We’re in the middle of cold and flu season, or is it sugar season from Halloween until the end of the year?? It’s a huge victory if you make it through without getting sick! There are many things that you can do for preventative care, but once you get a cold, virus or infection, you can try natural remedies to get back to health.

A healthy, working immune system has the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. It is when the immune system is not functioning well that we end up with a cold, the flu, or viruses.  The immune system functions best with phytonutrients from a variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as olive oil and coconut oil, and healthy spices such as turmeric, curry, oregano and sage. Processed foods, conventional dairy, and foods that are sprayed or contain GMOS will decline immune function.  Keep in mind that when you are taking care of your body and eating well, you will not get sick. It is great motivation to load up on fruits and vegetables, and eat a healthy diet. When you do get sick, the goal is to load up the immune system to function properly again.

Here are some things to help with recovery:

Vitamin C is known to shorten the duration of a cold.
Vitamin C foods: brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, citrus, kiwis, pineapple guavas.
Supplementing: When you feel like you are getting sick, take 1000 IU vitamin C up to 3 times a day on an empty stomach.

Raw garlic is a superfood. Its antimicrobial and antiviral properties enable garlic kill microorganisms that cause the common cold, to treat inflammation and infections.  Allicin is the chemical compound in garlic that is responsible for most of the benefits of garlic. Chop fresh garlic and mix with raw local honey 3 times a day. Since garlic doesn’t taste great when eaten raw, the easiest thing to do is chase this combination with water.

Raw honey is unfiltered and unpasteurized.  Eating raw honey promotes antioxidants in the body and boosts the immune system.  Local honey is honey in your region of the country. This especially helps with seasonal allergies.  You can find raw local honey at your local health store. It is important to note that heating raw honey destroys all of the enzymes and thus nutritional value. Uses: 1 T a day or more throughout the winter, more when ill.

Manuka honey has a higher nutritional rating than standard raw honey. It comes from New Zealand and carries a UMF (unique Manuka factor) which measures the antibacterial strength. Look for UMF of 16+ to help treat colds and illnesses. Uses: Take 1 T a day throughout the winter.

Ginger is great for stomach issues, but also has anti-viral properties.
Grate and slice fresh ginger and boil in water to make a tea.
Strain it and add local raw honey.

Elderberry is known to reduce the length of colds & flu. You can find it at the pharmacy or grocery store, but read the label. Look for raw honey as the sweetener rather than agave or cane sugar.You can also make it at home!  

Uses: 1 tsp, 3 times daily

Echinacea is a herb, but comes from a plant. Before antibiotics came into play, echinacea was used medicinally.  Echinacea reduces the length of colds and can also be used preventatively. Uses: 10mg per kg of body weight for 10 days stimulates the immune system (source:Dr.Axe)

A known immune system booster.

Uses: Bump up your Vitamin D intake to 10,000 IU when you come down with a cold or flu (up to 4000 IU for children). Try these remedies when you come down with a cold and remember the goal is to rebuild your immune system. Medications only hinder our immune systems from helping the body to recover.