Autumn is here and the days are lovely and warm filled with beautiful colours around us. It’s my favourite season of the year but I have that feeling of dread as I know what is coming – cold Winter! I grew up in Europe and it gets pretty cold there, I remember when I arrived in Melbourne in August it was so cold in the house I lived in. My new friends told me to stop complaining as I grew up in a cold country so should be used it! They didn’t understand that houses in Czech republic are insulated and are equipped with radiators. I don’t mind the weather being cold as long as I’m warm inside.
With winter come colds and flus. How can we prevent them? Ensure you have adequate sleep, eat plenty of seasonal fruit and vegetables, enjoy regular exercise and reduce stress if possible. I always keep a jar of Manuka honey in the cupboard and if I start to get scratchy throat that always helps. And you can’t beat hot water with honey, lemon and ginger!
Easy Ways to Beat Colds and Flus, Fast
Feeling run down with a sore throat, runny nose, pounding head, cough, or fever? Don’t suffer in silence waiting for your
cold to run its course. Instead, try these easy, natural ways to help you kick that lurgy and feel better, fast.
Your (Natural) Medicine Cabinet
Did you know that natural medicines do double duty when fighting an infection? Not only do they help you feel better quicker by reducing your symptoms, they can also boost your immunity and reduce your chances of getting sick in the future.
Ask your Natural Healthcare Practitioner whether these four cold-busting remedies are suitable for your particular symptoms:
Andrographis – a potent herb that can help reduce the symptoms of colds and flu by stimulating your body’s own
immune function; improving your runny nose, cough, fever, headache and fatigue.
Medicinal mushrooms – coriolus, reishi and shiitake can help reduce congestion and mucus, helping you breathe easier.
Probiotics – did you know that there are specific probiotic strains able to help you fight off a cold? The probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®), Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 have been shown in multiple scientific
studies to help reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold.
Zinc – reduces both the duration of infections and the severity of symptoms, helping you get back to your normal activities sooner. Having adequate zinc levels also decreases the likelihood of you getting sick in the future; meaning fewer sick days needed annually.
Alongside taking your natural medicines you can help yourself get well by using these seven DIY symptom-relieving strategies:
1. Ease nasal congestion – use a nasal spray containing antimicrobial essential oils . Also, try a steam inhalation or take a
steamy hot bath or shower, so you can breathe easier and be more comfortable.
2. Gargle with warm water regularly – this can help ease a sore throat. Add a teaspoon of salt for added antiseptic and gentle anti-inflammatory benefits.
3. Drink plenty of fluids – dehydration can occur if you do not replenish fluids lost through sweating, having a runny
nose, or having a fever. Being dehydrated can make you feel sicker than you need to. Choose water rather than sugary drinks which can increase inflammation.
4. Eat regular meals – to keep your energy levels up. Try nourishing, cooked and vegetable-rich foods like soups and stews (they also help keep you hydrated). If you don’t feel like eating, a simple chicken broth can help provide the electrolytes and minerals (such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus) your body needs to function well.
5. Use ‘food as medicine’ principles – chicken soup can also help reduce mucus congestion, especially if you add warming and pungent herbs and spices such as cayenne, ginger and turmeric. Add plenty of garlic too as it’s considered ‘natures antibiotic‘, helping reduce the chance of developing a secondary bacterial infection that can follow a viral cold or flu.
6. ‘Eat a rainbow’ – include lots of colourful fruits and veggies where you can, to give your immune system the antioxidants and vitamins (such as vitamin C) it needs to support healthy immune function and keep you fighting the infection.
7. Take time off – don’t feel guilty about staying home from work. Convalescing will give your body and immune system the chance to recoup its energy – getting you back to work quicker and fighting fit again. Your colleagues will also thank you for keeping your germs at home!