That’s what I hear from folks when they discover that I had a cold or flu, or a virus that causes laryngitis.
Folks think I’m some sort of superhuman that is immune to disease. The truth is, I get sick just like any other person on this planet. I don’t live in a bubble.
On a daily basis, I am exposed to toxins, pathogens, bacteria and viruses, just like everyone else. And, sometimes they get in!
Especially, when I’m overworked, stressed out, or just plain tired.
But, the difference between my well-cared-for body today, and the body I used to neglect, is vast.
In the past, if I caught a flu or other illness, I was completely debilitated and it took weeks, or sometimes months, to heal!
Today, when I get sick, my body heals much quicker (usually within a couple of days), especially when I assist my body’s natural healing processes.
There are people who’s immune system is so strong that illness won’t take root in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone. Some people have a tendency toward compromised immunity and there are many reasons for that; overuse of antibiotics, poor diet and lifestyle, environmental toxins, overwork and stress, and one of the biggest contributors to poor immunity, not being breast-fed.
In the 1960’s, when I was born, nutritional science advised women to NOT breast-feed their babies. They told moms that human breast milk was inferior to baby formula.
That was a BIG mistake. Breast milk is essential to the baby’s immune system.
When a mother breast-feeds, she is directly implanting into that child the immunity and antibodies from every generation that lived before her. She is giving the little human exactly what it needs for its survival and protection.
Modern science has confirmed that HUGE nutritional blunder and now tells us that formula-fed babies have higher rates of ALL diseases across the board; poor immunity, diabetes, thyroid disease, SIDS, digestive disorders, allergies, asthma, cancer… you name it!
If you were one of the unlucky formula-fed babies like me, your immune system was compromised as soon as you slid out of the birth canal and came into this world.
Laboratory science cannot surpass the wisdom of the universe. Although, I’m sure we’ll keep trying.
Having weaker immunity doesn’t mean you are doomed to get sick and stay sick. There are many ways to assist your body’s natural healing process.
To aid the body it’s imperative that we go with it’s design, rather than against it. That means do NOT suppress symptoms. Below are some tips to support your body during cold and flu season.
At the first sign of a tickle in the nose or throat, it’s helpful to simply gargle with warm water mixed with sea salt. If you have any anti-viral essential oils on hand like oregano, put one drop into the warm salt water and gargle 2-3x per day.
If pathogens make it beyond the nasal passages (and many do), help the body clear the lungs and bronchial passageways by using an expectorant like honey thyme tea. Coughing and sneezing is your body’s way of forcefully expelling the invaders (just try not to expel them onto the people you love).
As your body begins fighting bacteria and viruses, excess mucus forms. This shows that white blood cells are stepping up into action! First, the mucus will be runny and clear. As the illness progresses, mucus can turn yellow and then green (infection). White blood cells cause this change in color as they flood into an area, fight the invaders, die, and pile-up in the process. Assist your body in clearing out the carnage by using a Neti Pot.
Neti Pot: ½ tsp sea salt to 1 cup boiled water. Let the boiled water cool to luke warm and then flush your sinuses 1-2x daily. Follow the instructions and pour the warm salt water into your nose and out through your mouth.
You can also expectorate phlegm by using steam. Pour boiling water into a bowl, and add 1 drop of tea-tree, peppermint, pine, rosemary, or eucalyptus oil. Hang your head over the bowl, cover with a towel, and breathe deeply. Have tissues on hand and expect to expectorate!
GET INTO BED
When the body catches a flu virus or cold it naturally heats up with fever to destroy invading pathogens. This is the perfect time to get under the covers, rest, sleep, sweat, and let the body do its work. This is NOT the time to take symptom-suppressing medication and continue running around at warp speed. Think of this as a short vacation in the comfort of your own home. Relax and read a good book while you’re under the covers.
EAT LIGHTLY AND STAY HYDRATED
It takes energy to digest food. Don’t burden the digestive system with heavy meals. Eat lightly so most of your energy can go toward healing.
Sip on homemade bone-stocks and warm soups with fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic). Bone-stocks support your body with easily absorbable liquid nutrients that refuel your system with minerals, collagen and amino acids needed to stay vital and strong.
And, many folks forget this simple tip… water. Keep yourself well hydrated with plenty of water. This will help keep all of your systems running smoothly.
Hire a health coach or other practitioner that understands natural healing. I use an acupuncturist in NYC, James MacLean, L.Ac. and an herbalist, Richard Mandlebaum, who utilize many facets of natural healing in their practices. They work with my body’s systems to help it heal, not against it.
The flu and other respiratory illnesses don’t stand a fighting chance when you give your body the right ingredients and align with it’s self-healing abilities.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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