It’s been a few years since I’ve been sick with fever or flu like symptoms. Sometimes I get a scratchy throat, headaches, and become tired and I fear that I’m finally coming down with the flu, only to have to go away a day or 2 later. I’ve watched friends and family members constantly fall ill; fevers, strep throat, head colds, yet somehow I seem to avoid these problems like the plague.
And, pills are not the answer. I don’t really believe in “modern medicine”. I don’t take Advil cold and sinus, or Cold FX. I don’t use antibiotics and I don’t see a medical doctor every time my throat gets scratchy. I believe in alternative medicine, using holistic techniques so that my body can heal itself, something we are designed to do as human beings. My body stays clean and free of chemicals and toxins, so that my immune system stays strong and can heal itself. The immune system will naturally take a hit in the winter and few people make it through without a runny nose or a scratchy throat, but these tips can help keep your immune system in top shape so it can fight colds and flus so you can recover quicker.
I want to share some helpful tips and techniques that I use to stay healthy and energized year-round.
- Acupuncture: I get acupuncture treatments on a regular basis, even when I have “nothing” wrong with me. Acupuncture is an ancient form on Chinese medicine and the emphasis of acupuncture is on prevention. It is also used to treat disease and relieve pain. Acupuncture addresses the body as a whole, not just the symptoms of a problem, and it balances the Qi (energy flow). Chinese medicine believes that when the Qi is balanced, perfect health is in order. It is really important to have seasonal acupuncture to treat and strengthen the immune system as well as preventing allergic reactions from occurring.
- Oregano Oil: This is just as it sounds, oil from the oregano herb. Oregano is nature’s antibiotic. Oregano oil benefits immunity because it helps improve symptoms of respiratory infection due to its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When I feel a stuffy nose or a sore throat coming on, I add 3-4 drops to a glass of water and chug it. It’s not the most pleasant taste, but it’s worth it if you want to prevent illness from coming on.
- Saje Immune Germ and Virus Fighting Remedy: I love essential oils. I use them for many things, from energy, to pain release to focus to this amazing immune system blend. Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Myrrh and Peppermint come together in this blend to soothe the common symptoms of a cold or flu. “Saje” sells a roll-on stick, which I love because it’s easy to roll onto my feet, chest or throat area when I start to feel a cold or flu coming on. Blends like this are found from other essential oil companies as well, including a great one from Doterra.
- Hot Water with Lemon and Ginger: This one is my favourite! Everyday, no matter how I feel, summer or winter, I have my daily hot water with lemon and ginger. Ayurvedic medicine is the oldest known form of medicine, dating back to B.C. 1500. Ayurveda believes in removing the cause of disease. One of their oldest traditions is hot lemon water every morning. Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, B, calcium, iron, magnesium, antioxidants and enzymes. The health benefits are endless, as it is known to improve digestion, boost the immune system, hydrate the body, boost energy, promote rejuvenated skin, and reduce inflammation. Making hot lemon water is really simple, just squeeze half a lemon in lukewarm water, adding slices of lemon if you’d like. I like to add fresh ginger to give myself an extra boost as well.
- Echinacea: About 60-70 years ago, before antibiotics took a huge boom in North America, Echinacea was held in high esteem as a medicine. As antibiotics took centre stage, people seem to have forgotten about this powerful plant (which is really a herb) that has many healing properties. Echinacea is used to combat cancer, alongside conventional therapy. It is also known to boost the immune system and cut the chances for a common cold by almost 60%. Echinacea is known to work more powerfully if you take it once cold symptoms have started, and it is known to reduce the duration of the common cold by over 1 day. You can use liquid forms of Echinacea, lozenges, herbs used in a tea, or tablets.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is best known for its ability to strengthen the immune system. However, this nutrient has other health benefits as well. It helps detoxify our body and promotes the healing of all our cells and allows us to deal better with stress. Humans are unable to make Vitamin C, resulting in the need to get it from our diets. Dark leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi, berries and red peppers are foods that offer us good quality Vitamin C. Taking Vitamin C supplements daily is also recommended, as it increases our immune cell production.
Stay warm this winter and take care of your body!