I used to be the type that reached for all medicine that promised to cure any of my ailments. If it read “relief from xyz”, I took it.
As I started to explore food as medicine , I experimented with curing myself from colds and flu naturally and was amazed at how much faster I recovered. Here are a few tips that I wanted to share with you.
If you feel pain:
Omega- 3 rich food sources such as wild salmon, fish stock, walnuts, flax seeds and high quality fish oil supplements significantly help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Full of antioxidants, vitamin C is still atop the list when you’re feeling under the weather. Antioxidants help to protect the body from free radicals and also help to build your immune system. However your main source of vitamin C should NOT be supplements. Instead, reach for an orange, squeeze some lemons in your water, or have some strawberries and papayas. These fruits will also help to reduce inflammation and cool down the body.
Other medicinal fruits to ease pain include apricots, organic red apples with the skin, dark colored grapes, blueberries, and watermelon. Certain spices such as ginger and turmeric have also been shown to reduce pain associated with inflammation.
If you feel Flu-ish or have a viral infection:
Garlic, onions, ginger and oregano are wonderful antibiotic/antiviral foods. Load up on these foods or use them in teas. For example: you can chop up some fresh ginger, lemon and garlic and steep into hot water, drinking frequently throughout the day.
Quality essential oils such as: oregano, tea tree, thyme, and eucalyptus lemon oils can also assist your body with recovery. Adapted from Dr. John Christopher (a renowned herbalist) and from Paul Pitchford’s “Healing with Whole Foods” here are a few essential oil recipes 1. Antimicrobial essential oil combination: 1 drop tea tree oil combined with 1 drop each of thyme and eucalyptus oils, in water
2.For flu: 1 drop clove oil combined with 2 drops lavender oil, in warm water
*dosages may need to increase up to once every ½ hour depending on severity of illness If you have fever:
In addition to all of the above recommendations, if you have a fever, here are a few more tips to follow Drink as much liquids, especially as much water as you can (remember to squeeze some lemon juice in it)
Try to avoid solid foods until your fever is gone, this will help your body preserve energy. Instead try juicing the fruits mentioned above.
While zinc has been shown to reduce colds and assist with immune function, avoid taking any zinc supplements when a fever is present. When your body is overheated, zinc is really difficult for the body to absorb. (Zinc molecules are larger molecules, that’s why if you have ever taken too much, or on an empty stomach, you feel nauseous)
Allow your fever to exist, your body is eliminating the toxins its needs to expel *however, fevers over 102 should be taken much more seriously and be monitored closely by a doctor.
Take frequent lukewarm-cool baths, or use cool wash clothes to cover your body (doing this repeatedly will assist your body in reducing its temperature).
If you do consume food, try to have fruit especially some apricots and grapefruit (which have been shown to reduce fevers)