When there is a cold virus going around and spreading like wildfire, sometimes even the toughest of us fall victim to the kleenex box tether. Here are some of my favourite tips to help support immunity and get back to normal in good time.
Even when I’m not feeling yucky, but especially when I am, nothing beats traditional home made chicken soup. Onions, garlic, herbs, broth, veggies, and protein can definitely support your immune system and give it a little boost. The hydration from the broth is also very key. Hydration is important when you’re trying to get back up and at ’em from a cold.
To prepare the soup, let the crock-pot be your nurse/chef.
1 whole organic, free-run chicken
2 cups of water
1 large onion (more if you’re into it, I recommend being into it), diced
1 clove of garlic (same rule as onions), crushed
2 small potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbsp of fresh parlsey, chopped
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp of sage
Optional (also, recommended):
Bits of hearty leafy greens like kale, cabbage, or bok choi.
Combine all of the above ingredients together in a crock-pot and allow to simmer on low for 8-10 hours. This is best done when you start to feel that tickle in your throat so it’s important to get on top of those developing symptoms ASAP. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, removed the chicken from the crock-pot and get it all cleaned up and separated. I like to keep the dark meat and some of the white meat for the soup and end up setting aside most of the white meat for other meals. Add a cup of water to the chicken base that is in the crock pot, add your soup meat, and voilà. Chicken soup.
If chicken ain’t your thang, any warm homemade soup with some garlic, onion, spices, veggies, protein, and healthy fats (like coconut oil) would likely do.
Sleep supports the immune system and your body will likely let you know that it would like more of it at the onset and throughout a cold. Try to get as much of it. Even resting your body and calming your mind will do wonders at this time.
Keep supporting your digestion with digestive bitters and/or enzymes at this time. Any energy the body can save from being used for digestion can be used for immune function.
Probiotics are important for supporting the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract and keeping the immune system fighting strong. They help the mucosal functions of the immune system running smoothly and contribute to the production of antibodies to pathogens. (Better late than never!)
There is also a tea that I rely on for relieving nasal congestion when it’s at its worst. It’s Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy. This stuff is just incredible and works almost immediately. I recommend keeping some on-hand at all times throughout the viral battle royale and keep sipping it back. Be sure to steep it according to directions for maximum effect. If all else fails and you can’t find this magic tea, drinking a lot of decaffeinated tea will also support hydration and help with the next step.
There are 2 ways of doing this.
Sweat can be induced to support the lymphatic system either by consuming warm beverages and keeping warm when you’re at the lowest of the low and feeling too tuckered to get out of bed or leave the house.
If you’re feeling a little motivated, bundling up and going for a short walk can move your lymphatic system and in turn, help your immune system fight the good fight. Just make sure that whatever exercise you choose, don’t overdo it at this time. Any excessive stress perceived by the body runs the risk of lowering immune function. You will have to listen to your body and choose which option will suit you best.
In all cases, rehydrate like crazy. Water with lemon and chlorella (an amazing green food, see an article I wrote about it and other sea vegetables here) and decaffeinated tea are your best bet.
As always, this post is in no way a substitute for medical intervention. Use your best judgement. If you feel like you need to see the doctor, please do so as soon as possible.
All the best with staying strong and successfully surviving the onslaught of germs!