Whatever time of year it is, there’s always some kind of bug or virus going around, knocking various people for six, naturally when they least need it.
None of us have time to be ill and so when sickness does strike, rather than believe that maybe our immune system has been a little neglected leaving us open for dis-ease, we grasp around for that ‘magic’ pill or potion that will get us back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.
When questioned, most of us will admit that prior to illness, we may just have been staying up too late, eating the wrong foods, having a little more than usual stress and basically not taking good care of ourselves.
Naturopaths believe in the Claude Bernard and Antoine Bechamp’s theories that illnesses, rather than ‘caught’ are allowed to develop within our system due to our immune systems being compromised by stress, lack of nutrition or a general ‘imbalance’. One brave professor once drank a live cholera virus in front of his students, with no ill affects, to prove that we all have all the ‘nasty’ bacterias and viruses within us but if our immune system is in peak condition then it will kick in and defeat any vicious bugs trying to attack us.
This makes perfect sense to me and also explains why, when very poorly with Chronic Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, I was unable to catch any colds or viruses due to my immune system being in a constant state of overdrive. As I began to recover I also began to suffer with colds and all kinds of ailments, referred to as a ‘Healing crisis’, or ‘health gets worse before it gets better’.
Now I am in better control of my health and far more aware of how to maintain balance I have a protocol of actions and remedies I undertake when I feel the first signs of something nasty trying to put me back to bed.The biggest lesson for me has been that prevention truly is better than cure and so although these remedies may be used as ‘crisis management’, I now take many of them on a daily basis to help keep my immune system ‘fighting fit’! You may want to try some or all of these before or instead of visiting your Doctor’s surgery or taking pharmaceutical medications with their inevitable side effects, along with mounting proof that many of them suppress conditions causing more chronic illnesses in the future.
Boil your kettle and make up a lemon and pure raw honey drink and have a look at my list….
- Oil Pulling I was introduced to this by a friend Bella back in January 2013. You can read more about my experience and continued commitment to it here
- Raw onions. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating eating them! I heard several years ago about their anti-bacterial properties and that chopping an onion up and leaving it in a bowl by your bed would help attract and absorb any nasty bacteria. Another way of using onions is to make a poultice by gently steaming a chopped onion in a little water. Strain it and wrap in a piece of muslin. Place in a plastic bag then position on the chest until cold.
- Tea tree oil. With natural antibacterial properties, tea tree oil can be added to water in a spray bottle, by ‘spritzing’ rooms of the house it will disinfect door handles and work surfaces. Manuka is the blossom of the tea tree plant and you can of course buy honey made from bees extracting pollen from Manuka flowers, this transfers the anti bacterial properties to the honey.
- Colloidal silver. I have a spray of this which is 10 ppm ( parts per million) from Argentum plus available at most healthful stores and I also have a very precious bottle with 5000ppm. Only one drop in water of this is required if a serious antibacterial is needed. Silver is a well known to have antibacterial properties and it’s toxicity to human cells is considerably lower than to bacteria. It’s often used to disinfect water and for burns.
- Elderberry syrup, I make my own each autumn and it usually lasts through to spring. Dilute with warm water for a soothing drink. I sell a small quantity of it on our weekly market stall in Castle Cary each autumn.
- Vitamin C, available in citrus fruits and also in locally ripened fruits ( blackberries, blackcurrants) when a cold hits it’s best to take a supplement. Ascorbic acid is the best absorbed for most people and available as powder or capsules.
- Minerals / zinc. As you know by now we all take our daily sizzling minerals and so colds and bugs are far rarer in our family and when they do hit, they pass quickly. We take a double dose if feeling a bit run down.
- Steam inhalations. Great for clearing congested noses and chests. Boiling water in a bowl, place your head over it and a towel over your head to keep the steam in. Breathe deeply. You can always add a drop or two of essential oil, eucalyptus , tea tree, or lavender.
- Garlic. This is a wonderfully potent treatment taught to me by Janet Kippax back in 1989. I have used it many a time on myself and on my sons when they were small. It must have helped as they have even requested it when all else has failed in recent years! Chop up some raw garlic. Rub some olive or sunflower oil on your feet, then place the garlic into a plastic bag large enough to place your feet in. It’s important to cover the skin entirely with oil or the garlic will burn and you’ll awake with blisters on your feet! To keep the bags in place, put some large old socks over the bags and if you really want to be sure not to have garlic bits loose in your bed, tie a ribbon or elastic band around the tops of the bags- not too tight though! Great to do this over night.
- Epsom Salt bath. These baths have become a daily ritual for me now with the minerals and oil pulling. Soak for at least 20 minutes ( I aim for an hour) with a generous handful of salts in a steaming bath. The salts help ease ages and pains, give you a generous dose of Magnesium sulphate ( easy to absorb through the skin) and help you to detox. I buy mine in 25kg sacks from eBay.
The most important remedy, that doesn’t even make it to my top 10- is of course REST!
We all fail to rest enough, and properly, with rest often becoming ‘change’ in practice with housework or play instead of paid work. There are so many levels of rest, but ultimately the best one is in complete silence and darkness in or on a bed!
I am sure that we can all add to this list and by no means is this meant to be comprehensive, merely a starting place when feeling frustrated when a cold or worse is starting to get the better of you!