21 Jan Avoid & Attack Common Ails
It’s wintertime, it’s cold, there is illness everywhere…it’s nearly impossible to avoid flu-like symptoms at this time of the year. Whether it’s the common cold, a sore throat, or a virus, all conditions take a toll on the mind and body. It’s important to maintain a consistent exercise regimen: focus on doing both strength training and cardio for a total of 5+ days a week. Also, make an effort to “eat the rainbow.” All those colorful fruits and vegetables are loaded with phytonutrients to keep your body strong and your immune system high. And remember—the darker the color, the greater the phytonutrient content. Keep yourself relaxed. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that promotes water retention, fat deposition, slowing of the metabolism and sugar cravings. Winter often triggers chronic stress, due to work troubles, the cold temperatures and depression/SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Chronic stress creates a cycle, one that can be extremely hard to get out of. So, take a hot bath after a cold walk from the office, treat yourself to a monthly massage, take a yoga class to relieve tension, or do anything that makes you feel happy, solaced and free. If you are a fan of yoga and want to take your training to the next level, then you can learn more here about what it takes to become a registered yoga teacher. Beyond these lifestyle suggestions, here are a few holistic remedies that have been shown to help mitigate illnesses.
- Flu-like Symptoms: Lemon, garlic, olive oil, onion are powerful healers—sprinkle onto foods. Mix one drop of tea tree oil with one drop each of thyme and eucalyptus in a warm glass of water. Drink bergamot tea, Echinacea and Pau d’Arco tea. Anthemis and Balm may mitigate fever. Yarrow alleviates flu-like symptoms. Spearmint oil may combat fever.
- Sore Throat: Mix lemon and honey on a spoon and swallow. Gargle a mixture of 1 tsp goldenseal powder with a dash of salt and hot water. Drink bergamot tea. Anise seeds or tea for cough relief. Coriander and fennel juice or seeds helps cough and chest pain. Slippery Elm can be purchased at a Whole Foods in capsule form.
- Bronchitis: Drink bergamot tea and Saw Palmetto (tea or berries form). Supplement with Amalaki fruit. Asafetida may alleviate whooping cough. Consume licorice root and cinnamon for bronchitis and asthma.
- Asthma: Eat Reishi mushroom and take Gingko supplements. Try “Cupping” with a TCM certified practitioner. Cover your mouth, nose and neck with a scarf during cold temperatures. Invest in a humidifier and clean your home twice weekly. Quit smoking. Engage in yoga practice and aromatherapy.
- Feeling Under the Weather: Anise seed and peppermint oil combined to act as an anti-septic. Ear Oil (in Mullein or Garlic Oil form) promotes healthy white blood cell production to attack viruses. Reishi mushrooms stimulate the immune system. Ginseng and Barberry may ward off infections and provides energy. Consume spirulina (capsule form or as a protein snack at Whole Foods) to strengthen the immune system, fight free radicals, detoxify the body and kill viruses. Cranberries provide antioxidants to boost the immune system.
- Common Cold: Castor Oil may reduce mucus and flush out toxins. Yarrow may help with common cold symptoms.
**Remember to notify a primary physician before consuming alternative remedies, as some people may not be suited due to other health conditions.