I will admit it, I didn’t always believe what my beautiful mother told me when I was little, I couldn’t see the correlation between cold air and me catching a cold, I couldn’t see how putting my socks on could help me from getting a cold and I certainly didn’t see how using Vicks Vaporub was going to make me feel better, well there is science behind it all my lovelies, as I have discovered, and I would like to apologise to my mum for all my whingeing and disbelief of all of her home remedies when I was younger, because I have been researching and found some very interesting science behind some of these things and have found that she was actually right, most of the time…dammit…I thought I was so smart too!!
I know this looks like a long post, but I just had to explain these things to you well and in detail with some science behind why these steps help, if you understand why they help, you will be more likely to try them and feel better sooner! So PLEASE take the time to read this and please share with those that you care about and love to help them too, and you won’t be sorry, there are simple things in here that we just don’t think about, but read the details so you understand what I mean!! No one likes to be sick or have sickies around us, this can prevent the onset of nasties and reduce the length and severity significantly.
So I want to share them with you. If you take some really basic steps that you will see below, you will be surprised at the difference!! Try one at a time to do your own “Practical Study” to see the results, or just try what you like, but I promise that these things work for me time and time again!!
Please share this post!! So many people I know are sick at the moment and I truly, sincerely honestly believe that these tips can help them to feel better and recover sooner, please spread the love and help everyone feel better – it is good karma!
Natural Ways to help ease the effects of a Cold or Flu.
It is very important to read the details in this to understand them fully and get the best benefit: please take the time to read it and even bookmark it for later if you don’t have time now!
Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet and warm socks – It is very important to keep your feet warm:
Yes, your mother told you time and time again to wear your shoes outside and “Put some socks on!!”, but we all thought this was all just an old wives’ tale.
After all, colds and flu’s are caused by viruses, right? What are socks going to do??
Well, most folklore has its basis in fact. No, cold feet cannot actually cause a viral infection, but they can undermine your defences thereby welcoming them more readily.
A fascinating fact I have discovered is that there is a connection between your feet and your nasal passages, and therefore the likelihood of getting sick.
Dr. Alfred Vogel writes about this in the book, “The Nature Doctor”.
Dr. Vogel says that the nose walls (conchae) react to cold feet. When the feet are cold the nose walls contract, become cold and dry and cause the glands to stop functioning, so that dust and bacteria are no longer filtered out. It is easy to see why a cold will almost inevitably result, followed by catarrh or a runny nose. You can now understand why it is important to avoid getting cold feet and inhaling bacteria by breathing through the mouth. If the mucous membranes are functioning properly they are able to destroy all cold germs entering through the nose. It is therefore a necessary requirement for good health to cultivate the habit of breathing through the nose at all times.
When thinking about those sinus reflex points on the feet, it helped me to understand how something that I never believed would work, actually does! Some of you may have heard people say to you about putting Vicks VapoRub on the soles of the feet. Well, we all had terrible coughs at one point in our house and a Health Centre Nurse recommended Vicks on the soles of our feet with big, fluffy socks on overnight as we slept, to slow down the coughing reflex, sounded daft to me, but after my husband delicately asked me to leave the marital bed as he could no longer sleep next to me with my old grandpa coughing, I decided that desperate times take desperate measures!!
I tried it on my feet and my coughing reduced by I would say at least 90%!!!! Then I tried it on the kids to the next night and they hardly coughed once at all overnight!
Normally when you lay down at night, the cough worsens, not only due to the cold air but also due to the post-nasal drip that slides down the back of your throat irritating the throat and therefore forming a cough reflex, which in turn irritates the throat further, the cough gets worse and so on and so on…
So to reduce that significantly – is to increase the air temperature of the room (preferably not dry air, as that can worsen the cough too, a vaporiser may be the best option, add some menthol solution from the chemist or even just some Eucalyptus Oil). After you have a dehumidifier or vaporiser on in the room, try to dry the room out during the day by opening the blinds and windows to avoid the air getting germy or too damp causing mould and mildew. You have to keep the air in balance, not too moist and soggy where bacteria just loves to breed, but not to dry as to dry out you throat further. It is great to open up the windows during the day and close that bedroom door just to let the germs out and the sun in as a natural anti-bacterial source!
Also to help reduce the feet/nasal passage reaction, also rub Vicks VapoRub on to the soles of your feet and then cover your feet with warm, fluffy socks.
