In part one of this series we discussed good habits to adopt prior to the cold days of the “germ season.” We know that good hygiene plays a large part in staying healthy but there is much more to avoiding colds than washing your hands. While cleanliness happens on the outside, your inside is even more important when it comes to resisting cold and flu germs. What you eat, drink, and even think, will determine your ability to ward off viruses any time of the year. Yes, your thoughts are very important when it comes to your well-being. Negative thoughts lead to poor food and drink choices, lack of exercise and an unhealthy body.
Prevention & Treatment Therapies
Food & Herbs
This traditional standby, when made properly with organic ingredients (a sick body does not need more toxins like pesticides to detoxify) can nourish you and relieve cold symptoms. Many different vegetables contain anti-inflammatory properties, particularly onions and garlic.
As mentioned previously in the Good Habits section of Part 1, getting adequate water into your system is vital to your healing and well-being. It is essential for the body’s repair and maintenance. Whether you’re healthy or under the weather, keep a drinking glass nearby at all times. Peruse our articleTen Tips to Drinking More Water.
A lack of water can cause memory loss, fatigue, dementia and a host of other “dis-eases.”
Hot herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint and lemon balm have a multitude of medicinal benefits and are soothing to the throat in addition to containing many vitamins and minerals.
Garlic is perhaps one of the most powerful “super foods,” on the planet. It's not only the strongest antibiotic, it's also anti-viral, anti-germicidal, anti-fungal, and contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. Garlic has many medicinal qualities, and if you do not currently eat it, start. Fresh is best. If you cook it, let it rest for several minutes before using in your recipes. For best potency add it towards the end of the cooking process.
This potent herb has anti-viral compounds that specifically fight rhinoviruses, the leading cause of the common cold. Ginger is included in almost all our green and fruit drinks. I slice up fresh pieces and add to my teapot.
Whether it's in a tincture form or dried, ginseng has been shown to stimulate the immune system. It's an effective and safe means for preventing acute respiratory illness. It can also can cut the severity of cold symptoms.
Although not related to ginseng, it has similar effects including immune-boosting anti-viral properties.
Maitake, Reishi & Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms rev up your immune system and defend against a number of viruses.
This immune strengthening anti-viral herb has been used for a millennia in Chinese medicine.
Cough & Sore Throat Drink
I've been making this concoction for friends and family for decades. It is soothing and increases the body’s pH which is crucial to maintaining good health.
Pour ½ c. of very hot, pure water into a cup. Add the juice of half a fresh organic lemon, 1-2 T. raw, unfiltered, preferably local honey and 1-2 t. organic apple cider vinegar, with the mother (Bragg’s is possibly the best).
Drink a tablespoon at a time. Keep this mixed up and drink a spoonful as needed. Be mindful with children as they will want a lot of honey. Honey has medicinal qualities, however, they really need the vinegar and lemon. Everyone, especially children, are hardwired for sugar/sweets.
Anti-Flu/Cold Remedy & Treatment
In a glass or quart jar, pour 1-2 cups of just-to-boiling water in a cup. Add your favorite herb tea bag, 1-2 T. of raw, unfiltered honey and ½ t. cayenne powder. Sip it slowly.
When my kids looked like they were slowing down, I’d have them take this drink. My oldest used to say, “Mom, we don’t dare get sick around here!”
Cayenne is called the king of herbs for good reason. It has anti-fungal properties, digestive aid, anti-bacterial, soothes upset stomach, irritating coughs, and sore throats. Similar to other herbs, it provides vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin c, much needed when the immune system is weak and the body is struggling to heal.
Our ingenious creator gave us a plant for virtually every ailment that afflicts humanity.
“And its fruit shall be for food and its leaf for medicine.” Ezekiel 47:12