6 Ways To Naturally Beat A Cold
We’re about to hit the official start of Winter at the end of this week in the Southern hemisphere – with the Solstice (or Yule) occurring on the 22nd June. So with cold and flu season here to stay for a while now, check out my top six ways to beat (and indeed avoid) your annual respiratory virus this year! For those of you lucky enough to be in the warmth of the Northern Hemisphere, summer colds are definitely a thing too, so read on!
Metaphysics of getting a cold
When we have a cold or flu, our body is giving us a message to STOP. When your grandmother used to tell you to “rest and keep up your fluids” when you had a cold, she was perfectly correct. Unfortunately though in modern Western society the norm is to ‘soldier on’ with our normal lives while masking the symptoms of our illnesses with medication.
The inherent harm of treating symptoms rather than underlying causes is pretty serious. How many times have you pushed through a virus, and thought you had weathered the storm, only to be bedridden by the tornado of a much more serious illness a few weeks later? Over-the-counter cold & flu medications are sometimes useful band-aids for your symptoms BUT they will also often slow down, and even prevent, the amazing natural healing processes in your body. You cough to remove irritants. You have excess mucous production because your body is protecting and moisturizing itself. You have a fever because your body is fighting an infection.
We are so out of touch with our bodies that we rarely listen to them. You need to learn to tap into and trust the messages your body is sending you!
Eat immune-boosting foods and drink lots of water. In winter we want to balance the cold weather by eating and drinking warm things. The benefits of chicken soup are not an old wives’ tale! Bone broth is so nourishing and healing. Remember that the majority of your immune system lives in your gut so you need to give it whole foods from the earth that it recognizes and uses to obtain the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that it requires to work optimally.
As well as bone broth, make sure you include good fats from olive oil and oily fish, eggs and lots of fruit and vegetables of all the colors of the rainbow! Especially focus on red and green fruits and vegetables, including lots of root vegetables. This is because energetically your immune system is associated with the 1st (root) chakra, which operates on the vibration of Red and your respiratory system is associated with the 4th (Heart) chakra, which operates on the vibration of Green.
For immune-boosting flavorings, you can’t go past garlic, ginger, and turmeric – veggie curry is sounding good! But remember when you’ve got a cold, STOP, and get someone else to make it!
As I said before, now is the time to STOP! You need to take it relatively easy for a few days during the peak of your illness. However, remember that your lymphatic system – which is critical to fighting illness (as it removes wastes and toxins) – cannot operate effectively without muscular contraction. So, taking a gentle stroll around the block, or even better, the park, will do you a world of good. Rug up, go slow, and if there is some sunshine out get into it!
You need to let your mind rest too! More than 20% of the energy we expend is used by the brain! Let your body have all the energy it possibly can to fight your illness and rest your brain. Don’t ‘work from home’ when you are sick. Don’t take the opportunity to prepare your tax return! Instead use the time to do things that are purely relaxing – catch up on some Netflix, take baths, read some books, listen to music and don’t forget to meditate! Meditation is going to put your brain in the best possible state to aid your recovery.
Stress plays a big role in reducing how well the immune system works. From a metaphysical perspective, we often come down with colds when we just have too much going on in our heads, causing a lack clarity due to this overwhelm (the essential oils suggested below will help to treat these underlying causes of your cold as well as your physical symptoms).
The cells of your body repair themselves whilst you sleep, in a process called autophagy. So when we don’t sleep enough, we become much more susceptible to illness. Again, if we work with the season and accept that the nights are longer and the days are shorter, then we are meant to sleep more in winter. You certainly need to prioritize sleep in order for your immune system to be the best it can be.
Although I do think it’s important to live seasonally and move more of your daily activities inside in winter, fresh air is also essential for improving immunity. Our indoor spaces become full of positive ions – due to electrical equipment and stale air – which are associated with lower functioning immunity. So make sure you don’t totally hibernate! Our bodies cannot manufacture Vitamin D so whenever the sun is shining make sure that you get out into it! Walk or sit in the garden or a park. The beach is amazing and deserted in winter!
At home or work, leave a window open a crack to ensure air flow at all times or if your heating doesn’t cope with that why not throw that window open when you’re out for your walk? Other things to use to increase negative ions in your home and office spaces are salt lamps and beeswax candles.
6) Essential oils
To boost immunity in your indoor surroundings you can diffuse essential oils to get an aromatic benefit and cleanse the air. You can also put them on a tissue or handkerchief to inhale from wherever you are. Applying the oils topically can also be very beneficial but remember to use a barrier oil or sorbolene if you have sensitive skin.
The thymus gland, along with bone marrow, is the primary component of the body associated with immunity. Stimulating the action of this gland will be beneficial to improving your ability to fight infection. The thymus is located just under the join in your collar bone – so pop some oils on here. If you are applying oil that you don’t like the smell of, then you can use the reflexology point for the thymus on the bottom of your left foot on the inside corner of your big toe joint.
The top 3 oils that I would recommend are:
- Thyme – It is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic and is also a powerful cleanser of the emotional body, enabling the full release of anything that no longer serves you.
- Lemon – It is antiseptic, antiviral and uplifting, providing clarity and balancing out overwhelm.
- Melaleuca (Tea Tree) – It is analgesic (pain relief), antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, expectorant (stimulates the removal of mucus), immune stimulating and energetically creates appropriate boundaries and self-protection.
These 5 aspects – Food, Movement, Sleep, Being and Surroundings – form the Evenstar 5 Star Wellbeing approach.
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