How to naturally fight off a cold
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You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when your kid comes home sneezing? That dreadful,’ oh-no, the germs are invading, what can I do to stop it’, feeling?
You don’t have to quarantine yourself and just hope for the best (because that’s not an option if you’re a mom!). There are things you can do to keep yourself from catching that cold (or flu) even when everyone else in your house is coughing all over you. And you can do these same things for the sick people in your house as well to help them kick those germs to the curb faster than usual.
There are 2 things that I’ve found work wonders to keep me healthy even when everyone around me is not. I’ve found that if I boost my immune system and keep my nasal passages clear I rarely catch a cold. Here’s how I do it:
Boost your Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s defense against invaders, like viruses, infections and diseases. In order for it to work properly, you have to keep it strong and healthy! I work to keep my families immune systems strong year round, but I also do a number of things to give them an extra boost when we’re fighting off an illness.
- Vitamin C that is derived from whole food and not synthetic is more easily absorbed by the body. I love this vitamin C spray from Garden of Life for our entire family. I take 1000 mg every day when I’m fighting an illness.
- Vitamin D is crucial for a healthy immune system. It’s best to take it every day so that you’re immune system is strong before you are exposed to illness, but it can help fight off illness if taken right away. Adults in our house take 8000 I.U. per day when sick or exposed to sickness, and kids under 7 take 1600 I.U.
- Elderberry syrup or tincture is a concentrated infusion of herbs with lots of immune boosting properties. Research shows that it even stops the viral replication of the flu. We take it 3 times a day when fighting an illness. I make my own and include several other immune boosting ingredients, like cinnamon, clove and ginger.
- Eat healthy and drink lots of water! Avoid sugar, alcohol and processed foods, and load up on fresh veggies, healthy fats and broth! We drink tons of water in our house every day, but make it a point to drink even more when we’re fighting an illness. We also do lots of herbal teas; I especially love peppermint and rosehips when sick, and this immune boosting tea by Organic India is a new favorite.
Keep your Nasal Passages Clean
We all know how quickly the congestion can set in when you come down with a cold, and how miserable it can make you feel.
I have found that if I get ahead of it and start rinsing my sinuses before I am congested it makes all the difference! I recently started doing a nasal rinse at least weekly during the fall and winter months as a preventative.
I use 2 different methods to rinse my nasal passages: a nasal irrigation system and a Netti Pot. I seriously love my Netti Pot. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I get out my trusty Netti Pot whenever the sickies invade our house, and it works! If you’ve never used one before, it can take some practice to use it correctly. It uses gravity and a natural saline solution to clear out your nasal passages. I recommend watching a couple of videos on YouTube to see it in action.
I also use a nasal irrigator or nasal rinse for occasions when I’m already congested and I find it works even better than the netti pot. It forces water up one nostril and out the other, and it really works to clear everything out of your nasal passages! When I am fighting off a cold I do either the Netti Pot or nasal irrigation twice a day.
My other weapon to keep my sinuses clear is colloidal silver nasal spray. Silver has been used for hundreds of years to fight infections due to its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. I use Colloidal Silver nose spray 3 times per day to keep my nose clear and healthy when I’m exposed to illness.
And last but not least, make sure wash your hands often and getting plenty of rest (said the tired mom who hasn’t slept a full night in 6+ years ;).
What are your favorite remedies for fighting off a cold?