It’s that time of year again isn’t it? Everyone around us is sneezing, coughing and coming down with something or other. We can turn to the cupboard above the sink in the bathroom, but first let’s look at the natural remedies we can use to help aid the symptoms of a cough and a cold.
I was looking forward to some well earned down time over Christmas and New Year. Well, I got some down time, but not in the way that I wanted it, but instead I got two weeks of mostly being in bed with a streaming nose, cough, sore throat and debilitating fatigue. This got me thinking about natural remedies of a cold and a cough.
So how can we ensure that we support the body during this time? Here is seven natural methods for you to consider if you’re suffering with the sniffles.
When I was doing my naturopathic training, this was the one that surprised me the most, being one of those A type personalities, who wanted to “do” something to get rid of an infection or just ignore it and try to carry on! In today’s society it is no mean feat to take time off from our multiple commitments, whether it be work, family or other pressures.
But rest and relaxation are absolutely crucial. Your body cannot be in repair mode at the same time as defence mode i.e. being active and being under stress. So take this time out to sleep if your body is telling you to and do whatever you can to relax. It will speed up the healing process! Ignoring this advice back in the 90s was the start of decades of ill health for me.
2. PMA! (Positive mental attitude)
Our bodies cannot be in the state of fight or flight at the same time as rest and repair. If we are in fear mode this will put our body into fight or flight, meaning the immune system is not be able to work as effectively. So consider this a time to have a bit of down time, look after yourself and when all that mucus is coming up just visualise it getting those toxins out of your body and your body seizing the opportunity to have a good cleanse! According to Antoine Bechamps, infections take hold when the right toxic environment in the body exists for that to happen.
My regular readers will not be surprised to see this in here, but possibly surprised to see this at number three. Our lymph and circulation need to be flowing beautifully for our immune system to effectively get those toxins out. We need to be hydrated with pure, clean & still water to do that. Read my blog about hydration here to find out more. We also eliminate toxins via sweating, urination and bowel movements so we need to be adequately hydrated to do so.
The saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” was actually originally “starve a cold lest you feed a fever”. Digestion can take a huge amount of energy, particularly when eating the wrong sorts of foods. The issue of whether to eat or not is debated, but my opinion is that the body knows what it wants. If you feel hungry, eat things that are easy to digest and warming to your system such as soups or broths, but if you have lost your appetite and don’t feel like eating, don’t force yourself.
5. Fresh air and light
The 19th century naturopath Sebastian Kneipp was renowned for his success in using fresh air and sunlight to support the body’s healing abilities. When you are feeling ill it’s tempting to just shut all the windows, whack the heating up and lie in a darkened room. But the body needs fresh air to supply oxygen to support the healing process and daylight provides energy to our cells. So wrap up super warm, put the heating on and open the window to get a flow of fresh air into the room and, if you can, pop your head out of the back door to get some daylight directly into your retinas.
6. Detoxification techniques
There are several naturopathic techniques that can be used to support the body’s detoxification pathways. Techniques such as enemas, lymph brushing, castor oil packing, etc should only be used with the guidance of a qualified naturopath. However, one simple technique is sweating! I have a far infrared sauna – it’s a bit like a tent that you can pop up in your living room and allows you to sweat out toxins. I find it extremely helpful to accelerate my recovery when I’m experiencing the sniffles, sore throat, mucus, etc.
When your body is under attack, another instinctive reaction for us natural types is to load it full of supplements. Less is more when dealing with an acute. I have 2 core supplements that I use – a short course of zinc citrate and liposomal vitamin C. That said, I never recommend supplements without seeing a person first as supplements can interact with medications and certain supplements are ill advised with certain conditions.
If you’re suffering from a sore throat or cold at the moment, why not give these natural methods above a try and see how you feel? And most importantly … get some rest!
Disclaimer: Please note this blog is not intended to provide medical advice or replace the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. These are just natural methods to support the body. If you are experiencing symptoms please consult a qualified medical practitioner.