Keep the air warm and not too dry:
As mentioned above, it is important to increase the air temperature of the room, preferably not dry air, as that can worsen the cough too, a vaporiser may be the best option, add some menthol solution from the chemist or even just some Eucalyptus Oil. The reason for this is that the body will try to protect itself by making the nose run if it is breathing in cold air, as I said before the glands will stop functioning, which will mean that dust and bacteria are no longer filtered out of the nose, so warm mucous starts being produced. In addition to the runny nose, if the body senses the air is making the tonsils cold, it will see these cold tonsils as a foreign body as they are not the temperature they are supposed to be, so this will trigger a cough as a reflex to clear the “foreign object”, the cough then worsens the throat irritation and so on. It is not about necessarily the clothes you are wearing to stay warm, it is more important to keep your feet warm and the air you are breathing in warm.
So, even if it is not possible to keep the room air warm, if you have to go out in the cold, even wear a little scarf or mask over your mouth until you are back in a warm room again, so at least the air you are breathing is going in warm, plus it will help contain your germs too if your face is covered while out and about! Try to keep the air you breathe in as close to the temperature of the air you feel on the palm of your hand when you breathe out warm air on to it, and you will be better off for it!
So keep the air in the room warm or at least keep the air you are breathing in warm by covering your mouth and nose with your hands or a scarf or mask, it will reduce the runny nose significantly and the cough and throat irritation too!! This really works!
Keep all fluids and food intake warm:
I used to go to a fabulous Acupuncturist (before children when I had more time to look after myself rather than lots of little boys), he told me that according to Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, most of the time, we should try to avoid drinking and eating cold or even room temperature foods and fluids. He says to avoid ice creams, cold salads, Slurpee’s, cold water, etc. as much as humanly possible. I know It is not always possible – warm champagne doesn’t taste all that great, but especially when you have a cold or are at great risk of getting a cold, try to stick to foods and fluids that are as close to the temperature of the air you feel when you blow hot air from your mouth on to your palm. If you drink hot/warm herbal tea, water or some other hot/warm non-caffeinated beverage, you are much better off than if you are drinking cooler liquids. The reason is that when we drink ice-cold water, juice, or any ice-cold fluids, we create the basis for chronic diseases.
Apparently, if you put a cube of ice in to blood, this fluid, warm blood becomes thick, sticky, cool, or cold and appears to become like jelly as it clots. This is what happens in our bodies when we drink cold water or juice or any ice-cold fluids like beer, wine, soft drink, etc. The body is about 70% fluids, and any fluids taken into the body becomes part of that 70%. Knowing this, we need to put into our bodies, only drinks and foods that will enhance its proper functioning. A body that cannot circulate its blood is like an unfiltered swimming pool in which moss and bacteria grow. The blood may be thick, unable to flow properly to the extremities of the body, the hands and feet begin to feel numb and hurt, the toes begin to hurt, the heart labours to pump the blood throughout the body, and the lungs fight to keep up and blood cannot be efficiently pumped back up to the heart.
When the blood is free from toxins and flowing freely and properly, we can then liken the blood to an inviting swimming pool, clear and clean. It generates happiness and perfect health, energy and creativity. So warm foods and fluids where possible!
Increase fluid intake to 3 litres a day of warm water :
Once you have a virus, you just have it, accept that…..(I am saying this, because I do the old, “No I am not getting sick it is just a runny nose!” thing, until there is no denying it, Denial is blissful sometimes.) and your body has to then go about the business of trying to get it out of there, help it along by flushing out the nasties as much as humanly possible and increase your water intake to 3 litres a day – I know this is hard, but it really does help to flush your system and not make your body do all of the work on its own, which will also give you more energy and give the body more fighting power. Flushing out the germs really does help, so get your warm water ready and take the 3 litre water challenge today!
Don’t give Panadol too readily for high temperatures:
Where possible and if the child is not too symptomatic or unwell, let the fever do it’s job and fight the baddies on its own without intervening with fever reducing medication. Giving Panadol or Nurofen reduces the temperature and therefore stops the body’s natural fighting reaction, the high temperature, which is the body’s normal response to infection — is a natural defence mechanism. A high temperature triggers the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and inhibits the growth of viruses and bacteria. If you lower the fever, you may be affecting the body’s ability to respond to that infection.
