If you’ve caught the flu or feel a cold coming on, we have some natural ways to clear those sniffles, boost your immune system and help your body recover naturally.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that medication like paracetamol or antihistamines mask cold and flu symptoms and are not helpful to your immune system. They down regulate your body’s natural immune defence system to give you temporary symptom relief. Inevitably if your body cannot resolve the infection itself, you may get it again three weeks later and it is often harder again for your body to fight off.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on the road to recovery in no time!
- Listen to your body – our bodies are complex networks of cells and enzymes that are designed to repair and heal itself. If you feel you need to rest don’t try and push through, listen to your body and stop and rest. Your family and work will understand.
- Stay home – consider others and the spread of your illness.
- Keep your fluid intake up – you need to be drinking at least 2 litres of water per day. Hot herbal tea or brothy soups are also a good way to get your fluids in and can feel so comforting in these times of vulnerability. This soup is delicious and full of immune boosting properties.
- Food as medicine – green smoothies and soups are a great way to get a nice big dose of nutrients and fluids all in one, especially if you don’t have a big appetite.
- Antioxidant rich foods – the body is under constant attack from oxidative stress and ongoing oxidative stress will weaken the immune system causing a myriad of health problems. To prevent this load of up on antioxidants and the best source – fruits and vegetables! Eat a diverse range of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables to maximise your intake and to benefit from additional nutrients and polyphenols.
- Anti-inflammatory foods and spices – inflammation is the body’s natural defence mechanism to heal injury or illness. Rather than stopping inflammation eating powerful foods can the inflammatory process and downregulate the associated symptoms. Our favourites; turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, shiitake mushrooms.
- Bone broth – bone broth is chock full of goodness. Amino acids proline and glycine are powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients, whilst the collagen and glutamine help heal and nourish the digestive tract. The digestive tract regulates immune homeostasis and is home to 70% of the body’s immune cells, so you can see why looking after your gut is key to a healthy immune system. Here is our go to bone broth recipe that we use year round!
- Take natural medicines – targeted nutritional supplements and herbal medicines to support and nourish your immune system.
Some of my favourite natural supplements include:
- Echinacea tablets or liquid – Think of echinacea as the body’s personal trainer. It works to boost your immune response and improve the activity of the white blood cells. Echinacea is also very effective at preventing secondary bacterial sinus and chest infections, with none of the side effects associated with antibiotics. If you choose to take echinacea in liquid form there is one key sign to ensure it is high therapeutic quality, it must make your tongue tingle and feel like it grabs the back of your throat. If it does this, you know it contains the active constituents to support your immune response.
- Vitamin C with Zinc Powder – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and when taken to bowel tolerance level at the first sign of the flu, it can often nip symptoms in the bud! Zinc is crucial to cell integrity and biological immune responses and when taken in conjunction with Vitamin C has a powerful immune boosting effect. Powder is always a better option than tablets as it is more bioavailable and gets into your system faster. We have a range of powdered supplements targeted at immune support that contain these key nutrients!
- Andro NK – Our go-to hero supplement at the first sign of the sniffles! This supplement contains Andrographis, a potent anti-inflammatory herb that stimulates the immune system. This supplement also contains super immune nutrient Zinc along with Elderberry, an immunostimulant herb. Andro NK is also particularly good for chronic viruses such as glandular fever or if you are suffering from re-current viral infections.
- Breathe Easier essential oil blend – You can often smell this essential oil blend when you step foot in our clinic doors because we love it here and tend to diffuse it all year round. As the name suggests this blend of oils is formulated as a decongestant. The eucalyptus myrtle and mint oils have been used traditionally in aromatherapy to help relieve symptoms of mucous congestion and symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
- A Herb Bar individualised herbal formula – whether it’s a “Chest and Cough” blend you are after or perhaps a “Sinus and Sore Throat” mix, the Herb Bar can tailor make a formula to suit your individual health concerns. The beauty behind these formulations is that our experienced naturopaths can target your specific symptoms with a powerful herbal mix whilst also utilising our full dispensary of therapeutic supplements, getting you feeling your best again, quick smart! Simply call the clinic on 02 4961 4075 to speak with our qualified Herb Bar naturopaths.
Remember that none of these supplements will mask your symptoms. They will however, work to boost your immune response. They will help you to produce and clear mucous rather than dry it up and prevent secondary bacterial infections of your sinuses and chest.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be ready to take on the world again in no time but remember you know your body best and if you notice that you have cold or flu symptoms that you just can’t kick, perhaps there is something underlying causing your immune system to become weakened. To delve further into your health concerns with one of our Naturopaths, call the clinic on 02 4961 4075 to book an appointment.
If you have any more questions, you can call us to book a FREE 15 minute chat with one of our Naturopaths to see how we can help you. Call now on (02) 4961 4075.
Yours in health,
Do you want to avoid catching any pesky colds and flus this winter season?
Click here to download our free guide on preparing your immune system and warding off colds and flus naturally.