Lifestyle and homeopathic options when you are not feeling your best.
Best thing you can do for yourself when sick is to naturally support your body, follow the symptoms, and then give yourself time to recover.
Acute ailments are self-limiting and will end. As rotten as you feel, this will pass. Being sick is one way your body signals to you that it is tired and run down and you need to take a break. It is also a form of discharge after periods of high stress. Sometimes we become ill because our body needs to develop immunity in a certain area but many times, its because our immune systems are overly taxed by life, and we need to take stock of where we are at.
Take the time to listen and pay attention to your body. If you use this momentary sickness as a red flag to evaluate, your body will respond with more strength and vitality. What adjustments or actions can you implement this week, month, or year ahead?
- Ask yourself about stress in your life (stress is very broad topic but you probably know what triggers in your life are causing you to react internally)
- Is there a lack of balance in some areas of your life?
- Is your nutrition on track with healthy lifestyle choices or have sugars, processed foods, and fast foods snuck in?
- Do you get to bed at a consistent and reasonable time? Can you separate from social media for 1-2 hours before bed to help your brain calm before lights out?
- Are there any emotionally charged situations that you are avoiding or repressing?
- When is the last time you walked or played outside? How much motion do you have in your week?
- How much are you drinking, smoking, vaping, or using cannabis in a day or week?
These are just a few of the things that can lower our immune system and allow for viruses or bacteria to invade. Sometimes physical, emotional, or mental stress with a lack of balance in one or two areas can become so intense that your body intentionally allows sickness to force you to shut down. Your body in all aspects is very intelligent and will push you to change so that it can survive and thrive. The question is if you will listen or not.
When you first notice a tickle in your throat or a slight feeling of unwell tiredness, the best advice is to increase somethings and decrease others.
- Increase: Vit C, Vit D3 and take your favourite immune booster like Deep Immune Complex by St Francis. Clean non-processed foods, fluids (teas and water) and rest or sleep.
- Decrease: all sugars and cut out dairy. Decrease your stress load and energy output for the time being. Turn off the computer and put away the phone. No alcohol.
Doing these things usually wards off getting sick within 12-24 hours. Though, if things do progress to a full head cold or influenza, here is what I would suggest
- Continue drinking lots of water and nibble on foods that are high in water such as raw fruits, vegetables, and soups.
- Continue to avoid sugar, dairy and wheat to give your immune system the opportunity to focus on regaining your health
- Take Ferrum Phos 6x Tissue Salts: It helps you absorb iron which is a major immune building agent; when sick, you need more help to absorb iron so that you can be strong enough to fight.
- 2 pellets 3x a day when ill or if you feel you are becoming ill.
- Take Vitamin C: Have a high-quality Vit C capsule on hand for the cold & flu season. Take 3000mg+ throughout the day when sick. Take at least 500mg daily all winter long.
- A little Echinacea for 2 to 3 days gives your system some great added support
- Deep Immune Booster or Oil of Oregano
- When your lymph nodes are full and your sinuses are plugged, ginger tea gets things flowing. Try shaving 2-3 tbsp raw ginger in a teapot of hot water and let it steep. Raw honey adds some sweetness and comfort. For a real punch, sprinkle in Cayenne pepper and add lemon slices.
Note: If you are experiencing many colds and infections, and if you tend to become ill with every sickness that’s “going around”, then this is a signal that you have a chronic condition that needs constitutional care to strengthen and support your overall system. Please contact a qualified homeopath who can provide this type of care.
Resource: Cold and Flu postcard for your vitamin cupboard.
Homeopathic remedies may help speed up the process and support your body, but they will not erase the symptoms completely.
Below is a short list of common remedies for colds, influenza, and coughs. With each remedy you will see a list of typical symptoms indicative of that remedy. Review each remedy and look for those symptoms which best match your unique illness picture. If none apply to your situation, then reach out to a professional to give you direction and advice.
- These remedies are usually easily obtainable through your local health food store or perhaps even a local Superstore. They are safe, natural, non-addictive, and gentle in action.
- For minor colds I would recommend 30C potency, and for more intense colds and flu’s I would recommend 200c potency.
- Take the remedy 3 or 4 times daily over a 24-48 hour period. You would expect to see improvement within this time frame. As improvement occurs you should reduce the frequency of dosing.
- When there is marked improvement, you may stop dosing altogether (i.e. sinuses are draining, mental state improved, sleeping at night, intensity/frequency of cough has decreased significantly).
- You will find in acute ailments, like the flu, that your symptoms change over the course of the illness. As the most intense symptoms change, so should the remedy that you are taking.
- If there is no improvement please stop dosing and consult with a professional homeopath for advice.
A common viral infection involving the nose and/or throat which become inflamed causing runny nose, sneezing, sore throat etc. A cold does not have a fever and chill process.
