Top Holistic Remedies to Prevent or Shorten Flu or Cold
It's mid January and for many of us, it's stinkin' cold outside! This means -- cold and flue season is in full swing. I'm usually prone to sinus infections whenever I do come down with something and I immediately reach for the remedies I'm about to share with you. I can honestly say that these ideas are tried and true-- by yours truly. :)
Many of us are all too familiar with the aches and pains of the flu, or the feeling of wondering, "Will I ever be able to breathe out of my nose again?!" Well those are just two obvious examples of how inflammation can reek havoc on our health. Not to mention stomach aches, sinus pressure, and all the wonderful symptoms that plague us during flu season.
Our main culprit for all disease is inflammation. Whether our bodies are reacting to food, environment, bacteria, trauma, or otherwise, inflammation is what disrupts our health and throws our systems out of whack. Needless to say, to prevent cold and flu this season, we need to eliminate inflammation.
1. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY TONICS
In addition to cleaning and flushing our mouth, tongue, and sinuses, you can also eliminate cold-inducing bacteria lurking in your throat by drinking a medicinal, holistic tonic:
- Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic: 6 oz warm filtered water, 1 tbs ACV, squeeze of lemon juice, optional 1/2 tsp local raw honey. ACV is anti-microbial which means it can kill bad bacteria lurking in your throat. It also alkalizes the body creating a less suitable environment for the bad guys.
- Ginger Tea: 6oz warm/hot filtered water; thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped; optional squeezed of fresh lemon juice; let steep for 3-5 minutes. Ginger is also a strong anti-inflammatory which can reduce inflamed sinus passages, bodily aches/pains, as well as a preventative tonic.
- Turmeric Tea or Golden Milk: Turmeric is a bad*ss for its anti-inflammatory properties. For Golden Milk, try heating unsweetened coconut milk in a small pot, adding either freshly grated (bit messy!) or organic, powdered turmeric, stir and heat gently for 3-5 minutes; pour into a mug and (optional) add a bit of raw local honey or stevia. You can even add a dash of cinnamon and/or a little ginger to the mix! They all taste so yummy together!
2. BRUSH AND FLUSH
When we sleep, eat, and simply throughout the day, our mouths become home to a myriad of bacteria. We know it’s important to brush our teeth, floss, and use mouthwash twice a day, but there are a few more things you can do to stay ahead of the game and prevent those nasty sinus infections:
- Tongue scraper — Excellent tool to avoid bad breath, and really rid your mouth of bacteria that can cause health issues. It also helps enhance your ability to taste your food, which helps with those cravings of more salt or more sugar. They can be found at most health food stores.
- Neti-Pot — Your nose is another important path towards greater health. Are nasal passages are our first line of defense to our environment, which as we know, is full of allergens, irritants, and germs. You can flush out these toxins and excess mucus by with this simple, old-school approach. Neti-pot is an Ayurvedic irrigation therapy using saline and a small pot/kettle. It’s filled with a saline solution, poured into one nostril, and then out the other. Sounds gross, but it’s truly effective for cleansing passages and reducing inflammation.
3. GET REAL ABOUT GUT HEALTH
70% of your immune system lives in your belly. So needless to say, if your gut is out of balance, then your overall health will be too. I know firsthand and it’s not fun! Your gut health can affect everything from allergies to anxiety. We also have 500 species of good bacteria in our gut which contribute to our overall health and immune function. If they get overrun by the bad bacterias (or yeast or parasites) then we are in trouble (and so is your weight!) Here are 2 tips for maintaining optimal gut health.
- Eat More Whole Fruits + Vegetables & Limit Processed Foods: This may seem super obvious but if you feed your body junk that it can’t use, then your immune system is going to be impaired. I’ll share more with you on the benefits on eating more fruits and vegetables in another article. ;)
- Probiotics: Pretty straightforward. Taking a probiotics supplement can help you keep you good flora in check. You can even get these from fermented foods like yogurt or kefir but be super mindful of the added sugars in yogurt.
- Bonus -- ACV Tonic (above) is great for gut health too! #winwin
“Gimme a magic pill” — (Ok, these aren’t magic but they work wonders!)
- Elderberry capsules
- Oregano Oil (drops under the tongue if you can stand it- or in a bit of water)
- Bromelain, an extract derived from pineapple stems. Studies show this little miracle can cut the duration of sinus infections by almost two days.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Garlic (cook with lots of it -- or even chop some up on a spoon with honey + take it to the face. Woo!)
- Colloidal Silver — Do your own research on this as it has conflicting opinions. I personally use this when I’m not feeling well and I find that it does work as a natural antibiotic to shorten the length of my cold.
5. SWEAT IT OUT!
Our lymphatic system is responsible for filtering out diseased and damaged cells as well as our means to carry white blood cells to battle. If you’re stagnant, then your lymph nodes are likely blocked too, meaning your immune system also won't function properly.
- Get a good sweat at least 5 times a week to help keep those juices flowing!
- Tip: Yoga also works to stimulate our lymphatic system because with its twists and bends we are using our muscles and organs to gently squeeze the tissue, relieving congestion within the body. Inversions use gravity to help move lymph along, too! Finally, the constant flow of contracting and releasing muscles acts as a pump to move the lymph through the body. Yoga literally helps us detox our body- even without the green juice. ;) All the more reason to get on the mat!
Check out my video as I talk through these top holistic remedies a bit more in depth!
Which holistic remedies you have tried?
Which ones work best for YOU?
I'd love to hear about them! Leave a comment below to share! :)
SENDING YOU MUCH LOVE, LIGHT, AND THE HIGHEST OF VIBES.... UNTIL NEXT TIME!