When you first feel yourself becoming sick there are things you can do to avoid becoming ill or to shorten the duration of illness. These suggestions are especially helpful if you do them early on – as early as possible. They will help you fend off flus, colds, or minor infections. Call a physician if your symptoms become severe. These are some steps you can take to boost your immunity.
Eat Very Lightly or Not at All – With most illnesses, the appetite is diminished, this is a natural response of the body. Energy is needed to fight off the “bug” and the body doesn’t have the energy to process food. Give your digestive tract a rest!
- Focus on simple foods like fruits and steamed or raw vegetables. Add powerful immune boosters in your diet as much as possible: Garlic, Onions, Lemon, Cayenne pepper, Turmeric, and Ginger.
Get Rest as Soon as Possible – Many people ignore the early warning signs of illness and keep on working until they “drop.” You will take longer to heal if you allow the illness to get a foothold. If you feel a sore throat, headache, congestion, etc., coming on, take it easy. If possible, take a day off from work. This may prevent you from having to take three days later on.
Drink Plenty of Fluids – This standard advice is good advice. You can clear the toxins from a “bug” out of your system with large amounts of filtered water and herbal teas.
Take Immunity-Boosting Supplements and Homeopathics: Vitamin C: Take 500 mg every 3-4 hours with a small amount of food. Cut back on dosage if stools become loose. Vitamin A: Take 10,000 IU three times daily. (Women who are pregnant should not take high doses of Vitamin A as it can have adverse affects on the fetus.) Zinc: Take 30-50 mg once daily with a small amount of food. This can be continued for 1-2 weeks without depleting copper stores in the body. Oscillococcinum: Take 6 pellets of this homeoplathic remedy every 6 hours at the first onset of flu or cold symptoms. Take away from food.
Take Immunity-Enhancing Herbs* – These herbs can be taken as teas (3-5 cups/day), tinctures (30 drops 4 times a day), or in freeze-dried capsules (2 capsules 4 times a day). Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower) Hydrastis (Goldenseal) Commiphora Myrrha(Myrrh) Trifolium (Red Clover) Ligusticum (Osha)*These are adult dosages. Consult your physician regarding dosages for infants and children. Give Yourself a Home Hydrotherapy Treatment (A Hot Foot Bath) – Soak feet in hot water while wrapped in a warm wool blanket. Put a cold cloth on your head and relax while you sit in a comfortable position for 10-15 minutes. Take care to avoid getting chilled after this treatment. Or…
Throat or Chest Compress – Warm the throat or chest with a warm washcloth or hot shower. Dry the skin thoroughly and apply a thin cotton wrap (to throat) or a thin cotton T-shirt (to chest) that has been soaked in cold water and wrung out so that it is not dripping wet. Cover this with a wool scarf (throat) or a wool sweater (chest). Go to bed this way. By morning the scarf or T-shirt will be dry. This treatment increases circulation and increases white blood cell activity.
References: Boyle, Wade & Saine, Andre, Lectures in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy, (East Palestine, OH: Buckeye Naturopathic Press, 1988). Murray, Michael & Pizzorno, Joseph, Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, (Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1998) pp. 145-161.