Winning The War On Cold And Flu
By Arianne Koven, N.D., C.N.H.P
Have you ever wondered why some people always seem to catch every bug that comes down the pike while others never get sick? The answer lies in the relative strength of their immune systems. Although flu shots may help in some cases, it is impossible to prepare a vaccine against unknown, mutant viral strains. These seem to be increasing at an alarming rate due to the over-use of antibiotics and our rapidly degenerating environmental conditions.
Your best defense is to reinforce your bodyās ability to beat off this bug before they get a firm hold in your system. Hereās where an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure! If you tend to get the debilitating winter illnesses, you might want to try some of the following suggestions:
- Lots of Fluids: If you start coming down with a cold or flu, consider fasting and immediately start with plenty of liquids – water, herbal teas (Ginger), vegetable juices, hot water and lemon 1/4 teaspoon unprocessed honey and a diced clove of garlic as a flu shot.
- Chicken soup (natureās anti-biotic), Miso soup (for replacing electrolytes) or Vegetable broth.
- Supplements: Olive Leaf, Pro-biotics, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Colloidal Silver, Elderberry, Zinc, Oregano and Echinachea/Golden Seal
These may not always keep your from catching a bug — but they can often work to reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration.
As a holistic practitioner, I believe a personās health results from a complex interaction of physical, mental, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental, and social factors. Although the causes of disease may originate on many levels, they are most often triggered by the personās lifestyle, diet, habits and emotional state. Thatās why itās important to look beyond the obvious symptoms and address the larger picture. I believe in working harmoniously with the body to support its natural processes. Many nutritional products and complimentary healing techniques have been found to dramatically enhance the bodyās own healing mechanisms.
If, despite all your efforts, you still sense the onset of those dreaded symptoms such as a runny nose, scratchy throat, aching head, fever, pain in the bones, cold sweats, etc. thereās still hope! As soon as you contract a cold or flu, your immune cells are activated to fight off the invading pathogens. Your cells release histamines in order to cause swelling and inflammation so that greater blood circulation is encouraged, bringing more white cells in to fight the invaders. The body creates an abundance of mucus that helps to flush your membranes to discharge the waste products. Here are some suggestions you might consider to help speed the recovery process:
- Drink more liquids (at least 1 – 1 2 qts. per day) to flush out the membranes. Purified water, herbal teas such as Rose Hips, Ginger, Mint or Sage are excellent. Avoid dairy products and all caffeine drinks.
- Take additional Vitamin C (about 2,500 mg. 2 x/day) and 50 mg. Zinc to support the functioning of white cells in pursuing the pathogens.
- Lemon Juice, warm water and a pinch of Cayenne Pepper will help support the increased activity of mucus membranes by expelling mucus and increasing the circulation.
- Inhale vapors from Eucalyptus.
- Use Garlic, a proven anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent. It is also highly regarded for its immune stimulating properties.
- You might also consider the use of homeopathic remedies.
- Get plenty of rest.
Naturally Curious – Answers to your questions on natural health.
“Every winter I seem to get strep throat? Is there a natural solution? I want to avoid antibiotics if at all possible.”
A.S., Cathedral City, CA
Strep (Streptococcus) throats often respond well to Echinacea, Astragalus, and Garlic. Gargling with salt water or horehound tea is also effective. Take three Alfalfa tablets every hour and one mg. of Vitamin C every three hours. Begin in the morning and continue until bedtime. Continue this procedure for two days. If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, definitely seek professional attention as some strep can trigger an autoimmune reaction
© 2012. All Rights Reserved. Arianne Koven is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified Natural Health Practitioner and Voice Dialogue Facilitator practicing in the Vilcabamba Valley, Ecuador. She has been involved in the holistic field for the past thirty years and has been trained in a broad spectrum of healing modalities. This article may be freely reprinted, copied, or distributed in either print or electronic form provided this notice is included in full. For more information, see: www.arikoven.com.
Any information provided in this article is not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any specific medical condition and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counseling of your own health care practitioner. Before you treat any illness or make changes in your current medication, seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner who is familiar with your medical condition.