Some years, it seems like the cold and flu season is never ending. This is one of those years. We have plentiful advice from Dr. Google, moms and grandmas, but we’re always left wondering if they really work. This year, we asked a go-to resource, naturopathic doctor Kristen Allott, to share what she does to fight a cold or the flu.
Following is her sage advice with a couple of surprise tips.
Wash Your Hands: it’s the best way to prevent spreading your illness and obtaining a new one.
Take Time Off Work: no one at work wants your bug, and your body needs the rest to fight whatever is ailing you.
Take Hot Baths or Showers: take 3-5 hot baths daily. Make the water hot enough that you sweat a bit – greater than 100-degrees at a minimum or as hot as you can sit comfortably for 20 minutes. Her rational: viruses and bacteria thrive in 98.6-degrees human habitat. Your immune system functions better at just above normal body temperature. When you take a hot bath, you are intentionally warming your body to make it difficult for the germs to replicate and easier for your immune system to fight them.
Rest and Relax: Your sick day should look something like this – bath, nap/rest, eat, repeat.
Eat Warm, Easily Digested Foods: Soup, Indian or Thai food, chicken, rice, steamed veggies. Avoid raw, sugary or milk-based foods.
Drink Plenty of Fluids: Water and teas preferably. Here are a couple of her favorite recipes:
Warm Spiced Orange/Lemon Tea
In a large pot or soup pan, mix the following:
- Equal amounts of frozen orange and lemon (lemonade) juices, following the directions on the container regarding water.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4-6 whole cloves
- 2-3 black tea bags
Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and steep for 5-10 minutes, straining if necessary. Add more water and/or honey to taste. Serve while hot.
Lemon Ginger Tea
Into a 2-3 cup tea pot, pour:
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 knuckle-sized pieces of ginger, chopped or diced
- 2 cups of boiling water
Stir and steep for 10 minutes. Strain liquid if necessary. Pour into a mug and add a small amount of honey to taste.
A huge thanks to Dr. Allott for sharing her own tips for battling a cold or the flu. We know (sadly) that we’ll put them to good use. How do you fight the cold or flu in your house?