Well folks, the hubby is sick…and it’s going to suck for a little while. I can say that we are truly a fortunate family in the fact that we tend to rarely get sick (knock on wood). However, when we do, it’s a totally different ball game than most. The chiropractic lifestyle kicks in full force and I have to step in with with my magical chiro-wife powers- with completely drug-free, all natural, immune building treatments. Despite how much I would love to just run to the drug store and pick up some beautiful over the counter cough and cold medicines and knock out the cold in 48 hours, the hubby is and has always been vehemently against it.
This is true for both the adults and the children. I’ll never forget how insane it was when we we first had our children, placed them in daycare (aka germ fest) and watched them get sick repeatedly. All the while, learning how to treat them without the use of a single drug! Treating a cold in our household inevitably takes a lot longer and much more effort, but in all fairness, it is most effective in helping my family build the necessary antibodies needed to keep illnesses away for the rest of the season.
It’s definitely not for everyone, but it is possible. Here are some tips I can offer for totally drug-free ways to fight a cold or flu.
Communicate with your doctor
I have to say that first and foremost, you should not leave your doctor out of the equation. While it may not be necessary to schedule a doctor’s visit, it’s important that you consult your doctor to determine if there are any important warning signs to look out for. While it may seem like just a cough or cold, your doctor may warn you to look out for an x-degree fever, or a certain color mucous, or any other symptoms that could indicate something more serious.
Load up on the antioxidants
Foods rich in antioxidants are crucial in helping your body fight and prevent disease. These can be found in high amounts in the following:
- berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
- nuts (pecans, walnuts)
- green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, collards)
- green tea
- beans (red and black dried & pinto)
Fluid intake is very important in fighting a cold or flu for 2 reasons. 1.Cold symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, fever, and nausea) tend to deplete your body of necessary fluids; and 2. Your body and immune system is working in overdrive to fight off sickness and using your body’s stored resources.
Of course, getting a sick person to drink is not an easy task, which is why certain fluids offer multiple healing qualities, such as:
- Tea is always a soothing remedy, but to add to the healing process, try green tea with lemon. This helps add both antioxidants and vitamin c from the lemon. Ginger tea can help soothe a sore throat and help with nausea. Add honey for extra soothing for a sore throat and cough.
- Orange juice is high in vitamin c, as well as fruit smoothies which can contain high antioxidant berries.
- A low sodium chicken soup helps provide some much needed nutrients, but scientifically, it reduces inflammation in the body and encourages healing.
Saline/salt water treatments
Salt water treatments have an amazing effect on both a sore throat and nasal decongestant. For a sore throat, simply add a teaspoon or 2 of salt to some warm water and gargle. As a nasal decongestant, you’ll need to use a Neti-pot and add the salt to previously boiled (and cooled) water.
Dry heat can both exacerbate inflammation and contribute to the spread of germs throughout the house, so adding some humidity is actually a great thing. Of course, going to a public steam room is a bad idea when you are sick. However, there are several easy ways to utilize the steam in the comfort of your home. A humidifier is the best and easiest option, but filling up the bathroom with shower steam is also an option. Another quick hack is to fill up the bathroom sink halfway with hot water, place your head above the steam and cover with a towel for about 5 minutes breathing in the steam. *hint- this also makes for a great facial!!!
A warm bath with epsom salt and baking soda can help alleviate fever symptoms in both adults and kids. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil for additional soothing.
There are several other herbal supplements you could try such as the ever popular Echinacea and others I’ve heard of, but as always, do your research on these before taking to avoid any side effects.
The most important thing to remember is that a cold or flu has to run its course. A healthy human body is designed to fight off such ailments, but you have to do your part in keeping the body healthy and equipped with the nutrients it needs to do so.
I’ll be in drug-free home remedy mode for probably the next 4-5 days, so feel free to share any other tips you and your family use!