Each of us face periods in our life where we just seem to be fighting a nagging cold. This year, with so many different strains of flu arriving from overseas, we need to combat them as well as many bacterial infections head on. Most recently, the news reported on a particularly nasty strain of virus named MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome). Having researched and been part of studies involving new emerging viruses, I felt the need to address some good defences and some common sense practical help as well.
THE BEST DEFENCE
1. Wash hands regularly. I am constantly surprised to see how many people in a washroom do not wash their hands after using the toilet or when cooking, handling raw meats. Kids need to be educated too. Many nasty ‘hand to mouth’ infections can be avoided with simple education. Use a natural soap with olive leaf, tea tree or eucalyptus oil as an alternative to nasty chemical hand washes containing triclosan or benzakonium chloride.
2. Shower at the end of the day instead of the morning. The skin is the first line of defence. Wash thoroughly and launder clothes you wore during the day.
3. Keep a saline nose spray with tea tree oil added in your purse or in your pocket. When in public, spray 1 spray up each nostril every 2 hours to protect the mucosal lining in your nose. (Fess Brand)
4. Hold your breath! A sneeze from a nearby person travels at 95 miles and hour, contains 40,000 droplets of fluid and travels up to 40 meters. It is understandable why sneezing is one of the worst ways airborne infections are spread. When you hear a sneeze, if you can, move away quickly while holding your breath for a few seconds. I know this sounds silly, however, I have been involved in Missions and front line Disaster Relief for 15 years and it works!
5. Use Oregano Oil. (see iHealth product P73 Oregano Oil). Proven in studies to be one of the most effective treatments to halt the spread of bacteria and viruses, the volatile compounds in Oregano oil may just be one of humanities’ best hopes in combatting serious outbreaks. Use 3-5 drops daily during flu season directly in the mouth, under the tongue. You can keep it with you when out and boost your immune system any time this way too.
6. Prepare food at home. Many people believe you can actually eat a cold. Food prepared in less than desirable hygienic kitchens or by infected staff can be a veritable ‘plateful’ of sickness. Beware of buffets, fast foods, eating at major events (sporting etc) and restaurants, especially those who do not disclose their ingredients or offer ‘cheap’ eats. Many restaurants are totally slack on hygiene. The staff preparing food do not wear gloves or masks much of the time and food past fresh date can be used to save money.
7. Stay warm. Watch out for winter chills. You will be surprised how quickly you can shock your system if you are not warmly dressed or underestimate the weather. Keep your head covered in especially cold days and wear a scarf if required.
8. Drink plenty of fluids. Hydration is key here. A dehydrated body cannot ward of infection easily nor can it flush out toxins efficiently without adequate water. Drink a minimum 8-10 glasses a day of pure water and add 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt under your tongue (per 8 glasses) to better retain water.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM ALREADY SICK?
1. Rest. Bed rest is the best way to recover. Try to moderately exercise when you start to recover though. Don’t engage in anything heavily physical and avoid stress.
2. Control a fever. Stay under 38.5C and allow your body to burn the sickness out. Keep up the fluids as well. Alert your Doctor if a fever lasts more than 24 hours.
3. Eat light or even fast. Use juices and soups to give the stomach a rest and build the blood fast. Try orange,carrot, apple, celery, ginger and parsley juice.
4. Drink Fenugreek Tea. An amazing all round remedy for fighting infection especially if you have bronchitis. Fenugreek thins out mucus and protects the lungs. you may also try Fenugreek and Thyme capsules for antibacterial action as well. (Garlic is especially good for upper respiratory infections).
5. Sleep. Get as much sleep as you can. Even if it is at an odd time, try to rest. If you are unusually tired, your body is trying to tell you something.
6. Kung Fu’d (See iHealth Store) My own creation. This powerful blend of 5 herbs in apple cider vinegar was used in folklore as a plague tonic. Use daily at the first sign of a sore throat. 1 x teaspoon up to 3 times a day mixed with Organic honey or Manuka honey in warm water. You will feel the benefits quickly!
7. Stay positive. The sickness will end. Trust your body to do what it needs to do. Be patient and try to remind yourself it will be gone soon.
8. See your Doctor. If you are ever in doubt, see a competent Medical Practitioner who also understands Natural Medicine. Especially in the case of a sick child, never take it on yourself to treat anything that is not appearing ‘normal’. As a Practitioner, I recommend reaching out for help whenever you need it.
The above are only some general pointers. Of course, there are many traditional and conventional methods and many different variables. I have tried to simplify some ideas and arm you with some weapons to help fight the winter blues.
Stay warm and take care!
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iHealth presents the information related to products & testimonials for educational and/or information purposes and not to treat, diagnose or cure any Medical Condition. iHealth products are to NEVER replace competent Professional Medical advice and as such advises potential users to consult their physician before commencing any nutritional program or undertaking dietary changes.