Winter Wellness – Part 5 – Cold & Flu fixes

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Our days here have been very varied lately … one day overcast and rain the next bright sunshine and balmy temperatures.  It is hard to know whether you’re coming or going!  I’m not complaining though as while I love the warm days for my morning walks with the dog, I am also very partial to inside days where I can snuggle up with a good book, especially now that the study has finished and the exam completed.

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Picnics with the chickens in the sunshine – as viewed from out back window

Even with all the temperature changes we have thankfully got through winter pretty much illness free… touch wood … however now that the stress of my exam has passed, I can feel my body relaxing and clearing a few things it was obviously ‘storing’ up until I was less stressed.  It’s murphy’s law I guess that as soon as you go on holiday or have a break those cold or flu viruses get you. The body loves coming back into balance and will take every opportunity to do so 🙂  Thankfully, that isn’t me at the moment but it did make me think about a few home cures which I regularly use to help feel a little better a little faster if those breaks from stress end up with my body succumbing to illness.

As always, they are very ‘back to basics’ ideas, ones that our ancestors probably used with success long before we were reaching for all those cold and flu medicines.  See if there are a few that will work for you.

Rest.  The verdict is out! Rest and sleep are the best treatment for most ills and for keeping others at bay.  Getting as much rest as possible early on, rather than pushing through, can help the body to fight the ‘bad guys’ before the bugs overwhelm the body. Sleep really is that good, so make sure you make time to snuggle up when you are feeling the effects of a cold or the flu.

Fluids. Replacing all the fluids you are losing via nose blowing and coughing is a really important part of helping your body heal.  Our bodies need water to function correctly so make sure the fluids are good quality; that is non-fizzy, decaffeinated, sugar free options.  Hot fluids can help loosen congestion so herbal teas (see below for idea) or slices of lemon with honey can be a good option and a soothing too.  It is also a perfect to time to make a big pot of soup that you can dip into through out the day, ensuring you get all the vitamins and fluids you need. Here is a great chicken soup recipe (from before we had vegans on-board)

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Fresh lemons ready for making some lemon tea

Wash your hands.  This seems like a really obvious one I know however it is easy to forget to wash your hands after each blow and/or sneeze when you’re wallowing in how grotty you feel.  Colds are spread easily, both for you to ‘catch’ the first time and to re-infect yourself, through virus-infected airborne droplets or by direct contact with infected secretions so by washing your hands regularly you can cut down the risk to yourself and others in the family.

Herbs.  Using the healing properties of herbs to boost your health can be an easy, and often overlooked, aid to healing.  Try out some of these herbs in your meals or make a soothing cup of tea with them.  While gathering fresh herbs from your garden is delicious, dried herb will have stronger medicinal properties and may be easier to access when you’re feeling under the weather. Sage is a great one for helping with sore throats as it is both an antiseptic and an analgesic. Basil can ease headaches. Thyme is a tried and true herb for coughs. Rosemary for helping to clear the head.

Food.  Eating real, fresh food (combined with herbs) is one of the best way to get any extra nutrients that your body may need.  It can be easy to grab quick and easy processed/packaged kai (food) however this isn’t always going to serve your body well or help you get rid of those cold/flu symptoms any sooner. Garlic is a great addition to meals, as it is both an antibacterial and an antiviral food which will help knock those ‘bugs’ on the head.  Or you could do like my Mum used to and have it raw (chopped up very finely of course) in a honey sandwich! I have to admit that even as a vegan this is still my go to when I feel a cold coming on. Salt water gargles can also be a great way to get you on the road to recovery, another go to for me in the early stages, and an easy fix from home.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and enjoying your day.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Kitchen Cures for Headaches

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Since the last ‘Kitchen Cures’ post was a bit of a favourite I thought I would post another one this week.  I heard this morning  on the radio that anyone who has avoided the flu so far this winter shouldn’t congratulate themselves just yet as they predicate – not sure who exactly this ‘they’ are but anyway 🙂 – another dose of flu to make the rounds.

Herbs are fantastic healers.

Herbs are fantastic healers to have close.

With flu usually comes headaches so if you do find you are being weighed down with ill health and sore heads this Spring then try out some of these simple kitchen cures.

Headaches are usually the body’s response to stress, both physical and/or emotional.  Stress causes muscles to contract and tension to arise; it can even affect blood flow. First and foremost though is using some common-sense.  If you know the cause of the headache then either remove yourself from that or cease whatever is causing it.

Lavender:
Rubbing lavender essence on your temples can work wonders for relieving and clearing away headaches.  Lavender is a well known sedative, antidepressant and relaxant.  Be sure to use a good quality oil when you are applying it to your skin.

Chamomile:
Why not try a quick easy cup of tea to relieve that head?  The combination of the compounds with in chamomile which relax you and ease pain and a sit down with a cuppa may just be the ticket to clear that headache for good.

Towels:
Yes, strange as it may first appear towels can help to relieve and often clear your headaches.  Colour therapist would add to this a purple towel or piece of fabric.  Colour or not this does help 🙂 Tie a towel firmly around your head, covering the eyes and have a quick lie down.  Sleep will come if you need it otherwise just 10-15 mins of fully resting your eyes and body can help.

Basil:
Making up a tea from dried or fresh basil is a favourite of a French Herbal Folk healer.  It not only relieves the pain, it also eases the restlessness that can accompany headaches.  If you don’t fancy drinking the stuff then try this compress made from 1 teaspoon of dried basil soaked in 1 cup of hot water for 10 mins (then strained) to which 2 Tablespoons of Tincture of Witch Hazel has been added.  Once the basil liquid has cooled apply it as a compress to the forehead and temples for a magical headache reliever.

Chives and Ginger:
If your headache is from sinus congestion then try this teas made from chives  and ginger. Steep 1 ½ Tablespoons of finely chopped chives and ½ teaspoon of finely shredded ginger root into a cup of boiling water for 30 minutes. Cover while the chives and ginger are seeping. Drink lukewarm while sitting for a rest.  In 20 minutes of less your head should feel much better. Repeat as needed.

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and not needing these ‘cures’ any time soon.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz