How to Soothe the dreaded sore throat

 

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It’s scratchy, tender and swollen, and you dread the simple task of swallowing. But you must swallow, and when you do, you brace yourself for the unavoidable pain.

If you’ve got a sore throat, you’re in good company; everybody gets them, and 40 million people trek to the doctor’s office for treatment every year.

The mechanics of a sore throat are pretty simple. It’s an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. The leading causes of your discomfort are:

  • Viral infections, like colds or the flu. Often accompanied by fever, achy muscles and runny nose, viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral source will generally disappear on its own within several days.
  • Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are much like those of a viral infection but may be more severe and long lasting. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by headache, stomachache and swollen glands in the neck. A strep infection is generally treated with antibiotics because permanent heart or kidney damage can result. Culturing the bacteria is the only way a doctor can determine the cause of the sore throat.

While those are the primary reasons for a sore throat, there are others, including:

  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Dry air, especially at night when you may sleep with your mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Throat abuse: singing, shouting, coughing
  • Polyps or cancer
  • Infected tonsils
  • Food allergy

A sore throat can be a minor but annoying ailment, or it can be a symptom of a serious illness. Causes range from a stuffy nose or a cold to strep throat, a bacterial throat infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, it’s important to get medical help as early as possible into the illness. Along with producing severe soreness in your gullet, strep throat may be accompanied by fever, body aches and pains and malaise.

If you have these symptoms, or if you have a sore throat lasting more than two or three days, it makes good sense to see a doctor. For mild sore throats that accompany a cold or allergy, there are soothing remedies using common household items that can stand alone or work side by side with traditional medicine to stifle that soreness.

Gargle raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

Gargle with sage. This curative herb is a great sore-throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

Gargle with turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a cranky throat. Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

Gargle with warm saltwater. If you can gargle without gagging, make a saline solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of very warm water. Yes, when your mother told you to gargle with saltwater, she knew what she was talking about. It cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

Gargle with Listerine. Another good gargling fluid is Listerine mouthwash. If you share the product with anyone else in your household, don’t drink straight from the bottle; instead, pour a small amount into a cup (and don’t share that, either).

Other remedies to try are a steamy shower, sipping warm liquids, taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) most of all get lots of rest and feel better soon!

 

The not so sweet side of perfume fragrances

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Ahhh…the sweet smell of petrochemicals! The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that, while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum. To protect trade secrets, makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients, so consumers can’t rely on labels to know what hazards may lurk inside that new bottle of perfume.

“A rose may be a rose,” reports EWG. “But that rose-like fragrance in your perfume may be something else entirely, concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients,   (the staggering list is in the link) the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of over 100 groups seeking transparency about chemicals in cosmetics, commissioned independent laboratory tests that revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 leading fragrances. The top offenders?: American Eagle Seventy Seven topped the list with 24, followed by Chanel Coco with 18 and Britney Spears Curious and Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio each with 17.

“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label,” reports EWG, which analyzed the Campaign’s data. “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.” EWG adds that some of the undisclosed ingredients are chemicals “with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.” Examples include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, which concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk.

EWG explains that ingredients not in a product’s “hidden fragrance mixture” must be listed on the label, so makers disclose some chemicals but “lump others together in the generic category of ‘fragrance’.”

EWG blames the U.S. government in part, pointing out that the Food and Drug Administration “has not assessed the safety of the vast majority” of secret chemicals used in spray-on products such as fragrances. “Fragrance secrecy is legal due to a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts fragrance,” reports EWG. As such, the cosmetics industry has kept the public in the dark about fragrance ingredients, “even those that present potential health risks or build up in people’s bodies.”

 

Toxic-Cosmetics_edited-1-819x1024For more information, check out EWG’s May 2010 “Not So Sexy” report, available on the group’s website. Also, EWG’s SkinDeep database serves as an evolving source of information on the ingredients (and their health risks) in thousands of cosmetics and related products widely available on store shelves.

