If you haven’t been blessed with the latest Flu to go around, yet this year…YAY for you! Ironically, my Doctor had just asked me, “Would you like a flu shot?” and of course not agreeing with all the stuff they put in those shots I said, “No, thanks, I’m good.”
And a week later...BAM…I had the flu!
Feeling sick? You may have the Flu or a Cold!
First come all these lovely, wonderful symptoms:
Crankiness (more so than normal)
Head and Body Aches
It’s a super great idea at the onset of symptoms to take a few days off (yes, you can do this) and rest your body. Sleep…take it easy…eat lightly(did you know this enhances your immune activity?)…and more sleep.
This allows your body a chance to heal, this is a necessity…not a luxury. Most of the healing of your virus-damaged cells occur between the hours of midnight and 3AM, so it’s important to be able to get a good nights rest.
Even Kat…I mean Cats get sick!
On a personal note: I…did…not…do…this! I continued to work for a whole week, exhausting my body, allowing the virus to take strong hold and then….BAM! I was down for the count. Don’t be like me, notice you have symptoms…take a few days off and allow yourself to heal!
Did you know that your cold/flu symptoms are a sign that your immune system is hard at work, trying really hard to throw off the infection. That’s why it’s a great idea to NOTsuppress symptoms. Yes…I said do NOT! When you have a fever, you should think twice before trying to lower it…even with herbs. Know why? Fevers are one of your body’s natural defenses. You see, heat deactivates viruses even better than antibiotics.
While aspirin and acetaminophen work well to alleviate pain, they can impair the immune system from working, putting those who are already in poor health at risk for more serious sinus/lung infections and sometimes even worse…pneumonia.
Conventional cold medicines like the liquids and capsules and antihistamines aren’t much better. Be careful and very selective on what you choose to take or not take. Sometimes these remedies have little to offer the cold or flu sufferer other than suppressing their symptoms and prolonging their misery.
Be cautious and choosy when taking over the counter medications that may suppress your symptoms and prolong your illness.
The symptoms are your bodies way of purging…detoxing…ridding the system of the foreign invaders.
Let’s Go Herbal!
Here’s a list of some of the most beneficial herbs for colds/flu:
The Strongest Flu Fighting Herbs:
The Strongest Kitchen Spices for Colds/Flu are:
Tend to Get Colds/Flu Frequently-Try these super immune boosting herbs:
(They are also great for the lungs!)
Coughs, Sneezing, Body Aches…
Siberian Ginseng-this herb taken regularly will help decrease the amount of colds/flu you get and help prevent bronchitis.
Shizandra-taking this herb helps your system to be more resistant to the flu virus.
Astragalus-helps to increase the body’s production of interferon, which protects cells from invasions of viruses. It has also been used to prevent both viral and bacterial lung infections.
Echinacea-this wonderful immune building herb also stops cold and flu viruses from reproducing once they have gained access to a cell. Echinacea stimulates cells in the immune system called macrophages, these cells quickly go to the site of the infection to literally “gobble” up the microbes causing the problem.
Licorice-this herb is a twin of Echinacea in that it works in much the same manner.
Elder Berries-have long been used as a folk remedy for flu. And those folks really knew what they were doing! More than one compound in the berries prevent the flu virus from invading healthy cells. Elder berries may even inhibit more serious viruses such as herpes and Epstein-Barr. They also lower fever, ease symptoms of sinus congestion, sore throat and headaches.
Osha-a well known southwestern herb, helps ease the pain and discomfort of lungs that are sore as a result of coughing or congestion. It also relieves the indigestion that often accompanies colds/flu’s.
Natural “herbal” antibiotics can be taken directly into the body via an Essential Oil Steam
(especially good if you have infected lungs or sinuses)
Get those healing herbs…IN!
Essential Oil Steam
3 Cups Water
1/4 tsp. Eucalyptus OR Peppermint Essential Oil
~Bring water to a simmer and turn off the heat. Add essential oil. Set pot where you can sit down next to it. Place your face over the pot and drape a towel over the back of your heat to form a mini-sauna. Breathe in the steam, coming out for fresh air as needed. Do at least 3 rounds a few times a day.
~If you can’t find PURE essential oils, you may use dried herbs.
Don’t have time for a steam?
Use your Homemade Nasal Inhaler
1/4 tsp. course salt
5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil, or EO of choice
~Place the salt in a small glass vial with a tight lid and add oil. The salt will absorb the oil and provide a convenient way to carry the oil without danger of spilling it. Open the vial and inhale deeply.
Last but most assuredly not least, you want to be consuming MASS quantities of liquids, to help flush everything OUT of your body. Water, water and more water, diluted juices and teas. Especially herbal teas. Here is a great Cold/Flu tea recipe.
Drink some good for you Cold & Flu tea several times throughout the day.
Cold & Flu Tea
1/2 tsp. EACH
Echinacea Root, Peppermint Leaves, Hyssop Leaves, Yarrow Leaves, Elder Flowers, Shizandra Berries.
1 Qt. Boiling Water
~Combine herbs and pour boiling water over them. Steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain and drink frequently throughout the day. If you can’t find any or all of the herbs you can make instant tea from tinctures. Or buy commercial tea with similiar ingredients.
Colds/Flu are absolutely no fun. Just a few tips to remember; at first sign, stop and rest. Take a few days, sleep, eat lightly drink a lot of fluids, rest your body. Support your system with good for you herbs and remedies and only take over the counter chemical medications with caution and it’s okay to pick and choose. Try not to suppress, allow your body to detox.
Once on your feet again, let’s build up that Immune System!! That’s another post!
Do what Mom always said…Eat Your Soup!
6 Tips to Getting Going Again…..
1. Drink water. A lot of water. Your body is getting over fighting a virus, infection, what have you, and water makes it that much easier to do so. It helps to detox your body, as well as replenish whatever was lost during being sick.
2. Eat. Sounds pretty basic, but can often be a chore when you’re not feeling your best. As long as you don’t have the flu, make sure you’re eating adequately to maintain the vitamins and minerals your body needs. This also keeps your energy up and assists in your recovery. That being said, make sure you’re eating healthy foods that your body can use, specifically foods packed with Vitamin C and Vitamins B. Immunity-boosting foods are a good idea. Comfort foods can be tempting, but make sure you’re supplementing vitamin-packed foods as well. Stay away from dairy for awhile…to hard for the body to digest and mucous producing.
3. Get plenty of sleep. This is where your body recovers the most and can do battle with any lingering germs. Sleeping an adequate amount will greatly help your immune system, as well as help you recover faster. Adding in a nap isn’t a bad idea either, if that’s a possibility for you.
4. Assess yourself. It’s hard not to be active for a few days, never mind 2 weeks. You may need to take some more time to recover. Doing some self assessing can be beneficial; don’t start back in to anything prematurely, allowing yourself adequate time to rest and recuperate.
5. Start slow. When you’re ready to get back in to life again, whatever that means for you…take it slow. Don’t expect your body to automatically bounce back into the groove it was in before you got sick. It takes time. Allow yourself to go slow, one thing at a time at back into your routine. Allowing yourself breaks and rest.
6. Listen to your body. If you start feeling light-headed or nauseous, or anything remotely like “sick”, back off and take it easy. This applies to anything. You don’t want a setback and have to check out of life all over again. Your body knows best so it’s a good idea to listen to it.
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