Much to my despair, after feeling very proud of myself that I had avoided the nasty colds and flus going around, it got me! It started with a scratchy throat, then a very irritated nose and sneezing, red heavy eyes, headache, achy body, no appetite and fever. Sound familiar? I know…. I had a very busy week, including commitments in the evenings, got tired and probably hadn’t eaten as well as I usually do. I went from feeling not so bad in the morning, and even enjoyed a sunny walk on the beach, to going downhill through the day and then by the afternoon was lying on the couch struggling with that uncomfortable list of symptoms. I went to bed early and restlessly stayed there for 12 hours. That was yesterday.
Today, I got myself up and made my usual Rooibos tea with ¼ lemon juice and the peel. The essential oils in the lemon skin come out into the hot tea and are so great for the immune system. I then cooked my favourite egg and avocado on toast as my appetite was better. After a shower I got dressed and to my surprise I was feeling around 50% better. I did however cancel work commitments, as I didn’t want to share my lurgy and knew that one way to fast track my recovery was to take care of myself and rest. That is always a challenge to me as I find it hard to sit still and ignore all those boring domestics that need doing.
Apart from resting however, there were a number of things I did from the onset of my symptoms, and even before, that I want to share with you. I am confident these things definitely helped me shorten the duration of my sickness, avoid more serious complications, like sinus and chest infections and move me towards a more speedy recovery.
Before you even get sick – keep your immune system as strong as possible
The healthier you are the stronger your immune system. Your immune system is your armour to protect you against infection. This starts with an optimal diet of fresh whole foods and pure water. But we are ‘human’. We have busy lives, eat out and skip meals. Our soils are depleted of nutrients and we live with pollution and toxins. It is a good idea to supplement our best-intentioned diets with nutrients that we may be deficient in to strengthen our ‘armour’. I would advise taking a course of immune strengthening supplements in preparation for the cold and flu season.
Vitamins, Minerals and Superfoods
- Vitamin C with bioflavinoids – 1000 mg per day
- Cod liver oil – Vitamins A & D and essential fatty acids
- Vital Greens – vitamins, minerals, superfoods, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes
- Immune support and maintenance formula – containing ingredients such as Astragalus, Shitake mushroom, Andrographis and Olive lea
- Make and take a natural antibiotic elixir (here’s a link to my famous Louise’s Elixir)
- Garlic – eat lots or take a quality supplement
Note – the quality of your supplements and the correct dosage is really important. Don’t waste money on cheaper versions of supplements that your body won’t even absorb. Get advice from a qualified practitioner and access practitioner quality products or get sound recommendations from a qualified professional in a chemist or health food/vitamin store. Always get professional advice before purchasing and taking supplements and formulas for yourself and your family.
Each year, myself, and my family, take a preventative ‘Flu Remedy’. This contains a mix of homeopathic remedies that fit the symptoms of that year’s flu. It is designed to take as a preventative throughout winter and as a treatment if there is an onset of any flu like symptoms.
Minimise and manage stress
Stress affects the immune system by raising blood cortisol levels, which lowers your immunity and your ability to fight infection. Reducing stress and it’s effect on the body through relaxation techniques like exercise, meditation and yoga and by taking supportive supplements like Magnesium, and B group vitamins can reduce the negative effects of stress on your immune system. There are also some effective Homeopathic and Herbal formulas your can purchase. Don’t forget, always get professional advice before purchasing and taking supplements and formulas for yourself and your family.
Oh no….I think I am coming down with something
From the moment I felt the slightest of symptoms I did everything I could think of to fight against going down badly. Who can afford to take too much time off work and looking after our families. Apart from the fact that being sick is soo boring!
Do as many of these things that you can. I did all of them!
- 3 tablespoon doses of natural homemade antibiotic elixir each day
- Homeopathic Aconite 30C, take every 3 hours on the first day
- Homeopathic Flu Remedy, take every 4 hours, 6 doses in total
- Tissue salts – ‘First stage of Illness’ – Schleussler tissue salt combination by Martin and Pleasance, take as directed. This contains Ferrum Phos 6X and Kali Mur 6x in tablets. OR, Ferr Phos 6X tablets or spray every 30 minutes while you have that inflammatory sneezing and itchy red watery eyes. Nat Mur 6x when your nose starts running like a watery tap. Kali mur 6X when the mucous gets thicker and your nose feels blocked. Keep taking these as indicated throughout your illness
- Essential Oils – Soak in a bath or stand in a shower with 10 drops of at least one antibacterial essential oil. The most antibacterial are Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, Bergamot, Lemon, Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Basil, Rosemary and Geranium
- You can mix 2 or 3 oils together. I had a long bath with 10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Clove, Lavender oils and Lemon oil. Apart from soaking in them you are breathing them in and down into your respiratory system. You come out smelling nice too! Essential Oils are one of the most powerful medicines on the planet
You could even make you own ‘Thieves’ essential oil blend
I am definitely going to have all the ingredients for this amazing age-old antibacterial blend ready to go from now on. I will just need to stock up on a couple of the oils I don’t have. You can buy the Theives oil blend but make sure it is reputable quality. There are a lot of poor quality essential oils out there containing unhealthy ingredients. Weber State University conducted a study in 1997. The results showed Thieves Oil to have a 99.96% success rate against airborne bacteria.
