My Cold Fighting Regimen
It's only the beginning of cold and flu season and I've already felt that dreaded tickle in the back of my throat: early warning signs that my body has begun fighting off infection.
Back in the day, I would have lost every battle with a cold. Since coming down with a pretty horrendous case of mono back in college, my immune system was compromised for years. It wasn't until I began to take my health more seriously years later, using food and homeopathic remedies, that I was able to successfully fight off infections.
Fight on, friends!
First Line of Defence
If I feel a cold coming on, I immediately start this regimen:
Raw garlic with every meal
That's right. Raw garlic is potent stuff, potent enough to help your body fight off infection. I like to cut up 1-2 cloves each day and either enjoy them straight up or swallow pill-sized pieces in the middle of every meal. I say middle because it can be a little intense on an empty stomach and having food to help your body break it down is best.
Elderberry is a natural cold and flu remedy. These berries contain vitamin A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. You can make homemade syrup or buy it online or at a health store. I take a few teaspoons a day for as long as I have symptoms.
Ginger tea with Manuka honey
I drink ginger tea with Manuka honey at least 3x per day. I like to use raw ginger, lemon juice, and Manuka honey, which is like super hero honey with lots of helpful properties to help combat infections.
Manuka cough drops
I like Wedderspoon's Manuka cough drops for helping to soothe sore throats.
Reduce sugar intake, increase healthy foods
This one is hard for most folks to follow but it really helps me. More and more data is showing that sugar feeds bad bacteria and yeast in the gut, which can lead to other sicknesses developing elsewhere in the body. So when I'm feeling sick, I cut sugars (especially refined!) out of my diet and increase my intake of whole, plant-based foods that are packed with nutrients.
I use a Neti Pot (or just clean warm water and salt in a glass) for nasal irrigation, which helps stave off infection. When I feel the cold more in my throat, I gurgle several times a day with warm water and salt.
Hot shower with eucalyptus oil
I like taking long hot showers, adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the shower and breathing deeply. It feels like spa therapy :-)
I take probiotics, multivitamins, Vitamin D, C, and omega-3's daily. When I'm feeling run down I take a few extra Vitamin C's throughout the day.
If I'm feeling under the weather, I try to make a chicken soup for myself with lots of fresh organic vegetables. It works wonders and is such a comfort food.
Gentle Yoga and/or Yoga Nidra (I avoid inversions that make my head feel cloudy or more congested)
Kombucha and other fermented foods to help heal your gut (because poor gut health can compromise our immune systems)