You’re going about your day, thinking it will continue to go smoothly when BAM! You feel like the grim reaper himself has attacked every limb of your body. You’re sick. We’ve all been there. Your head covered with blankets, the large pile of tissues, and the moan you release every once in awhile to make sure you’re still alive. Whether it’s the flu or just the common cold, getting sick can make even the strongest whimper in agony. Here’s what we do to fight back.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you’re reading this you may have already declared yourself having lost the battle. It’s okay. Keep this information handy for next time. We all know that washing your hands and keeping them away from you’re your face and eyes is the best prevention.
Swapping spit with your love-muffin who has a nasty bug probably isn’t the best of ideas, although I know first-hand that can be difficult from doing. So, if you’re feeling brave and decide to go in for the kiss Vitamin-C is your best friend. Keep high quality Vitamin-C in your cabinets at all times. Not only will this give your immune system the boost it needs to protect you against germs, it can help your body fight against an invasion on your system. I like Shaklee’s sustained release Vit-C because it continuously fights on your behalf, or Livon Labs liposomal Vit-C.
What do you do if the ick-train hits? Fight back. I usually take 3,000mg of Vit-C three times a day for a few days. You don’t want to stop taking this too early. Your body needs time to fight off these germs, so give your body the nutrients and time it needs. If you start having loose stools you can back off by 2,000 mg until it subsides. The sicker you are the more tolerance you will have before succumbing to bowel dis-ease. It is noted in a 1970 study that patients with influenza tolerated up to 150 grams (150,000mg) of ascorbic acid within a 24-hour period before diarrhea presented itself. So, don’t be afraid to increase your intake of this vitamin. The common cold is said to tolerate 20,000 to 100,000mg orally at its peak within a 24-hour period.
I’ll start by taking 3,000mg dose of Vitamin-C in the morning, at lunch, and dinner. If I feel a sore throat starting in addition to the Vit-C I’ll take 1Tbs Braggs apple cider vinegar in some water, and a homeopathic remedy. This treatment usually stops the sore throat, and or cold/flu in its tracks. If the symptoms are worse the next day I increase the Vit-C by another 1,000mg -2,000mg at each dose depending on the severity. I can say I usually win the battle against the ick if I stay faithful to the treatment.
So, what about if you’re already deep into the abyss of feeling like death? Same. Vit-C, apple cider vinegar, and homeopathic remedies. A high quality Colloidal silver can be taken like an antibiotic if I feel the cold is turning into an upper respiratory infection. I take the directions on the bottle, which is 1 teaspoon 7 times a day for an acute illness. I also have Oil of Oregano (Oreganol P73), or other Clinically Balanced essential oils on hand for the bottom of my feet or to diffuse, and Vicks vapor rub for chest and feet if there is a cough, or another homeopathic spray for coughs.
And for the love of God: STAY HOME!! You do not need to go to your doctor for this. You have a virus. There is nothing your doctor can do, so do yourself a favor and stay in bed.
Call your family or friends to bring you a pot of homemade soup. Drink lots of tea with raw honey and fresh lemon. My favorite is Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Tea. Rest. Let your body recover. Go ahead and watch 2 seasons of Lost. It’s okay. Allow yourself time to heal.
Eat light. Your body needs to focus on fighting off those killer germs instead of taking the time to digest your grandma’s famous spaghetti casserole. Don’t do it. Broths, fruit, and herbal teas are best. If my stomach is upset I only sip on ginger ale with ice, and herbal tea. I wouldn’t eat anything else until you are no longer nauseous, which I’m sure I won’t have to convince you of.
Also try an air detox spray to kill airborne germs to keep your house from smelling like death invaded. Believe me, you’ll be doing others in the house a favor.
Shaklee Vit-C – sustained release
Livon Labs Lypo-Spheric Vit-C
Bragg apple cider vinegar
Black elderberry syrup or gummies
Dr. Schulze air detox spray
Essential oils – see article on essential oils
It’s all about balance.
That’s why things don’t work sometimes. Diets, exercise, your chili recipe. Balance. You need the yin and the yang. Nature made it this way for a reason. You will drive yourself nuts otherwise, or lead yourself down a very unhealthy path. Be careful not to become obsessed with making things perfect. I did this when I first learned about organic, healthy products. I never wanted my babies to ever bathe in soap containing sulfites, or artificial colors ever again. I became a nervous wreck. So guess what? All the craziness that went into making sure my children had the most wholesome food and chemical free products on their skin made me a stressed-out Mom. In the end the kids felt my stress, and therefore were stressed themselves. Let me tell you first hand. IT’S NOT WORTH IT! Do everything in moderation. Start slow. Work your way up. Yes, it’s true organic foods and chemical free products are important. But, if you go all gung-ho on replacing every single product in your home and empty your artificially flavored refrigerator two things will happen; you will drive everyone around you nuts, and you will also become discouraged. Take it from me. You won’t become a pro overnight. Things like this take time. Time to learn, and time to let things process in your brain.
The first thing you can do is just adding healthier options to your refrigerator. You can still get the junk, but by adding healthier options you’re getting yourself more familiar with the healthier products out there and which ones you like. You don’t want to go hungry in case you realize you hate tofu and kale. No problem. Try a few more options next grocery visit. Another great way to start is by juicing. Just this simple change can have a dramatic affect on your life. There are plenty of great recipes for juicing. My favorite is: small bunch of parsley and cilantro, a thumbnail chunk size of ginger root, couple stalks of celery, 1/3 of a lime, a 2 inch chunk of beet, an apple, one big handful of spinach, 3 romaine lettuce leaves, and 6 carrots. Enough for two people. Heaven.
Next thing to do is just start checking the products you currently use. Look to see if they contain artificial colors or preservatives, sulfites, parabens, and other chemicals that you wouldn’t want on your body. This can be a difficult area of concern. The options are endless, and not all chemical free products are made the same. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars figuring out which products I like, and which ones I don’t. The EWG is a website that does the work for you concerning what ingredients are in your product, whether you’re talking about makeup, sunscreen, or whatever is on your bathroom shelves. However, they DON’T give you recommendations on which you’ll like. This is where the balance comes in. Forgive yourself for using your favorite smelling lotion on date night. Life is about living. We all die eventually no matter how many organic products we have on our shelves. Just do your best. Try avoiding that can of soda, or increasing your intake of salads. Slow and steady is best.
Elaine Evenhouse is an occupational therapy assistant and natural health advocate.