I don’t know about you, but if I wake up with any of the following:
- scratchy throat
- flu-like symptoms
I want to know that I am prepared with all the right ingredients in my cabinet.
Suffering from a cold or flu is uncomfortable and inconvenient. If you’ve got young ones at home, you’ve probably already learned that avoiding a cold or a flu from time to time is nearly impossible!
So I thought I’d share a few of my recommended essentials with you.
We know that washing your hands is the #1 protective measure you can take to avoid germs.
The second best protective measure is a nasal saline wash.
Xlear nasal spray. One of the MOST preventive things you can do is to irrigate your nasal passages with Xlear nasal spray at the end of every day, and after any potential exposure (work, school, playgroups, plane travel, etc.). This is a saline nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. You cannot overdo it, and will not get “addicted” to it. Other options for nasal irrigation are a regular saline spray, or a Neti pot.
Apart from regular hand washing, I believe that daily and frequent nasal irrigation is one of the MOST important things that we can do to prevent influenza and other infections from taking hold.
This is because after exposure to a virus, the virus tries to invade and multiply in your nasal passages for at least 1–2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to take hold, and thereby prevent many infections from happening in the first place!
I always carry a spray with me when traveling by air. So do yourself a favor, and spray your nose with a saline spray before heading out of doors every day during this season.
Stay well-hydrated. Stick to water, coconut water, herbal teas, and bone broth.
Bone broth has been used throughout the ages to nurse someone back to health when in the throes of cold or flu. This is in part, due to how rich in minerals bone broth can be. Chicken bone broth especially adds the much needed nourishment to your body when you’ve come down with something because it contains an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine can help thin out the mucous in your lungs making it easier for you to expel from your body. Other amino acids and fats help lower inflammation levels, while the broth itself is simple for the gut to digest. Eating simply in times of illness gives your body an edge to focus on regeneration and healing rather than directing that energy towards digestion.
An apple-a-day keeps the doctor away! Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. They are full of antioxidants which will destroy the free radicals that weaken our immune system and are responsible for making us feel sick when we catch a bug. Each color provides different antioxidant power—so be sure to eat a rainbow every day!
Vitamin C. Take a whole food Vitamin C in powder or capsule form. Nature’s Way Alive or Garden of Life up to 6,000iu spread throughout the day is my normal go-to.
Manuka Honey. Manuka honey is a raw honey produced in New Zealand that is much richer in enzymes than most other raw honeys and carries an impressive antimicrobial profile. It tastes medicinal in nature and it’s also quite expensive so this isn’t a honey you want to use frivolously; instead, keep it on hand as a medicinal food. Manuka honey is a potent source of vitamins and minerals, which can help your body build resistance to the common cold and flu. Try adding 1 tablespoon into elderberry tea when you’re feeling sick to boost your recovery and ease your system.
Elderberry Syrup. These little medicinal berries are traditionally concocted into a syrup and consumed during times of cold and flu. Rich in Vitamin C, elderberry helps to boost the immune system and lowers inflammation, too! In Panama in 1995, they used Elderberry to treat a flu epidemic and it’s been used throughout the ages for this very purpose. You can use the dried berries to make a tea, or more commonly cook them with honey to make an elderberry syrup that can also aid a sore throat.
Ginger. While the medicinal benefits of ginger are no longer active in store-bought ginger ale, you’re wise to incorporate fresh ginger root into your healing regimen when you’ve got a cold or flu. Full of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties, ginger really works. You can slice it and boil it in hot water, and use ginger powder or fresh grated ginger in your recipes. For a cold remedy, mix a few drops of Doterra Ginger essential oil in warm water with lemon and Manuka honey for an antifungal, bacteria-killing recovery tea.
Garlic. A compound called allicin is largely responsible for the antibacterial effects found in garlic. Numerous studies have been conducted on garlic and its impacts on the cold and flu. In one study with a focus on aged garlic extract, colds were shown to reduce in length up to 61%.
Add crushed garlic to your bone broth soup and supplement with aged garlic extract when you’re feeling low to recover more quickly and kill off bad bacteria in your body. Be sure to supplement with probiotics during this time as well to create harmony in your gut.
Probiotics. My favorite is Biotics BioDoph 7, a broad-spectrum probiotic to repopulate the gut. The probiotic strains found in BioDoph7 are part of the normal bacteria of the mouth and throat. When taken as a supplement, it helps to fight strep bacteria and restore normal microbial balance. It shows antiviral activity by increasing interferon production, a key antiviral protein that stimulates the immune system.
Medicinal Mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps, maitake, coriolus, agaricus, umbellatus, and others promote immune cell activity and support immunity against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders. They also promote recovery by helping to strengthen areas of the body that are weak due to stress, injury, or illness.
My absolute MUST-have is Biotics Bio Immunozyme Forte, which contains cordyceps. Cordyceps is proven helpful for combatting a flu and may also help support the lungs when under stress.
Essential Oil. The DoTerra essential oil OnGuard has been shown to be antiviral and antibacterial. I spray a diluted solution on all public spaces in my house. Topically, I place a couple drops on the bottom of my feet. And very carefully, I will put 2 drops in 4 ounces of water to swish, gargle, and swallow a couple times a day.
- DoTerra Purify – for cleansing the home of germs
- DoTerra DigestZen – for upset tummy
- DoTerra Ginger – for nausea
- DoTerra Breathe – for respiratory support
Get adequate sleep. An increase in sleep actually increases the number of your white blood cells. On the other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night, increases inflammation in your body which makes you more susceptible to catching the flu and having more severe symptoms. So make sure your whole family is getting enough zzzz’s! Try DoTerra Serenity for a good night’s sleep…..
You can place an order for Doterera essential oils at www.mydoterra.com/redeemingwellness
If you’d like to add any Biotics products to your cabinet, let me know, I will order and drop ship to your home. Send me an email with your request at email@example.com
As always, I am available for a complimentary Nutritional Consultation.