Spring, Winter and the start of a new season is often when allergies play up, people get run down and everyone seems to be suffering from seasonal colds or flu viruses. Life doesn’t stop when you have a cold, so I am all about allowing my body to get over the symptoms as fast as possible; so here are my go to cold and flu remedies and tips
Add whatever herbs you can find (thyme, oregano, rosemary, lavender and lemongrass) to boiling water, and add a large amount of fresh mint leaves. Place face directly over bowl with a towel over your head to hold in the steam. Breathe in the steam in for a long as you can. This helps loosen any congestion in your throat and sinus cavities, and kills bacteria in the lungs
REMOVE STARCH AND DAIRY:
If you don’t already do this, remove grains and dairy from your daily diet whilst you are sick (Rice, pasta, milk, cheese and bread). Not only do these carbohydrates act as sugar in the body, they suppress immune function, make your body sluggish and slow your body’s healing abilities. You don’t always need a lot of bulk food when you are ill, just a lot of liquids. This is not to say you can’t eat solid food if you are hungry, just remember to stay well hydrated. Aim for a lot water, tea and soups (and some green juice if you are game!)
When I have a cold or feel run down, I like to continue to keep my exercise up. Obviously, I’m not talking about heavy weight lifting or long distance endurance running (who am I kidding, I couldn’t do that when I’m healthy either), but some light resistance training, light walking, yoga or pilates.
*If I have the full-blown flu, my only exercise is getting out of bed to shower and wash my hair – and what a marathon that is.
However, if I can drag myself out of my bed into my lounge room, I will put on some leggings and yoga DVDs.
Exercising releases endorphins which can reduce stress on the body (and mind), increasing your immune system to heal your body. Exercising also increases blood calcium which creates dopamine in the brain, that in turn regulates sleep. Obviously, sleeping is really important for your body to heal when you are feeling ill.
Very good for stabilising blood sugar (energy levels) when you are run down. Cinnamon is also a very effective antibiotic. Try mixing it in your favourite tea, or have it with honey and boiling water throughout the day
NETTLE LEAF (Stinging Nettle):
Contrary to popular belief, stinging nettle is great (interally!) It is full of antioxidants and vitamins to help inflammation and fight those pesky free radicals
Ginger helps fight fevers, headaches, sinus and congestion. Ginger also improves the absorption of other essential nutrients in the body. Got cramps? Ginger helps!
Garlic contains anti-viral properties which can shorten a cold or flu duration, and if used on a regular basis can be used as a prevention for common colds and flu like symptoms
In small amounts, good quality dark chocolate can help regulate your blood sugar levels and give you energy when you are feeling quite low. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting buying the whole shelf, but one or two pieces over a few days is fine.
Raw, unprocessed cacao (like cacao butter, cacao powder or cacao nibs) is high in antioxidants and flavonols. It also contains theobromine* (plant alkaloid), which can help with some symptoms of the common cold, particularly a cough. The saturated and monounsaturated fats in chocolate are also beneficial to the common cold.
Opt for some dairy free brands like Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate if you are congested, so as not to continue to build on that congestion!
Great for any digestive discomfort and lowering fevers. Consume as often as you like in tea, juice or soup
Lavender is really soothing on the skin, and helps to release toxins from the body. Add to a hot bath with some rock salt for a relaxing soak.
Coconut Oil contains high amounts of Lauric Acid (fatty acid) which can break down harmful pathogens and make them more susceptible to attack by our immune system. Melt it in a hot tea with all of the above ingredients as well, or add to a juice/smoothie.
The Best Juice Recipes:
1.Citrus Crush: Lemon, Carrot, Orange, Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon
2. Beet Splash: Beetroot, Lime, Ginger, Mint, any greens you have (spinach/kale, cucumber, zucchini etc)
3. Green Punch: Silverbeet, Spinach, Kale, Broccolini, Ginger, Garlic, Lime, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper
The Best Soup Recipe:
Pumpkin, Carrot, Coconut Cream, Lime, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper
*Consume all things responsibly