Yesterday I felt it. You know the little tickle in your throat? The little ‘itch’ deep in your ears? I knew it was the start of a cold or flu so I decided to fight it!
Cold and Flu viruses are uncomfortable and annoying, especially for many of us with busy lives today. We tend to dose ourselves with over the counter cold medicines to suppress our symptoms so we can soldier on which is logical especially if you are a mum with young children!
But think about the last time you were ill, was it at a time when you were tired, run down or stressed? I know for me, and I suspect for you too, feeling an illness coming on is our body’s way of communicating our need to chill out, slow down, rest and for goodness sake, press the pause button on life!
Like having a baby, there is never a convenient time to get sick but our bodies are pretty amazing at knowing what they need, and when they need it. Imagine if more people listened to their bodies and didn’t go to work while suppressing an illness, there would be fewer germs around!
A fever is an important process the body performs to fight the virus while the mucus produced acts as the rubbish disposal carrying the bacteria and virus out of us. Without even knowing it, we’re brilliant at making ourselves well again!
Of course the best way to deal with a cold or flu is to prevent catching it in the first place! A nourishing diet of real food based on vegetables and fruit can help you ward off viruses. Good quality sleep and regular exercise will also support a strong immune system.
However if you feel yourself succumbing or notice symptoms in your little ones, here are my top 10 tips to fight off the virus, decrease the intensity and shorten the duration without resorting to cold, flu and cough medications that will only suppress symptoms.
1. At the first sign of a cold or flu I put a dropper full of 3% hydrogen peroxide in each ear. You will hear bubbling and when that subsides, drain onto a tissue and repeat on the other ear. This remedy has worked more often than not for me but it has to be done very soon after the first symptoms appear. More on using hydrogen peroxide can be found at mercola.com
2. As soon as the symptoms start I also take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and after gargling briefly, I swallow it. I do this about every hour or 2 until symptoms disappear. I use this method on my kids as well.
3. As soon as I hear someone so much as sniff in winter I light an oil burner (with a beeswax tea light candle which can clear the air as well) and burn oil like oregano, tea tree or eucalyptus. Good quality oregano oil would be my top pick.
4. I also use drops of oregano oil in coconut oil to rub on my kids’ chests and on the soles of their feet (then put socks on) before they go to bed. My kids have had temperatures only to wake up fine in the morning with this method.
5. I start supplementing more in winter to prevent illness and choose to use good quality Vitamin D (preferably from the sun but if unavailable a supplement is fine), Vitamin C, Olive leaf extract and zinc.
6. I nourish the family with homemade chicken bone broth and also cook more with coconut oil, garlic and up our intake of fermented foods. Gut health is so important when boosting the immune system.
7. I make sure everyone in the family drinks plenty of good quality water to keep hydrated.
8. If someone is struggling to drink water a fresh ginger, lemon and honey tea can sometimes be a bit easier to drink. Boil on the stove with plenty of water and the other ingredients to suit your taste. I usually cut the lemons in half and put it all in (skin included) with sliced ginger and just a bit of honey.
9. Wash hands often to avoid spreading germs.
10. Finally, and most importantly, REST. When you are sick with young kids this can be extremely difficult but even short naps throughout the day will help you recover sooner. In this instance, a bit of TV will be fine! 😉