Claridge Naturopathics Blog

July 5, 2012
Colds & Flus

Sick & Tired of Catching Colds & Flu?

Author: Lindsay Ingleton

Naturoapthics - Cold & Flu GeelongColds and flu can strike at anytime, especially during the dreaded winter season. If winter has left you with lingering runny noses, sinus pain, fevers, sore throats, coughs and generally feeling unwell. Now is the time to look at which natural supplements may help support your immune system.

Why Do We Get Colds and Flu’s?

If you regularly catch colds and flu’s you may have an imbalance in your immune system which may make you more susceptible to infections. A poor diet, nutritional deficiencies and/or a lack of exercise can all lead to these imbalances in your immune system. A strong immune system can help to protect you from potentially harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, by recognising and responding to them as a threat.

Viruses Can Cause Colds and Flu’s

Contrary to popular belief, viruses are the main cause colds and flu - not bacteria. Viruses are minute infectious agents which invade and hijack your body’s cells. The immune system recognises viruses as invaders and attempts to destroy them before they can invade. If the immune system is weak, it may not have the ability to defend your system and infection can occur. Common symptoms of viral infections include sore throat, headache, fever, fatigue & mucus congestion.

Diet and Lifestyle Suggestions

There are dietary and lifestyle changes that you can make to strengthen your immune system to prevent colds and flu’s, including:

  • Eat a well balanced diet including nutrient dense foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, legumes and lean red meat. Increase warming foods such as ginger, chili and garlic and easy to digest nutritious
     soups and stews. Avoid cold foods.
  • All dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and ice cream increase the production of mucus – so do bananas! These foods should be kept to a minimum for the duration of your sickness.
  • Avoid foods low in nutrients that suppress the immune system, such as sugar, white flour, packaged foods, fast food, confectionary, sweets and alcohol.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of filtered water every day – add a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra boost of vitamin C and cleansing effect.
  • Exercise regularly (not while you are sick).
  • Ensure you are getting enough sleep. It is important to give your body time to rest and re-cooperate.

Herbs and Nutrients

If your immune system is struggling to defend you, don’t despair - Natural Medicines may help! When prescribed by a qualified practitioner, therapeutic grade medicinal herbs and nutrients may help manage your cold and flu symptoms naturally, as well as improving your immune system to make it stronger and better equipped to fight future invading viruses. The following herbs and nutrients may be beneficial for fighting colds and flu.

Fever & Sore throat -Echinacea, Andrographis, Olive leaf extract, Elder berry
Productive cough -Mullein, Licorice root,  Pinellia, Magnolia
Dry irritating cough -Licorice root, Marshmallow root, Elecampane
Sinus congestion - Garlic, horseradish, Eyebright
-Anti-microbial essential oils including eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and thyme used in a medical grade sinus spray
Frequent Colds & Flu’s - Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Immune enhancing Probiotics

Say Goodbye to Colds and Flu’s

By making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle and by taking the appropriate supplements, you can reduce your risk of catching colds and flu’s. Speak to your Naturopath about the best way to manage or prevent your colds and flu’s naturally.