- Burning pains in your throat made better by heat, warm drinks
- Watery discharge from nose that can sting upper lip
- You will feel “stuffed up” at the same time as “runny” nose
- Restless, cold, anxious
- Dull throbbing headache
- Any stage sinusitis – all sinus cavities
- Upper Respiratory Tract (therefore NOT if cold moves into lungs)
- Complete nasal obstruction with nasal tone of voice (the flow has stopped)
- Thick, sticky, sometimes ropey sinus discharge – yellow or yellow/green
- Worse in the mornings, after sleep
- Better with heat, motion, and pressure
- Thick egg white discharge in nose
- Alternates between runny and congested
- Cold sores + Dry cracked lips
- Sneezing attack in the AM
- Depressed & sensitive with cold
- Late stage cold / sinusitis
- “Stuffed nose”
- Loss of smell
- Dull heavy head sensation
- Watery discharge from the nose changing to thick yellow
- Weepy, sensitive, moody, or clingy
- Nose drains when you lie down; nose stops draining when you get up
- Generally warm and thirst-less
- Better with the window open or outside (fresh air)
- Colds that result from teething
A viral infection of the respiratory system causing fever, chills, with possible severe aching, loss of appetite, lethargic, headache and phlegm
General and best remedy to take in the first 24 hours is Oscillococcinum
- Burning pains anywhere which are better with heat or warm drinks (as in colds)
- Vomiting + diarrhea followed by great exhaustion
- High fever
- Face hot/burning
- Body feels chilled
- Crisis point between midnight – 1 am
- Restless / anxious
- Thirsty for SIPS of water
- Worse eating and motion
- High fever
- Rapid, sudden onset
- Hot head and cool body OR hot head/body with cold hands/feet
- Headache with throbbing / pulsating sensations
- Right sided symptoms (ie. Sore throat on right; ear infection on right)
- Dilated pupils
- 3pm and 11pm worse
- Flu with severe sore throat
- Can have delirium, hallucinations, crazy look in eyes with High fever
- Very hot, very dry – wants to lie still and be left alone
- Slow onset of symptoms
- Low grade fever
- Aches all over; severe pain with coughing
- Intense headache: worse least movement, better from pressure
- Irritable, doesn’t want to talk, wants to be alone, and may be delirious
- Thirst for large amounts of cold water
- Tongue coated white
- Very severe pains (body aches) in limbs and back
- Bones feel “broken”, pain causes restlessness
- Chills: beginning in small of back with shivers, worse 7-9am
- High fever
- Bursting headache, eyeball sore
- Very thirsty, desires cold food/drinks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chills run up and down back
- Feeling chilly alternating with feeling hot
- Fever slowly develops over 1-3 days
- Sleepiness and weakness
- Great heaviness of body including head and eyelids
- Aches and pains all over
- Absence of thirst, sneezing, hard cough
- Bursting headache behind the eyes and forehead
A cough is the result of an irritation of the air passages and typically occurs with a “cold”. It tends to clear up when the cold gets better. Any cough that is of unknown cause or which lingers should be seen by a qualified health care provider.
In acute illnesses, there are three kinds of coughs
- Dry cough – unproductive and without expectoration (mucus or phlegm)
- Wet cough – productive with expectoration which may or may not be easy to expel
- Spasmodic cough – coughs that begin suddenly and occur in spasms
- Persistent loose cough with rattle
- Lots of sticky phlegm and difficulty getting it up
- Sudden sensation of suffocation and must sit up
- Low fever, pale and sweaty
- Worse at night and worse lying down
- Dry, violent, spasmodic cough that shakes the body
- Slightest movement aggravates the cough
- Dry lips, mouth and membranes; strong thirst for cold drinks
- Soreness in chest and bursting, severe headache
- Deep breath hurts – holds chest and head when coughing
- Deep, hollow, violent, barking cough
- Violent tickle in larynx brings on coughing with retching and gagging
- Cough comes in in episodes or fits
- Causes pain below ribs – holds ribcage when coughing
- Worse at night (as soon as head hits pillow), better in open air
- Good for whooping cough
- Spasmodic, exhausting cough – can be dry or with tough, stringy phlegm
- Cough is caused by constant tickling in back of throat
- On breathing in, air feels cold and will cover mouth
- Hoarseness with constant desire to “hawk”
- Worse lying down at night, waking in the a.m., cold air, change of temperature
- Dry, hacking cough – can bark or be tight and croupy – sounds raspy, “crow like”
- Dryness of mucus membranes
- Wakes from sleep with violent, choking cough, fear of suffocation
- Wakes with burning in chest and throat
- Tough phlegm – can’t cough up and usually swallowed
- Pain from talking, singing, swallowing
- Worse lying down, cold air, and cold drinks
- Better from hot drinks and eating
This material is for information purposes only and does not replace medical advice from your MD.