But first, why not just take Tamiflu, Nyquil, Sudafed or other over the counter common medications? Your health is an accumulation of and response to everything you put in and on your body. This includes everything from the air you breathe, products you put on your skin (makeup, lotion, soap, toothpaste, deodorant), people's energy around you, foods and drinks you consume, and even medications you take.
A Cochrane review of Tamiflu published by the British Medical Journal in 2014 found "no compelling evidence to support claims that Tamiflu reduces the risk of complications of influenza, such as pneumonia and hospital admission." So besides it not really even working you also run the risk of these side-effects...
Tamiflu Side Effects: headache, nosebleeds, digestive upset: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and psychiatric symptoms (hallucinations, abnormal behavior, self harm).
Pseudoephedrine Side Effects (active ingredient in Sudafed, Zyrtec-D, Claritin-D, Advil Cold & Sinus): chronic trouble sleeping, stimulant effects, headache, nausea, dizziness, feeling weak, used to make meth
NyQuil Side Effects: increase in the thickness of lung secretions, drowsiness, abnormal liver function, decreased white blood cells and blood platelets, hives, high blood pressure, addiction to NyQuil
Unlike most over the counter drugs and prescriptions, natural approaches can be incredibly effective, safe, affordable, and without side-effects. To me these nasty side effects outweigh their potential ease of symptoms. My goal is to heal and support the body while strengthening the immune system so that you don't get sick again down the road. Here are my tried and true tonics, herbs, foods, essential oils, and techniques to ease congestion, cough, sore throat, fever, and body aches. These natural remedies will also fortify your immune system so that you are more resistant to getting sick again down the road. Win. Win!
- Fire Cider: 1-2 Tbsp. 3-4 times daily. Sip it with water, lemon & raw honey.
- This wellness tonic contains immune boosting ingredients to help ward off potential illness and ease symptoms of the cold & flu. From easing a sore throat and congestion to general cold season irritations, Fire Cider will warm you back up to health.
- Ingredients: ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, cayenne, lemon, orange, turmeric, rosemary, honey in apple cider vinegar. Recipe Here.
- Elderberry Syrup: 1 Tbsp. 3 times daily (Herb Pharm or Gaia Herbs)
- Echinacea: 1 tsp. twice daily (Herb Pharm or Gaia Herbs) Better for prevention
- Vitamins: D3 2000-5000 units daily, Vit C 1000-2000 mg/day, Zinc 40 mg/day, probiotics
- Gypsy Cold Care Tea: sip hot with lemon & raw honey
- Neti Pot Saline Flush. How To Here.
- DoTerra Essential Oils to diffuse: You may also make a Vick's Vapor Rub type ointment by mixing 1-2 drops of these oils with coconut oil and spreading on your throat and chest.
- Cold: thyme, lemon, On Guard Blend, melaleuca (tea tree)
- Flu: Breathe Blend, melaleuca, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, On Guard Blend
- Congestion: eucalyptus, peppermint, Breathe Blend
- Cough: Breathe Blend, melaleuca, eucalyptus, frankincense, On Guard Blend
- Fever: peppermint, lemon, lime, eucalyptus, melaleuca
- Allergies: melaleuca, lavender, lemon, peppermint
- Organic Bone Broth
Foods To Eat & Cook With
Ginger, lemon, onions, garlic (preferably raw), turmeric, peppermint, cinnamon, thyme, oregano
These are good for making tea, broth, soup, cooking, and juicing.
Foods to Avoid When Sick
- Sugar – Decreases white blood cells that help fight off infection.
- Fruit Juices – Although orange juice contains some vitamin C, it is not as high in vitamin C as whole fruits or vegetables. If you want to drink a small amount of juice, dilute it with water.
- Alcohol – Is dehydrating and lowers immune function.
- Caffeine – Is dehydrating and can increase throat pain.
- Dairy & Whey – Can be mucus producing and can cause sore throat symptoms & congestion to progress.
- Eggs - Don't promote healing. Only good when you’re healthy.
- Vegetable Oils - canola, corn, sunflower, safflower (avoid always)
- Farmed Fish - (avoid always)
Last but not least, in order to recover for any illness you must rest. If I could only recommend one thing from this entire post it would be sleep. We live in a non-stop go go go culture. Just taking one day off to stay home from work is a stretch, I know. But it is the best and fastest track back to health. In one study, people who slept at least 8 hours a night were 3 times less likely to come down with a cold than those who got 7 hours or less. Sleep definitely gets less credit than it should for keeping your immune system healthy and also for recovering when you've been immune compromised. If you feel tired or worn down when you're sick, SLEEP. Sleep until you're better. You will be restoring the body and supporting the immune system from the inside so you don't get sick again in a month or two.
- Elder flowers
Herbal Sweat To Break a Fever
- 10 drops of any of the following: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Thyme.
- Toss a washrag into the shower so that water will hit it when you turn it on. Then turn the faucets on in your bathroom full throttle on hot. Close the door.
- When the room is full of herbal infused steam, head in and hang out in there until you are breaking a good sweat.
- To increase this, sip hot ginger tea with lemon. Make sure to keep super well hydrated! After the steam, head to bed and bundle into your blankets for some rest.