We published a post about 10 Foods to fight colds and the flu. After all, it is the season.
Naturally, we acknowledged that nobody likes to catch a cold or come down with the flu. Ugh! It’s so uncomfortable. Not to mention inconvenient!
This is the point at which my inner naturopath needs to speak…
IT’S NOT A BAD THING TO CATCH A COLD, or even the flu.
A common cold, lasting 3-4 days, approximately three times a year*, can actually be beneficial. This is one of the ways the body clears out unwanted pathogens, and it’s a good sign- your body’s defence systems are at work!
When you get sick, your inner pharmacy dispenses your very own natural healing mechanisms;
- You sneeze to clear your airways of harmful irritants and allergy-causing substances
- You produce extra mucus to help carry dead bacteria and viruses out of your body
- You cough, which helps shift the infection out of the lungs
- A fever may break out (associated with the flu) which is your body’s way of using heat to kill the residing infection.
- You feel lethargic – your body is begging you to please take rest.
These are very specific process that you go through naturally. And here’s what else you can do to help yourself at this time;
- Rest is key. Rest allows the body to direct all efforts on this purging process.
- Drink plenty of fluids – this helps with mucus production, as well as eases discomfort associated with dehydration (such as headache). Mix it up with warm water, hot Tulsi tea (reach for the Tulsi Ginger range), lemon juice in warm water, or 1 dessert spoon apple cider vinegar & half a spoon of raw honey in warm water.
- Avoid heavy exercise. Now is not the time to go to the gym for a really intense workout! Your body has other important tasks at hand.
- Try essential oils –in a vaporiser, oil burner or bath. Essential oil of Tulsi contains eugenol, a highly beneficial immune-boosting compound, particularly for the respiratory system.
- A deep, warm bath will ease the discomfort – throw in some Epsom salts and a don’t forget a few drops of Tulsi oil.
- Avoid foods that sabotage your immunity e.g. sugar, caffeine, alcohol and any allergy-triggering foods.
- Eat lightly until the cold has eased – fresh fruits, lightly steamed vegetables, vegetable broths, miso soup & tom yum soup provide nourishment without demanding a lot of energy to digest.
So, next time your body is busily cleansing and clearing, go with it! And remember, you are likely to feel a whole lot better, very, very soon.
Sarada (Sally Martin) is a naturopath, herbalist, yoga teacher, mum, nature-lover and free spirit who lives by the forest and the beach, near Byron Bay.
Sarada works as Team Leader for ORGANIC INDIA AUS & NZ and is passionate about healthy, conscious living.
*If you are catching colds frequently, or your colds are lasting longer than 3-4 days, it is possible that your immune system needs more support & I recommend seeing a naturopath.