Despite what you may think, sickness is good for the immune system. The occasional cold or flu must run its course fully so that the body can properly fight and become immune to it, whether viral or bacterial. Did you know that most, if not all, over-the-counter “medicines” for cold and flu are merely symptom suppressors and actually work against your immune system? Read the rest of this entry »
Finally the winter chill is on here in Oregon, and it seems like these are the days that people seem to get afflicted with head colds, sore throats, fevers, and the like.
I wanted to share a few tips for avoiding the bugs in hopes that my readers can enjoy a healthy season.
Through my reading and research, my eyes have been opened to the fact that there is actually an alternative to the “germ theory” put forth by Louis Pastuer. I have much more to write about that in another post, but suffice to say there is also a “host theory” of disease, which says that when the “host’s” (or person’s) internal “balance” is off, disease takes over.
The fact is that pathogens are always present in our guts; really icky ones, in fact, including e coli and all kinds of other less-than-helpful critters that make their homes inside of us. Usually, the bad bugs are outnumbered by the beneficial ones, and as long as we feed our body food that nourishes, we will grow the good guys who can then keep the bad guys in check.
In this theory, disease hits when we get off balance. Sugar is a major disrupter to the body chemistry. Stress also depleats the body of vitamin and mineral stores which nourish our glands. When the “ammo” (i.e. vitamins and minerals) is gone, the bad guys start to multiply and take over.
The result is the body’s immune response. They send in the “big guns”, like mucus to trap and excrete excess toxins. Sneezing and coughing are other mechanisms the body uses to detox from these nasty bugs. The resulting symptoms indicate a “cold”.
The body has amazing ways of cleansing toxins. Fevers are another way the body heals, as well as diarrhea and vomiting. All of these things appear to be “the flu”, but as we know “the flu” and “a cold” cannot be cured by antibiotics or any sort of medicine. Over-the-counter cold remedies only suppress the very symptoms the body uses to clease and heal!!! Why else do we always hear that there are “always new strains of flu and colds each year”?
Here are 5 ways our family has been able to avoid major bugs:
1) Fortify your “immune ammo” with supporting vitamins and minerals through food . Here’s my short list of necessities: Cod liver oil is a must, with ample amounts of natural A and D. Vitamin C from Acerola Cherry Powder works wonders when runny noses present themselves. Broth made from real chicken bones chock full of onions and garlic is very nourishing and inexpensive to make. Coconut water is a miracle-working hydrater for when fevers, diarrhea, or vomiting are present. It’s also very high in minerals. Sea vegetables such as kelp, dulse, arame, and wakame are extremely nutrient-dense and easy to digest when properly prepared. Fermented Beet Kvass (a tonic of cubed beets, water, whey, and sea salt, fermented 48 hours) is essential for alkalizing the blood and supplying vital minerals to the body’s stores. We also find Virgin Coconut Oil, with its antifungal and antimicrobial properties as a strong weapon of defense , as well as the superfood Spirulina. Garlic, onion, and chili peppers are also very antifungal.
2. Avoid sugar like the plague: I’ve come to believe that most all of the common colds/flu bugs that children acquire can be easily avoided by a low-sugar or sugar-free diet. White sugar, without question, should be avoided. But it’s also important to limit fruit juice, honey, agave, maple syrup, Rapadura, and all “natural sugars” as well. Even though the latter have more nutritional value, they are still sugar, and sugar feeds the bad bugs. You don’t want it around when your body’s trying to heal. My theory is that those who avoid sugar and white flour have stronger immune systems simply because these things really tax and acidify the system. And by the way, sugar-free does not mean using artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Nutra-Sweet. The only thing I really allow is Stevia, which is simply an herb. I like to use the Stevia Concentrate.
3. Hydrate: It goes without saying that juice, soda pop, gatoraid and virtually all “commercial” drinks are full of sugar and should not be used. Fortunately, there are many other delicious drinks. Water actually helps the lymphatic system (the system repsonsible for flushing toxins out of our body) carry away toxins, so that they don’t have to get “stuck” in our sinuses or anywhere else and make us sick. We love kombucha (which is a fermented tea that is full of beneficial probiotics, minerals, and B vitamins) as well as kefir. For a healthy alternative to “sports drinks”:
2 cups filtered water
40 drops Concentrace Liquid Minerals OR pinch RealSalt
8 drops Stevia
Juice of 1-2 lemons OR Raw Apple Cidar Vinegar
4. Keep moving. I believe that one of the reasons people tend to get sicker in the wintertime is that we are naturally more sedentary and we remain indoors for long periods of time. Exercise helps “pump” the lymphatic system and oxygenates our blood, and bad buggers don’t like oxygen one bit! Don’t forget to get outside e very day for at least 20 minutes, even if it’s cold and rainy. The fresh air does a body good!
5. Don’t fight the healing process: Obviously there are times when symptoms mentioned in this article indicate a serious condition which can only be treated by antibiotics. But those cases are few and far between. For most of us, all we can do is make the best of the situation and get rest, and nourishing food to help the body heal itself. Mentally, it helps to view colds and other discomforts with thankfulness at the body’s amazing way of communicating that something’s “not right”. Tune in and listen. Your body is an amazing, intricate machine. Let it do what it needs to and don’t interfere with loads of “medicines” that only impede the process.
What to do about the annoying factor:
Runny noses: Wet cotton socks with wool socks on top have been known to help clear a stuffed head (it works for my son!)
Ear aches: Garlic olive oil or hydrogen peroxide in the ear have both been very helpful to me.
Sore throat: Gargle with a combo of apple cidar vinegar, raw honey, minced fresh garlic and a dash of cayenne. It works fast. Kefir also has an amazing way of instantly working to soothe and cure a sore throat.
Fever: A fever is the body’s attempt to kill the pathogens/virus by raising the body temperature. You can help the body do that by wrapping yourself or your loved one in a warm blanket and allowing them to “sweat it out”. Beware, of course, of spiky high fevers.
These are just some home remedies from a mama whose kids (thankfully) don’t get sick very often. This is no substitute for medical advise or treatment.
What are your tried and true tips for beating the winter bugs?
“Dr. Henry Bieler, the author of Food Is Your Best Medicine, in over 50 years of
practice proved that high levels of toxicity in the body was very often the root
cause of most common diseases and ailments. This includes conditions such as the
common cold, flus, hayfever allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome,
fibromyalgia, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders,
skin conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and others.
fibromyalgia diet, constipation diet, diarrhea diet, adrenal
fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, diet, irritable bowel syndrome…”
4 med. squash (zukes, yellow or summer)
1 lb. string beans, ends removed
2 sticks celery
2 bunches parsley, stems removed
fresh herbs, such as thyme or tarragon, tied together with a string. (optional)
fresh whey, not powdered!! (optional)
“Henry Bieler recommended this broth for fasting, for energy, and overall health. He felt that this combination of vegetables was ideal for restoring acid-alkaline and sodium-potassium balance to organs and glands, especially the adrenal glands. Bieler brother is highly recommended for those under stress or suffering from stress-related conditions.
Place water, vegetables, and optional herbs in pot. Bring to a boil, skim, lower heat and simmer, covered for about 1/2 hour. Remove herbs. Eat as is or blend.