· Rest! We tend to push through illnesses thinking we can continue to work at a usual pace. Not so! Our bodies are taxed when fighting an illness and one of the best ways to support this is to take the time to support the healing process. And please stay home. If you have symptoms, you are contagious and can spread that lovely virus to others.
· Apply some heat. By jumping in a hot shower or tub, bundling up with lots of quilts, or even using a sauna, you increase your body temperature and induce a low fever to fight the virus. If you are running a low grade fever, let it do it’s job and do not use any fever reducers. The purpose of fever is to kill the virus.
· Drink fluids – lots of fluids. This is especially important if you are running a fever or under the quilts. Warm fluids support the efforts to increase the body temperature, so grab a cup of tea with honey (raw honey is a plus for healing) and lemon. My father in law swears by a hot toddy but I can’t
· Ramp up the vitamin A and zinc. These nutrients are proven to assist the immune system and help fight off viruses. Good food sources include egg yolks (yes, it is good for you to eat the yolks!), real butter and leafy green vegetables. Now vitamin A is also found in cod liver oil – which I know brings back some horrible memories for some people – but you can now find it in a flavored oil or capsules. Zinc is also found in lozenge form that works very well.
· Vitamin C supplements really help. There are some combination products available EmergenC and Air Borne that contain zinc, among other things. These are okay to use 1-2 times a day. But to really get the dose that helps, adults should take some plain old vitamin C 500 mg every 1-2 hours. This can make a big difference in the severity and duration of your illness. Sorry, while I prefer food sources for most things, you can’t get this much vitamin C in foods.
· Enjoy a bowl of chicken soup. Yes, the stand-by that grandma always used was put through a scientific study and found that it did have benefit for treating colds. What a surprise! I think everyone could have told them that!! But to get the most benefit, it’s best if it is homemade, not Campbell's. My youngest called it ‘that soup’. When he didn't feel well he’d say, “Mom, can you make that soup?”
If you are having trouble kicking a head or chest cold or find yourself getting sick often, give me a call. There are ways to tune up your immune system and avoid the revolving door of illnesses that some people experience.