natural flu prevention and remedies

Well, it’s that time of year again! The dreaded cold and flu season. So….Let’s chat flu!

Let’s talk prevention and remedies. Let’s start with remedies.

First off, say no to tamiflu!! Tamiflu can cause serious mental/mood changes along with respiratory problems, nausea, nose bleeds, headache, dizziness and more. Want more info?  Ask your pharmacist for the medication insert.

But if we can’t use tamiflu, what can be done? Don’t fear! There is something even better than tamiflu (more effective) and it doesn’t have any side effects AND it’s safe for children!

1. Elderberry.

In a medical study elderberry shortened flu duration to just 2 days vs a 6 day duration in the placebo group. Elderberry shortened the duration of flu by more than half! Tamiflu only shortens the duration by 1 day. Crazy right? I use homemade elderberry syrup but you can get some premade syrup from Whole Foods or even Amazon. It’s good stuff y’all!

To make your own syrup, use this recipe. Don’t mash the berries or it will become bitter. Be gentle! Wait until the liquid has reduced to one cup. Then add your one cup of honey (you want an equal ratio). Also, go light on the ginger unless you want it a bit spicy. You can order your berries here.

2. Essential oils.

Certain oils have antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and immune supporting activity. They can also help clear congestion and ease symptoms. We personally love thieves oil along with oregano and frankincense to help support our bodies during illness. Here’s just one study talking about oils+flu. Have any essential oil questions? Message me! I’m happy to help!

3. Vitamin C, probiotics, bone broth, water.

The vast majority of our immune system is in our gut (about 80%). Nourishing our gut is so important while sick and can soothe our taxed bodies and aid in recovery. To do this, make sure to stay hydrated. Your body can not do it’s job properly unless it is hydrated. Dehydration can lead to rapid deterioration. Aim for half your body weight (in ounces).

Bone broth is loaded with collagen and minerals. Collagen is the most prevalent protein in our bodies and essential to wellness. It also can soothe irritation and inflammation. It’s also very easy to make. If you have an instant pot, add in left over bones (I save chicken bones from our whole chickens we roast). Fill with water just submerging the bones. Add in a good splash of apple cider vinegar. Add in some carrots, onions, celery and any herbs you want (I love oregano). Cook on manual for 4 hours. Strain and store in the fridge.

Along the same lines, probiotics are very important. Supporting your GI tract and replenishing good bacteria and gut health. I prefer a probiotic with a minimum of 20 billion and a variety of strains. Also, sauerkraut! I add it to my bone broth just before eating but I also eat it plain. Delicious and full of good gut bacteria! Kombucha, kimchi, miso and other fermented foods are also great additions.

Now, on to prevention!

1. Diet.

Don’t neglect fresh raw foods even though the holidays and the cold weather make us want ALL the sugar and baked goods. Sugar feeds bacteria and lowers immune function. Most baked goods are also devoid of nutrients.
Eat your greens and oranges and reds and yellows and purples! Juice if you need to. Also, consider supplementing with fish oil, probiotics, a multi, super greens, and vitamin c.
Also, stay hydrated! Your body won’t function well if it’s dehydrated.

2. Sleep.

I know, I know. But sleep deprivation and stress will wreak havoc on your immune system (and hormonal system). A bare minimum of seven hours is recommended.

3. Essential oils.

Slather up daily. Thieves, helichrysum, Frank, RC are a few of my favorites. Diffuse to purify air and keep your home healthy.

4. Washing hands and hygiene.

If you can’t wash, keep hand sanitizer or thieves spray on hand. Get it? On hand!? I love a punny joke ;).

5. Fresh air and exercise.

Exercising reduces stress, boosts endorphins, and can support overall wellness. Stress is  major player when it comes to inflammation and illness. My personal favorite? Hikes and yoga. Just make sure you are moving your body and getting outdoors a little every day.

Stay healthy friends! I am so thankful for natural and safe options!

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