Recovering from colds and flu

A cold or flu occurs when your body becomes infected with a virus. Unfortunately, there aren’t any medications that can cure this, and it’s usually a matter of letting the illness run its course. Here are some natural things you can do to help your body fight the infection and reduce your symptoms.


Dietary tips

When your body is fighting off illness it requires more nutrients than usual. Adequate nutrition is needed to prevent it from stealing nutrients required elsewhere for other bodily processes. This is one way nutritional deficiencies are created, which can then potentially cause other problems for you down the track. Try to:


  • Eat light, easily digested meals (e.g. broths, soups), as digestive capacity is often reduced

  • Avoid mucus-forming foods such as dairy, wheat, and processed foods

  • Avoid immune- suppressing foods such as processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine

  • Take Vitamin C and regularly suck on Zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold, as this has been shown to reduce its severity and duration

  • Increase fluids (water, diluted vegetable juice, broths, herbal teas)


Herbal tips

You should have some pretty effective herbs just lying around your kitchen. Try a tea of thinly sliced ginger root with honey (raw or manuka), cinnamon, and lemon juice. If you are feeling brave, add some fresh chilli, onion juice, and garlic for added benefits. A common herbal tea blend of yarrow, elder and peppermint is often used for its warming and immune stimulating effects, and echinacea is also a popular go-to for its immune boosting properties.


Lifestyle tips

The key to recovering from illness is to NOT ‘soldier on’; rather, rest, rest, rest! This includes sleep and stress reduction. Other important factors are:


  • Fresh air

  • Sunlight

  • Sweating (to encourage elimination of toxins) – wearing warm clothes, warm baths, and warming herbal teas can help

  • Essential oils may aid breathing and prevent further infection. Try eucalyptus, clove, lavender, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, or tea tree.

  • Good hygiene - viruses can survive for several hours on hands, tissues, hard surfaces, etc. You might be surprised to know that antibacterial soaps do not kill viruses; it is the mechanical action involved in hand washing that physically removes the virus particles.


Employing the immune boosting tips from last month’s article can help you in your final stages of recovery and in preventing further illness in the future.


If you need more specific help with your health, book in for a consultation with Belinda.


Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash



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