Even when you’ve followed all the shoulds and should-nots, sometimes getting that winter cold is inevitable. Here are a few naturopathic techniques to keep your cold under control:
Drink -- consume plenty of fluids when you are feeling sick. This not only keeps you hydrated, but it keeps things moving inside the body, which helps you get better faster. When you’re sick, the majority of what you put into your body should be liquid. Water, tea, bone broth, soup, and vegetable stock are the best options. If tolerable, drink warm beverages. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Your body is sending a signal that it is too tired to digest food; the body prioritizes healing, not digesting. Listen to your body. If you are hungry, eat simple foods, such as steamed vegetables, rice, and soup.
Fire Cider -- it's not too late to make your immune tonic for the year! This traditional concoction combines powerful herbs and spices to combat any tickle in the throat, cold, or flu. My favorite recipe is in this blog post.
Warming socks -- this age old naturopathic technique encourages healthy blood flow and sends fresh immune cells throughout the body. Warming socks are best done at night using a pair or thin cotton socks plus a thick pair of wool socks. First, get feet warm with either a hot shower or a warm foot bath. Get cotton socks wet and wring them out. Put wet socks on, then dry wool socks on, and rest.
Rest -- fatigue is another signal from your body. A signal to slow down. Going a 100 miles a minute may have contributed to getting sick in the first place. As much as you can, take it easier. At least until you get well ;)
Fresh air -- even though it’s getting colder, having fresh air is still important. It’s not helpful for you (or the people around you!) to breathe in germy air. If tolerable, sleep with the window cracked open, take a short (and slow) walk outside, or bundle up and open the window for 5 full minutes. Your lungs and body will thank you.
Neti pot -- these are available at almost any drugstore or pharmacy, and they are most helpful with nasal congestion and sinus pressure. The saline rinse dries up congestion and aids the body in getting rid of bacteria.
Fever is your friend -- I can’t stress the importance of this enough. A fever is the body’s response to help fight infection. Fevers increase white blood cell activity, help shorten the illness, and even decrease the chance of spreading infection to others. The ideal fever for sick adults is 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit. Any fever above 104 degrees Fahrenheit in an adult or any fever in an infant under 4 months of age should seek medical care.
Please note, information in this blog post is not designed to diagnose or treat any illness. Please do not use this information in lieu of seeking professional medical services.