“Prevention is better than cure.” – Desiderius Erasmus
What do you do when you feel like a cold or the flu is coming on? Take Paracetamol and cough suppressant syrups? Continue to go to the office or school? We all often fall into the trap of suppressing the symptoms to get on with the day, but is this the best way? Homeopath and nutritionist Michelle Ricaille shares easy-to-follow tips on how to battle the cold and flu season along with a delicious recipe for her ‘virus-fighting immune system-boosting soup’.
The cold and flu season in the UK is between October and March, this is the time were your immune system needs to be top notch, if you are going to have a fighting chance.
Our bodies are designed to heal themselves. They produce signs and symptoms as ways to get rid of the viruses and bacteria which make us sick. A fever to fight infection, sneezing and coughing to get rid of mucus, diarrhoea and/or vomiting to get rid of stomach viruses, etc. When you suppress the body’s natural ability to heal, it first weakens the immune system and then very often the simple cold will then turn into something more chronic such a bronchitis and or pneumonia.
The two best ways to battle the cold and flu season are:
1 – Prevention to keeping the immune system strong
Eat a variety of fresh organic whole fruits and vegetables daily – 80% of your diet should be from fresh fruits and vegetables, not boxed fruit juices. Be sure not to eat the same fruits and vegetables daily. It’s very important to eat a variety as each fruit and vegetable have a different nutritional value.
Drink a minimum of 8-10 cups of purified or spring water per day – from glass bottles, not from plastic bottles
Eat prebiotic foods daily – onions, garlic, jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, leeks, bananas, green vegetables, fermented foods, chicory root and dandelion root (these are often in the form of tea which tastes similar to coffee and are a great coffee substitute)
Exercise minimum 20 minutes per day to stimulate the lymphatic system as it’s the first line of defence against illnesses and disease
Limit refined carbohydrates (anything white) and sugar intake to 15-20 grams per day, that’s around 3-6 teaspoons. According to the Health Services at Columbia University in the US, when you consume 100 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 1 Litre bottle of soda or fruit juice, your white blood cells are 40% less effective in killing germs for up to 5 hours after eating or drinking sugar.
Get your vitamin D levels checked – vitamin D is vital for immune and respiratory health. You can get your Vitamin D levels checked at NHS. Be sure to ask for the 25(OH)D Test. A healthy range is 40-80 ng/ml. It’s important to know if Vitamin D levels are low to first get as much sun as possible exposed to the skin (with no sunscreen) for a minimum of 20 minutes. If there is not much sun in your area then a Vitamin D3 supplement may be important to take until levels reach a healthy range.
Please note: for Vitamin D to be absorbed into the body it needs Fat, Vitamin C & K so while you are taking your Vitamin D3 Spray I recommend eating an Avocado. Also, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and can build up in the body. A Vitamin D level of 150 ng/ml or greater can be toxic to the body.
Sleep – 8 hours of sleep is crucial. During sleep it takes around 4 hours for the body to repair itself followed by 4 hours for the mind to repair itself. This is for Adults. Children and Teens need around 10 hours of sleep.
2 – Natural Treatments, to help fight viruses and/or bacteria, boost the immune system and most importantly not to suppress but encourage the body’s natural ability to fight infection.
Aconite 30c (homeopathic remedy) – Take 2 sugar pills, under the tongue 3 times in 24 hours with 3-4 hours between each dose.
(No food or drinks to be in the mouth 15-20 minutes before or after, no black coffee and no peppermint as these will antidote the medicine)
Take Aconite on the first sign of illness, anything that comes on suddenly (headache, sore throat, runny nose, cough, upset stomach, etc..) anything that comes on suddenly 1 minute you feel fine the next minute you feel like you’re getting sick first.
For Aconite to work you must take it immediately or within a few hours of onset if you take Aconite 1-2 days later from the initial onset of symptoms very often it will not work.
**Throughout the day drink lots of warm water, herbal tea, raw honey and lemon water**
Propolis echinacea throat spray If you are not better within 24 hours of taking Aconite, take 3 sprays of Propolis into the back of the throat every hour up to 8 hours.
Please note: do not take if have allergic reactions to bees, if the child is under the age of 1, pregnant women and women breastfeeding
Stay home and rest at least one day – If the body is ill then it needs more time for the body to repair itself which means you need more than eight hours of sleep. While at home drink lots of warm drinks and eat a virus fighting immune system boosting soup.
Virus-fighting immune system-boosting soup recipe
Peel and chop:
– 3 whole bulbs of garlic (around 30-40 cloves)
– 3 onions
Saute these first in coconut oil for 5-6 minutes or until onions are soft
– 5-6 small potatoes with skin on them, wash and slice
– 2 handfuls (or 1 box) of cherry tomatoes, cut in halve
– 1 teaspoon of tumeric powder
Mix until everything turns yellow then add enough vegetable and or bone broth to cover everything
Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until potatoes are soft, then fully blend until smooth
Oscillococcinum 200c (homeopathic remedy) for flu-like symptoms: body aches, headaches, fever, chills, fatigue
First take Aconite on the first onset of any illness, if there is no improvement after 24-hours and there are flu like symptoms take Oscillococcinum three times per day for up to two days while doing steps (b) and (c).
If symptoms persist longer than 10 days and or fever does not come down naturally after 3 – 4 days, then consult your local GP. Generally, a cold or flu will last around 7 – 10 days with no intervention. With some natural immune system boosting treatments the general cold or flu can possibly be eliminated in 1 – 4 days if following the advice above.
For non-life-threatening chronic coughs, illnesses, diseases consult with a homeopath, nutritionist, naturopath to tackle the ongoing illness and or disease while repairing the immune system.
Michelle Ricaille is a registered homeopath and nutritionist and has been in clinical practice for the past eight years. She has treated various conditions such as: allergies, eczema, asthma, IBS, chronic yeast infections, various auto-immune diseases, headaches, UTI’s, ear infections, anxiety, bedwetting, sleeping and behaviour issues in children, infant coli and reflux, pre and post natal care, molluscum contagiosum, chicken pox, bronchitis, acute and chronic coughs, etc.