It’s only November and I’ve already had my first cold (thanks to my lovely daughters!). I remember telling people I had a bit of a cold, and almost everyone would try to stay away from me, worried that they may catch it.
With our busy lives, it is not surprising that most of us want to avoid being run down with a cold, especially if we have children to look after.
You may be surprised to know, however, that getting a cold once or twice a year is not a bad thing, and is actually a sign that your immune system is functioning well.
Yes, it can be annoying, but it is actually giving you body a chance to rid itself of toxins, rest (if you let it!), and for your immune system an opportunity to strengthen itself – which then means you may be less likely to become ill with worse kinds of infections!
Many of the symptoms of cold and flu are quite similar; some people think they may have the flu, but actually that may not be the case. Flu symptoms are much more severe.
With a cold you will probably not get a fever (or very mildly if you do), whereas with flu there will almost always be a fever, usually high, which last a few days. Flu is also usually accompanied by body aches and exhaustion, sometimes quite severe, which means you will likely want to stay in bed for a few days.
If you are getting several colds a year, or if they take a long time to resolve, then your immune system may not be functioning optimally. This may be due to many factors, including stress, diet, and other chronic conditions. Do see your homeopath or health professional to get to the bottom of it and help you strengthen your immune system.
In the meantime, what can you do at home to prevent or minimise the symptoms of colds and flu in a more natural way?
There are many, many homeopathic remedies that can help lessen symptoms and get you through it quicker. Here are some of the main ones, most of them available in homeopathic first aid kits:
Aconite: this is the remedy to take when you are just starting to feel those first symptoms of cold or flu, especially if you have gotten chilled.
Arsenicum Album: if you are feeling very chilly, your eyes and nose are streaming with burning discharges and lots of sneezing, are very tired and anxious, and only want little sips of water.
Bellandona: Great remedy for high fevers, with a very red face and dilated pupils, throbbing headaches and the skin is hot to the touch.
Eupatorium Perfolatum: This is the one of the main remedies for flu, especially when there is a lot of bone pains, with lots of thirst, shivering, chills, aching and red eyes.
Gelsemium: Another main remedy for flu, where you feel extremely tired, heavy and sleepy, very chilly, shivery and achy, but not thirsty at all.
Kali Bich: Great remedy for very thick, sticky, stringy or dry yellow and green mucous that is difficult to get out.
Natrum Muriaticum: If you have lots of sneezing, with watery bland discharge that looks like raw egg white, this remedy may be for you.
Nux Vomica: This remedy is if you are feeling very chilly and can’t warm up, you are quite irritable, lots of sneezing, but your nose is stuffed up and it’s difficult to get the mucous all out.
Pulsatilla: Great remedy for children (or adults!) who are very clingy and teary, mucous is yellow or green, and symptoms are usually much improved with fresh air.
These wonderful remedies made in New Zealand have some great options to support you through a cold or flu. I can make you a bespoke blend of these, depending on your particular symptoms and they can be used along homeopathy or any other treatment. Here are a few options that may help:
Hb C Cold and Catarrh: really helpful when there is lots of mucous and catarrh.
Hb I Immune: boosts the immune system and acts as an anti-microbial and anti-septic.
Hb R Respiratory: supports the whole respiratory system, including lungs, sinuses, and eustachian tubes.
Hb X Expectorant Coughing: soothes coughs and helps expel mucous.
First Aid: For the early, feverish stages of acute illnesses.
Promyr: Amazing anit-viral and anti-bacterial blend.
Nutrition and other general recommendations:
If you are trying to prevent colds and flu, make sure you eat well, lots of green vegetables and foods full of anti-oxidants. Anti-microbial foods, like ginger, honey and garlic, are also great for prevention and treatment. Also make sure you get plenty of exercise and fresh air.
If you have a cold or flu already, the most important thing to do is rest, rest, rest!!!
Also eat light, and ensure you get plenty of fluids into your body. Honey and lemon drinks are great for easing some symptoms like sore throats and coughs.
Supplementing with Vitamins C and D may help boost your immune system before and during a cold or flu.