Although preventative medicine is key to good health, sometimes we overtly neglect our body and end-up weakening it to a point where it is easily overcome by a bacterium or virus, and as a result, we get sick. Once the body is sick, it will require time and rest to overcome the infection. We must be patient and bare with the associated symptoms; these symptoms are signs that the battle is being fought and although they are annoying, they are needed to fully recover. Note: this list will obviously expand as I continue through my studies of Naturopathic Medicine. Also, if cold symptoms persist or become unbearable, please consult a health care professional.
Although we must be patient and wait for our immune system to do its job, there are some ways to make the fighting and healing processes a little more bearable:
- Drink lots of fluids, including water and pure fruit juices (but avoid orange juice as it is mucous forming).
- Drink herbal tea and remember to inhale the steam while the herbs are breathing (many of the medicinal compounds are volatile, meaning they will evaporate into the air). If herbal teas really aren't your fancy, try warm water mixed with lemon.
- Eat a BRAT diet (bananas, brown rice, apple sauce, and toast) as these foods are bland and easy to digest. When the body isn't busy digesting, it can focus on defending.
- Consume lots of soup. Soup is great as it helps keep the fluid intake up, usually contains vitamin-rich veggies, is easy to digest and allows for easy nutrient assimilation, keeps electrolyte (i.e. sodium and chloride) levels up (which may be depleted by all of the water drinking). An excellent soup for the sick: bring one whole head of minced garlic to a boil as well as one or more onions (other seasonings and vegetables are optional). The onion and garlic both have potent anti-microbial proprieties, making them the perfect sick-soup combo.
- Preform contrast showers.
- Stock-up on probiotics (via capsule form, yogurt, or fermented foods).
- Keep vitamin C levels by drinking juice (other than orange), supplementing, and/or eating fresh fruits and veggies when tolerable.
- Seek out a herbal tincture from your Naturopathic Doctor (if possible).
- Preform wet socks (look for a post on this technique later this week!).