herbal-medecineThis 2013 year has seen a disturbing increase in the number of flu-related deaths in California, and it is a cause for concern, but certainly, not panic. The purpose of this article is to educate and arm you with simple, effective, natural and holistic methods to prevent or recover from a cold or flu. With the information presented in this article, you will know what to do for yourself, and your family to prepare for and breeze through the cold and flu season.

Prevention:

Of course, the best answer to cold and flu season is not to come down with one in the first place. So, the first part of this article is on prevention. There are many, many things that you can do to help yourself out; and, I’m not talking about getting a flu vaccine. I’m not a proponent of injecting disease, contaminants, and even heavy metals into my body – in the name of prevention. Medical journals have published thousands of articles revealing that injecting vaccines can actually lead to serious health problems including harmful immunological responses and a host of other infections. This further increases the body’s susceptibility to the diseases that the vaccine was supposed to protect against. For more information on the hazards of flu shots, check out this enlightening article – Flu Shot More Dangerous than Flu. There are much safer, effective, and simple steps that can be taken. In fact, they are so simple that they fall into the Duh Category. But, SOOO FEW of US actually do them. Anyway, here I go…

1] Get enough sleep:

Oh my goodness, if there’s one thing on the list that could wipe out half the colds and flus in the world, it would be everyone getting enough sleep. Our bodies are amazing at fighting off viruses and bacteria, but only if we’re in top physical condition. So, if you feel like something is trying to get you, take heed and hit the sack for some shut eye. During sleep your body can devote all of its resources to fighting off whatever is trying to take hold inside of you.

fruits-veggies2] Eat the right foods:

Well, I could go on ad nauseam about getting proper nutrition and all that, but I’ll restrain myself for the moment. Good nutrition is the ammunition your body needs to fight anything, it’s more important than any drugs you can take. If you’re feeling vulnerable to a cold or flu, there are foods that will help you stay strong, and foods that will send out flyers inviting a cold or flu to come and party in your body. Which do you want to eat? So, when you’re feeling vulnerable to getting sick start implementing the tips below until you feel stronger again.

  • First, eat warmer foods that are easily digestible. Cold foods are harder to digest and will drain your body’s resources. Things like salads and sandwiches. This also means that you should not drink cold drinks, but have them at room temperature instead.
  • One of the biggest no no’s, and a direct invite for a cold or flu is to eat dairy products. Dairy creates mucus, lowers your immune response, and slows your digestion to a crawl. So, NO milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, yada yada…
  • The right soups are fabulous. This means thin stock soups, like vegetable, minestrone, and miso soup are wonderful. A little bit of meat in your soup is ok, like fish, chicken or even an egg, but avoid red meat; it’s really hard on you, hard to digest, drains your resources, and lowers your immune response; absolutely, no cheese in your soup, ok? It’s a mucus making machine, all dairy products are.
  • Drink tea, not coffee. Coffee depletes your immune system. It’s hard on your adrenals, kidneys, and heart. Green tea however is good. It is fabulous for boosting your immune system, and is full of antioxidants. Now If you really want to strengthen your immune system, one of the best teas to drink is rosehip tea. Not from a teabag though. Go to a health food store and ask for dried rosehip pieces, not whole rosehips. Why not? Because you’d have to take a hammer and smash them up, that’s why. To make the tea, boil water and pour it over about 3 tablespoons of rosehips and let steep for at least ten minutes. You can use RAW, UNHEATED honey as a sweetener which is full of antibacterial and antiviral enzymes. Good stuff.
  • It’s so obvious, I shouldn’t have to say it, but oh well. NO fried foods and NO processed sugar! You might as well inject yourself with staphylococcus and save some time.
  • Avoid pastries, pastas and any other wheat products, they are cold and flu factories.
  • Basically, the rule is to keep your food simple and easy to digest, and for goodness sake, chew before you swallow, that way you actually get some of the nutrition out of it.

3] Drink enough Water:

Water is the most important cleansing medium for your body to eliminate unwanted garbage. A reasonable estimate would be to say that more than 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. That’s fairly astonishing, but not surprising given our busy, lifestyle. Water is life, our bodies need it to for well, everything. Do yourself a favor, and drink more of it.

4] Preventative Herbal Formulas:

There is one gentle herbal formula that I do recommend to my patients if they are motivated to gradually build their immune system over time, or take preventative herbal measures for an upcoming cold and flu season. It’s called Yu Ping Feng Wan or Jade Windscreen. I’ve taken Yu Ping Feng Wan myself for many years, and it’s been many years since I’ve come down with a cold or flu. If you want to do yourself a favor, and prep for the cold and flu season, I recommend taking Yu Ping Feng Wan beginning in August, and continue taking it throughout the season. You can discontinue when you feel the danger is passed. You can also take Yu Ping Feng Wan for a much longer term, years, if desired. It’s a great way to gradually build your immune system up. It’s subtle, but eventually, (especially if you’ve fixed your nutrition and sleeping habits) colds and flus will be a thing of the past. I do have one caveat; stop taking Yu Ping Feng Wan if you do catch a cold or flu for as long as you’re sick and then wait to start up again until after you’re well. Since Yu Ping Feng Wan is tonifying it could strengthen a cold or flu if you continued taking it while you’re not feeling well.
If you’re going to put yourself in harm’s way of a cold or flu – such as, visiting your tiny nieces or nephews or flying on a plane or must be around someone who’s hacking their lungs up – then you can take Gan Mao Ling or Yin Chiao Wan, as extra protection and prevention during your time of exposure. Either one is just as effective.

For convenience, I do have these formulas available through my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com

holly-reeseArticle by: Holly Reese, MSOM, L.Ac. She is an acupuncturist, herbalist, wellness coach, food-healing expert, founder of the Inspire Wellness Center, which specializes in natural and holistic health alternatives for the recovery of chronic illness. Holly Reese is also author of Rising from the Abyss: My Journey into and out of Chronic Illness a gripping memoir that details Holly’s personal descent into and eventual rise from a nearly fatal auto-immune disorder using all the natural and holistic health methods that she espouses and uses for her wellness practice. Feel free to contact her at: holly@inspirewellnesscenter.com.

 

Part 2: Oh No! I’m Sick. What do I do Now?