Sunday, 9 November 2014

Fighting colds, the flu and any other winter related snotfest the natural way.

With a heavy weekend behind me, I feel like my body is currently treading on that thin line between feeling a bit run down and moving onto full blown snotty sickness. Tis’ the season to stock up on tissues after all, right? Sometimes we get sick and just have to deal with it. Since I’ve been trying to live the healthy lifestyle and be more mindful of what I put in my body, I’ve looked to natural remedies instead of heading straight to the over the counter concoctions to combat the sniffles and help me recover faster. 

Whenever I got a cold when I was young I would shudder in my boots and well as blow my nose because it meant only one thing: Dad was going to make his all natural anti-cold brew. He swore it would be the only thing that would help me feel like a person again. It was part ginger, part lemon, part garlic all yucky, throat burning, hell. But, it worked. I’m not surprised considering that each of those ingredients is a killer for battling the common cold:
Picked this zesty baby up from the FARMacy

Ginger:  Prevents and treats colds, sore throats and inflammation of your mucus membranes. It’s claimed that ginger reduces pain and fever as well as a host of other goodies that you can find here

Garlic: A powerhouse natural antibiotic that is excellent for fighting colds, coughs and the flu as well as boosting your immunity plus so much more. And it scared vampires off...of course!

Lemon: I drink warm water with lemon every morning to kick-start my digestion (And lucky me, I’ve trained my partner to make it for me every morning). Lemons are famously high in vitamin C and great for detox so another natural anti-cold powerhouse. Their health benefit list is crazy amazing.

I guess that ‘Drink from Hell’ was my first lesson in the ‘power’ of real food. No chemicals needed, and for me I feel just that bit better knowing that. 

Other natural remedies I’ve used and will use again when snotty include:

Gargle that salt- Sore throats are a nightmare and one of my real pet peeves. I find that gargling with warm water which has about a teaspoon of dissolved salt in it a few times a day alleviates that horrid feeling like magic. According to the power of google, the salt cuts the mucus and reduces the inflammation, so lessoning that nasty knife swallowing feeling. Just don’t swallow the salt water- something I learnt from an 80s episode of Home and Away- if you do that you may upchuck and that isn’t gonna help that throat. 

Drink up- One word: Hydration. If you’re fighting illnesses you need to keep your fluids up. Whether it’s hot water with lemon and honey, herbal teas, fresh juice or just a simple, beautiful glass of water.  

Gentle Yoga- Being inactive makes me feel poo. But when I’m sick, I know I that trying to beat my squat record when I can’t breathe through either nostril isn’t going to make me feel better. Instead, I take it slow with some light Yoga. Turn to YouTubes Yoga with Adriene, who has a great sequence to do when you’re sick. After completing this short video, I actually felt a hell of a lot better than I would have done sinking into my couch, covered in tissues watching another Vampire Diaries episode. 

Get some rest, idiot. I confess, I’m a bit of a night owl who is sometimes, maybe all the time, checking her phone, playing words with friends or watching a YouTube video. This doesn’t make early nights happen. And we know we need rest when our body is fighting a nasty. So be strong, switched off whatever electronic equipment you’ve got around you and put yourself to bed to catch those Z’s. 

Prevention: Oops, too late? The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ is a saying for a reason. Prepare your body for the winter months and you might get lucky and not have to splurge on the kleenex. I am a big user of echinacea, which has been reported to prevent colds as much as it’s been reported not to do a thing. Maybe it’s a placebo affect, but for me when the winter comes in I start adding it to my juice just out of habit. Practical wise, I will be more cautious washing my hands around my colleagues who bring their colds to the office (Cheers) as well as avoid smooching them at the Christmas party (Obvy). And another obvious one: stick to eating foods which are real and not a processed sugar fest that's only going to feed a virus. 

Enough about my experiences, what natural remedies sort you out a treat when you've got the sniffles? 

Have a lovely week,

x KB


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