Like the opening scene of a zombie outbreak movie, it all starts when the dude standing next to you sneezes…
One thought floods your mind: Oh %$@%, whatever he’s got, I’m gonna get! Then you wonder if its a cold, the flu, or some crazy, slimy, mutated space virus. You hold your breath for the next 30 minutes, but it’s already too late, ’cause you’re certain that one of his little germs jumped the gap and landed in your eye. And it’s multiplying fast, this lone bug–weak, you’re already feeling weak and peaked! But then you take a mental step back and realize that maybe you’re overreacting and there’s no need to enter full panic-mode. You go about your day, and you enjoy your evening, but when you wake up, when you roll out of bed the next morning, you start the new day…with a sneeze…
The story doesn’t have to end this way. There are some natural, everyday things you can do to strengthen your immunity and avoid catching the snot-strings of misery of those around you. Want to learn more?
Before I share the top items that I’ve found useful in reducing the strength and shortening the duration of a seasonal illness, remember, I’m not a doctor. I share what works for me, so that by chance this information might be helpful* to you. But as with anything, please do your research and speak with your healthcare provider before trying any of the below.
Also, so as not to disrupt the flow of this post, at the end, I’ll provide a link to a page containing the products I mention.
Now, let’s talk about what in my “Bug Battle Bag”…
My pre-battle plan is simple: remain self-aware. I find that if I react to the cold or even flu at the very earliest signs, I’m much more likely to prevent the worst of it from occurring. Not only that, there have been many instances when I was able to fight it off in a matter of hours, instead of days.
What do I mean by “self-aware”? I mean I listen to my body and feel what I feel:
- Is that itchy, hairy-patch feeling in my throat from thirst, or dry air, or something else?
- If my energy has dropped, why?
- I notice my heart rate; if my resting rate is higher than normal, I know something is up.
- Does my nose smell different? Yes, as weird as it sounds, at the start of a cold, even before most other symptoms pop up, the inside of my nose takes on a distinct aroma.
- Has my emotional capacity diminished? Or, in other words, am I crabbier than usual for no apparent reason?
If I notice two or more of these early symptoms, I sound the red alert and break out the big guns.
The “Big Guns”
At the first signs of the enemy, I reach into my bug battle bag and go right for the big guns. Below are my most powerful nutritional interventions. Each of these natural items provide some level of antiviral or antibiotic support as well as a boost to the immune system*.
Oregano Oil: Oregano oils is a potent antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial agent. I start with a couple drops under my tongue, and increase per suggested dosage.
Colostrum: This is actually part of my daily supplement routine. I wrote about the fantastic benefits of colostrum in a previous post, so check it out for a more detailed look at this superfood: Colostrum
Echinacea: I have taken echinacea as a capsule supplement but prefer it in tea or lozenge form.
Elderberry: There are many great options for taking this powerful, immune-boosting herb. I’ve yet to try the syrup, but have had good results with the tea and throat lozenges.
Alkaline Water: This one is quite controversial, but it seems to work for me. Because overuse could negatively affect stomach acid production, I only drink alkaline water for the few days it take to fight off the cold. Even then, I am careful not to drink it around meal time. A better solution for increasing one’s alkalinity can be found in the simple lemon. Though acidic when taken in, lemon juice (preferably fresh-squeezed from half an organic lemon) actually alkalizes the body when processed by the digestive system.
You are probably familiar with the following conventional, everyday armor, so I’ll keep it brief. While the best way to get these vitamins and minerals is through a proper diet, sometimes a supplemental boost is needed*.
Ionic Magnesium: While magnesium may not directly aid in the battle against winter bugs, it is very important and necessary for good health. In short, magnesium plays a part in hundreds of biological processes, and unfortunately, most of suffer some level of deficiency.
Liposomal Vitamin C: You’ve probably known about the importance of vitamin C since elementary school. You already know it helps fight colds, acts an antioxidant and is vital for general health. But you many not know that this form of vitamin C is gentle on the gut and has been shown to be much more absorbable and bio-available than the standard, non-liposomal forms.
Vitamin D: Without a doubt, over the past 10 years, you’ve heard a lot about the importance of vitamin D as related to immunity and overall health. Be sure to choose a non-GMO supplement containing D3 (cholecalciferol).
Zinc: This often overlooked mineral can boost immunity. There are many forms of zinc to consider, but one of the best absorbed is zinc picolinate.
Probiotics: Whether it’s by consuming probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, or kombucha, or by taking a daily probiotic supplement, be sure to get enough of the good bugs in your diet. Studies have shown that the majority of our immune system is in our gut, so not only will our gut benefit from a healthy biome, but our whole self will too.
Monolaurin: Used in many everyday products and foods, monolaurin is derived from coconut fatty acid and has been known to boost the immune system and stop and treat bacterial, fungal, or viral infections.
Berberine: Balancing the gut biome by hindering or destroying harmful bacteria while sparing helpful bacteria is among the many benefits of berberine.
Other Useful Tactics
Common sense tactics that you already know, yes, but these too should be components of your bug battle bag:
- Wash hands often
- Keep skin from cracking by using healthier alternative lotions free of parabens, phthalates, etc.
- Keep nasal passages moist. Consider purchasing a humidifier.
- Avoid touching your face, especially nose, mouth, and eyes.
- As discussed in a previous post, eat nutrient-dense foods, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and find positive ways to manage your stress.
- Reduce sugar intake.
- Keep working out but be do not over do it. Consider creating a “winter training mode” regime.
- Reduce overall excessive body tension. This too requires a good level of self-awareness as well as breath control. I’ll provide more information on why and how soon.
- Consider adding oil pulling and earthing to your daily routine. Check out my previous posts on both of these interesting and helpful subjects: Oil Pulling, Earthing
Start building your bug battle-bag by researching and purchasing the listed items (see link below). It might be a good idea to get enough for both home and the office, if possible. Next, write out your battle plan. Your plan should be pretty simple, maybe a few lines written on a 3″x5″ card, listing the steps you will take to stay healthy and to restore health when fighting a bug. Or you can go all-out and post diagrams, charts, information sheets, etc on your refrigerator, or bathroom or bedroom wall, or on your computer desktop. However you do it, make a plan now and then follow it as closely as possible if / when you notice that first sneeze.
Once you have your plan in place, keep in mind that you will have to try it and tweak it, try it tweak it, until you find what works best for you; even then, it may not work 100% of the time. Think of this as an ongoing experiment that promises to yield very valuable results, so stick with it if at first you don’t succeed.
As promised, here’s a link to a page containing the items mentioned above: Winter Bug Battle-Bag. You can also find more immune boosters here: Immune Support.
Wishing you the good, better, and absolutely best of what’s possible!
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