Now, clearly I am no doctor nor do I claim to be, of course seek medical assistance if you are unsure of ANYTHING, all I am saying is that depending on the child’s disposition during the fever, should depend on whether you step in with the fever reducing medication or not. I have seen children with a temperature of only 38.2 C that have had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance and I have seen children with temperatures over 40 C who don’t look remotely bothered or symptomatic at all. What’s more important is assessing how the child looks: How are they eating? Do they look sick? Are they urinating normally? Are they smiling, laughing or playing? These should help you decide which is the right approach to take. If your child is coping relatively well with the fever, hold off if your fortitude can take it, (I struggled soooo much with this in the beginning!!), if your child is miserable, lethargic, upset, very unwell and not coping at all, then absolutely step in when needed. If you are ever in any doubt whatsoever, call the wonderful Nurse on Call Service or even the Bulk-billing Home Doctor Visits available in some states of Australia.
When I was a new mum, I ran straight for the Panadol every time, I was terrified of them having a fever, I was scared of febrile convulsions and so on, but now I am a little more calm about it and trust my instincts on how the child is reacting to the fever. In saying this, where it is needed, I totally give fever reducing medication without hesitation, if the child is presenting as very unwell and needing it, I tend to favour using Nurofen these days as it is an anti-inflammatory which helps if they have a sore throat, plus the effects of the medication have longer lasting results, which is handy if children are unwell overnight.
Take Olive Leaf Extract:
We have been using this for a couple of years now and cannot recommend it enough, seriously google it for yourself and you will see the literally hundreds of ailments and things it can protect you from and help you with, this stuff is amazing!! I had a terrible virus once that stuck with me for 8 weeks; I could not get rid of the congestion for 2 months! Then I read about this and tried it the next day, and I was AMAZED!! After not being able to clear the congestion all this time at all, I took only 5mls before going to bed, this then followed by getting a terrible headache which apparently the first time is quite normal as it is causing a rapid and extreme “die off effect” in your body of all the baddies – it is a good thing if you get a headache from this trust me! But the next morning I woke and coughed up the most horrendous amount of congestion you can ever imagine in your life and I would say I then felt about 90% clearer then before I took the Olive Leaf Extract. I am not joking; I seriously could not believe that finally, FINALLY, I had all of that gunk out of my system!! It felt like someone had performed a magic trick on me! It blew my mind!!
Just get through the “die off effect” headache and you will see what I mean! Olive leaf extract is beneficial in the treatment for conditions caused by, or associated with, a virus, retrovirus, bacterium or protozoan. Among those treatable conditions are: influenza, the common cold, candida infections, meningitis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), encephalitis, herpes I and II, human herpes virus 6 and 7, shingles (Herpes zoster), HIV/ARC/AIDS, chronic fatigue, hepatitis B, pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, malaria, dengue, severe diarrhoea, and dental, ear, urinary tract and surgical infections. It also helps people with blood pressure, cholesterol, heart complaints, eczema and other skin conditions, breathing conditions like asthma, seriously the list of benefits of this stuff will blow your mind too!!!
Add loads of garlic, ginger, honey, lemon and cinnamon in to your diet.
These have antiviral properties, as well as loads of other fabulous goodness that will assist in boosting the immune system in general. Ginger for soothing the throat, garlic for the immune system, lemon for vitamin C and boosting immune system, cinnamon for both deflammatory and immune system needs, honey for its antibacterial properties and for soothing the throat. So taking some honey, lemon, ginger tea with cinnamon is a great way to keep up your warm fluids.
If you really can’t bear to take tea with garlic and ginger in it, make some warm chicken soup with garlic and ginger and that will cover the rest! Soup also helps you up your fluids, so it is a great dinner choice when you are unwell.
Read this about how they have discovered that Chicken Soup really is good for you: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117888
I will post a yummy chicken soup recipe some day soon too. I am making it tonight again actually! So will try to get it up on here soon.
If you have a sore throat, gargle with a saline solution of lukewarm salt water.
This will soothe your throat and will also help promote healing. Make the water as salty as you can tolerate, without making it more salty than is comfortable. I just put any amount of salt that I can take in to a glass of warm water, but for those of you who love specific instructions, here is how to make a proper Saline solution:
How to make a saline solution:
Put one cup of water and ½ teaspoon of salt into the pot. Put the lid on. Boil for 15 minutes with the lid on (set a timer). Set the pan aside until cooled to a room temperature. Carefully pour the salt and water (normal saline) from the pan into the jar or bottle and put the lid on.
Zinc lozenges, dissolved in the back of the mouth and allowed to flow down the back of your throat has been known to stop a cold dead in its tracks in certain individuals. It is thought to shorten the duration in other individuals. This must be done at the first signs of a cold!