Coping with Cold and Flu Season
The late fall and winter season bring with them the challenge of warding off a multitude of colds and flus that spread around. I thought it might be timely to provide you with a post all about preventing and surviving colds and flus. If we are armed with the knowledge of how to effectively support our bodies against these inevitable stresses, we may be able to improve our quality of life over the winter season.
“SOS” Cold and Flu Essentials for the Medicine Cabinet
Echinaseal Infection Fighter – for fighting off bacterial and viral infections
Astragalus Combo – for daily, deep immune support to prevent viruses (stop at first sign of illness)
UAS Probioplus – for normalizing intestinal flora, boosting immunity and staving off intestinal infections or food-borne-bacteria-caused problems.
Activated Charcoal- for nausea, intestinal cramps or diarrhea.
Fresh ginger or ginger tea – for warming up the body to fight off viruses. You can keep fresh ginger frozen to have it always on hand.
Aconitum Napellus (30c) – for colds that come on suddenly (especially if chills and sneezing are present)
Tips for Preventing and Surviving Cold and Flu
Maintain a High Level of Hygiene
Without becoming so conscious as to develop paranoia, it is important to maintain a high awareness of, and avoidance of germs exposure. One of the most important strategies for avoiding viruses is to frequently wash your hands. Colds and flus are much more likely to be passed through mouth, eye, nose and ear contact than through the air. In addition to washing your hands frequently, it helps to develop an awareness of hand hygiene. If your hands are not clean don’t touch your mucous membranes. I.e. if you’ve just touched a surface likely to be contaminated with germs, try hard not to scratch your nose, rub your eyes, or stick your fingers in your ears or mouth.
Highly germ infected surfaces include door handles at a public places, shopping cart handles, cash or interact machines, surfaces in washrooms, anything in a hospital, and, the much less obvious - your car keys and your wallet. Keeping antibacterial wipes in your car or purse is a good idea for those times when you just can’t wash your hands. They won’t kill viruses but they will wipe the surface of your hands to clean them. To reduce the introduction of outside germs into your home environment, always wash your hands upon arriving home.
If you or someone in your home is ill with a virus, it can be much harder to avoid the spread of germs. However if you are the sick person, by attempting to wash your hands after blowing your nose or contacting any other body fluids you can reduce the germs waiting on the surfaces around your home for unsuspecting family members to pick up. If you live with someone who is ill, try not to eat or touch your eyes, ears, nose and mouth without washing your hands first while there are obvious germs in your home. It’s crucial to remain aware but calm without taking your vigilance so far as to allow thoughts of germs to take up a lot of your time. Once you get into preventative habits, they can just become second nature to you.
Manage Stress Wisely
A regular stress management and or relaxation practice can help take the edge off of the impact that stress can have on your outlook during the day. Thirty minutes (or more) of meditation offers practice at staying calm and still through the urge to do other things. This teaches patience. After even a few days of regular practice, the benefits are easily evident. You’ll sail much more smoothly through your day. Stress reactions cause the production of immune suppressing hormones so a result of your increased tolerance to stress, your immune system will be less strained and you will be less vulnerable to colds and flus.
If you want to keep your immune system at an optimum level of functioning, try to choose your entertainment accordingly as well as your health care. It has been clinically proven that laughter and uplifting films can boost the immune system while scarey or upsetting films can lower it. So the light hearted comedy can offer you a little support when you need help fighting off that bug while the "tear-jerker" or the "horror" flick may not be so well timed.
Tune in Emotionally
If we are suppressing awareness of a strong emotion, it can strongly effect our health. Suppressed negative emotions act like poison to our body and it’s important to acknowledge them, feel them, and release them in a healthy, conscious way when possible. If you are avoiding dealing with some difficult issue in your life and you develop the warning signs of a cold or flu, you may benefit from looking inward and perhaps facing a difficult issue in your life that you’ve been vaguely aware of – just under the surface. Chances are, your immune system is feeling the effects of it more than your conscious mind. Taking care of ourselves emotionally is every bit as crucial to our health as every other aspect of health care.
Especially at busy times like the holiday season, it’s easy to find ourselves putting everything else (and everyone else) before our sleep, nutrition and overall self care. Because of the increased demands on us, even when we are in a festive spirit, our body’s need more rest than usual and more general care. If you’re rushing madly around and feel a cold or flu coming on, don’t wait till you’re sick. The early stages of an illness can be felt in time to stop it if you learn how to tune into them. Stay tuned to tell tale signs of a virus coming on, like fatigue, irritability, thick mucous (especially in the mouth, frequent urination, chills, a tickle in the throat or headache. When you identify any of these signs, it’s time to slow down, take a break and allow your body to “decompress”. If you don’t take the care to support your health, a virus can ruin your enjoyment of the holidays.
Eat for Optimum Immunity
If you are pushing yourself emotionally, mentally and or physically and if know you are being exposed to colds and flus (or will be soon), try to eat extra nutritiously for wellness. Be sure to take the extra time to prepare lots of vegetables in your diet, reduce your fat, protein and sugar intake and drink lots of water. Eating too much protein and fat interferes with your body’s ability to break down mucous and other waste material related to a virus and sugar (even natural sugars) severely depresses immune function. Try to focus on whole foods and vegetables. Drinking non-sweet vegetable and green grass juices can be hugely beneficial as well.
Put up a Good Fight
If you feel the symptoms of a cold virus coming on as mentioned above (thick mucous [especially in the mouth], fatigue, irritability, thick mucous, frequent urination, chills, a tickle in the throat or headache), grab your Saint Francis Herb Farm Echinaseal and take 20-35 drops in a little water as often as every 2 hours until the condition improves (no more than 7-10 days), after which, take 15-25 drops in a little water 3-4 times daily for another 2-3 days, and then stop. If you need strengthen their immune system, for a chronic tendency to infection, Astragalus Combo is the best choice for this. If you feel nausea or intestinal distress use activated charcoal and Probioplus to help soak up toxins and bad bacteria and to normalize intestinal flora.
For a cold of sudden onset and chills/sneezing, the homeopathic aconitum napellus (30c) can be effective in addition to the Echinaseal. Other strategies for fighting off illness include: sleep, deep breathing (for ten minutes or more at a time), stretching, hot ginger tea, hot baths, hot food bath, walk in the fresh air (if it is not too cold and if you are bundled up super warm). If you have a sore throat, look for sugar free zinc and Echinacea lozenges. Look for stevia sweetened if you can find it or sorbitol if you really have to settle for a sugar alcohol and don’t use too many sorbitol sweetened lozenges or you may develop gastro intestinal irritation Avoid exposure to allergens, emotionally stressful situations and exposure to chemicals or air pollution. If you are lucky enough to have access to Shiatsu, massage therapy or acupuncture, by all means, this is a good time to see your practioner for a relaxing, immune boosting treatment.
Surviving a Virus
If you are unable to ward off a virus, you can at least survive it wisely. Continue to follow the above advice (except for the aconitum) and try to visualize yourself healing quickly. Try to take time away from work and stress and get the rest you need to fully recover in the first day or two of your illness. If you take the time early on, you can often avoid developing complications like infections. Approach your healing with a spirit of self love and acceptance and try to nurture your body with compassion.
I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season and I look forward to continuing to walk alongside you on your brave journey to better health.
All the best,
[This message was edited by Tarilee on December 22, 2003 at 10:28 PM.]