Thieves Oil Recipe – store in a glass container or dropper bottle
- 10 drops of Clove Oil
- 9 drops of Lemon Oil
- 5 drops of Cinnamon Bark
- 4 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
- 3 drops of Rosemary Oil
- Carrier oil if using topically eg coconut, olive, almond
- Spray bottle – add your Thieves blend to water and spray in the air, onto skin and onto surfaces to fight infection. You can make your own antibacterial hand wash too!
Use the blend in an infuser or in the bath or shower. Or use topically and add 1 drop Thieves to 4 drops carrier oil – apply topically to feet, neck and behind the ears. Use daily for protection against cold and flu germs during the winter seasons.
More of the great things you can do. Yes, I did do all of them
- Make and take a natural antibiotic elixir (try my ‘Louise’s Elixir’ recipe)
- Essential oils vaporising in the room I was resting in. I kept my electric essential oil vaporiser constantly going all day. I added a few drops of Eucalyptus, Clove, Lavender and Rosemary oils
- If it is warm enough, sit in the sun to warm you up and activate your Vitamin D
- Heat up the body and try to create a mild fever with hot drinks consisting of boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon of Manuka honey and some warming, thermogenic, antiseptic, expectorant and antioxidant spices. Try ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, grated ginger, cayenne, black Pepper, Cardamon, Garlic and Horseradish Lots and lots of lemon, Hot herbal teas with lemon juice and the rind. Add a small amount of active Manuka Honey. Lemon breaks down mucous
- Lots of anti inflammatory Ginger and Turmeric. Boiling water or warming teas with grated Ginger and Turmeric
- Lots and lots of Garlic. Crush cloves into hot drinks made with organic bone broth, Miso and shallots
- Home made chicken soup. Slow cook it yourself with a fresh chicken or use good quality organic chicken bone broth, which is so easy to get these days
- Rest in bed or on the couch
- Do a guided relaxation practice or meditation. I did a 30 minute Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is my absolute favourite phone app
- Eat Pineapple as it contains Bromelain that breaks down mucous
- Extra supplements – Garlic extracts – I take Allimax by Biomedica or Kyolic garlic are great; Mushroom complex – I take Imrex by Biomedica , Zinc, Vitamin C, Cod liver oil. Lysine which is antiviral particularly if you need to prevent the dreaded cold sores. I took doses of these supplements 3 times a day, every day while unwell, and for an extra couple of days once better
- Homeopathic Remedies – Flu remedy; Gelsemium 200C for my aches, fever, flushed face, headache, heavy red eyes with dark circles. I also took some Nux Vomica, when I felt a bit cranky, was sneezing and my nose felt blocked. There are many other helpful Homeopathic remedies depending on your specific symptoms. It is always best to get professional advice from a practitioner to confirm the best remedy that fits your symptoms.
AVOID – what I did not do…
- Sugar – eating simple sugars like white, brown sugar, honey and fruit juice drinks, suppresses the immune system for up to 4 hours. It is also inflammatory and mucous forming. According to a 1973 study done by Loma Linda University, when you eat sugar your white blood cells are 40 percent less effective at killing germs. This can cripple your immune system for up to 5 hours after consuming foods and drinks containing sugar. When Linus Pauling did research in the 1970s to find out how the body uses Vitamin C, he discovered that white blood cells need Vitamin C to destroy bacteria and viruses. Sugar and Vitamin C are similar in their chemical structure. When you eat sugar, it directly competes for space in your immune cells with Vitamin C! The more sugar in your system, the less Vitamin C can get into your white blood cell
- Dairy – dairy can be mucous forming and inflammatory especially if you have an allergy or intolerance to it
- Other mucous forming foods including meats, cheeses, cured meats, dried fruits, oranges, bananas, and other histamine producing foods. Do not drink orange juice and other fruit juices as they are too high in sugar and can be mucous forming
- Suppression – Panadol, Nurofen, Sudafed, cold and flu preparations, cough suppressants etc. These suppress the body’s ability to heat up to fight and kill the pathogen and eliminate necessary mucous. This can potentially extend the duration of the illness and create possible complications and further infections. It is best to work with the body and support it’s natural healing processes even if it is uncomfortable
- Heavy, hard to digest meals. Your body should not be using its energy to digest large, heavy, difficult to digest meals when it needs all its energy to fight against infection, eliminate and heal
So, after sticking to doing all the above and avoiding the things I have mentioned, I woke up on the third day and felt well enough to go to work. I was still a bit stuffy but that was about it. I took my vitamin C mixed in a drink bottle, my supplements and remedies, my chicken soup in a thermos and some cut up pineapple and lemon with me. And today, the fourth day, I feel 90% better and but I am still taking it easy and conserving my energy so that I am completely better for the weekend.
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