In last week’s blog, we looked at ways to boost your immunity in the lead up to winter.
But what happens if you’re past the point where prevention works? What should you do if you’re sick or have the flu? In this week’s article we look at steps you can take to get on top of a cold naturally.
Vitamin C loading
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient. Vitamin C - also known as ascorbic acid - is important for fighting infections. It works as an antioxidant to protect our bodies from damage, is involved in the growth of our bones, tendons, ligaments and skin and helps us absorb other essential nutrients, such as iron, better. Last week I touched on using Vitamin C in high doses when I’m sick. Here I’ll explain why loading up on Vitamin C is the method I use to help my body get over whatever it is I’m fighting and how to do it.
Basically, your body’s tolerance level for Vitamin C fluctuates depending on how much you need to fight an infection. You can’t overdose on Vitamin C, meaning it’s not toxic. The only effect you will get is a loose bowel movement if you have too much. But that will only happen when your body can’t absorb any more of it. So finding the point at which you have a loose bowel motion means you’ve given your body as much Vitamin C as it is able to absorb.
On an average day I take half a teaspoon of Super Boost C to support my diet which is naturally rich in Vitamin C.
Whenever I feel a cold coming on I take half a teaspoon of Super Boost C every hour until I have a loose bowel movement. After that I take half a teaspoon of Super Boost C every four hours until I have a loose bowel motion again. Usually the cold has passed by this stage. I also combine Vitamin C loading with plenty of rest and fluids.
In 2014, the findings of a meta-analysis study into the effects of echinacea in treating the common cold were published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study was undertaken at the University of Connecticut and determined that:
Craig Coleman, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and lead author of the study, added that, “the take home message from our study is that echinacea does indeed have powerful cold prevention and cold treatment benefits.”
You can take echinacea in several ways. A naturopath can prescribe you a herbal tonic with echinacea in it or you can take echinacea in capsule form. Our favourite brand at BePure is Kiwiherb Echinature. It’s a blend of high potency echinacea root and Manuka Honey.
Raid your pantry
Sometimes the best remedies for fighting the effects of a cold or flu are already in our kitchen. For sore throats you can drink a soothing blend of lemon, grated ginger root and manuka honey.
Other spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper are all known to fight inflammation and help to balance blood sugar levels, which allows your body to fight the cold instead of exerting energy to manage blood sugar spikes and lows.
Later this week we will post a recipe for a soothing, immunity-boosting turmeric latte.
Sweat it out
If you have the flu I recommend lots of rest and fluids. Now is not the time to push through with your vigorous exercise regime. If you have the energy, a gentle walk can help flush the cold through your lymphatic system. One of the best ways to move a cold through your system without vigorous exercise is by relaxing in a sauna.
The steam helps with nasal drainage, which can be a welcome relief if you’re blocked up. The temperature also encourages you to sweat which helps flush toxins out through your skin.
If you don’t have access to a sauna, use the same principle and soak in a hot bath. Adding epsom salts to your bath will help if you have any muscle aches and pains due to the magnesium content. Magnesium also promotes sleep which will help you recover.
So there you have it. Sometimes despite eating a nutrient dense, balanced diet and ensuring adequate rest we still get sick. Use these tips to help get on top of it quickly.
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