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How Do I Treat Colds and Flu?

colds and flu
"Feed A Cold, Starve a Fever"

There may well be some truth to the old adage, ‘feed a cold, starve a fever’, based on findings of a recent study. This research – albeit using animals – has found that if you feed a viral infection, you’re likely to do quite well, but not so if you continue to eat in the presence of a bacterial infection.

Considering what we know about these two microorganisms, this makes sense. Bacteria feed very well on sugar, which your body can make from every food you eat.  Bacteria also do rather well on iron and zinc, which we also get from our food. So feeding yourself also feeds the infection.

Viruses, on the other hand, are easier for us to combat if we have good levels of vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C concentrates in certain types of white blood cells that are mobilised in a viral infection. Research at the University of Canterbury has shown that most people need about 200mg of vitamin C a day, just as your daily intake. You’ll need more if you are fighting a virus.

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We Recommend Allicin Max Capsules

If you have a viral infection, enjoy fresh, nutritious fruit and vegetables.  Stop all dairy products and generally keep your intake of animal food low. We recommend high dose vitamin C and extra zinc.

A short “acute” appointment will aid us in advising you on the appropriate dose for you to take, depending on your individual circumstances. This can be arranged by tele-health and we can send you the prescribed care package by overnight courier.

If you seem to be susceptible to frequent infections, you may benefit from a daily dose of our popular preventative herbal defense liquid herbal tonic, or a personalised herbal formula, depending on the type and location of the infection.

You can phone us to arrange an acute (15-minute) appointment so we can support you to get well without having to leave home. Or use the booking link below: 

“How do I know if I have a VirUS, or a Bacterial Infection?”

This is one of those “frequently asked questions”! If you have a cold or the ‘flu’, you have a virus.  It’s also important to know that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Viral infections tend to be associated with some congestion and clear, runny noses.  Of course, there are also more severe viral infections (such as chicken pox, viral meningitis and others).  The first part of a chicken pox infection is a cold up to 2-3 weeks before the spots appear.  While your mucous is generally clear if you have a virus, it can be blood-stained when inflammation is high. 

It is not usual to get a fever with a cold (hence the “cold”), but influenza (the “flu”) is commonly associated with fever, fatigue and body aches.

Bacterial infections produce pus, which is mucous mixed in with both live and dead bacteria, immune cells and other debris from the “battle”.  This always has a colour. Bacterial infections can be quite severe and you can get a fever quite early in the infection.

What Can I do if I get an Infection?

Firstly: Stay Home! Your immune system needs support, so stay home to give it the chance to do it’s thing. Your colleagues will thank you for not sharing it around.

Remember that the job of the fever (if you get one) is to activate your immune system.  Early on in colds and flu it might be tricky to know what is coming. But avoiding doing things to suppress the fever (such as taking Panadol) can be very important.  If your body seems to be somewhat slow to mount a fever, you can aid it using our immune-stimulating brew below.

If you have a bacterial infection, stop eating regular food, especially inflammatory food such as grains, animal protein and dairy products.

Dairy products and bananas are also considered “damp & slimy” foods, encouraging the development of mucous, within which bacteria grow and flourish. You’re best to pass on these until you are recovered. Make sure you drink plenty of water and sip on hot chicken broth for sustenance.

chicken broth for sustenance

Immune-SUPPORT IN A Super-Drink

In a large mug, place the following:

  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of powdered ginger (or 2 tsp fresh grated ginger)
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp of honey (preferably manuka honey)
  • Juice of one lemon

Top up with boiling water. Stir until the honey has dissolved. Drink it as hot and as quickly as you can, preferably after having a hot bath or shower. Jump into bed with lots of blankets. The goal: Heat your body up to kick-start your immune system.

We have two liquid herbal options to help get you sorted:  Herbal Defense liquid herbal medicine is a great preventative and early intervention treatment.

For sore throats, you can:

  • Add 2-3 drops of Kunzea ambigua essential oil to 1/4 cup of water and mix together well.  Gargle with this several times a day.  Swallow ONE mouthful at the end of gargling.  Kunzea is helpful to alleviate the pain of a sore throat.
  • Take 1 tsp of high thymoquinone black seed oil once daily as a preventative and up to 4x daily if the bug “gets you”. This may catch in your throat a little (it’s a bit peppery), but taken early enough has been known to halt that virus in it’s tracks!

Both strategies are antimicrobial to aid your immune defenses at the site of the infection.

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Chest Congestion

For respiratory congestion, there are also numerous self-care strategies you can do.

PLUS: Enjoy Immune-enhancing Shiitake Mushroom Soup- Get the Recipe Here

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