Naturopathic cold and flu prevention and treatments strategic
Winter is coming soon and around about now is where many of us catch our first of the season. It is ok to catch one cold per year, however many people get them back to back and never seem to feel well until spring or later. Below I outline some tips and supplements to take so that you can prevent the common cold from taking hold, and help it to depart quickly if it does catch you.
If you are low on vitamin D, it may be worth chatting to your naturopath about a supplement. The latest research shows that low levels of UV rays in winter (which make Vitamin D in our skin) may contribute to lowered immunity during this time, and increases our susceptibility to colds.
So what can you do? It is in this area that natural therapies really shine. Herbs and vitamins work with the body to enhance the immune system which then fights the virus. Many herbs and nutrients also kill the virus itself.
Swallowing fresh garlic cloves whole (if they are small enough) is a great start. Garlic is an excellent antimicrobial food meaning it kills viruses, bacteria and other microbes. In fact, recently a microbiologist at the University of Nottingham discovered a 1,000 year old recipe which contained garlic killed a hospital superbug. That is pretty powerful stuff. If you cant swallow the cloves then cut them in half, or use them in cooking, however the more it is cooked, the less effective it is. Raw is best. (read more about the superbug recipe here)
Vitamin C and zinc are also excellent in helping fight a cold or flu. They are used in large amounts by the body when it is fighting infection, so it is important to replenish the body’s supplies of these nutrients. It is not known how vitamin C interacts with the immune system however it is found in many immune cells and is used up very quickly during an infection. A good vitamin C supplement will also have bioflavanoids in it. Zinc has an antimicrobial action. Zinc amino acid chelate is the form that is best absorbed. Don’t waste your money with zinc oxide as it is poorly absorbed. Always take zinc with food as it causes nausea on an empty stomach.
At this time of year I always try and make sure I have some chicken and vegie soup in the freezer so I can defrost and reheat in times when I don’t feel like cooking. Soup is great when you are sick. It is full of nutrients and easy to digest
You can also brew yourself up a honey and lemon drink. The lemon is full of vitamin C, and the honey is antimicrobial, which will help fight the virus too. If you really want to treat yourself, use Manuka honey with a UMF rating over 10 (preferably 16) as it has the highest antimicrobial levels. Even a teaspoon of honey when you have a sore throat is very soothing and helps to fight the virus too.
Lastly, but certainly not the least… REST!! You only prolong the life of the flu/cold if you “soldier on” and you also make everyone else sick in the process. Please just go to bed early and stay home from work.
You can read the original version of this article on my blog: click here