In the winter time it seems that cold and flu bugs always appear! In Ayurvedic medicine, India’s 5,000 year old healing system, winter is the prime time to strengthen your immunity for the rest of the seasons.
By using a combination of both Eastern and Western healing, we can reduce our chances of catching those “bugs”, should they strike! Many herbs, supplements and aromatherapy oils are designed to prevent and help reduce your time and symptoms if you do become ill.
To prevent and treat winter colds take Echinacea (tea or extract), which stimulates the immune fighting cells. It is best to start Echinacea before you feel sick and continue thru the season. You can increase this herb and others during periods of illness. Andrographis is a new herb from India that can reduce severity and duration of colds; it may help prevent upper respiratory infections by halting viral growth.
Studies show Elderberry syrup disarms viruses and offer significant protection against those pesky respiratory and sinus infections. Garlic, prior to penicillin, was the treatment of choice for infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Sulfur compounds like garlic and onion, have allicin compound, which gives health benefits to prevent illness and boosts recovery times. Make up a soup broth with garlic, onions, ginger and lemon and drink up!
Protect and prevent also by using Ashwagandha, American Ginseng, or Astragulus because all of these herbs strengthen the immune function and helps the body with stress. A few other recommendations are Olive leaf and Immune Mushroom Complex to help before and during illness.
Essential oils in Aromatherapy can heal, help prevent and reduce symptoms. It is the chemistry of the oil, not the smell that makes the difference. Each oil has a specific chemistry and interacts with the body in different ways. It might be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory or an expectorant, decongestant or an analgesic. This chemistry of the essential oil facilitates healing and this liquid comes from the glands of the plant. Many times companies will make a synthetic but it may not work; because it does not have the correct chemistry from the plants gland.
Dilute your essential oils when you use them. As a room spray with filtered water kills bacteria and virus on contact. Rub the essential oils on by diluting with carrier oils like olive oil or coconut oil. A good area to rub on is on the bottom of the feet for it will be absorbed quickly and carried into the body.
Using steam inhalation or a diffuser especially in the bedroom at night will help you sleep better. You can also take a warm bath and add oils to your bath. Recommended oils to use are Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Cloves, Ginger, and Rosemary.
Of course to avoid these bugs always wash hands well and clean all areas in the house with natural anti-bacterial cleanser. Stay clear of anyone who is sick or cover your mucous membranes like your nose, mouth and eyes for protection!