The leaves are turning beautiful colors of red, orange, and yellow. The temps are dropping and the morning air is crisp and cool. School is back in session and routine is back in order.
Autumn is a gorgeous season, however, besides red apples, we also start to see red, runny noses. Cold season kicks in as soon as school starts, it seems. Kids bring home permission slips, homework assignments, fundraisers, and germs. And once one kid brings it home, you know the rest of the family won’t be far behind in feeling the cruddy cold creeping in.
Your health and wellbeing goes beyond reducing medication, being fit, losing weight, and managing stress. It also means improving your immune system to fight those viruses and bacteria. Below are some natural ways to give your immune system some strength to fight those intruders.
That feeling on Day 2 of your cold, where you wake up and your head feels as big as your pillow. You pray the over the counter medicine can at least take the edge off today so you can function at home and at work. When you need more than the meds can handle, Dr. Sears has suggestions for natural ways to relieve your cold symptoms:
- Rest. Whenever possible, take it easy. Try to take a day off work, even a half day, to lay on the couch and watch tv or nap. Go to bed early. Leave laundry and shopping for later in the week. Your body is working hard enough to fight the germs. Doing anything more weakens your body and delays healing.
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated is very important as your body needs water to function. When you’re dehydrated your body can’t function properly to fight those germs. Try adding some lemon and honey for a boost of flavor and immune support. Drinking water also helps move the postnasal drip and mucus from going into your lungs.
- Take a hot shower or warm bath. The steam will help open your nasal passages as well as your lungs, allowing you some moments to breath and release the mucus through coughing. Add in a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to help.
- Blow your nose. Blowing your nose will allow the bacteria in the snot to get out of your body and prevent further infection. You can also try a saline solution to spray into your nose to help loosen the mucus.
- Gargle with salt water for a sore throat. This helps kill the bacteria in your throat.
- Eat homemade soup with lots of garlic and onions. The combination of garlic, onions and broth give your immune system a boost, help battle bacteria, and keep mucus moving while also opening your nasal passage. Check out my recipe for Cold Day’s Soup here.
You can’t not live with your kids during the Fall and Winter (I know, I’ve thought about it too). There’s just no avoiding coming into contact with germs. Boosting your immune system is the way to protect from constant sickness and get your cold count down for the season. How do you do this?
- Wash your Hands. Washing your hands can eliminate up to 58% of germs and viruses (cdc.gov). Think about what your hands touch every day- doorknobs, sink faucets, the car steering wheel (when was the last time you cleaned that?), kids snotty tissues, grocery carts, toilet seats and flush handles. Then you touch your mouth, eat food, rub your eyes, sniffle your own nose and transfer those germs into your body. Sorry it had to get gross, but I needed to give you that visualization. Washing your hands regularly can help prevent that transfer of germs. Especially wash your hands after using the bathroom, helping sick kids, and when you come back from the store.
- Increase antioxidant-rich foods intake. Berries, green tea, citrus fruit, veggies are all great foods to give your immune system a natural boost. Throw some berries into a morning smoothie, grab an orange at lunch, sip on tea through the afternoon, and add an extra spoonful of veggies on your dinner plate.
- Supplement. Sometimes it’s hard to get in extra fruits and veggies into our day. I get it. We’re all busy and they aren’t always convenient. If you’re looking for an easier way to meet your 7-13 servings a day, or need a healthier smoothie powder mix option, check out my Juice Plus+ site.
Juice Plus+ is not a vitamin. JP capsules contain over 30 dehydrated fruits, veggies, berries, and grains providing your body with nothing but the best, most potent nutrients. It’s the next best thing to eating the actual fruits and veggies. It’s not a substitute for eating them. But when you can’t get your hands on more, are working toward increasing your amount, or changing your lifestyle habits, this is a great way to fill in what’s missing.
May your kids keep their germs to themselves. May your house be a germ-free haven. May your health be strong this season.