Is it just me or does everyone seem to be catching the flu this winter? Well, I finally came down with it myself…the dreadful flu! Yuk! The fevers, the body aches! The flu is always a nasty virus to catch, but this year’s seems to be particularly bad. The flu shot this year is only 10% effective in preventing you from getting sick. So you have to take extra good care of yourself. I also think 2017 was an even more stressful year – and high stress is a major cause of the flu.
I was out of bed within two days, because I let myself rest and took care of myself. Of course – it helps to make sure you have a healthy immune system to begin with. I’ve put together a quick natural treatment guide, full of ingredients you probably already have at home! With this list consistency is the key to dramatically reducing the symptoms of the flu and cold viruses and feeling comfortable quickly.
Flush the Flu
First, foremost and easiest of all is upping the liquids. Why is it when you have a burning fever you aren’t so thirsty?! And yet, it’s critical to drink more fluids if you want to beat this bug. So keep a glass of water full and drink soups as much as possible.
Avoid Mucous Enhancing foods
Stay away from foods that make you more congested. These include sugars, grains, dairy products – they all raise inflammation and increase your mucous – which will make it take longer to get better. I really noticed this myself – when I ate a piece of gluten free toast during my recovery phases – I felt more congested and achey all over!
This is the most important new development! Vitamin D can keep you from getting sick! And if you feel like you might be getting sick – you can up your dosage and prevent it if you catch it in time. I took 20000 (yes 20 thousand!!!) IU each day for three days when I got sick. And I think it helped a lot. Several times I’ve actually prevented myself from getting sick to begin with.
There are many ways to get yourself to sweat- this should be done early in the course – when your symptoms first start. You can take a hot bath, drink an immune boosting tea while sitting in a warm room, wrapped up in a blanket, or get acupuncture. Or take a sauna. I have a device called a biomat, you can get it here, which is a mat that has tourmaline and amethyst crystals, and generates infrared heat. I laid on it for two days – to boost and support my immune system and to get myself to sweat. In Chinese Medicine we say that as soon as you develop symptoms – get yourself sweating – to release it from your body.
Garlic and ginger that is. Both are nature’s most powerful immune system stimulants and will not only reduce your current symptoms, but also keep secondary infections at bay.
Here’s one simple recipe: simmer 10 cloves of fresh garlic and ¼ cup sliced ginger root in 4 cups of water in a pot for 15 minutes. Add ¼ cup of raw honey and 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and stir. Sip on the liquid all day and eat the cooked garlic (it’s not that bad).
Relieve a stopped up nose with a quick homemade saline. Mix a half teaspoon of table salt with half a cup of warm water and use either a syringe or straw to drip a few drops in each nostril. In the east – it’s popular to use a Neti pot -which looks a bit like a teapot with a straight spout- and you put that mixture into it. It’s awkward and tingly, but it really works quick. Clearing mucous from your nose helps keep your lungs clear.
Vitamin C Of Course!
Supplementing Vitamin C is your best option for preventing AND treating any virus or infection. If nothing else, feed your body as much of this when you’re sick as you can. Did you know that Kiwi offers more vitamin c than oranges? Plus, kiwi contains many other helpful nutrients that assist the immune system. Pair this fruit with a good supplement for a speedy recovery.
What about Tamiflu?
Several people have asked me about Tamiflu. It’s an antiviral drug that is supposed to be administered early in the course of having the flu to stop it. From the research I’ve seen there are some bad side effects -especially for children. See my friend Dr. Elisa Song’s incredible facebook live – for natural ways to heal children with the flu and what she says about Tamiflu- Click Here
Combining all of these suggestions is your best bet. And, again, consistency is key! Sure you could grab some over-the-counter remedies, but these won’t actually boost your immune system and are unlikely to truly get you healthy quicker than if you did nothing – in fact, they may prolong your symptoms by blocking them – your body is trying to get rid of something. Catching the flu is far from fun, but you can absolutely take charge of its severity when you turn to nature’s medicine.
One last note. I see hundreds of people a year who are sick with the flu – I have throughout my entire career. The last time I got it was five years ago. And I have never gotten a flu shot. Of course you should get it if you think it will help you. But I have always found that taking care of my immune system overall and being healthy all around makes the most difference. In my experience – I get sick when the stressors and emotions in my own life have built up. Please use these tips to take care of yourself, but always remember – do your best to keep yourself stress free – especially during high stress times!