It sure has cooled off and with the decline of the 4th wave coinciding with the onset of cold and flu season, we thought we’d give you a primer on what symptoms are more common with each illness.
Many of you may not have been sick for a long time, but it’s normal to have 1-2 colds a year. It’s actually a good thing to get sick once in a while, it means that our body is interacting with the world around us and we’re forming antibodies against some of these common viruses and bacteria. So, when you do get sick, you want to be able to recover from your illness quickly; this is also a sign of great immune system.
Supporting your immune system throughout the winter is a good habit to get into. Our immune function typically dips in the winter months, due to more time indoors with not as good ventilation, along with the stress of temperature fluctuations on our bodies, less vitamin D from the sun, and a decrease in the amount of fresh fruits and veggies in our diets.
At the clinic, we encourage all of patients to participate in our immune booster programs, see below and ask your ND which supports will be best for you.
We also hope to have everyone taking an adequate amount of vitamin D and C through the winter months.
If you do get sick, we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips and tricks you can do at home to get yourself back up and at ’em.
Is it a Cold or the Flu or Covid?
Why is this happening in your body?
Colds and flu are the body’s way of eliminating mucous. These illnesses are usually preceded by excessive eating or poor eating habits, lack of rest, overwork, worry or temperature changes during the fall and spring.
What to Do for Colds and Flu?
- Take extra Vitamin C up to 4,000mg a day in divided doses.
- Take Vitamin D up to 5, 000 IU daily for an adult and 2, 000 IU for a child.
- Increase your Zinc (30-50mg a day).
- Get plenty of sleep every night.
- Drink lots of fluids: water, hot water with lemon, tea, vegetable juice and bone broth.
- Eat lots of garlic, onions, ginger and cayenne for their antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Consider preventive measures such as homeopathic immune boosters, and herbals such as Echinacea, Astragalus, and mushroom extracts.
- Take probiotics—the good bacteria, naturally found in your digestive tract.
- Avoid all sugar, dairy and wheat to decrease mucous and reduce the consumption of heavy foods like red meat, your body needs to focus on healing not digesting.
- Don’t smoke.
- Take time off to rest and heal.
- Take Epsom salt baths (2 cups per bath) to open pores and reduce body aches.
- Wear lots of clothing layers to encourage sweating, wear a scarf and a hat.
- Use a vaporizer/humidifier; mucous can collect at night if the air is too dry.
This tea below can be a great addition to fighting a cold or flu.
Magic Antibiotic Tea
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
- 1 lemon, squeezed fresh juice
- 2 cloves crushed garlic or as much as you can tolerate
- 2 teaspoons honey or to taste
Add all ingredients to a pot, cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Drink throughout the day, make more as needed. Garlic will turn bluish when mixed with lemon but it is still safe to eat.
Wet Warming Sock Treatment
Indications: Sore throat or any inflammation or infection of the throat, neck pain, ear infections, headaches, migraines, nasal congestion, upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, and sinus infections. The wet sock treatment is best if repeated for three nights in a row, or as instructed by your physician.
Contraindications: Use with caution in diabetes, Raynaud’s phenomenon or syndrome, arterial insufficiency or advanced intermittent claudication. The warming phase is especially important for these patients. Please consult your physician.
- 1 pair cotton socks
- 1 pair thick wool socks
- Warm bath or warm foot bath
- Take a pair of cotton socks and soak them completely with cold water. Be sure to wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.
- Warm your feet first. This is very important as the treatment will not be as effective and could be harmful if your feet are not warmed up. Soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5-10 minutes or taking a warm bath, or using a hot water bottle on your feet can accomplish warming.
- Dry off feet and body with a towel.
- Place cold wet socks on feet. Cover with thick wool socks. Go directly to bed. Avoid getting chilled. You may use the hot water bottle near your feet at night to start.
- Keep the socks on overnight. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.
Effects of the Wet Sock Treatment
This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It has a sedating action and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.
We hope you find these helpful as needed to treat colds and flus as they come up and get back to feeling like yourself faster and with stronger immune system.
Dr. Rebecca Sagan, ND and Dr. Hajnalka Pinter, ND