I hate to be sick. I avoid it all costs. I’m sure it stems from being so sick for so many years. In the past a simple cold would take me six to eight weeks to get over. It became a costly event, with doctors visits, prescription meds and OTC (over the counter) medicines. But that was before I took a proactive health stance, and learned as much as I could about natural health options. So here are some basic rules we follow in my house.
1. Rest. Most of the time, if I take the day off to rest, I don’t actually get sick. This is a challenge for a lot of people. Many think they can’t afford to take the day off. But which is cheaper, taking a day off to rest, or having your cold worsen, go to the doctor and get prescription meds when your cold turns to something more?
2. Eat Well. You may not feel like eating, I usually don’t, but I always have homemade chicken soup in the freezer for times like this. Be sure that all the food you consume are organic whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains and protein. Avoid all processed foods and foods with artificial ingredients
3. Drink Water. Be sure to keep your body hydrated. Most people simply do not drink enough water to keep themselves hydrated. For optimal health, you should be drinking half your weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need 75 ounces of water. Water helps to flush toxins from your body, as well as keeping the bowels regulated.
4. Garlic. Garlic is a wonderful healing food. It is known and used the world over as a home remedy for many symptoms. It has the properties of being an alterative, stimulant, expectorant, antispasmodic, antibiotic and more. It has been used throughout history for bites, infections, to kill parasites, and headaches, to name a few. Whenever I feel a little tickle in my throat or the beginnings of a cold, I roast a couple of heads of garlic. I try to consume the entire head of garlic on a bagel or crackers throughout the entire day.
5. Sip on Tea. Sip on your favorite healing tea throughout the day. I like to drink a tea of Echinacea or rosehips.
6. Supplements. When your body is stressed and your immune system weakened, your body needs a boost. I prefer to take whole food based supplements such as Andrographis for the prevention and treatment of colds, flu, upper respiratory infections, etc., Echinacea and Congaplex to enhance the immune system. Talk to your health care provider about your options.
7. Bundle up. I’ll wear a turtle neck to keep my neck covered, and put on my favorite p.j.’s or sweats. I usually lie down and watch or movie or read a good book, before I know it I have fallen asleep and wake up feeling a bit better.
8. Stay off OTC drugs, sugar, and dairy! Obviously stay on any medications that your doctor has you on. Stay off over the counter cold remedies, as well as other legal (and illegal) drugs, such as caffeine and nicotine. Smoking and coffee are well known to severely impair your immune system.
9. Cut out Sugar. Cut out sugar, especially when you’re sick. In the book “Get The Sugar Out” by Ann Louise Gittleman M.S. C.N.S Ms. Gittleman says, “No matter what form it takes, sugar paralyzes the immune system in a variety of ways:
Sugar has been proven to destroy the germ-killing ability of white blood cells for up to five hours after ingestion.
It reduces the production of antibodies, proteins that combine with and inactivate foreign invaders in the body.
It interferes with the transport of vitamin C, one of the most important nutrients for all facets of immune function.
It causes mineral imbalances and sometimes allergic reactions, both of which weaken the immune system.
It neutralizes the action of essential fatty acids, thus making cells more permeable to invasion by allergens and microorganisms.
10. Cut out Dairy. Milk, cheese and other dairy products are mucous enhancing and cause congestion.
Get the Sugar Out by Ann Louise Gittleman M.S. C.N.S
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, L. Ac., O.M.D.