Do you believe it is possible to get through the whole cold and flu season without getting a cold at all? Here are some tips to cut off an oncoming cold or deal with coughing and congestion if you do come down with something.
Eating for Immunity
It’s important to make food choices that will support your health instead of tax your system. If there are flus and colds going around, you don’t want to be eating foods that can stress your immune system. You need to save your energy to be able to fight off whatever invaders there are in your environment instead of your food.
Try to eat plenty of fresh fruits, raw or cooked vegetables, beans, and good quality meat and broth. These are all smart choices to include more of into your menu. Here’s my list of everyday superfoods with a lot of good healthy food choices to include.
Stay away from anything that is high in refined sugar, such as candy, ice cream, and pastries. Sugar tends to depress the immune system and causes the white blood cell count to be reduced. Each teaspoon’s worth of sugar has a detrimental effect.
Recipes to Help You Get Better Faster
If you do get a cold, you can fight it naturally. Here is a link to an infection-fighting ginger tea and a garlic soup recipe with lots of antibacterial (and delicious) garlic. These herbal recipes will boost immunity with some of the herbs we’re talking about today.
It’s also really helpful to have some fresh, raw, spicy salsa. You can buy some in the produce section of your local grocery store or try this spicy salsa recipe on this link. Get some organic corn chips and put a lot of salsa on each chip. The goal is for more of the salsa and less of the chips. Keep a tissue box handy.
Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s always a good idea to get all of the sleep you need whenever you have a cold. It helps your body to rejuvenate and have a better working immune system. The problem though is trying to breathe when you are all stuffed up.
It’s hard to sleep when your nose isn’t clear or you are coughing. Here are some little home remedies that prove helpful when you have cough and congestion interruptions to your sleep:
Quick Home Remedies for Phlegm and Congestion
After having battled the hacking coughs and trying to breathe clear while sleeping, I’ve learned some lessons.
What I have found during the times that I did get a cold was that I could keep plenty of water close by. If you wake up with a hacking cough, I believe that means that your lungs are trying to expel phlegm. If they are not hydrated, it will be extremely difficult and you could be coughing your head off. My recommendation is to drink one cup of water for each hacking cough. Then, go to the bathroom and cough the phlegm out. Get it over with and get back to sleep.
Another thing that is very helpful is to use peppermint oil for clearing the breathing pathways. Many people buy diffusers that release peppermint oil into the air and help you to breathe freely. However, I have found a cheap method that anyone can do that is even more effective.
You get one square of tissue and put 1-2 drops of essential peppermint oil onto the center of the tissue. You want to position this by your nose, so that you breathe it while sleeping. Then, tape the top part of it on top of your nose and cheeks. Masking tape is gentle enough and works well.
If you have children in the house, make sure you’re using essential oils that are safe for kids. There are better (safer) options than peppermint oil for little ones.
Exercising to Release the Congestion
It’s not good to exercise if you have a flu, fever, and achy body. That is a time to rest. But, if you have a cold, it really helps to do some exercise. By doing something physically active, your body will start to release the built-up congestion and sinus infection that may be lingering.
The only problem with going outside and walking is that you will need to get rid of the phlegm coming up to your nose and throat. People may not like seeing you spit on the road or sidewalk. And, that can happen a lot of you have a cold and go for a walk or run. Bring along some tissues and garbage bag.
Better yet, if you have a treadmill in your home, you can go walking, or jogging anytime. You can exercise while watching a show or listening to music or a loved one tell about their day. Then, when your lungs start to clear, you can have tissue handy, or run to the bathroom for a minute.
Top 5 Herbs for Cold and Flu Immunity
Widely used and now scientifically documented for its immune-enhancing, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Studies show Echinacea fights infection, speeds wound healing, lessens the severity of colds and flu and speeds recovery.
2. Red Root
Used to cleanse the lymph system and in the treatment of tonsil inflammations and sore throats. It has been shown to increase transport of nutrients from the blood across the capillary cells to the lymph.
Anti-bacterial; used to reduce bacteria growth, mucous in the lungs, to eliminate hookworms in the intestines and to strengthen the nervous system.
Thyme, aka Thymus vulgaris, is also the active ingredient I see most often in natural hand sanitizers.
I also put thyme, the regular old dried herb, in my homemade broth when I make homemade chicken noodle soup.
4. Oregon Grape Root
Can be used in place of Golden-seal as it also contains berberine which is a powerful anti-microbial for several bacteria. Unlike Goldenseal, however, long term use will not affect blood sugar levels. Caution: Do not use during pregnancy.
5. Astragalus Root
An immune stimulant thought to inhibit tumor growth and often used to help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Astragalus supports the production of interferons (proteins which cells produce to fight viral infections). May be used daily as a tonic before colds start.
Should You Use Herbs?
Now all that was very fascinating, but I don’t exactly feel ready to rush out to my garden or health foods store, pick up some dried herbs, and keep myself healthy.
And perhaps I shouldn’t.
As much as I wanted to share something about herbs, hitting the “success” button on immunity boosting is as much about knowing how the herbs work together as knowing what they do. This is how the patriarch of Trilight Health (a company I’ve loved and trusted for many years) explained it to me:
“Formulas are synergetic and often work differently than the individual components. That being said that is why there is so little of some herbs in the formulas as they are activators for the formula and in small quantities on a short term basis are healing and make the formula far more potent and effective. Often our competition which are mostly composed of marketers put a lot of the same great sounding herbs together but they just don’t produce healing results even though they do get profit results! We have decades of success with health and even though we are not the best marketers we do get great results for our moms.”
Some of TriLight’s formulas that make use of some of the immunity-boosting herbs, unlocking their full potential by masterful combining with appropriate amounts of other herbs, include:
If you’re curious, like I was, about why they have so many different formulas for cold and flu support, and oh my goodness how do you figure out what to order!? – then click on one and you’ll find a pretty doggone good answer right there. (Use the code KITCHEN10 for 10% off your order!)
Our family has used Scout Out, usually just a little dose for the whole family when one of us gets sick and for the duration of the bug. As usual, it’s about impossible to really claim something “works” because who knows if you would have gotten that cold anyway or how bad it would have been without the product, but I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised that none of us have really been knocked down by a cold this fall, even though we’ve had some powerful bugs in the house.
My Lympha Rub Story
If you’ve read the stories here, you know that we call Lympha Rub “magic coughing drops” because it always seems to stop the nighttime coughs when nothing else does.
A few weeks ago, I was the first adult to get a chance to try putting a drop of Lympha Rub in the back of the throat for this purpose. I was coughing so much that it was waking up my husband. He turned to me and said, “You know, you’re coughing an awful lot.”
I replied, “If it’s keeping you up, I should try those drops.”
“Where’s the bottle?!?” he said emphatically.
I think I was keeping him up.
He put one drop on the back of my tongue, and WOO-WEE was it a wild sensation! It’s pretty aromatic and doesn’t taste all that great; you can kind of taste the fumes even though the liquid itself bypasses the tongue. I just concentrated on breathing slowly and hoping it was doing its thing.
I coughed a few more times…and then nothing.
We all slept until morning. We all slept until the baby woke us up.
So I’m happy to announce that it really does work. I’m so pumped! My six-year-old is smart enough that he will ask for it when he’s coughing, although my three-year-old still wants to refuse everything we offer, including a drink of water.
It’s easy to get a drop right at the back of the throat when a little one is screaming their head off, by the way. Just have the other parent hold them on their back. Just in case you needed to know.
Post by Katie Kimball and Janet Hailstone of NutriBuff