How to thrive during this cold and flu season: Tips and Tricks

Winter’s coming, and with all the good stuff the season brings, so comes cold and flu season. Here are a few hacks to help you keep your immune system working well, and if you do get a cold or flu, to help you knock it out as quickly and comfortably as possible.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are extracted from plants that have biological healing properties. Other than their pleasant smell, you usually either use them topically or put them in a diffuser.

  • Eucalyptus oil contains eucalyptol, which relieves congestion, decreases coughing/bronchitis, and kills infectious bacteria in your respiratory tract [1,2,3]. Eucalyptus oil is generally safe to put on your skin if you’re an adult; to breathe more easily, you can rub a bit of it under each nostril – an especially useful trick if you’re stuffed up and have trouble falling asleep!

Supplements

The evidence is in that they do work for immune enhancement. Here’s a common superstar supplement for enhancing immunity, and most research:

  • Vitamin C, contrary to popular belief, it won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick. It can, however, help you get rid of your cold more quickly!

Foods

Turns out that your grandmother was right about soup, at least mostly.

  • Chicken soup. The old classic really does kill pathogens that cause upper respiratory infections. Always get or make your chicken soup from the bones of pasture-raised chickens. You can also use beef or lamb bone broth bases with a dash of Brain Octane mixed in.
  • Ginger contains sesquiterpenes that specifically fight the rhinovirus – that’s the virus responsible for many colds. To nab ginger’s benefits, you can make ginger tea, eat raw ginger, or add ginger to your chicken soup.

Habits

  • Cold exposure boosts your metabolism, and faster metabolism means increased immune power. Try a blast of cold water at the end of your morning shower, or leave your windows open and the heat off for 30 minutes. Do this when you’re NOT sick; it’s counterproductive if you’re already fighting a cold.
  • Moderate exercise can also protect you from the cold or flu. If you’re not sick, doing HIIT or resistance training is a good way to keep your defences up. Don’t overtrain!

With these tips and tricks you can thrive throughout this cold and flu season. If you are looking for more support, head down to the Madison Clinic located at 4950 Yonge St. North York, and consult a Naturopathic Doctor. Or, call us at 416-222-8235 to book a complimentary 15-minute naturopathic consultation, or any of our other services including: chiropractic care, physiotherapy, massage therapy and active rehab.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15477123
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12645832
http://www.clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com/article/S1198-743X(14)63409-1/abstract
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4/abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11035691/
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np50107a017
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266793/
http://www.cell.com/trends/immunology/abstract/S1471-4906(04)00059-6?_returnURL=
http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1471490604000596%3Fshowall%3Dtruehttp://europepmc.org/abstract/med/8164529
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