Must Haves For Cold And Flu Season
The cold weather is officially here in Georgia! I am not a huge fan of the cold weather, but I am a HUGE fan of the holidays. With all of the holiday parties and family gatherings coming up, it is super important that we are taking care of ourselves and keeping our immune system healthy.
I am also not a fan of going straight for antibiotics when I am sick.While they are needed in certain situations, taking them excessively can destroy your gut bacteria, which makes you sicker. Have you ever noticed how bad your stomach hurts when you take antibiotics? Next time you take them, make sure you are taking a good quality probiotic to repopulate your gut. When you take an excessive amount of antibiotics, you are at risk for C-diff. It can be very dangerous, as it destroys all of your gut bacteria and inflames your colon.
Thankfully, there are many natural approaches to healing yourself from sickness without having to take antibiotics! I've compiled a list of some of my favorite tips and tricks for fighting off the cold and flu!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
I get it...ACV is disgusting. Y'all my husband drinks it straight out of the glass and it blows my mind. While it doesn't have the best taste, the benefits are worth the taste. Not only is it incredible for your digestive system, it’s amazing at fighting off colds and the flu! ACV helps the body by keeping your ph levels balanced. It is also great at reducing chest congestion and mucus buildup.
You can start by adding 1-2 tablespoons to 8 ounces of water every morning when you wake up. I suggest starting slow and working your way up to two tablespoons. If the taste in water is still unbearable for you, try mixing in a little bit of apple juice!
2.Epsom Salt Bath
My favorite thing to do when I start to feel a sickness coming on, is taking a nice hot bath. The worst is when you start to feel those muscle aches and all you want to do is lay in your robe all day. Yeah, I know the feeling. The best way to shake those muscle aches is to take an epsom salt bath. Not only is it good for your muscles, it also helps you relax and detoxify your body. This is great for your body when you are feeling crummy.
My favorite epsom salt is the Eucalytpus and Spearmint. These essential oils added to the salts really open up your sinuses.So basically, you get a relaxing bath, clearer sinuses, and relaxed muscles. I'm sold every time!
3. Mustard Bath
I found this product about 10 years ago, and I have sworn by it ever since. Mustard seeds have been used for centuries to help with detoxification and ph balance, preventing a breeding ground for sickness. It also contains essential oils of Wintergreen, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Thyme that were carefully chosen for their therapeutic benefits to help reduce body aches, fatigue, and congestion.
This works WONDERS when I am feeling under the weather. I like to mix this with the Epsom Salt for a deeper detox. The trick with this product is to use it as soon as you start to feel bad. It will help you recover much quicker!
4. Garlic and Allicin
I love cooking with garlic! It makes my breathe stink, but it is so tasty! I was thrilled to learn that garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Not only is it delicious in my spaghetti, it is a fantastic decongestant and helps get rid of your sickness insanely quick. Who knew?
Cooking with garlic is great, but it isn't going to heal anything in small doses. My advice, get to chewing! You can take a clove of garlic and chew on it 2-3 times a day until your cold is gone. I am weak and can't handle the taste and burning of all that garlic! Instead, I take garlic in pill form!
Allicin is the chemical reaction when garlic is chomped on or minced. This is the property that provides the healing benefits. I like to buy the brand Allimax. Out of all the brands I have tried, this one is the best!
Y'all, this stuff is NO JOKE. I like to call it my natural Z-Pack. I remember when I was younger I would pop Z-Pack's like they were PEZ. Thankfully, I have found a natural supplement that doesn't destroy my gut flora like antibiotics do.
Viracid is a combination of key nutrients and botanical extracts that provides immediate support for immune challenges. It contains L-lysine vitamin A, C, pantothenic acid, B12 and zinc, as well as black elderberry, astragalus, echinacea and andrographis that are amazing for boosting your immune system. I am in love with this stuff, and I hope you love this is as much as I do!
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a common tool for cold and flu season, but most people don’t take it everyday. I remember I used to take those Emergen-C packets the moment I felt a cold coming on. While they helped, I would rather take a more natural approach. I like to take 1,000-2,000 mg a day of vitamin c during the colder months to prevent any illness from coming on. If it starts to cause bowel issues, you can take a lower dose.
I know cold sores are so inconvenient. They always seem to come RIGHT when you have something important going on. I found the most incredible cure for them. The moment you feel that uncomfortable feeling on your lip, take L-Lysine IMMEDIATELY. You can take 1000 mg a day until it goes away. Because of its infection fighting properties, when I take this, the cold sores never develop! Woohoo!
8. Essential Oils
Essential oils are amazing. The fact that I just discovered them at 30 blows my mind. If you haven't started using them, I highly recommend you start! I have found they are phenomenal when I am sick and feeling under the weather! I like to diffuse the oils during the winter because not only does it make me feel so much better, it makes my house smell amazing.
I like using peppermint and eucalyptus to help with my congestion and cough. Tea tree and lemon grass are great for their anti-fungal and antiviral properties. They help to get rid of nasty coughs, and knock out your cold quicker. When I diffuse them, I mix 2-3 drops in my diffuser and add water. Make sure you are using high quality oils!
9. Bone Broth
Bone broth is something that I think people should be drinking multiple times a week, not just when they feel like they are getting sick. It is a highly nutrient dense food filled with vitamins and minerals that will help your body heal. The cartilage is beneficial for people with degenerative joint diseases like RA, and helps reduce inflammation and joint pain. The collagen and gelatin also have anti inflammatory properties, and work wonders for your skin, hair, and nails. Drinking this when you are coming down with the flu will help you feel like a million bucks in no time.
I hope you can use some of these tips and tricks to heal quicker and get back to enjoying the holidays! Let me know how these work for you!