If, in spite of all your good intentions and preparations to prevent a cold or flu in the first place, you find that you actually succumb, then you really need to take some time off to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
It is not as easy as it sounds
When your body is fighting a cold or flu, it is really working overtime so you need to give it some help to get it back to normal.
Here is what to do
With a good dollop of common sense and a handful of these helpful hints, it won't be long before your cold or flu is on the mend and you will feel proud of yourself for recovering the natural way without the need for over-the-counter solutions which would possibly add toxins to your system.
- Keep up with all the suggestions in my earlier blog on how to prevent a cold as these are also relevant (except the sauna and the body massage).
- Drink even more water than usual – that is 8 glasses per day PLUS. Some of this fluid intake can be 100% fruit juice. You need extra water because a stuffy nose produces extra mucus so you need to keep hydrated because that extra mucus is actually formed from the water in your system. The extra water will help to detox your system too.
- Have lots of rest and that means real rest - in bed as much as possible when you actually sleep!
- Wash your hands more than ever especially after sneezing or blowing your nose – this is really to protect those around you. And when you sneeze, cover your mouth either with a throw away tissue or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hand if there is not time to grab the clean tissue. This will stop the spread of germs from you.
- Wear socks (preferably wool) in bed until you are completely better. Your feet let out a lot of heat but your body needs that heat to help cure the cold. A hot bath before bed is also beneficial, then extra blankets and you will be extra warm and cozy for the whole night. Apparently, the heat during the night on your feet jump-starts your immune system. Its all part of the old adage of sweating out a cold.
- If your nose is not too clogged up, a saline solution works well when made with very warm water and salt. You use the spout of a Neti pot to pour the solution into your each nostril in turn to break up the mucus, allowing you to breathe better.
- Very clogged up, then take some thyme and spread with some butter on a cracker or two. Thyme is an astringent and will dry up your sinuses. Taken with Fenugeek, it will dry up a runny nose in double quick time.
- Some other herbal remedies are: add a level teaspoon of turmeric to a mug of milk and heat in the microwave until nice and warm. Meanwhile roast a teaspoon of carom seeds (also called ajwain and available from Indian shops) over the hob in a ladle until they go dark and start to pop. Put these into the hot milk with a knob of butter (it should make a shh noise when the seeds go in). Sip slowly, letting it sit in your throat and you will feel so much better. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic.
- Or use a dropper full of tincture of Milk Thistle into some hot rooibos tea or lemony ginger water to fortify the immune system . Bring the water to a boil and add the tincture immediately afterwards, leaving you with the healthy effects of the herbs. Lemony ginger water is made by boiling water, grating a lot of ginger into the pot with grated lemon peel and finally add the squeezed lemon juice itself.
- A sore throat can be helped by gargling regularly with salt water. Make it quite strong too. You should also brush your teeth and tongue several times per day. Both of these actions will get rid of germs.
- Don't force yourself to eat – bananas are easy to digest and so is chicken soup. It will also soothe a sore throat. Don't forget about fruit such as cherries, oranges or grapefruit to help you add vitamin C to the system. Anything that you fancy and tastes delicious and natural will be good for you.