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Blog 2014-12-03  Tips for Colds - Elephant sneezing

Mr Pesky Cold has been doing the rounds. A lot of people have reported that they’ve had this unwelcome visitor all week, and even worse, he has refused to leave even after the polite 2 – 3 days expected of visitors!!

When the seasons change, there is a shift in natural energies which our cells draw on. As a result, they are more likely to release toxins and waste matter, and this is manifested as colds and flu. We have enjoyed an unseasonably mild autumn so far, but recently the weather has become damper and colder, and with it, Mr Pesky Cold and his relatives have been a-visiting!!

What this means is that we don’t actually “catch” colds as such. Our cells simply invite them in if they feel the need to detox and get rid of accumulated rubbish, so if you do have a cold, see it as a good thing. Honest!!. Bearing this in mind, it is best not to suppress with a cocktail of “swallow me and you can go back to work immediately” pills. If you suppress, all you are doing is holding on for dear life to the accumulated rubbish, and your cells, bogged down with it all, will under-function and maybe even throw up something more serious later on. Chest infections are a common follow-up after a cough or cold.

Last week I blogged about Natural Flu Shots (Super and Master Tonics) to nip such things in the bud, but what if your cold takes hold before you‘ve had time to make up your “anti-plague” witch’s brew? Here are a few helpful hints.

  • Indulge in a bit of Self-Nurture and TLC. Stop in your tracks. Don’t struggle on regardless. If possible, take a day or two off work. Why? Your cells are in one of two modes. Self-Nurture (when they nourish, heal and cleanse) or Stress (Frazzle, frazzle, not much nourishing, healing or cleansing going on). Who at work doesn’t get stressed by the travel, the long hours, the impossible deadlines and probably challenging relationships? Your cells will be in stress mode and dealing with what they perceive to be a life-and-death situation, rather than clearing up your cold. Result, the same as suppressing it. An extended stay from Mr Pesky Cold and maybe a visit from other less-than-desirables later on.
  • Get some early nights in. One of my friends says that as soon as she senses the first sniffle, she gets an early night in pronto. This usually does the trick. Sleep is Nature’s Healer. When we are sleeping, our cells can do more cleansing and healing.
  • Eat as lightly as possible. Ancient wisdom tells us that “If you feed a cold, you will have to starve a fever”, often misremembered as “feed a cold”. Similar to carrying on regardless or suppressing with medication, eating heartily will also delay recovery. When you eat, energy is diverted towards digestion to sort out the latest meal. When you have a cold (or any other illness), it’s best to allow the cells to concentrate their energy on cleansing instead, so eat as lightly as possible.
  • Drink lots of warm fluids. This helps to thin the lymph (part of the immune system) as well as flush out toxins. Drink plenty of warm water throughout the day, perhaps with some freshly squeezed lemon and grated ginger.
  • Eat warm foods. A lot of people reach out for orange juice, thinking they are dosing up on Vitamin C. For starters, it’s unlikely that there is any vitamin C within a mile of the carton, but also a lot of raw and cold food isn’t the best thing for treating a cold. Think warm instead. Orange juice is very mucus-making too so will only add to the catarrh-fest. Stick to warming vegetable soups / broths (with lots of garlic, onion, ginger etc) or congees (porridge made from short grain brown rice cooked for hours over a low heat). These are a good way to get more fluids in as well as eating lightly.
  • Lemon and Onion. I make up a jug of roughly sliced onion and lemon with lots of boiled water. Throughout the day I pour so much into a cup and top up with hot water. (And refresh the jug too from the kettle). If I have a bit of a tickly throat, I add a little raw honey too.
  • Herbal teas which are good for colds and sore throats are lemon and ginger, liquorice (very soothing), thyme, sage or rose hip tea (rich in Vitamin C). Fresh and home-made is best, but there are also some good tea bags out there too. (I like the Pukka’s Liquorice and Cinnamon which is warming and soothing for throats)
  • Salt lavages. One of the most effective natural remedies is good old salt. Twice a day I add salt to lukewarm water, then do a “salt lavage”. Some people use a Neti Pot. I simply scoop so much in my cupped hand, then snort it up through my nostrils, wait for it to trickle down the back of my nose and then spit it out. It is fab at loosening catarrh.
  • Gargling with either salt water or raw apple cider vinegar is useful for relieving sore throats.
  • Boost your immune system with some simple supplements. I know it’s old hat, but both Vitamin C and Echinacea (Tincture) can give your immune system a much needed helping hand. During the colder months, it’s a good idea to increase your intake of both of these anyway. I also ensure I include a good quality pre/probiotic and Vitamin D3 in my daily regime. For colds, I also use homemade Elderberry Tincture.
  • Stay warm and if you do take exercise, just go for a gentle stroll and wrap up very warmly. Cold, damp weather can really aggravate a cold.
  • Steam inhalations: I use tea tree oil. Put a few drops in a large bowl of very hot water, lean over and cover your head with a towel so that you make a “tent”. Close your eyes and now breathe in the cleansing fumes. This is great for clearing your airways and releasing old catarrh.
  • Homeopathy. Speak to your local homeopath about a suitable remedy for your “picture” to support you through a cold.
  • Avoid sugar. Glucose competes with Vitamin C on getting into your cells. Right now, your cells need Vitamin C, but sadly, a design flaw gives glucose the upper hand, so try to avoid eating sugar (especially the refined variety) as much as possible.
  • Some old-fashioned remedies: More onions!! Putting an onion or two on your bedside table can help absorb any infection. In years gone by, it was used to keep flu and other infections at bay. Some sources say unpeeled, most say to peel. Similarly, placing a slice of onion in your socks overnight can help relieve symptoms of colds naturally. I have yet to try either of these, but if you have a go, please report back! Talking of socks, there is also the wet sock treatment! Just before going to bed, bathe your feet in warm water, then wet a pair of thin socks with cold water, and wring until they are just damp. Put them on and cover with a nice thick pair of socks, and then get straight to bed. I cheat by placing my feet on my hot water bottle for a few minutes to take the edge off. Next morning, your feet will be toasty and your socks will be dry. This helps to draw congestion away from your upper body.

When it comes to colds, remember ………  “better out than in” (so resist the temptation to suppress), “go with the flow” (quite literally, when you have a nose like a tap) and administer LOTS of TLC.

Here’s to a cold-free and flu-free winter 🙂

This article is not meant to treat any disease. For any serious medical concerns, always consult with your doctor.

For other articles on managing colds see Why you get a pesky cold but your friend doesn’t  and How to prevent a cold and what to do about it when you do get one

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