Autumn has come with its beauty and splendor of colorful leaves, apples to enjoy and pumpkins ready to be carved. I always enjoy the fall. Inevitably as this season comes, so do the coughs and colds.
Summer is a season of cleansing. We drink lots of liquids to stay cool, eat watermelon and berries and run and play in the sun. Our bodies are so active and constantly given opportunity to cleanse through our diet and play. As the seasons change so do our foods and activities.
Our bodies are preparing for the winter. We need foods and activities that help us stay warm and keep our immune systems strong. Often this transition is not so smooth, especially as Halloween approaches and lots of darling kids will be strolling their neighborhoods in the cold autumn night for sweets.
As the night unfolds, so do countless candies out of their wrappers into the bellies of thousands of children. Their immune systems are now very active trying to protect the body from cold and the onslaught of refined sugar. Refined sugar has all enzymes and nutrients removed as it is processed to be made.
Consuming refined sugar requires enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and insulin fromthe body in order to process it through the body. Sugar strips the body of nourishment and acts like a drug in the system. It triggers dopamine in the brain and that make us crave more sugar. Consumed in large amounts, sugar also causes fermentation in the intestines and overall weakens the immune system.
One of the key factors in cold care is keeping the immune system strong. Teaching one night to a sweet youth, I compared the immune system to GI Joe guys. We have these amazing soldiers (Leucocytes) inside of us to protect us. However, if we don’t let them sleep good, don’t feed them great nutrition and if we are stressing them out a lot then they won’t be ready for when invaders come. Moreover, if we keep their barracks dirty and full of garbage (their bowels), they will have to fight with that around them.
We weaken their capacity to fight back. While this may seem like a crude example of the immune system, I think it helps illustrate the importance of defending the immune system.
Going back to these kids who have just trick or treated, they now have a cold, tired and nutrition deprived immune system. Many of these kids may have dirty “barracks” or in other words, their bowels are compacted or blocked. What can we do to put strong holds back in the body?
“The same nutrition that prevents disease in its early stages can also halt or reverse disease in its later stages,” according to T. Colin and Thomas Campbell, in the China Study.
So, it is the same with the common cold.
Here are a few tips to consider in caring for your immune system.
1 Get appropriate amounts of sleep. It is a time of repair and rest for the body.
2 Drink lots of fluids, especially clean water. Water is vital for the healthy function of our organs, it keeps the river of life (our blood) flowing in our bodies and helps prevent constipation of the bowels.
3 Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Eating these nutrient rich, high fiber foods make them easily and readily available for the body to use. Avoid processed foods and mucus forming foods such as white flour, dairy, sugar, eggs and excess salt. They make for a sluggish bowel and thicken body mucous. Eat meat sparingly as it slows digestion, is not as nutrient rich as produce and is acidic in the body.
Pro-Tip: Diet may be the hardest change many make, but I have learned that it IS the small and simple things that we do each day that make a huge difference in our lives. It does make a difference.
4 Get those bowels moving. The bowels are our plumbing. If there is a stopper closing it off, the pipe cannot drain and will stay stagnant and build up will happen. You should be going 3 times a day generally. “What comes in must come out.” A few ideas for moving them are prune juice, Dr. Christopher’s Kid-e-Reg formula for children or Dr. Christopher’s Lower Bowel formula. If these are not available to you; I highly recommend the herbs cascara sagrada, Turkey rhubarb or slippery elm. These are mild laxative herbs to help the bowels move. Stronger laxatives would be aloe or senna.
5 Cut the mucous and strengthen the immune system. A few wonderful herbs that are antiviral/antimicrobial, excellent expectorants and strengthen the immune system are: licorice root, mullein, garlic, elder (berry or flower), echinacea and thyme. I also like a warm drink of lemon with its rind with honey and a pinch of cayenne.
Before you send your cuties out to trick or treat feed them a healthy meal and keep in mind these tips to keep their immune systems strong and protected. Learning these principles from The School of Natural Healing has made me a wiser and better mother. I have understanding that helps me keep my family healthy. I have learned how to protect, cleanse and nourish the body. I highly recommend their courses to you!
What are your favorite ways to strengthen your immune system in the wintertime against colds? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Man, I hate when I get sick. And it’s even worse when it’s my kids – that’s why we work on being healthy around here. Still, every now and then, there’s a cold or another minor illness we can’t control – and then we need relief.
One of the biggest issues is that sleep is important to recovery – and yet, it’s often nearly impossible to sleep with a cold or the flu.
You need more rest than usual when you have a cold or the flu, but coughing and congestion can leave you tossing and turning all night. Try these simple methods you can perform on your own or with a little help from your doctor and pharmacist. You’ll sleep better and strengthen your immune system.
10 DIY Strategies to Sleep Better When You Have a Cold
Adjust your pillow. Forget about the outdated advice to prop your head up with an extra pillow. You’ll wind up with a stiff neck, and pushing your chin towards your chest blocks your airways. Instead, arrange your pillows so that you elevate yourself starting at the waist. You could also try lifting the head of your bed by placing books or bricks underneath the legs.
Take a shower. Drain your sinuses with hot steam. Sitting near the shower is just as good as stepping inside if you want to keep your hair dry.
Moisturize the air. Heated indoor air can irritate your throat during the winter. Keep a pot of water simmering on the stove during waking hours. Set out bowls of water. Be sure to change them each day to prevent bacteria from growing.
Sip water. Begin hydrating from within. Aim for at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Drink tea. Stock up on decaffeinated tea. Choose chamomile and other herbal blends formulated to help make you drowsy.
Eat something. A stuffy nose can interfere with your appetite. Push yourself to keep eating. In addition to preserving your strength, you’re likely to sleep more on a full stomach.
Breathe through your nose. Of course, you’ll probably need to breathe through your mouth when your cold is at its peak. Still, returning to nasal breathing as soon as possible will reduce further irritation to your throat.
Cough less. Some coughs are productive when they expel mucus. On the other hand, it’s worthwhile to try to suppress prolonged and dry coughing that just makes your throat sore. Pause a second and check to see if you still feel like coughing.
Go to bed on time. The good news is that you may be sleeping more than you think even if you feel like you lay awake all night. Lie down and think about something boring. If you must get up, leave the TV and computer off.
Meditate regularly. Deep meditation provides many of the same benefits as sleep. A consistent practice will help you to focus your mind even when you have a fever.
How Your Doctor and Pharmacist Can Help
Check ingredients in cold remedies. Pick a cold medicine that treats your individual symptoms rather than dosing yourself with more chemicals than you need. Avoid ingredients that may make you jittery like pseudoephedrine and diphenhydramine.
Wear nasal strips. Start out with nasal strips that you wear on the outside of your nose to hold your passageways open. They provide relief without any adverse side effects, and they’re comfortable enough to wear in bed.
Use a decongestant spray. If you require something stronger, try a nasal spray. Look for saline solutions or formulas with oxymetazoline or xylometazline. Use sprays for only a few days at a time to avoid any rebound effect.
See your doctor. If symptoms persist or become more severe, talk with your doctor. Your health team can help you to avoid any complications.
A good night’s sleep will help you to feel more comfortable and recover faster. If you’re like most adults, you probably catch at least one cold a year, so help your body fight off infection day and night.
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.