There are many different options out there for relief during the cold season. Here are some dietary and lifestyle options that have worked in our household.
High quality foods allow your system to focus on regaining health. Foods such as steamed vegetables, fresh fruit, organic meats and eggs, fresh juice, bone broth soup, lots of water and herbal tea are great options. Eating small meals more often is best, and avoid processed and junk foods. Sugar should also be avoided as much as possible because it hinders the immune system.
Vitamin C can be taken often, in capsule form or as fresh berries, rose hips, mangos, leafy greens, kiwis and peppers. Oranges are also high in vitamin C but they can increase mucous production (along with dairy and bananas), so they should be avoided during a cold.
Surviving A Cough and Cold
When I get a cold I use a natural nasal spray that almost instantly clears up my sinuses so I can sleep. I bought it from a local Naturopath but also found it online – it’s called Allergy Buster and contains the pepper capsicum, so its not for the weak. I also try to sleep very warm to induce a good sweat. The higher body temperature enables me to fight off the offending invaders more efficiently.
When my children have a cold that troubles their sleep, I elevate their head with an extra pillow (or with a riser under the crib legs) and put some eucalyptus oil under their nose, on their throat and on the soles of their feet before bed.
A great option for an incessant night-time cough is an onion pack. Thinly slice a yellow onion and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for a few minutes to warm it up. You can then place it on the person’s chest and tape it with surgical tape, if necessary, so it will stay put. It stops coughs almost immediately.
One of the best things to do to help support your immune system during a cold is to get outdoors and exercise. Don’t expect to go for a run, but a nice leisurely walk does wonders. The fresh air will help you sleep and the movement of your muscles will actually aid lymphatic flow. The lymph system is what carries antibodies throughout your body, allowing an attack on the invaders that are causing you discomfort. If you are too sedentary, this system will not work very efficiently against your cold.
Get lots of rest too!
What About a Fever?
A fever is a completely healthy, necessary part of our immune capacity. Note, however, that a fever above 103 degrees requires medical attention.
Fevers allow our immune system to fight off infection naturally by increasing body temperature to an uncomfortable level for the unwanted organism. This whole process allows for a stronger, more adaptable system that can easily withstand future attacks because the body is responding in a way that makes it more efficient. So if you find yourself with a fever, embrace it. Take the time to relax and spoil yourself with books, cups of tea and relaxation time.
Because antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria in your intestines as well as the problem bacteria, it is necessary to follow any antibiotic treatment with a 3-4 week bout of good-quality probiotics. Take a high-dose capsule in the evening on an empty stomach for best results.
Natural antibiotics, such as Echinacea and garlic, can help ward off a cold, or even an infection such as strep throat, but sometimes it’s best just to take nothing and let your system do the work. It may be hard at the time but you will be stronger in the long run, because you are allowing your system to perform and become more efficient.
Amoree Briggs has completed her diploma in Holistic Nutrition through the Canadian School of Natural Medicine and is setting up a private practice in Whitehorse.
Amoree Briggs lives in the Yukon countryside with her family and has just completed her diploma in holistic nutrition.