Oh no! Sick with the flu...or any other virus this time of year? You know what I am talking about, fever, body aches, respiratory junk, headache, sore/dry throat. Has your family gotten it?
As with many things, the best defense is prevention...it might be too late for that in your case, so let’s talk about remedies and comfort measures to get you over it and back on track.
If you have a fever… generally a good rule of thumb is a high fever indicates a bacterial infection, and a low-grade fever indicates a viral infection. MOST of what we see during this time of year is viral in nature.
Fever is an important part of reducing the length of your illness, so embrace it. You see, fever is our body’s way of making itself inhospitable to bacteria and viruses that invade it. So when you have a fever (or your little one does) give a little gratitude that you have a functioning immune system!
In addition to making the body inhospitable temperature wise to the invading bug, fever also activates the immune cells responsible for attacking the invading bug and clearing it from the body. (You can read about it in the full study from the Yale Medical Journal on Pubmed here if you are a #science freak like me.) It’s even stated that fever INCREASES your survival rate of many illnesses.
With that evidence in mind, my advice is to stay away from fever reducers and simply take or provide comfort measures.
Why? Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is liver toxic, and not in a holistic practitioner “oh that Burger King meal is toxic” I mean it's the #2 cause of liver failure in the U.S.
To make a long story, short…acetaminophen reduces in large amounts Glutathione, an antioxidant made in the body that is responsible for scavenging free radicals. When you burn up Glutathione with Tylenol, you leave dramatically increased free-radical damage to cells and DNA all over the body.
So I can use ibuprofen then right?
Nope. See above. Fevers are good and there are many other safer methods for relief. Not to mention there are toxic ingredients added such as propylene glycol (hello antifreeze?), butylparaben (endocrine disruptor), the list goes on and on.
A fever reduced is a fever/illness that lasts longer.
If you have respiratory symptoms...you know stuffy head, runny nose, or maybe a cough? You could soothe your symptoms with a face steam. Simply boil water, remove from heat, and add a couple of teaspoons of thyme, rosemary, and oregano (yep, straight out of the spice cabinet!). Then lean over and breathe the steam. This can help with congestion and also soothes the throat and sinus cavities.
If you have tummy troubles...drink plenty of bone broth or chicken broth. This is hydrating and replaces the electrolytes you are missing. Consuming bone broth is helpful for all of your symptoms.
If you have a sore throat...you can make a tea with hot water, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of grated fresh ginger to soothe your throat. If cool drinks are more your taste, add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to an 8 ounce glass of water to reduce the discomfort.
If you think its bacterial (for example Strep Throat)...It’s best to go check in with your primary care doc if your fever is HIGH or lasts more than a couple days. Also note that kids under 3 months should be checked out.
Download my full fevers guide here: http://eepurl.com/cbROWf
Natural antiviral remedies:
Elderberry syrup is a natural remedy for viruses that has been around for many years. It has a long history of successful use. My favorite brand is Sambucol and this is available at most grocers.
Vitamin C is a good preventative measure but also good at helping the body to rid itself of dis-ease quickly. Take 500 mg several times a day.
Remember, the number one best thing you can do...REST.
The real cause of colds and flu… Most often, the cause of catching the cold or flu is an impaired immune system, catching everything under the sun (no pun intended) is often due to an underlying Vitamin D deficiency. The most common contributing factors to your immune troubles are any combination of:
Vitamin D deficiency
Too much sugar consumption
Too little sleep
Too little exercise
Inadequate management of stressors
We know that immune health starts in our gut (so does several other aspects of our health). The first line of defense is keeping your gut healthy. Even if you have already been sick this year, it’s not too late to start down the right path to improve your immune system.
Take a good quality probiotic. You need to take 30 billion CFU per day (kids too!).
Take a good quality Omega 3. Look for krill based for the best quality.
Take a good quality Vitamin D.
Take extra Vitamin C.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, quality fats, and quality protein.
Additionally, you may consider during the winter months to add some extra layers of protection. Diffuse an immunity blend of essential oils Doterra On Guard, Young Living Thieves, or Plant Therapy Germ Fighter. You may also create a roll-on and apply this to the bottoms of everyone’s feet before heading out for the day. Essential oils are adaptogens and they help your body adapt to fight what is needed. This is also helpful in a household where 1-2 family members have fallen ill and the others are trying not to get sick.
Finally, often illnesses and dis-ease in the body are an outward manifestation of an energetic problem. Ensure your energies are balanced and flowing by performing regular energetic hygiene.