Source: http://bit.ly/2nNTDCX

 

My Whole 30 Experience

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So we did it! We have completed the whole30 challenge and I have got to be honest it wasn’t easy at first but gradually it became easier. Really it did.

My husband has been dealing with some allergy issues with food, and I myself was not feeling very healthy either. I was at my heaviest a grand 195lbs, full of migraines, sore joints, an inflamed shoulder and unbearable fatigue. It was then we decided we were going to do this together to eliminate most common allergens – grains, sugar, dairy, legumes and then see how we felt after 30 days of real food. We have a 6 year old as well and we decided this would be a great move for her as well. How do you convince a 6 year old of getting rid of all foods she knows and loves? Easy, bribe, bribe, bribe… Lol.

So what the heck do you eat for 30 days? Proteins, veggies, fruits and healthy fats…. Hmmm seems boring, and impossible I’ve been told, but I’m the boss of this body so let’s go!

First step: Commit and know you can do this!

Second step: Clean out all non compliant foods in the fridge, pantry and secret stashes. For us this meant almost everything! I was left with 2 cans of tuna and a frozen turkey. The rest we donated to the food bank.

Third step: Get your list and go! At first this will seem expensive and confusing but it will even out. The first shop is always expensive, but the money you save on eating junk food balances out as, well as leaving some extra 🙂

Forth step: Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself with fancy pants recipes in the beginning at least. Try some basics like Salmon with baked potato and broccoli or a Veggie omelette with a side of bacon. I’m going to post some easy recipes and menus but for now just quick pointers.

Fifth Step: Endure… Focus and start your journey!

So there you have it. Our start to the story.

Week 1: Here we go into madness….

We started on the first of December… Crazy right. December the destroyer of all diets, excess and overeating was always number one on the list. But we figured there is no time like the present and if you can make it through that, then we can make it through anything.

Now let’s see what I personally have to give up, cold turkey.

I admit I was a food junkie.

I drank 8+ cans of Pepsi (the dark master) everyday. At least one meal from a fast food establishment, coffee with 4 creams and 4 sugars. Bags of sugary candies to munch on and so much more… Sheesh! What a disaster. No wonder I was fading fast! I was literally eating myself to death.

Week 1 starts… First day is always easy. You can go two ways really. One you can abandon at anytime and reason you can start tomorrow or suck it up buttercup and push on through to day 2. Now the rest of the week can get tricky, this whole food business takes allot of prep, more then dialing for delivery or a frozen meal in 5 min, we are talking chopping, baking blending and more! Ok you can do this!!!

Later that week….. You body starts freaking out about this no sugar and way less refined foods. I felt like hell, I’m not going to lie. I had the carb flu. Runny nose, headache, tired beyond help, nauseous and overall miserable. I hate life, now give me a cookie and no one gets hurt. Too bad I’m so stubborn sometimes. I want to quit. I want to cry. But instead I have another banana and deal with it.

Before I know it we are all done 7 days, I would like to say I felt better after this but I’m afraid I can’t. Sometimes things have to get worse to get better. I had hit rock bottom and the only way left was up 🙂

This to shall pass

Then came the glimmer of shiny hope, the little push you need to keep going. I step on the scales and after a grueling week 1 I have lost 8lbs! I smile a grumpy little smile and then onto week 2……

Week 2: Further down the rabbit hole

Onto week two. I feel at this point that I am deep in it. I still think about quitting. So easy to just eat everything but still I can see changes everyday now.

Fruit is tasting sweeter, my sense of smell is increasing, I’m sleeping better and easier. My naps in the day are less frequent and I’m gaining more energy.I decide to reduce my sleeping pills to half and see what happens.

My headaches are much less painful now and getting to be less frequent, I could be onto something here. The kicker is I’m now down another 7lbs.

I will do this till the end and see what’s in store for my perseverance.

