Home remedies

By Alison Leigh

Winter weather got ya all sniffly and sore throaty? Calling off work and taking Tylenol PM? Yeah that sucks. Let me share with you some helpful hints on how to prevent and fight infection — I am a person who hasn’t had health insurance my entire adult life and so therefore I needed to research on my own how to stay healthy. The witch doctor is in.

1. Vitamin C. We need it every day! And if you smoke cigarettes, you need even more because guess what? Smoking depletes vitamin C in your body. So grab an Odwalla or

Power C!

another brand of real juice that has thousands of milligrams in it. Drink them regularly and on an empty stomach because the sugar in fruit, or anything for that matter, will sit in your colon and rot if there’s too much food in there already. Yeah ew…

2. Chicken soup. Yes I choose to live a vegan lifestyle. I would never condone the purchasing and consumption of store bought animal products, but I do however, promote at least making the switch to local farm raised meat and dairy. So if you eat meat, go buy a chicken from a LOCAL FARM and make some chicken stock. The healing properties of chicken soup lie within the bone marrow and fat. So make some ahead of time and freeze it for when you feel crappy. But BEFORE that, there are still plenty of ways to avoid sickness.

3. Moisture. When we turn the heat on in our homes and businesses, the air coming out of heating systems begins to dry out the mucous membranes in our nose and sinuses leaving us vulnerable to germs and dust in the air. You can go to sleep seemingly fine and wake up sick as a dog from this. I take bath towels and soak them under the faucet, wring them out, and lay them across my radiators to keep the air more moist. You can also put a bowl of water on your radiator or use a humidifier. Be careful with humidifiers though, left to run overtime, you will find mold growing on your walls. Ask me how I know..

4. Wash your hands but don’t OVER wash them. Too much anti-bacterial soap leaves you defenseless to bacteria and you need to build up your immunity from within.

5. I take an expectorant at the first sign of stuff building up in my throat. When you get a runny nose and an itchy throat, that means infection is setting up shop inside of you. Taking an expectorant will cause you to eliminate it before it grows to the point of no return. Take it as directed RIGHT AWAY.

6. SLEEP!! In the words of Ben Franklin, “The best of all medicines are resting and fasting.” Resting allows your body to rejuvenate itself. Fasting allows your natural antibodies to do their jobs without wasting energy processing the food you eat. Limit your intake, and rest, rest, rest. Take off work right away to insure you get better more quickly.

7. Gargle with salt water. Heat up some water on the stove and when it gets hot enough, not boiling, pour it into a mug. Dump some salt into it and stir it around. After it cools a little, grab an empty cup and gargle all of it, spitting it out into cup (or wherever). Do that multiple times a day.

A saline solution can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less, said Dr. Philip T. Hagen, editor in chief of the “Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies,” which is due out in October. Dr. Hagen pointed out that gargling also loosens thick mucus, which can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html

8. GARLIC! Cut a clove in half, pour boiling water over it into a mug, let steep for 5 minutes and drink it. You will feel it actually kicking the shiz out of your cold.

9. Other helpful things to consume: Master Tonic, apple cider vinegar, lemon and honey in hot water with cayenne pepper, any kind of herbal tea, zinc lozenges, LOTS of fluids. AVOID ALCOHOL. It lowers your resistance.

Good luck! Stay healthy and stay out of the doctor’s office! If you get too far gone, you’ll have to go and all you’ll get are antibiotics which cause yeast infections in women and prevent your body from doing the work itself.

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