“AH –CHOO!” That sound becomes all too familiar this time
of year; as the beauty and crispness of the autumn season arrive, so do colds
and flus. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to make this
fall and winter healthy. Even if you do catch a cold or flu, the right remedies
can help make it as short and painless as possible.
- Avoid Getting Run Down – Feeling tired and run
down is a big risk factor for getting sick. Sometimes family and work responsibilities
may seem overwhelming. This is a good time to take stock of what’s
truly most important and trim down everything else. Prevention is
the best medicine. Getting the proper R & R that your body and
mind need should be just as much a priority as everything else. Not
only will you be less stressed, but you’ll also be more effective
in everything you do.
- Eat a Yoga Diet – A yoga diet, with the emphasis
on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and dairy products, naturally
provides your body with both the nutrition and the antioxidants that
your immune system needs to function optimally. One of the biggest dietary
hazards for cold and flu season is too much sugar and other sweeteners. Fresh
fruit and unprocessed honey are the best sweeteners to use. Too much
sugar in your diet (whether it’s from white sugar, corn syrup,
etc.) literally slows down your immune system, making your white blood
cells too tired and sluggish to adequately fight infection.
- Take a High-Quality Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement – There
have been enough studies strongly in favor of supplementation that it
just makes sense to give yourself that daily dietary insurance. The best
supplement to take is one that is made from natural whole food sources as this helps to ensure that your body will be able to absorb the nutrients.
Liquid multivitamin and mineral supplements are also good for absorption.
Visit your local health food store for help in finding the best supplements
for your needs or purchase from Wai Lana's supplement store
- Practice Yoga – Yoga not only stretches, strengthens,
and tones your muscles, but it also invigorates your immune system and
internal organs, helping to keep sickness at bay. Yoga also provides stress
relief, which is vital for wellness. If you feel a cold coming on, try doing
the Lion pose a few times a day. This pose brings fresh blood
to your throat, helping to chase away the germs.
- Wash Your Hands – You’ve probably heard
it a million times before, but it is a fact that regular hand washing
really does help prevent sickness.
- Avoid Sick People When Possible. While a certain amount
of exposure to sickness is inevitable in our daily lives, it can help to
avoid obviously sick people. For example, if you notice that the cashier
at the grocery store is sniffling, coughing or sneezing, just move to another
What to Do If You Get Sick
- Try to Get Plenty of Extra Rest and Sleep – Sometimes
it may not be possible to completely stop work, school, or other activities
when you feel sickness coming on, but you should make it a top priority to
get as much rest as you can. It’s tempting to keep going, but
this will just let the virus get a stronger foothold in your body,
prolonging your illness.
- Try a Juice Fast or Eat Minimally – If you
feel you are getting sick, this is the perfect time to try a juice fast.
Fasting for 1 to 3 days at the first sign of illness is a great way to nip
it in the bud. Wai Lana’s Favorite Juices has delicious fresh
juice recipes that you can try. Even fasting on vegetable broth and diluted
store-bought juice (no corn syrup or other sweeteners) is far better than
not fasting at all. Fasting allows your body to concentrate its energy on combating
the virus rather than on digesting and assimilating food. However,
if you have a health condition or take prescription medications, it’s
best to talk to your doctor before beginning a fast.
- If you don’t quite have the willpower to fast or are unable
to for health reasons, try to minimize your food intake and focus on light
foods, such as broths or other vegetable soups. This is a good
time to avoid dairy products since they can increase mucus production
sick. Also try to avoid refined foods, like sugar and white flour products.
These foods sap nutrients from your body and stress your immune system.
- Try Strong Ginger Tea – This easy home remedy
is quite spicy, but it really helps relieve cold and flu symptoms. Try
Wai Lana’s own ginger tea recipe for effective cold and flu relief.
- Supplements Can Help – A trip to the health
food store can be a little overwhelming if you’re looking for supplements
to help a cold or flu, so here are some suggestions:
- Elderberry Extract – Elderberry is one of the few
supplements scientifically proven to have antiviral properties. If
you know you were exposed to a sick person or feel you may be coming down
with something, try dosing up on elderberry for sickness prevention. If you
do become sick, elderberry will help lessen both the length and the severity
of the illness.
- Vitamin C – The best variety to use is Ester-C
or some other buffered form. For acute sickness, take 1000 mg every 3
hours. If you’re fasting, you may want to take a powdered version that
you can mix in juice or water.
- Homeopathic Remedies – If you’re not familiar
with homeopathy, it’s best to try a homeopathic cold remedy or
flu remedy that has a mixture of different remedies in it. From a homeopathic
perspective, there are different remedies for a cold or flu depending
on the prominent symptoms, so some homeopathic companies make mixtures
of remedies for people who don’t know which specific remedy to
take. Homeopathy is very safe and many people have found it helpful for
both colds and flus.
- Garlic – Besides being a popular seasoning, garlic
is also a powerful medicinal plant. It helps to combat cold and flu viruses
and cleanse the body of toxins. Fresh is best, but if you don’t
like the smell or taste, there are garlic supplements that minimize the
- Elderberry Extract – Elderberry is one of the few
I’m sure you’ll find these natural remedies both effective and economical
for helping ward off those nasty colds and flus!
RECIPE: Spicy Ginger Tea
Ginger is especially good during cold and flu season. It helps clear the sinuses, relieves congestion headaches, and reduces fever. It’s also an expectorant that expels mucus from the lungs and throat. The most effective way to take it for colds and flu is ginger tea.
Here's a simple recipe:
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup diced fresh ginger
- 2 tsp. honey
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Boil the water,
then add the ginger and simmer for about 20 minutes.
into a cup and add 2 teaspoons of honey (or to taste).
you like, you can add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne
pepper to the pot to increase the stimulating, heating effect.
us forewarn you now, though: This tea is fiery! Sip it—don't gulp