil water on the stove. Our body operates on moisture. You are, in fact, over 70% water. The wintery dry air often causes mucous membranes to dry out and crack, causing inflammation and discomfort as well as allowing bacteria and viruses in. The warm moisture soothes these uncomfortable passage ways, allows the sinuses to drain and relieve pressure. You can add herbs to this water such as peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus or seek out a respiratory steam blend over the counter such as Wish Garden’s Respiratory Steam.
#3 – Eat garlic. From my daughter’s early years, my favorite go to is garlic. Garlic contains a powerful antibacterial and antiviral compound called allicin. The herb releases allicin when it’s chewed and is most available when it’s raw.
#4 – If you have a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water – my mom used to have us do this when we were kids, and it works! My nature nut twist is to use Himalayan Sea Salt. Mix 1/4 teaspoon with 1 cup warm water. Gargle and spit until all water is used.
#5 – Use essential oils on your feet and in your shower – my favorite soothing oils are eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary – you can find a blend such as goDesana’s Cold and Flu Blend.
#6 – Good old fashioned chicken soup or broth. This is one of the old time remedies that lives on for reason. This nourishing soup boosts the body with easy to absorb electrolytes and is great in health and sickness. I make this the easy way – bring home an organic free range chicken, roast it, take off most of the meat and pack it into a glass covered container to use later. I take the chicken carcass and put it in my large slow cooker and add 6 – 8 cups of filtered water. I cook this all day on the lowest setting. An hour or two before I serve it I’ll add dried herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme. I will ladle out one cup per serving at a time keeping all parts in the broth and allowing it to continue to cook. After 12 – 14 hours, I filter out all bones and move to a covered container or large mason jar and refrigerate up to three days.
Natural remedies can go a long way to soothe, comfort, and battle a virus, but there can be a time when you simply need to go to the doctor. It’s okay! It’s why we have them! Please go to the doctor if you experience fevers, persistent cough, sore throat, excessive pain, headaches, colored mucous, or your symptoms last longer than just a couple of days. Sometimes, even for those of us who choose a natural and holistic life approach, you simply need antibiotics.