Cold and flu season is here again and contrary to popular belief, it is not winter that makes you sick. It’s the increased amount of time spent breathing germ infested indoor air that does, along with eating too many carbs and sugar during the holidays. Cold viruses also thrive in winter months due to dry air. Although caused by different types of viruses, both can leave you feeling tired, coughing, feverish, achy and foggy-headed. While there is no ‘cure’ for either, you can encourage your body to take care of the cold as best it can without suppressing the immune system with over the counter drugs.
Remedies such as aspirin, and even prescription drugs, only suppress symptoms; they don’t cure the illness or make you well any faster. While antihistamines dry sinuses, they can also irritate your nose and throat and prolong the infection. As for antibiotics, including penicillin, they don’t target viruses at all and should only be prescribed if a bacterial infection follows the cold or flu. The more you allow the body to do its own work the stronger it will be!
Stay home and sleep! Don’t try and power through a cold, it really isn’t helpful. The only time your body can truly heal is at rest or during sleep. You are much more likely to recover faster if you just give yourself a little break to do so.
Watch your diet
To give your immune system a chance to do its work, eat lightly and avoid heavy meals when you are sick. Drink a lot of water and avoid sugar, dairy, and any food intolerances that you are aware of. Sugar will suppress the immune response and slow down the healing process. This includes the fruit sugar found in a glass of orange juice so be careful! The vitamin C you’re getting from that OJ isn’t enough to offset all that sugar. Avoid dairy for its amazing mucus producing abilities. When you’re all stuffed up you don’t need to add fuel to the fire! As for food intolerances, you should avoid these anyway but especially when you’re sick. You immune system needs to focus on getting you healthy again and not on fighting with food.
Here’s an easy soup recipe that is great for preventing and healing colds:
1 small onion diced (antiviral/antimicrobial activity)
Garlic, minced, to taste (antiviral/antimicrobial activity)
1 head of cilantro (antimicrobial activity & antioxidants)
1 head of parsley (promotes kidney function and elimination)
Fresh squeezed lime to flavor
Dice all ingredients and place into pot of boiling water. Drop heat and simmer until onion is translucent and greens are soft. Add lime and enjoy!
If you feel your cold isn’t resolving well or that you need further support please call us at The Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy 914.238.1700. Herbal medicine, homeopathy and nutritional supplementation can all be very helpful.