Total lost so far 15 lbs and starting to wake up for the first time.

Week 3: Hello, remember me? 

Week 3, funny I’m blogging all this from a journal that I had and it’s so weird to look back after the fact when it’s all said and done. In reality the time did not pass so quickly.. Lol.

So week 3 here we are.  I’m feeling so much different. It’s a miracle really, and if you don’t believe me it’s okay, I’m not trying to sell anything here but I am speaking the truth.

My headaches are now gone. Migraines are nowhere to be seen. My shoulder and knee have no inflammation left and I’m off my sleeping pills.My energy is high my sleep is amazing and my mood is soaring! Down another 3lbs this week totaling 18 lbs gone.

I’m eating amazing things that are so satisfying to me that I don’t miss anything of my prior vices. My cravings are gone now and I’m learning great information, so much information that I am bursting to share, but wait let’s make it till the end before we tell the world.

Week 4 is Christmas. Stay strong!

Week 4: 30 days done. What now? 

Week 4 already. Christmas time and dinner awaits. I am fortunate enough I have found support from my whole family, my aunt who is a wonderful and loving person discusses how she can help with our new way of eating. Notice how I don’t use the word diet. I find that the true meaning of that word has been long forgotten that I don’t use it, I prefer lifestyle change.

We don’t miss out this week on anything, funny how you just stop craving things. You can look that cake in the sugary face and just say no, and mean it without much care. Instead we are treated to fresh raspberries and chilled full fat coconut milk. The turkey dinner is fabulous and after we feel wonderful and satisfied. Amazing who would have ever thought….

This week I felt more my old self then I had felt in a long time. I’m happy and down another 3lbs.

That’s 21 lbs in 30 days.

It was after this week that we had decided we were all going to become a permanent paleo family.

 

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What have I learned after The Whole 30?

In my own opinion, I think that sugar is poison, grains are mostly chemicals since they absorb so much of them when grown. We do not need all of this fake, processed frankenfood that contain ingredients no one can pronounce.

My child is not “missing out” on anything. She is a brilliant, beautiful girl who deserves to have foods that will give her the nutrition she needs and the information and education to continue into adulthood.

We are not dogs, we do not need treats. We do not need to follow the “norm” of overeating and big portions nor do we need to be supermodels. We don’t need to be fooled. We just need to be informed and supported.

I’m so glad I can share this with you all. I hope this blog will awaken you to take care of yourself.

I did it.

You can do it.

Open your eyes…… I’m wide awake.

 

Start your whole30 now@ www.whole30.com

Read more about The Whole30 right here on my blog too click here

 

 

 

The Dangers of Commercial Laxative Abuse

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Using any type of weight-loss drug for a prolonged period could lead to a myriad of problems and issues. Abuse of supplements can create minor problems like irritability all the way up to severe problems resulting in death.

Even still, many people choose to ignore warning labels and use whatever they can to lose weight. And some individuals even go so far as to use laxatives in order to lose weight.
Laxatives and other products geared at softening stools, relieving constipation and cleansing the colon are good products for what they do, but they should not be overused and should never be used to help lose weight.

People taking laxatives to lose weight assume mistakenly that the digestive system is somehow going to process body fat and that evacuating substances from inside the body will cause weight loss. Others use laxatives in order to avoid gaining weight, assuming that whatever they eat will be immediately passed, almost like bulimia.
Not only do laxatives not work for losing weight, but they can be very dangerous to use in this fashion or to overuse in general. Here are 10 side effects of laxative usage.

10 Reasons to Avoid Misusing Commercial Laxatives

1: Weight Gain

Because some assume that all new foods will be immediately passed through via laxative use, they binge eat and end up gaining significantly more weight.

2: Poor Nutrition

Going along with the binge eating, people can up their cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar by using laxatives in this fashion; or, on the other end of the spectrum, they can lose too many vital nutrients the body needs.

