Who wants to be well and stay well after contracting a bug over Christmas? So many colds and flu’s floating about just now. My 15 year old son in quick succession has had two bad viruses. As soon as one cleared up another fell on his heels very quickly and just in time for Christmas.
He has had a fairly intense time with his first set of prelims. I suspect this has contributed to being run down. That and he does like his sugar, rubbish coffee from a certain well known bakers and not enough quality sleep.
It is fascination though, I was once guilty of this approach myself, of how many people recommend or treat cold and flu with paracetamol, ibuprofen and cold and flu remedies.
I follow a Facebook page where people ask for advice on all sorts of issues. Anyone can give their advice. One recent question was for what to take for a cough after a flu virus. Everyone was recommending alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen. It’s no fun being unwell and there may be a place for these drugs but all they do is curb your symptoms they do not improve your cold or make the symptoms go away!
Your body is making you fight the virus and that is why you feel the way you do. Adding these drugs into your system regularly will only put another strain on your body. I do question how much people are taking! Please do also seek advice from your doctor if you are unwell.
My son was desperate to get better as he was fed up with not feeling well and he had a Derby football match that he was not prepare to miss. So what did we do? As always I increase vitamin C and zinc, I introduce black elderberry and echinacea. I have mentioned them before in a previous blog.
I also got him to try Pukka Andrographis for a few days with food. Andrographis is a stimulant to the immune system which may boost it and also help fight infection. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of an infection. It may support influenza, sore throats and upper respiratory infections. It also is known as a liver cleanser, so if you are having to take pharmaceutical drugs it will support you in the short time that you need to do this. For more reading on Andrographis see this research paper. As with any supplement or herbal remedy seek advice first.
I infused my own herbal tea mixture: in a small pot of boiling water I added 1 tsp of chaga tea, 1 tsp. Indigo Herbs Breathe Easy Tea, 1 Pukka Three Tulsi tea bag and or 1 Rio Amazon Pau D’arco teabag. Heat at 2 then bring down to 1 on your cooker and let it steep for as long as possible with lid on. Basically he drank this for 2 days.
Food wise he had homemade chicken soup, lots of vegetables, pumpkinseeds for their zinc. He also ate freshly coloured seasonal fruit such as Sharon fruit and apples. He also had a homemade gently warmed orange juice drink, with oranges, lemon, ginger and a little honey.
He stayed warm, wore lots of layers and brought his duvet downstairs. Germs don’t like heat, hence your body produces a temperature at time when you have a virus, it’s the body’s way of killing the virus.
He avoided from refined sugar and dairy. There is not a lot of evidence around sugar and immunity. However a small study in 1973 by Loma Linda University proved that sugar impacted the immune cells of volunteers, reducing their ability to fight infection.
He loves sugar and has to have sweet tea but he knew to get better he had to forfeit his sugar habit. I would love this to last but it won’t – for now anyway. Dairy may make you produce more mucus.
He also went to bed earlier than usual.
Needless to say he went to watch his game which resulted in a nil-nil draw. His team scored but without goal line technology in Scottish football the goal was disallowed. I am not sure if it was worth it. However, this morning he feels a lot better and equates it to shouting at the match not my nursing and cold remedies. He did not take and medications and so is starting 2018 off in a better place. May be doing something he loved helped as well.
In summary my top tips for when you are not well:
- Rest if you can
- Stay warm unless you have a temperature
- Use herbal teas to optimise your immune system
- Eat fresh, wholesome foods
- Chicken or vegetable broths are handy especially if you have no appetite
- Stewed apples are my go to for everyone, supports gut health and the first line of defence starts with your microbiome
- Monitor Vitamin D levels as may impact immunity
- Avoid sugar
- If you have a cough or blocked nose, try avoiding dairy for a few days. Replace with almond, cashew, oat or coconut milk.
- Sleep – go to bed early
Have a healthy 2018 and look in your kitchen cupboard and fridge before reaching out for the over the counter pharmaceutical remedies.