As uncomfortable as cold and flu symptoms can be: stuffy nose, achy throat, coughing so bad that it keeps you up all night... they are the body’s brilliant ways of letting us know it is in distress and that our immune system is working overtime. So taking medications to relieve these symptoms is not a solution because they only address the symptoms leaving the underlying causes in our body to potentially create longer term health issues.
Worse, because meds allow us to ignore our body’s SOS signals telling us it’s out of balance, rather than resting and taking care of ourselves, we’re able to push ahead, get further run down and extend the life of the cold. And because meds are toxic, they cause gut/GI health disturbances which can contribute to a further weakened immune system. It’s ironic, isn’t it, that those things we take to make us feel better can increase the likelihood of us getting sick and even sicker in the future?
Here are my 5 fave natural ways to manage cold and flu symptoms and reduce the severity and duration of your cold or flu once it’s come to roost. And the best part? These same suggestions strengthen your immune system and can reduce or eliminate the likelihood of getting sick in the future.
1 Chiropractic Care
During the 1918 flu epidemic, flu patients that received chiropractic care survived much more readily than those that didn’t.
Matthew McCoy, chiropractic journal editor says, “These results are not so surprising given what we now know about the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system. We know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function and other immune system processes.”
In 2005, a landmark study published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation (JVSR) found evidence that chiropractic care can reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Oxidative stress is the damage that occurs when free radicals outnumber the body’s antioxidants. Oxidative stress damages all body cell components: proteins, lipids and DNA
Find someone you trust and see them 1-2x a month until you’re feeling well. Shoot to get in for a tune up every 4-6 weeks minimum for maintaining optimal spinal health.
Not for you, or isn’t affordable? Do 1-3 Yin Yoga stretches daily to maintain spinal health and overall health. Follow this simple routine for 30 days. Then repeat.
2 Hydrate with Nutrient Dense Liquids
Fluid helps your body to flush bacteria and viruses from your system.In addition, when properly hydrated, you’re less likely to crave processed food and sugar, which weakens the immune system and helps bacteria grow. There are many benefits to a three day “fast” or, as I like to recommend, a mostly liquid protocol to help the body get, and stay, well.
Spring water or Reverse osmosis filtered water
Make a powerful, tasty tonic to stave off the carb cravings and satisfy the sweet tooth. Here’s how: add 2-3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and 2-3 drops of chocolate stevia to (tea temp) water.
Green, black or herbal teas (no caffeine after 11AM please) “Both green and black tea are rich in antioxidants, including the immune-boosting antioxidant L-theanine. Cardiff University researchers also found that hot drinks (and especially chicken bone broth*) can ease sneezing, sore throats, chills, and tiredness.” -Dr. Axe Fav black tea, Puerh
Organic Green Juices - 16-24 oz per day of low sugar (less than 7 grams per juice) fresh, raw, green juices with kale, spinach, lemon, ginger… DIY or Grab n’ Go.
Organic bone broth: Research shows chicken soup calms congestion and mucous. Thank cysteine, an amino acid in chicken that helps thin mucous in the lungs to calm your cough and stuffed up nose. Bonus: A study published in the journal Chest shows that the soup doesn't have to be homemade to be effective: supermarket brands work too.” Add your fav veggies, fresh herbs and clean, humanely raised protein for a perfect hearty soup. Or get the outstanding healthy benefits of bone broth by adding bone broth protein powder to your AM breakfast shake.
3 Be Sure To Get These Key Vitamins and Minerals
There are a number of vitamins, minerals and plants that will naturally boost your immune system. Keeping your immune system healthy is the most effective way to prevent or fight off a cold or flu.
Here are my fave with when and how to’s:
Next to Essential Oils, this is my latest fav tool in the natural healing toolbox.
The below is an excerpt from a blog about Colloidal Silver from my fav and frequently quoted Dr. Axe:
By having a direct effect on cellular respiration, colloidal silver benefits the body in numerous ways. There are, however, eight proven healing properties that I consider to be particularly supported by the medical literature.
Magen’s Colloidal Silver Reco
It has long been understood that vitamin C benefits your immune system and plays a large role in your body’s ability to fight off colds and viruses.
4 Essential Oils
Thieves is my fav go-to for shielding me from germs - especially on planes, subways and other confined spaces. I keep a bottle in my bag at all times and apply directly to my hands then raise towards my face and take three deep breaths. Safe for kiddos as well. If you only get one essential oil, get THIS one.
Essential Oil Cold Care Symptom Relief
Combine Foods & EO’s with My Fav Cold Care Shot
Take 3 x Day when feeling symptoms or sick. Note, do not ingest oregano and Frankincense oils for more than 30 days in a row. Use 1x day for healthy immune function.
5 Manage Stress
The reason you see this listed in all my recommendations is because of how critical it is to your overall health. So here it is again.
Simple, six-count nasal breathing is still my fav, most accessible meditation and what I use in my MInd Body RE BOOT Programs. Inhale and exhale six counts through your nose.
Working all day in an office, in front of a computer...simple as it soundsdo this: commit to stepping outside for five each day. Set a timer and start deep breathing as you stroll around the block.
411 ON FLU SHOTS = NOT RECOMMENDED
Along with countless respected MD’s and holistic health care practitioners, I do NOT recommend you get a flu shot as a preventative measure for the flu. And I quote one of my fav Functional Medicine doctors, Dr. Axe “These vaccines educate your immune system in an improper and unnatural manner and often contain dangerous chemicals and preservatives.”
Cold Care Checklist
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