It starts with a cough. Soon the aches and fever set in. Next congestion fills your sinuses and you can’t imagine trying to drag your body out of bed. That’s right: it’s cold and flu season! It’s time to start thinking about boosting the immune system and fighting germs. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, taking vitamins and washing your hands is a great place to start.
Before heading to the pharmacy to stock up the moment sneezes set in, consider these ideas for increasing your germ defense naturally:
Let Your Body Do Its Job
While there are many times that medicine is the best weapon against an ailment, we often overlook our most natural defense: our body! It was made to survive and thrive. Sure, when we get a cold or the flu we get run down. But, sometimes, those symptoms are the body’s way of fighting off germs. Fevers make our body’s germ-fighting capabilities work better, so don’t panic when the thermometer rises. But know when it’s beyond your body and time to call the doctor.
Before you grab for those decongestants, try a nasal saline solution. Saline is a natural way to combat inflamed nasal passages. Get a saline nasal spray or try a Neti pot to open up those airways!
Hydration is a top priority for most illnesses. If your ailment is gastrointestinal, dehydration is always a big concern. Congestion is also made worse when the body is starved for moisture. Consuming liquids helps thin mucus and relieves congestion and pressure. Hot herbal tea is a great bet. Choose ginger or peppermint for stomach troubles, and chamomile or echinacea for congestion.
Even with a decreased appetite, it’s important to feed your body to maintain strength. Opt for power foods known for their anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting attributes: honey, garlic, onion, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint and elderberry. Whip up a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup to combat inflammation, sip on ginger ale to calm an upset stomach or scratchy throat, and drizzle honey in your hot tea to load up on antioxidants! A great food often overlooked is bone broth, which is a well-known health-booster. Here’s a great tutorial on making your own bone broth if you need one!
DIY Hot Packs
When sinus pain and pressure are bringing you down, alleviate your symptoms with a DIY hot pack. Look through your laundry pile for socks without a partner (we all save them!), and fill the sock with 1 cup of uncooked rice. Tie a knot at the top to seal it. Microwave on low for 15-20 seconds, or until the “heating pad” is warm but not too hot. An optional addition: add 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil to the rice for a calming scent.
Steam is a great relief when you are sick, from alleviating sinus pressure and congestion to relaxing aches. Draw a hot bath to create your own steam room. Max & Madeleine Bath Bombs are a great way to give your body what it needs. REJUVENATE
with our Eucalyptus Bath Bomb and RELAX
with our Lavender Bath Bomb. Complete the perfect soul-healing bath by adding our Lavender Soap for an extra calming effect.
Being sick can be stressful. We feel awful, but can’t help thinking of work and responsibilities, which makes us tense up. Embrace the fact that you are sick, and allow yourself to relax. Let your body work. Enhance your relaxation with our Breathe Balms, which are created with organic essential oils of eucalyptus and tea tree which work together to provide relief from cold and flu symptoms. Breathe Balms are 100% natural and help you breathe easier and soothe coughs. Above all, when you are sick it is important to rest! Be sure to strengthen your body and immune system by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and choosing natural products.