Cold and Flu Season is Year Round and How to Beat It

Photo of author

( — September 19, 2015) — We hear a lot about summer colds and winter colds. Some feel the summer colds are worse. I think they affect us more. In the summer we want to wear lighter clothing and spend time outdoors doing fun things, like playing in the water. When you have a summer cold you are restricted from doing those things. In the winter many of us want to bundle up on the couch, drink warm liquids and read a book, watch tv, or just stare into a fire. Sounds exactly like what we ought to be doing to feel better from a cold. The question isn’t so much as to when you got the cold. The biggest question is why you got the cold. And the thousand dollar question is how you can get rid of it.

Grandma always said to bundle up and cover your ears when you went outside in cold weather. Is there any truth to what she said? It turns out there are several things that make it more likely to catch a cold during the colder weather.
•    Colder air is typically dryer. This dries out our nasal passages and reduces one of the ways our body protects us from viruses.
•    Viruses are stronger when they are cold. Science is showing that the protective coating on a virus is thicker in cold weather than it is in warm weather.
•    Cold temperatures pull our blood flow into our core. This restricts the white blood cells in their ability to fight off the viruses.
•    We can run low on Vitamin D. Our bodies make this from sunshine hitting our skin. Even if it is sunny outside, if it’s cold we won’t have much bare skin. Vitamin D protects us from many different illnesses.
•    We are trapped inside with stale air, and sometimes more people.
•    Emotional trauma can occur more easily when we are around more people. Negative emotions lower our immune systems.
•    We tend to eat more sugary foods in colder weather. Sugar also lowers our immune systems.

Once we are feeling yucky what can we do about it? Are we limited to visiting our doctor or visiting the local drug store? The answer is no, there are a lot of things we can do for ourselves. With a well-stocked pantry we don’t even have to leave home.

For the sore throat:
•    Honey, lemon and ginger tea. This is just what it sounds like. Mix honey, organic lemon slices and organic ginger slices and let it sit to blend. When needed put a spoonful in a cup of hot water and sip slowly.
•    Horehound cough drops or teas. The drops can be made ahead of time and stored for when needed. You can purchase Horehound at an herb shop, or grow your own. Most recipes combine horehound with honey.
•    Gargle with Cayenne tea. Mix a sprinkle of cayenne powder with warm water and gargle. You can add a good Himalayan or sea salt for added benefit.
•    Gargle or sip Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water. You can add other ingredients such as herbs or spices for more benefit.
•    Sage tea.
For the congestion:
•    Eat or drink some antiviral foods such as Garlic, Ginger, Real Cranberry, Cinnamon, Real Raw Honey, Echinacea, PauD’Arco and Oregano Oil.
•    Include some antibacterial foods for good measure: Onion, Turmeric, Lemon, Cayenne, and Peppermint.
•    Make your own “Vapor Rub” using coconut oil and essential oils of eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, cloves, and possibly cedarwood. Mix and match until you find a combination that works for you. If you chill it the consistency will be firmer.

To prevent colds in the first place you need to work on strengthening your immune system. This isn’t something you do just because you feel like you are coming down with something. These are things you can do all the time to make your body stronger and more resistant to any type of illness.
•    Vitamin C
•    Probiotics
•    Plant Sterols
•    Oregano Oil
•    Thyme
•    Zinc
•    Vitamin D
•    Reduce Stress
•    Eat real/organic foods. Stay away from processed foods.
•    Get plenty of rest on a regular basis.
•    Stay well hydrated.

We all have times when we are going a thousand miles an hour and not taking very good care of ourselves. Sometimes they just can’t be avoided. The rest of the time we need to comply with the old saying of eat right and get plenty of rest. This includes avoiding sweets and junk food as well as excessive alcohol or other stimulants or depressants. Our bodies are designed to crave equilibrium.  The more we can feed that need the stronger those bodies will be and the better we will feel year round.