Just how do you prepare yourself for the flu/cold season? Do you get a flu shot? I am a natural health sort of person, and take natural/healthy measure to guard myself during this time As a health care professional, I am required to obtain a flu shot. Follow up with your health care provider for more information.
So what can you do to prepare for the flu/cold season? Actually these principles can be used year round. I have provided 10 + tips that I use and I recommend for my family and friends.
1. Good hand washing! There is NO substitution for good hand washing. I don’t use antibacterial soaps. Just soap, water, and good hand washing techniques. Lather up and wash with good friction for 15-20 seconds. Your hands have normal flora to protect the skin. Repeated harsh use of antibacterial products strip your skin of this natural protector. (and make them dry and vulnerable to little cracks) Just make sure you are washing for at least 15 seconds. This is longer than you think!
2. Don’t fight it. Many times becoming sick is the body’s way of saying it has had enough. So, instead of loading myself down with every OTC on the market to hide the symptoms, I decide to allow my body to rest and recover. I do use herbal preparations, essential oils and silver solutions though. (all natural). Have your plan in place ahead of time. Having supplies on hand, ready to go, or already in use is key! I’ve just made elderberry syrup, and I have an Echinacea tincture in the works right now! Rest, relax, rest, relax. This can be tricky if you are the caregiver of small children. This may be the time to call on family and friends for some help. Rest is needed for the body to restore. Children need rest too though. Make sure they don’t have schedules so full they are not able to catch up.
3. Drink plenty of fluids. Keep your body hydrated. I don’t buy sugary fruit juices. Water, and herbal teas work for me. I love to drink herbal teas that support the immune system and those that have special properties to support whatever my body has need of. I will also add lemon essential oil to my water to make it tastier and to add special supporting properties.
a. Ginger. It’s great to use fresh ginger and steep it in hot water. This is really great for congestion. It’s a bit hot for children, so I keep this one for adults. You can add a drop or two of lemon essential oil. It’s helps add to the taste, and provides an extra healthy boost.
b. Nettles. This herb is awesome for it’s mineral boosting properties. I create a tea with this generally. I also have made a vinegar boost with nettles, by using a pint jar.. Fill will dried nettles and pour vinegar over it… Keep it in a cool dark area for about 4 weeks. Then strain it. This is great to take a tsp a day for added health support. And you can use it as a dressing for salads.
c. Elderberry syrup. You can buy in a health food store, or make your own. It’s SO easy to make your own! I just made some. I’ll post a recipe soon!
d. Ginger and honey: A cup of raw honey (local has nice properties to help with local allergens) and chopped up fresh ginger. Mix it together and infuse for about 2 weeks. You can take the ginger out. Then a tsp-tbsp/day for immune building properties.
e. Thyme steam inhalation: This is great to create and inhalation with either fresh/dried thyme in a bowl of steaming water, or use a few drops of thyme essential oil. Great to help for the respiratory system. Not for small children, or pregnant women generally.
f. Garlic… not so much an herb.. but a very important natural tool to use. Most people say a clove of garlic/day. This is pretty strong, but you can take garlic capsules, or even mask the taste some with mincing garlic and mixing with honey.
g. Vitamin C and Zinc… Not herbs… but really important and will help during flu/cold season.
h. A Good multivitamin.
5. Stay away from heavy foods. I allow my body some fasting time.I take good supplements including antioxidants to help my body’s natural immune system. Fresh fruits and light food. Nothing greasy or fried. Some people like to eat foods with hot spices, garlic or horseradish can help with congestion. Warm bone broths… or warm veggie broths.
6. I use essential oils with immune support properties both for inhaling, and applying as directed to areas like my chest if I have a head and chest cold. Aromatherapy is a great natural resource if you use therapeutic grade oils. Invest in a quality book on essential oils to learn about this ancient natural therapy. I have a recipe blend for “flu shot in a bottle”, and I use this frequently and start it with the onset of any cold/flu type illness. I also have oils I use specifically to help improve my breathing!
- Immune supporting oils: a combination of cinnamon, clove, rosemary, wild orange, and eucalyptus. This has been for me the #1 help in help guard against all the invaders! You can create a roller ball of this to rub on the bottoms of your kids feet. You can create non-toxic hand sanitizing sprays. I love to inhale it deeply when I’ve been around sick people. It’s great to gargle with.
- Oregano oil: This is a really strong/hot oil. Not for pregnant women. Use on the bottoms of your kids feet. This is also strong taste wise. Most children aren’t going to want to gargle with it, but this can be gargled for adults.
- Lemon essential oil: great to add a drop to a tsp of honey and swallow for a sore throat.
4. Fever; peppermint and lavender drop to bottoms of feet, every hour. And you can create leg wraps using cotton or wool fabric strips and cooled water infused with fresh squeezed lemon or lemon essential oils. Wrap around feet and legs, and when they get warm, remove, re wet and wring out the fabric strips and do it again!
7. Ears: Melaleuca oil behind the ears.
I create my own nasal inhalers and nasal sprays. I use colloidal silver and eucalyptus essential oil in the nasal sprays.
8. Set your TV channel to the spa station. They are always playing soothing relaxing music, and for me I like not watching intense movies at this time.
9. Do not cough or sneeze into the air. Keep a supply of tissues and then you are reducing the spread. These types of viruses are so contagious. (if you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.)
10. I love a Neti Pot. If you don’t know what this is, just do a Google search. You can find these at any drug store and even Walmart. This is a nasal irrigation device. Use saline packets that can be purchased for the pot Follow the directions!. Also, if you have swollen nasal passages, I use a drop eucalyptus. This helps reduce nasal passages. Caution: Do not use tap water, and make sure you keep the unit really clean. DO NOT USE TAP WATER!
11. Eat as many raw foods as possible. These are packed with so many nutrients! I love green smoothies during times like this. So packed full of nutrition! Also, you can make really health vegetable broth by getting a large pot and placing lot’s of healthy veggies like celery, onion, carrots, garlic, greens, and whatever you want to add! Stay away from sugars and sweets as much as you can. Remember NOURISHMENT is the key here… Plenty of healthy smoothies as prevention… Try the warmer broths and soups when you are sick…
***FREE Herbal and Aromatherapy books: At least 1-2 times/week I’m able to find completely FREE kindle ebooks from amazon.com. I get this newsletter to my email, and these books are listed under non-fiction. You don’t have to have a kindle. You can download a kindle app to your nook or computer…
Disclaimer: I don’t give these tips as medical advice or suggest that you don’t consult your physician. There are times medical intervention is necessary. Many times we just need to rest. Nature’s store abounds with things to support us during times when we need to heal. I’m signing off now.
Time to make some tea!
I also love Rosemary Gladstar’s book and Demetria Clark’s book on herbal and aromatherapy preparations that you can get off of Amazon.com.
Be Well! Be Whole!