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Preventing Flu and Cold, Naturally

There are two steps to beating the cold and flu. The first step is prevention. Keeping your immune system strong and your stress low is the key. However, if you do get sick, simple nutritional and herbal therapies will help you recover quickly. The Cold Wet Sock treatment is great for stopping a cold in its tracks.

Tips to Prevent Winter Illnesses

  • Drink Water! – You’ve heard it before and it’s true. Keeping the body well hydrated is key especially during an acute illness. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Reduce intake of dairy and avoid refined carbohydrates, sweets and soda. Consume non-meat sources of protein like fish, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Cook regularly with sautéed garlic and onion – these two foods are wonderful natural antibiotics and immune supporters.
  • Take Probiotics – Over 80% of your immune system is located in your gastrointestinal tract. You have a zoo of healthy bacteria that will protect you against many of the bad bugs that cause cold, flu and stomach flu. Take care of your zoo by taking a probiotic supplement daily, especially around cold and flu season or after antibiotic use.
  • Sleep – Maintaining adequate rest is the key. Without enough rest your body will be more susceptible to colds, flus and other illnesses.
  • Take care of yourself – get regular exercise and find ways to reduce stress – Tai chi, Qi gong, yoga and walking are gentle ways to reduce stress, support your immune system and increase your vitality.
  • Take a Vitamins D supplement. Vitamin D is a key nutrient for the immune system as has been shown in clinical studies to be a great for preventing colds and flu.

Tips for a Fast Recover from the Cold and Flu

  • Treat at the first sign of symptoms!
  • Cold Wet Sock Treatment – do this at the first signs of illness. Place a pair of socks in a bowl of ice water. Soak your feet in a hot foot bath for 5 minutes. Then wring out the wet socks thoroughly and put them on your feet. Cover the wet socks with another pair of warm socks such as wool socks and then hop into bed or cover yourself in blanket, being sure to keep warm and rest. You can leave these on all night or until your body warms the socks. This hydrotherapy technique is a great way to fight off an acute illness. Repeat 1-4 nights.
  • STARVE your cold and fever – eat very lightly. Eat veggie soups, broths, steamed veggies, brown rice, a little bit of turkey or chicken. Avoid sugar, refined grains, dairy and other heavy foods.
  • Ginger Tea Recipe– Ginger (3 slices), ½ lemon peel, spoon of licorice root. Add thyme, sage, yarrow or honey. Simmer in 1-2 cups of water for 15 min and then drink. This tea is great for coughs and sore throats. Ginger is an excellent anti-microbial food.

For congestion and cough:

  • Do a steam inhalation with essential oils such as thyme, eucalyptus and rosemary.
  • Boil grapefruit for 10-15 min, then add honey and sip the water.
  • Take an Epsom salts bath – great for muscle aches.
  • Herbal Remedies – Support your body’s healing capacity with powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs such as Elderberry, Echinacea, Golden seal, Osha, and Garlic.
  • Get plenty of rest! – Allow your body the time to fight off your cold or flu.

Treatment of a fever:

  • Avoid suppressing your fever, Fevers are good! – A fever means your body is fighting off the infection. It is important not to suppress mild to moderate fevers (under 104) with ibuprofen or aspirin. During a fever your body’s immune function and metabolism are increased and many of those nasty bugs that make you sick will be killed off at these higher temperatures.
  • Lots of TLC, fluids, cool compresses, tepid baths and REST

When taking supplements or herbs to help fight your cold or flu continue to take them until well and then for 2 days after feeling better.

Visit Dr. Joanne at the store for specific supplement recommendations to boost your immune system. 

stacy commented 2014-01-01 20:13:44
Hello, Can these remedies be used on babies as well I have a 14 month old that has a cold very runny nose

Jo commented 2014-01-02 00:40:09
What's the rationale behind the wet sock treatment?

Sara commented 2014-01-06 03:25:20
Loved the blog and all the naturopathic ways of staying healthy and being accountable for our own health!

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