Saturday, February 7, 2009

Help with The cold

Well it is that time again. I am having a severe cold. Not really something you want to haven when you have two young children and run a business from home.So I found this article, which had some good stuff.

During the winter months, many of us spend more time inside with the heat on. Indoor heating and low humidity create the perfect environment for cold and flu viruses to multiply. How can you protect yourself from catching those viruses and stay healthy during this time of year?

Holistic Medicine: Why We Must Exercise the Immune System

It may seem strange for a naturopathic doctor to say, but getting sick isn’t always a bad thing. Our immune system benefits from the occasional cold or flu, as it challenges and reminds our white blood cells and other immune fighters to do their job. Think of a mild cold as a fire drill for your immune system, that way if a real fire comes along, the body is ready. That being said, if you find you are susceptible to every little bug and are constantly sniffling and coughing through the winter months, a little prevention can go a long way.

Naturopathic Remedies to Avoid the Winter Blues!

Minimize Exposure

One of the best ways to prevent getting a cold or flu isn’t a holistic therapy, just good, old fashioned hand washing. This doesn’t mean running your hands under water for a few seconds. Use warm water, plenty of soap, and really rub your hands together vigorously for up to a minute to eliminate most germs. Also, avoid touching your face throughout the day; viruses often enter our body through our eyes, nose, and mouth.

Strengthen your Immune System

If you feel like you’re coming down with something, there are steps you can take to minimize the duration and severity of the illness.

1. Get enough sleep and minimize stress as much as possible. Your body cannot heal without adequate rest. Exercise, yoga, and meditation can all reduce the effects that stress has on the body.

2. Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of vegetables, good fats (see previous articles for details), whole grains, and lean protein. Some special immune boosting foods include garlic, onions, and brightly colored vegetables.

3. Stay away from SUGAR—one teaspoon of sugar has been shown to depress the immune system for up to four hours. So when you’re feeling run down, avoid as much processed sugar as you can—including sodas, white bread, refined pasta, and even fruit juice. One common mistake people make is to drink lots of orange juice when feeling sick. The high amount of sugar in the OJ, however, counteracts the benefits from the Vitamin C. There are much better ways to get Vitamin C without all the sugar (see below for details).

Holistic Healing and the Power of Supplements

If, despite your best efforts, you still get sick more than ever, listen to your body. Rest, sleep, and take care of yourself. Take a sick day—for you and for the sake of your co-workers. Supplements that can help include:

Vitamin C: When your body is sick, you can often take more Vitamin C that you usually would. We do recommend you get Vitamin C from a supplement when you are sick instead of from overdosing on orange juice!

Zinc: This mineral can help jumpstart the healing powers of your immune system.

Herbal Medicine: Echinacea is the most famous, but there are many herbs that have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Homeopathy Remedies: A well-chosen homeopathic remedy is often the difference between sufferings for weeks versus moving quickly through a cold



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