3: Bloating

The overuse of laxatives has been known to cause bloating (water retention) in people, which is both uncomfortable and very unflattering.

4: Excessive Cramping

Using laxatives in this fashion can cause excessive cramping of the intestines, a very, very painful phenomenon.

5: Bacteria Loss

Your digestive tract contains crucial bacteria which help to break down and pass food. Excessive use of laxatives causes you to lose these bacteria and will make it harder to break down and pass food.

6: Chemical Imbalance

Misuse of laxatives can cause the body to lose too many electrolytes, resulting in imbalance.

7: Cardiac Arrhythmia

Cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat/palpitations, can occur from using too many laxative products.

8: Heart Attack

In some cases, individuals overusing laxatives have experienced heart attack.

9: Fatigue

Lack of vital nutrients in the body can cause a general “low” feeling – low energy, fatigue and a disruption of sleep patterns.

10: Renal Complications

In some cases, the overuse of laxatives can cause kidney complications including kidney failure.

Not only are these ten side effects very scary and things you would want to avoid at all costs, but there have been cases of laxative abusers suffering from instant and inexplicable death. It is rare but it is not out of the question.

Proper dieting takes a careful balance of nutrition and exercise. It also takes a commitment on your part to do what is necessary to change your lifestyle and lose the pounds. This does not include attempting to cheat the process by taking dangerous pills; much less substances that were not even meant to help you lose weight in the first place.
Taking laxatives to lose weight is stupid and dangerous. In fact, a proper diet should be enough to exclude the need for laxatives altogether.

Eating enough fiber and staying properly hydrated is all you need in order to stay regular. And if you do need an assist in that department, make sure you stop the laxative use immediately after you are relieved and never, ever use laxatives in an attempt to lose weight.

7 Foods that Make the Best Natural Laxatives

Fruits, veggies, seeds, probiotic-filled foods and more act as effective natural stool softeners, so before you reach for the over-the-counter laxatives, add these seven foods to your diet:

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the oldest and well-researched natural laxatives there is. Sometimes called aloe “latex,” this substance comes packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that help heal the gut. For example, anthraquinones are a type of compound present in aloe that act like a laxative by increasing intestinal water content, stimulating mucus secretion and increasing intestinal peristalsis naturally (contractions that break down food).
Aloe vera latex also has anti-inflammatory components that reduce swelling and and improve function of the digestive organs. Some of the other benefits of aloe vera are its ability to help normalize acid/alkaline and pH balance, lessen yeast formation and encourage the growth of good digestive bacteria.

2. Chia Seeds

One of the benefits of chia seeds is its ability to work as a natural laxative. Chia seeds combined with liquid form a gelatinous substance that easily moves through your intestines. As a great way to increase the fiber in your diet, chia seeds swell and expand in the digestive tract, absorbing water. They’re best for constipation when you also increase your fluid intake, helping them move through the gut easily.

3. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber, which adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass through your intestines. As an added bonus, flaxseeds work to treat both constipation and diarrhea!

They’re practically tasteless, and one of the benefits of flaxseeds is it’s easy to use in recipes you already make, like oats, baked goods and smoothies. Just remember that whenever you eat a lot of fiber, you want to also make sure to drink plenty of water too — since a high amount of fiber without enough hydrating liquids can actually result in even more bathroom troubles! Drinking enough water in general along with a high-fiber diet makes it less likely you’ll experience uncomfortable hard stools, bloating, gas, pains and further constipation.

4. Leafy Green Veggies

Not only a great source of fiber, leafy greens also provide plenty of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in adults, so eating more comes with many benefits, including better digestive health. Magnesium is an electrolyte that has the natural ability to safely soften stool and help draw in water from your gut.
Without enough magnesium, it’s hard for stool to easily move through your system, especially since magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer, which can help stop cramping in the abdomen. If you notice that increasing magnesium-rich foods results in your stools becoming too loose and watery, you can adjust your intake until its comfortable and back to normal.

5. Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are “good bacteria” in your gut that are able to balance various types of “bad bacteria.” They help create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora” and can help keep you free of digestive problems, including constipation or diarrhea.
Probiotic foods include things like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and probiotic yogurt. Just make sure that when buying dairy products, you always choose organic products, as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein. It’s possible that low-quality pasteurized/homogenized dairy, or too much dairy in general (especially if someone has symptoms of lactose intolerance), can cause inflammation and contribute to digestive dysfunction.

6. High-Fiber Fruit (Berries, Figs, Apples, Prunes, Pears)

Fruit provides high levels of fiber and water in addition antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation throughout the digestive system. While fresh fruit such as berries, melon and apples are more hydrating and filling, dried fruit like figs, prunes or dates are also a good source of dietary fiber when in a pinch, especially when you consume several at once.
Fruits that contain pectin fiber (apples or pears) are especially good choices, since pectin stimulates your bowels. Apple cider vinegar is also an excellent option for naturally treating constipation! For most people, fruit helps relieve constipation while also making you feel comfortably full, but again it comes down to individual reactions to various kinds.

7. Coconut Water

Coconut water is good for you for many reasons — not only does it taste great as an alternative to plain old water or sugary drinks, but it also helps with maintaining healthy electrolyte levels, preventing dehydration and clearing out your urinary tract. For centuries, coconut water has been used for a natural hydration boost due to its high electrolyte content, especially potassium (which it provides 12 percent of your daily value of in every one-cup serving). In fact, coconut water can be so healing for constipation that some people find drinking too much loosens stools to an uncomfortable level, so start slow.

Paleo Cold and Flu Remedies

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A nutrient-dense, Paleo diet can go a long way in helping to boost your immune system and prevent you from getting a cold or flu.  But sometimes, no matter how squeaky clean your diet is, you may find that you have succumbed to the latest virus that is making its rounds in your community.  If you do find yourself under the weather during this cold and flu season, these holistic remedies can help you to recover faster while maintaining an all-natural approach.

1)  Sleep & Rest

Getting extra sleep and rest is probably the most important thing that you can do to strengthen and support your immune system as it is actively fighting an infection.  There is a complex relationship between sleep and the immune system, with certain disease-fighting substances being created or released only during sleep.  Most people feel a greater need to sleep during times of illness, but taking non-drowsy, over-the-counter cold and flu medications can suppress this innate urge.  It may be tempting to push through it and honor your work and family commitments when you aren’t feeling well, but this only helps to spread the virus and it prevents a quicker recovery.

2) Bone Broth & Water

This is another simple, but critical remedy for cold and flu viruses.  The human body is comprised of approximately 65% water, which is vital to every system in the body.  When the immune system is fighting an infection, the metabolism increases and so does the body’s need for fluids.  At the same time, you may be losing more fluids in the form of increased sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and respiratory secretions.  Replacing this fluid loss is important to helping you feel better faster.  Bone broth is rich in easily absorbable minerals, which also likely need to be replaced due to fluid loss from cold and flu symptoms.  The minerals found in bone broth also help to support the immune system and fight the infection. Bare Bones Broth is a great Certified Paleo company that sells grass-fed and pastured bone broths.

3) Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is a time-honored herbal remedy that is has been proven effective against cold and flu viruses.  Studies have demonstrated that elderberry syrup has potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and it significantly reduces the duration of viral illness.  You can find elderberry syrup in natural health food stores or online and it is easy to make it yourself if you have access to elderberries.

4) Fermented Cod Liver Oil

When our parents and grandparents were children, chances are they were given an extra tablespoon of fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) when they became ill.  Known to be a traditional superfood, FCLO provides a proper balance of the fat soluble vitamins A and D, both of which are essential to the immune system.  FCLO is also a source of bioavailable omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation.  In the United States, Green Pasture is the only widely known manufacturer of traditionally-prepared FCLO.

5) Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Tea

Ginger, lemon, and honey all have antimicrobial properties.  Ginger is known to be soothing to the digestive system and can help with nausea.  Lemon is a good source of Vitamin C, which can help to boost the immune system, and honey can be soothing to the throat.  To prepare this tea, boil some freshly grated ginger in hot water, strain, and add fresh-squeezed lemon and honey.  (Don’t forget that honey should never be given to children under one-year of age.)

6) Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is critical for proper immune system function.  Research has shown that zinc supplementation is effective at reducing the duration and severity of cold viruses, but it is most beneficial if taken within 24 hours of the onset of a cold.  The best food sources of zinc include seafood, red meats, liver, and egg yolks.

7) Nasal Irrigation

If you have a runny or stuffy nose that is accompanying a cold or flu, nasal irrigation can help.  The use of a neti pot for nasal irrigation comes from the ancient practice of Ayurveda and it involves using a small ceramic pot filled with a salt water solution in conjunction with head positioning and gravity to flush the sinus cavities (this is easier and much less traumatizing than it may sound).  You can find a neti pot in most health food stores or online.  If the thought of a neti pot intimidates you, most pharmacies carry nasal irrigation devices that some people may find easier to use.  Some studies have found that nasal irrigation can shorten the duration of a cold and prevent complications.

8) Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone precursor that plays an important role in modulating the immune system.  Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels can help to prevent colds and flu and the evidence suggests that the antimicrobial properties of Vitamin D can also be useful during times of acute illness.  Some practitioners recommend mega doses of vitamin D for a few days at the onset of a viral infection, but it is best to work closely with a practitioner to determine the right dose for you.  In general, it is always best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, so soaking up some extra rays if you are feeling under the weather can be therapeutic.  Oily fish, liver, egg yolks, butter, and FCLO are good food sources of vitamin D.

9) Monolaurin

Monolaurin is a fatty acid derived from coconut oil that has powerful antiviral properties.  Monolaurin can act to modulate and strengthen the immune system.  Research suggests that monolaurin works by binding to the lipid-protein envelope of a virus, thereby killing the virus and preventing replication.  The body does convert the lauric acid found in coconut oil and coconut milk into monolaurin and there are definite benefits to consuming these foods if you have a cold or flu.  However, a monolaurin supplement does not require conversion by the body and it is easier to obtain a higher dose without consuming large amounts of coconut oil or coconut milk.

10) Steaming with Essential Oils

Steaming can help to loosen mucous secretions and reduce congestion.  If you add essential oils, they can provide additional respiratory support and they also have antimicrobial properties that can strengthen the immune system and reduce the duration of a cold or flu.  To steam, simply boil water and then pour it into a large bowl.  Eucalyptus, tea tree oil, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, and lemon are essential oils that you can add to the water to increase the effectiveness of steaming and to alleviate symptoms of congestion and upper respiratory discomfort.  Place a towel over your head to create a steam tent.  Close your eyes and slowly inhale the aroma for 5-10 minutes.  As an alternative, you can also draw a hot bath and add a few drops of essential oils into the bath water.

11) Probiotics/Fermented Foods

As modern science continues to discover the importance of the gut to health of the entire body, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that supporting the gut flora would increase the ability of the immune system to fight a cold or flu virus.  Probiotic supplementation has been demonstrated to reduce the severity and duration of cold and flu viruses.  If you are feeling ill, make sure to increase your consumption of fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha, or fermented vegetables, or take a high-quality probiotic supplement.

12) Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is an herbal compound that is a potent, broad-spectrum antiviral agent.  It has the ability to prevent viral replication and it also has a direct virucidal impact on viruses.  Olive leaf extract can also stimulate the immune system and enhance the body’s natural abilities to fight a viral infection.  Studies have indicated that olive leaf extract is effective in treating cold and flu viruses.

 

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