I absolutely HATE getting sick during this time of year! There's just way too much going on to have to stay home and miss out on the festivities ( FOMO)! That's why I've accumulated a list of herbs and vitamins, flu-fighting agents, and at-home remedies to prevent and shorten the course of the common cold!
An extra special shout out to my health-educator mama for her help putting this together!
(( HOW TO PREVENT SICKNESS ))
Herbs and Vitamins:
Every energy-related action in the brain and body depends on vitamins and minerals—but it’s difficult to get all the nutrients you need within the foods you eat (even if you eat really clean). Regular use of herbs and vitamins will keep your immune system strong and fend off sickness—while improving your overall energy, brainpower, focus and concentration. (Make sure to research the proper dosage amounts on your own).
- Multivitamin and mineral supplement: crucial for anybody with a hectic lifestyle of non-stop stress or who needs more energy and brain power to be able to focus and concentrate.
- Vitamin C: supports the adrenal glands that maintain your immune system and help you take stress in stride.
- Complete B-complex (B1-12): essential to energy metabolism, memory, mood (for example, people who are low in B1 have spotty memory, while people low in B6 can’t remember their dreams).
- Magnesium: acts like a spark plug for the energy portion of every cell in your body.
- Calcium (citrate is the most absorbable form): in terms of ability to focus, calcium helps settle the nervous system and create inner calm.
- Trace minerals (e.g. zinc, selenium, iodine, etc.): these are especially important when nervous, jittery, edgy, easily frightened or upset.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: crucial to many brain functions: deficiency linked to learning disorders, memory loss.
(( WHAT TO DO AT THE FIRST SIGN OF SICKNESS ))
Flu fighting agents:
There are certain foods you can eat and natural remedies you can take to fend off a cold before it takes hold. I’ve been able to avoid getting sick several times with the help of the following remedies.
Oscillococcinum: Take this at the FIRST sign of flu-like symptoms, and continue throughout the day (I’ve been using this my whole life). Unlike Dayquil or Nyquil, this homeopathic (natural) remedy actually PREVENTS sickness, and also shortness the duration of the flu.
Fresh berries: Berries are packed with antioxidants that fend off the flu—try having ½ – 1 full cup of fresh berries when you start feeling sick.
Cinnamon: Helps control your blood sugar levels, spikes your metabolism AND is packed with antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Put some cinnamon in your oatmeal, or mix in with your ground coffee (which is delicious!).
Raw garlic: Absolutely can’t get sick? Garlic contains allion and allicin—anti viral properties that help destroy viruses before they fully attack the body (and develop into a flu). I know it may sound odd, but it’s suggested to chew a raw garlic clove every 3-4 hours, or mix up with some honey (if taste is an issue) to get the best effects!
Echinacea: An herbal remedy that was used by Native Americans for centuries. Echinacea supports the immune system and has been shown to reduce the duration of the flu.
(( OK, YOU’RE SICK. HERE’S HOW TO CURE IT QUICK! ))
At home remedies:
Despite your best efforts, it can be difficult to fend off an aggressive strain of the flu.
Therefore, it’s great to know at-home remedies that can shorten the duration of your cold— without spending tons of money on products that just leave you feeling drowsy!
Boil fresh ginger tea: Ginger has SO many incredible health benefits (clears up sinuses, helps the body absorb nutrients)—but you’ve got to make it fresh! Buy ginger from the store and chop it into ½ inch thick pieces. Bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil with the pieces of ginger added, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. Pour yourself a cup once it’s ready and you can keep drinking it or boiling more of it throughout the day.
Gargle Salt Water: I had a horrible sore throat last weekend and this trick cured it almost immediately. Put ½ teaspoon of salt into 8oz hot water (let it sit until its warm), and gargle for 15 seconds at a time—until you’ve gargled all the water. Gargle with fresh water to finish. You can repeat this several times throughout the day if needed.
Gargle lemon juice & honey: Repeat same steps as above, but with one tablespoon of lemon juice in 8oz of hot water and one teaspoon of honey.
Apple cider vinegar & water: Apple cider vinegar has many natural cleansing, healing and energizing properties (you can add it to your cooking for great flavor too). Put 1-2 tbsp. in water and sip on it while you’re sick for an immune-system boost!
Getting sick can really disrupt our lives and throw us off course. Maintaining a healthy routine (including regular use of herbs and vitamins) is essential to immune- support and will prevent chronic sickness as well. Of course it’s important to also prioritize sleep (at least 7 hours a night), drink plenty of water, and maintain a healthy eating and exercise plan for optimal health.