Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season the Natural Way
Although it is important to get a flu shot and regularly wash your hands to prevent illness, there are some additional things you can do to combat cold and flu symptoms.
Elderberry Juice and Gummies
Elderberries have been used for centuries as a cold, flu, and sinus infection remedy. They contain a rich source of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. In a 2016 study of 312 people traveling internationally (for a minimum of seven hours), scientists found that those who took elderberry extract before flying and after arriving had a shorter cold duration and less severe symptoms than those who took a placebo.
I have found that taking elderberry gummies and drinking elderberry juice throughout the cold and flu season and before getting on an airplane help prevent and relieve cold and flu-like symptoms. You can find elderberry extract in juice, gummy supplements, and teas on Amazon or at your local health food market.
When I experience congestion or head fog during the cold season, I use essential oils to help clear my sinuses. Essential oils are a natural alternative to over the counter decongestant medication, and if used correctly, can provide sinus relief. OTC decongestants can negatively interact with prescription medications and aren’t recommended for people who are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
According to WebMD, decongestants, like Sudafed, restrict blood flow in your nose and throat by constricting blood vessels. This is actually counter productive because often you want the increase blood flow. Increased blood flow will warm the infected area and help carry germs out of your body.
The key with using essential oils is choosing one that contains both eucalyptus and citrus. You can either use a diffuser and breathe in the vapor or mix the oils with organic coconut oil and apply it to the bottoms of your feet.
Essential Oils I Suggest for Congestion Relief:
Chiropractic Adjustment and Massage
I recommend getting a chiropractic adjustment every two weeks during the cold and flu season. It is easy to think that visiting a chiropractor is only necessary when you are in pain, but by going on a regular basis, you can boost your immune system.
To make regular chiropractic adjustments even more effective, schedule a massage before your appointment. Massage and chiropractic adjustments both help facilitate central nervous system communication. This communication helps prevent your body from reacting to foreign germs.
In addition to improving central nervous system functionality, massage and chiropractic care allow you to stay pain-free and physically active throughout fall and winter. It has been proven that regular moderate exercise plays an essential role in boosting immunity. The types of physical activity I suggest doing in the fall and winter include practicing yoga, light jogging, and taking regular walks.
More Ways to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
- Eat more garlic
- Drink plenty of water
- Take vitamin D
- Drink herbal tea
- Wash your hands regularly
- Get plenty of rest