Cold and Flu Prevention and Remedies
It’s that time of year again, when the weather starts to change, temperatures drop, we go out expecting it to be warmer than it is and find ourselves freezing our butts off and next thing you know you’re coughing, your nose in feeling funky and you’re feeling ready for a nap. I’m not a believer of the flu shot, instead I’d rather take as many preventative measures to keep our immune systems strong and hopefully avoid any of us getting sick at all.
For Stuffy Nose/ Sinus Infection:
Try steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil 2-3 times a day. Just pour boiling water into a deep bowl with about 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil, cover your head with a towel so the steam doesn’t escape and breathe in the vapors. Don’t put your face too close to the water, I’m sure you’ve guessed that it’ll be hot. If you have a cool mist humidifier I also like putting about 10 drops tea tree oil, eucalyptus and rosemary into it and sleep with it turned on.
The Neti pot is another funny little contraption that I’m a huge fan of. Last allergy season I used mine so much that I ended up getting an electric one, which I love since it makes the whole process quicker and pretty idiot proof. Add about 1/4 teaspoon himalayan sea salt to the water. Make sure you use body temperature filtered water in your neti pot. The last thing you want to be flushing your nose with is dirty tap water full of microbes and germs.
Spray Collodial Silver (it’s a fantastic natural antibiotic) up your nose at least 3x day, 2 sprays in each nostril. My favorite is Daves Healthy Solutions but it’s not always easy to find. Soveregin Silver is also a great brand and pretty easy to find at most health food stores. Also take a dropper full of silver orally to give you an extra boost, or just spray a little into your mouth.
Keep Your Immune System Boosted:
Vitamin C: It can help speed recovery and since it’s water soluble you can’t really overdose on it. It you’re taking too much you’ll have loose bowels so just back down a bit if that happens. Adults should aim for about 2,000-5,000mg a day of ascorbic acid and kids should take between 1,000-2,000 mg. The body aborbs about 500mg of vitamin c at a time so split it into several doses throughout the day to get the maximum benefit.
Vitamin D3: This super vitamin can help boost your immunity and is something that everyone should take year round – especially if you don’t get much sunlight. There are several great brands. I like Natures Plus drops, Biotics Research D3 drops, Poliquin D3 tabs, you can also get Omega 3D supplements which combine your vitamin D with your fish oil, as does Fermented Cod liver oil which my 2 year old is a champ at taking but I on the other hand avoid it unless I really have to. Adults should take 5,000 IU every day, some research has shown that taking high doses of up to 35,000 IU twice a week is more effective than daily – I’ve done that with great results. Here’s an article explaining a little more about managing your Vitamin D levels.
Zinc: Can help prevent a cold or flu virus from reproducing. Annabelle takes a chewable by Animal Parade right now, I’m still looking for other alternatives for her. Adults should take 50-75mg a day when sick but this is another one you should take year round since zinc deficiency is surprisingly common and can cause a variety of symptoms that you probably would never equate with zinc deficiency such as cravings for sweet or salty foods, low energy, bad memory and even infertility. Here’s an article on the top 10 benefits of zinc.
Coconut Oil: This superfood has been thought to dissolve the lipid coating around some viruses (including HIV interestingly enough) and make them easier for the immune system to attack them. It’s a natural immune booster, antibiotic, antiseptic. Aim for at least 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon per day and if you’re feeling under the weather have as many as 5 tbsp. per day. You can melt it into tea, coffee, on oatmeal, straight from the jar, make coconut oil chocolate bars or lather them onto gluten free toast. My toddlers favorite sandwich is gluten free bread smothered in coconut oil (I get at least 1 tablespoon of coconut oil onto that sandwich, probably closer to 2).
Liquid Chlorophyll or Lemon Water: Both pretty much have the same effect in that they are alkalinizing to the body, making it difficult for viruses to survive. Chlorophyll is a great blood purifier and I’ve hear it’s great at helping to bring down a fever. Most chlorophyll has a great mint flavor and you can just pour it right into your water bottle or glass of water. I haven’t had any luck getting my 2 year old to try it, she’s reluctant to drink anything other than water, not even juice, and the bright green color is a dead give away that it’s not regular water. Have at least 1 glass per day, more when you’re feeling run down. Try drinking the lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, just squeeze half a lemon into abo.
Chlorophyll in Water– You can find concentrated chlorophyll with a mint flavoring- my kids love this one! They will drink it straight. Chlorophyll is a great blood purifier and can help bring fever down. It alkalizes the body and is very high in nutrients. For mild illness, this is often all that is needed to help children recover.
Elderberry syrup: Elderberries, also known as sambucus nigra has been shown to prevent the flu and speed recovery in those who already have the flu thanks to their high levels of vitamins A, B, and C which stimulate the immune system. You should take this daily and double up if you feel a bit of something coming your way.
If you’re already feeling under the weather check out my Fox News article on my favorite home remedies to knock a cold or flu right on out. Start doubling up on Elderberry syrup, fermented cod liver oil and definitely start doing garlic shots! If all else fails try homeopathic medicines such as ones by Boiron – they have great selections for cold, flus, coughs and lots of other things for both children and adults. Homeopathics are always my first choice before regular medicine.
Did I miss anything? What other great home remedies or immune boosters can you share with our readers?