Do this now, to start feeling better fast, if you’ve got a cold or flu.
Why? Because fighting a cold/flu means you need your immune system to work, to fight the fight between your body and the virus that’s invading. Nothing kills viruses better than your own immune system. To work though, your immune system needs you to be in an overall more restful state. Did you know that stress, literally shuts down your immune system? So please, stay home and stay in bed. Consider it a day to watch TV or read in bed.
2. Drink lot of fluids
I know, you’re grandma told you this one. But, it’s true! Think of it this way - where is your immune system in your body? Actually ask yourself….
It’s in the liquid of your body! How else would your white blood cells get around to your throat or your toe, when they need to?
Drinking extra fluids when you are sick, gives your immune system a chance to work better. What’s the best fluids to drink? Good ol’ water, caffeine-free herbal teas like peppermint tea, coconut water, clear broths or soups made with clear broth.
Lay in bed with your warm fluids and just rest!
3. Take some vitamin D and C
These vitamins are immune boosters! It’s best to take vitamin D daily to prevent getting sick, so start a regular dose in September and continue until March. We need more vitamin D when the sun is not as high in the sky during the colder months. You absorb vitamin D best when your shadow is shorter than the length of your body, so start noticing your shadow, it will tell you when it’s time to take vitamin D.
Take vitamin C when you feel run down or at the start of a cold or flu. Vitamin C can decrease the number of days you are sick. A healthy adult could take 3000-4000mg a day during a cold or flu. Just watch out for diarrhea, it means you took too much vitamin C.
4. Stop eating sugar and dairy
These foods will lengthen the time you are sick. Eating sugar, in fact, depresses your immune function for 4-5 hours after you eat it! It’s like giving your immune system a curve ball, which throws it off track. When you have a cold or flu, you need to support your immune system, so it can do the work of fighting the virus causing your illness. So drop the chocolate, chips and cookies and toss ‘em.
Dairy increases mucous and phlegm in your body, which is sticky stuff. Dairy will make congestion worse and harder to cough out. Again, this makes it harder for your immune system to get around and can contribute to more inflammation, lengthening the time you are down and out with a cold or flu.
5. Use my favourite infection remedy, Dr. Reckeweg R1
My patients know I love this general infection remedy. Why? Because it treats pretty much any cold, flu, sore throat, fever or ear ache I’ve thrown at it.
This is a homeopathic remedy that is designed to reduce the symptoms of an infection, by stimulating your body to heal itself. It’s safe, because, like all homeopathic remedies, it doesn’t interact with any pharmaceutical medications or other supplements. So, it’s safe to use with tylenol or advil. In my opinion, it’s actually better to use than tylenol or advil, for regulating a fever.
Hope you feel better soon!
Dr. Yasmin Snippe ND
Dr. Yasmin is both a Naturopathic Doctor and a Registered Nurse, which gives her a unique and common sense approach to medicine.