No parent likes to see their child suffering with colds and flu’s. Most adults hate the inconvenience of being sick. If I had a dollar for overtime I’ve heard, “I don’t have the time to be sick.” Then if people tend to have poor immunity getting sick is scary and becomes a chronic health issue. But if we know how to support ourselves and our family through colds and flu’s, you can increase your immunity to respond well, fight off infections, and reduce the risk of further infections, complications, and side effects from antibiotics.
Surprisingly the process of a cold or flu can be a vital role the immune system plays in cellular rejuvenation, cleansing, clearing of toxins and then further rebuilding, development and growth.
Children grow rapidly giving way to frequent development and change. There is a higher rate of cleansing and rebuilding in a child than an adult and hence a child may experience a cold or flu about 6 times a year. Where as a a healthy adult might get a cold or flu once or twice a year.
A healthy immune system knows exactly how to deal with this cleansing process. When an infection enters the system, in a healthy body our immune system takes note of this and starts to fight it off; a part of this process is the body mounting a fever to kill the infection. A fever is not to be feared it is a healthy part of the immune response, your immunity is working. As a fever gets higher we should stay warm, rest and support the fever, when the fever breaks with a sweat it is a sign that the infection has been killed partially or fully and we are at the recovery stage. This will usually happen with in days or a couple of weeks.
The artificial suppression and interference of suppressing a fever means you are stunting the immune systems natural response in the healing and recovery and affecting normal healthy immune activity. I really wonder how does this affect our immune systems long term when done repeatedly. Not allowing our bodies to work as they should potential affects further immune function. Naturopathic philosophy is to first do no harm and to work with the body and support it’s naturally process and support it’s natural inbuilt healing mode of action.
Naturopathically there are many ways to work with the body and help fight the infection, boost immunity and monitor the fever and build a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin C given at 1000mg every 2 hours ( I dispense a non acid vitamin C so that diarrhoea does not results from this high dose. )
- Herbal Elixir made specifically to the sign’s and symptoms of the particular infection. A herbalist dispensary contains many herbs all with different medicinal actions. At Elixir & Life I make Elixir’s for the many aspects of infections, cough expectorants, immune boosting, anti-viral, antibacterial, mucus and congestion clearing. They are safe and highly effective with no side effects on the healthy digestive bacteria we need.
- Garlic Foot Poultice: Rub feet with olive oil, cover the feet with slices of garlic and cling wrap it securely and then put a pair of socks on and leave on overnight or about 5 hours. Garlic fights all infections and in absorbed well via the feet.
- zinc is highly effective and used in higher doses by the body when fighting infections. Adults can have 30mg three times a day children under 12 should get advice on dosage.
What about an immune system that isn’t functioning well and is not as healthy as it should be. You can spot this if you get sick more often than you should. People often come to see me and say they think there immunity is not great cause they have been sick all winter on and off, taking a long time to recover from infections and then having multiply courses of antibiotics. These are all signs that your body is in need of some TLC and better care. There immune system is struggling and depleted. If you have had a number of courses of antibiotics the seat of your immunity your intestinal tract is quiet possibly damaged and needs to be repaired.
Regular infections of any kind in course for concern. Chest, throat, sinus, ear infections, tonsillitis, and urinary tract infections are ones I see commonly in my practice alongside colds and flu’s.
More serious infections often are able to have a strong impact on someone who is run down and therefore has a suboptimal immune function. Illnesses like lymes, Glandular fever and Ross River are associated with are more serious infections that regularly leave people with chronic immune depletion and what we call post viral syndrome and Chronic Fatigue.
Immune system’s like this require naturopathic restoration. It is even more important to treat these infections naturally whenever possible to help start working with immunity and building up immunity. In addition a naturopathic program to correct the underlying immune depletion and exhaustion is really important and will make a world of difference in gaining optimal health.