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Natural Remedies for Blocked & Sniffly noses

Posted Oct 26 2011 3:39pm

hotlemonAutumn is well and truly here and along with it, the sniffles, colds, sore throats and flus. We all know that prevention is better than cure, right? And we all know that a healthy diet and appropriate lifestyle choices build optimal health and immunity. And we’ve all read a heap of articles about immune boosting diets, we know it off by heart by now (need a reminder? Here’s a quick summary for you):

An immune boosting diet includes:

  • antioxidants. Think: all colours of the rainbow, especially Autumnal colours red, orange, purple, yellow: root vegetables and leafy greens
  • foods high in vitamin C: citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, goji berries
  • organic food which is richer in vitamins and minerals, minus the harmful pesticides, chemicals etc
  • add fermented foods to your diet. Their probiotic qualties will help to build gut immunity: sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir
  • daily homemade vegetable and fruit juices for a shot of vitamins, minerals and enzymes
  • stay away from processed and refined foods which actually strip your body of essential vitamins and minerals
  • stay away from sugar which greatly reduces immunity – especially processed sugar but remember that even natural sugar is, well, sugar
  • garlic & onion, those faithful immune boosters
  • omega 3 essential fatty acids (flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds for vegetarians, oily fish for non-veggies)
  • plenty of vitamins A, C, E, D, zinc, selenium

Believe it or not, bouts of common illnesses can actually be a positive thing.  Let’s assume you clean your flat/house out on a regular basis – dusting off the surfaces, vacuuming up the dust bunnies and once or twice a year you have a big clean out, a Spring clean if you will (never mind if you don’t, just go with me on this…). Well, our bodies need to do that too. They do their best to clean (detox) on a daily basis, more or less effectively according to how we treat them (nutrition, exercise, exposure to chemicals, stress etc) but they too need a bigger clear out every now and then. This is where common ‘healing crisis’* come in. That your body is able to manifest symptoms to dump the junk is a sign that your internal janitor is working, rather than just standing there propping himself up on the mop handle. Remember, everything in moderation. If you’re regularly sick throughout the year that doesn’t count as a healthy display of cleansing, that’s more likely a sign that you need to give your immune system and general health an overhaul. Neither does it mean that you have to be sick to be healthy. When living a clean lifestyle helping your body to detox on a daily basis then you might only experience a minor, short lived healing crisis, if at all.

Here are some tips from the kitchen and natural medicine cabinet to help reduce your discomfort and grogginess once you have symptoms whilst supporting them make the most of this opportunity without suppressing them by pushing them back in with over the counter medication. Use any combination of these as soon as you start feeling a cold/flu/sore throat coming on:

  • sip on an immune boosting hot water with lemon, ginger and raw honey (let the water cool before adding the lemon and honey so that you don’t kill off the enzymes, vitamins and minerals)
  • apple cider vinegar: mix 1 tsp in half a glass of water at least 3xday or rub a bit on your chest to soothe a cough
  • mix up 1Tbsp raw honey and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Taken daily for 3 days this will help even the most stubborn cold
  • blend up a super immune boosting smoothie: banana, baby spinach, blueberries/blackberries (kiwi, strawberry, oranges)
  • boil up an antioxidant green tea brew and other herbal teas/infusions such as nettle, rosehip, thyme, chamomile
  • use a neti pot to clear your sinuses
  • have an enema, yes, you read that right. As well as communicating with our liver (which is working extra shifts during a display of acute symptoms), enemas help to clear out congestion of waste in our colon – the garbage is better out than in, right? Imagine a pile of garbage visited by a rat. Add to the garbage = more rats. Take the garbage out = 0 rats. See?
  • hydrate, it’s important to keep your mucous lining from drying out as that will cause further irritation
  • natural remedies such as Bach Flower Crab Apple is effective when symptoms arise and throughout an acute
  • essential oils such as eucalyptus are wonderful to help relieve blocked sinuses. Try thyme, marjoram, lavender, tea tree
  • get plenty of rest and allow your body to do what it needs to do. Take time to make time. Yes, it works. Overload your body when it’s already fighting off an infection won’t help
  • make sure you take some big deep breaths of fresh air
  • as well as being an effective preventative measure, reflexology is also to be used as soon as you notice symptoms coming up. It is not to be used in the midst of an acute when your body is already working hard
Foot Sinus Points

'Worm walk' or glide your fingers up each of your toes, base to tip, to relieve congested sinuses of any age. This works to release even the most stubborn of blocked noses within about 5-10 minutes. ps) I know I have tiny pudgy kid-like toes. pps) my feet are not actually this yellow - it's the lighting. ppps) in the art of foot reading, yellow skin on the feet can indicate that you are 'cheesed-off', annoyed about something. I'm not. It's the lighting. Honest.

For sore throats:

  • raw honey soothes (in tea or on its own)
  • sip on a brew of sage or chamomile tea
  • bee propolis works wonders for soothing sore throats
What weird and wonderful natural remedies do you use for winter ills?

* a common term in natural medicine referring to your body’s release of toxins

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