All-Natural Help for Cold & Flu Season
It’s Flu and Cold Season Again: What Do You Need to Know to Fight Flu and Cold Season Naturally?
Runny nose, body aches, coughs, fatigue, sinus issues, stuffy nose, congestion, headaches. Sound familiar. It is that time again, flu season and time to keep our kids as healthy as possible all the time, really ramp up their healthy habits to keep their immune system ready to attack the bad guys to keep them out!
…..and everyone is asking the question....how? How do we get rid of the body aches? How do we get rid of the fever? How do we get rid of the cough or congestion? How do we get better?.... Or How do we prevent from getting sick altogether?
Don’t worry, your body was built to fight off infections if you treat it well. Remember to always focus on the foundations of good health:
Optimize Digestive Health
Gut Health and Nutrition
Our gut is the gateway to our health.
Keeping the microbiome healthy is key to healing chronic disease and preventing acute disease. – google it! It is for real!
Eat the rainbow, no not the actually rainbow or lucky charms for that matter, but lots of colorful fruits and veggies, protein and healthy fats at each meal.
Ginger, garlic, onions are great for the immune system! Add lots of healing spices to your meals like turmeric and oregano. Hot water with lemon, honey, turmeric and cinnamon can help with your cough. Cultured foods will help populate the microbiome with friendly bugs to improve your immune system and assist in a healthy gentle detox for your cleansing organs, so grab your kombucha and sauerkraut (but double check for sugar content). Antioxidant foods like butternut squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and carrot. Aim for about 4 or more servings of veggies every day, not hard when you throw them in a soup or smoothie!
Avoid all grains, dairy, alcohol, sugar and processed foods as these will lower our immune system. Studies have confirmed a decrease in the immune system’s effectiveness within hours of consuming sugar (1) for up to 5 hours after eating sugar.
Make sure you get about 1 cup of bone broth per day.
Studies have shown that strains of probiotics especially bacillus bacteria, demonstrated anti-influenza activity, with complete inhibition of the influenza virus. (2,3,4)
Get outside!! When we spend time outside and in nature it actually helps to increase the diversity of our microbiome and optimizes our immune system.
Detoxification during the Flu and Cold season is key.
Remember to eat lots of green veggies and fiber as it will help detoxification. It is so easy to increase fiber into your diet, but do it slowly and start before you are sick.
Epsom salt baths and dry brushing regularly will keep detox pathways open and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong, plus the routine of selfcare will decrease your stress levels!
Hydrate; hydrate, hydrate! Adequate hydration is key to flush out the viruses from your system! When you are healthy your body requires half your body weight in ounces, per day, but it is important to drink about one 8oz. glass every 2 hours to flush away the bad guys! Sip on soups and broths, hot water with ginger and lemon daily.
Nasal saline washes are the best to keep detoxing the nasal pathways that can harbor unwanted bugs that can get you sick! If you are skilled enough to use the neti pot I highly recommend it (5)
Nontoxic natural hand sanitizers and body products I always have Onguard hand sanitizer with me. Keep your environment clean!
Stress leads to a lowered immune system, so make sure to incorporate a stress management technique into your daily routine to keep damaging hormones at bay and keep your body healthy.
Like I mentioned above getting outside into nature is the simplest way to decrease stress naturally, our bodies love fresh air, the firmest of the ground, sunshine, wind, all. Of. It.
I love meditation and abdominal breathing. Exercise is also important to keep your immune system ready for all environmental threats.
Keep sleep a priority. During sleep we can remove all the bad stuff and fix what needs to be fixed. One can seriously heal and prevent illness in their sleep! What’s better than that! Remember to listen to your body, sometimes we feel more tired during certain seasons like winter and we need less rest, sleep in the summer months. There is nothing wrong with taking a nap when worn down.
Keep people in your life that will love you and lift you up. Love heals! You have heard it before and will continue to hear it over and over again. You are a combination of the 5 people you most spend time with, even if it is a long-distance relationship over the phone or social media, so be careful with the amount of negativity you allow into your community.
Gratitude is so important! Gratitude keeps your body working properly and improves your immune system! Say 10 things every morning that you are thankful for! Life without gratitude can be a dark lonely place. If you have a journal writing them down will help you see a mindset difference over time from more surface thankfulness to a deeper depth of graditude.
Additional Integrative Tools
Prevent, Prevent, Prevent
Including the above, one must hand-wash, cover your sneeze and everything else that will prevent one from transmitting viruses to another person, including wiping down surfaces, and staying home when you are sick. Gargling with warm water with some sea salt can really get rid of whatever bad guys are hanging out in your mouth and throat. Tongue scrapping daily is highly recommended.
Liquid Vitamin D3 (5000iu per day, children 1000iu per day). I love vitamin D!!!! Research has shown that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of respiratory illnesses. High dose vitamin D3 can be used to get rid of the virus (7).
Omegas 3, 6, 9 Healthy levels of omegas help maintain wintertime immunity. I highly recommend Life Long Vitality supplements for doTERRA.
Vitamin C (Take 1000mg 3-4 times per day, children 1gm per day) Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine to help tame inflammation and swollen membranes. Vitamin C has been shown to increase glutathione (a super antioxidant) in human lymphocytes (8) and decreases the incidence of upper respiratory infections in athletes (9).
Onguard Essential oil Is a combination of essential oils specifically put together to boost your immune system (10).
Zinc (50-100mg daily, excessive amounts are not good for you) Zinc has antiviral effect and supports the immune system. (11,12). Zinc is needed for gene regulation and the functioning of white blood cells.
Garlic (prevention: 1 capsule per day, first sign of infection take 4-6 capsules daily for a period of one week). I love to use garlic!!! This is a powerful anti-inflammatory, but please use certified organic.
Other Antivirals Grapefruit essential oil and elderberry extract (10ml daily) as well as oregano oil (13) has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lavender reduces inflammation and helps to calm anxiety. Peppermint (14) and frankincense essential oils can be applied on the neck and bottom of the feet can support the immune system. Clove oil has amazing antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and can protect the body against infections and speed recovery from flu (15).
Chiropractic care for flu prevention can help to boost immune system (16).
Let’s Talk Fever
A fever is so scary, but did you know that meds that lower the fever could be fueling our flu. but before we run to treat it with meds, let’s examine what it really means. Your body gets hot as it tries to fight inflection, as it creates an inhospitable environment for bad bugs in you or your child’s body. The best approach to deal with a fever is to support the immune system and keep your child and you comfortable with plenty of rest some essential oils that can relieve muscle aches, as well as lukewarm baths. Remember suppressing the fever increases the amount of the influenza flu virus a person sheds and prolongs the duration of the shedding (so they stay contagious for longer!) and increase the transmission rate leading to larger epidemics!!!
Always Talk to Your PCP
Fevers in newborns, immunosuppressed kids, and children with over 104 Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius) can indicate dangerous infections and severe illness. If your child (or you) appears severely ill with (or without) a high fever, trust your instincts and reach out for medical care immediately.
See how simple that is! There is so much hope! The key is to optimize our immune system.