I used to think that we were powerless when it came to fighting the cold and flu viruses because modern medicine tells us we are. I’d get sick, shut down, and basically just let myself be miserable for a week (or more), until my body finally kicked the yuckiness to the curb. There is no cure for the common cold, right?
Except, no. While there might not be a magic pill you can take to get your cold virus to say adios, there is certainly a lot that can be done to help support the immune system, and in turn, help reduce the severity and duration of viral infections. We are absolutely not powerless when we get a cold—not by a long shot. I’ve been guided on an amazing journey into natural immune support this year by two local naturopaths, and a big thing I’ve learned is this: there are as many natural ways to support the immune system and fight off viral infections as there are people suffering from them. You have an arsenal at your disposal!
The breadth and depth of natural immune support is really exciting but also can be really overwhelming. So that’s why, today, I’m showing you my personal favorite things to do when I start to feel the tickle in the back of my throat. This list is in no way comprehensive, but it’s the things that we’ve found to be the easiest to implement in our house. And, best of all, it’s been working for us. Since we started enacting this protocol whenever we feel a little throat tickle, none of us have gotten full-blown sick (and one of us is a three-year-old—holy germ magnet, Batman). I consider that a damn miracle.
One big thing you’ll notice missing from this list: vitamins and supplements. I believe a vitamin and supplement plan should be something you come up with in conjunction with your healthcare professional—not get from some random blogger. The high dosages of many of the vitamins you’ll grab from store shelves can cause unpleasant side effects in some and even be downright dangerous in others. I don’t believe supplements are something to be played around with.
That being said, I do have a very personalized supplement plan given to me by one of my naturopaths for when I am really sick and my body just can’t seem to get over a cold (like, when you’re going on week four of the worst cough ever) that involves Vitamin C, Vitamin A, NAC, and Vitamin D and is taken in high dosages in a short burst. This supplement protocol is what I use as a last resort. I definitely prefer to stick to whole food, whole herb, gentle home remedies when fighting off the common cold.
Remember: more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more. So the next time someone tells you to take 40578 million grams of Vitamin C to cure your cold (please don’t, that’s hyperbole), remember that a smoothie probably would have done the trick (and without as many bathroom trips—high doses of Vitamin C can wreck your bowels). This philosophy also applies to the number of home remedies you try. You don’t have to do everything on my list—in fact, I don’t even recommend it. Don’t be a helicopter parent to your body—give it enough support to succeed on its own, but don’t bombard it with every remedy under the sun. Read the post »