Here are a couple of very oldies but effective goodies that you can do at home to beat that bug!

FIRST SIGN of a virus: Boost your immune and lymphatic system with HYDRO-Therapy: Alternating Hot/Cold Showers.

Alternating hot and cold (contrast hydrotherapy) is a common hydrotherapy treatment. The hot application expands blood vessels, filling them with blood, and the cold application constricts the blood vessels, forcing the blood to move on to other parts of the body. This not only improves lymphatic and blood circulation to boost the immune system but also enhances the delivery of nutrients to organs. (Provided you are feeding your body good nutrients!)

Free cold pic- need to creditDirections: take your normal shower at the end turn it slightly cool (do not shock yourself!) you want double hot for the time of cold, your length of is very individual however try to aim for 30 seconds hot and 15 seconds cold, for 3-5 cycles.

Nasal congestion: Increase your circulation, warm your toes & clear that stuffy nose!

It’s the WET SOCKS treatment!!

It might not be every one’s favourite thing to do this time of year, however it’s great for increasing circulation! Whether you have chilly toes or a stuffy nose the wet sock treatment is sure to help!

Directions: What you need is a pair of cotton socks and thick wool socks. Soak the cotton sock in cool water and rinse them out so they’re not dripping. Place them on your feet, putting the wool socks over…Now the magic begins! You will find that as you warm up and dry the socks your toes warm up and your stuffy nose is gone!

Nasty lingering cough: Castor Oil Pack to the CHEST

Castor oil has been used therapeutically for hundreds of years, both internally and externally. Castor oil applied topically has many beneficial effects. Physiological effects of the castor oil pack include, but are not limited to: stimulating the liver, increasing eliminations, relieving pain, increasing lymphatic circulation, improving gastrointestinal function, increasing relaxation, and reducing inflammation. When applied to the chest it helps reduce inflammation and improve lymphatic circulation helping your body kick the cough out.

Directions:  Take a piece of flannel you have around the house (I cut up my PJ’s) drizzle castor oil over the flannel apply it to the chest and place a source of heat over (watch you do no burn yourself!) Relax have a nice herbal tea (Echinacea tea to help battle the cold) for 20-30 mins. You can do this several times a day.

Ear infections: Garlic, not just to keep the vampires away!

It’s that time of year when the little ones start pulling at their ears! There are several different types and causes of ear infections, viral and bacterial being the 2 most common. Reducing the mucus production and the inflammation help with the drainage in the ears preventing the advancement of any infection. Please ensure you visit your ND or MD to avoid complications of ear infections, this can become serious.

If your little one is prone to ear infections 2 things you need to do over this winter…

  1. Investigate food allergies. The most common associated with ear infections is diary, it is known to be phlegm forming and increases mucus production (not good for coughs or asthma in the winter months for the same reason).  At first signs there might be a potential problem remove all dairy.
  2. Garlic ear oil: may help reduce the pain of middle-ear infections in children. You can make your own at home by crushing a clove of FRESH raw garlic and dissolving it in some olive oil. Put a few drops of oil in the ear canal, as long as the ear drum is not perforated. You can also purchase garlic ear oil if this sounds too messy for you.

Make sure you talk to your Naturopathic Doctor on other more advanced ways of preventing and treating the cold/flu virus. This is where we excel!

Photo credits: Woman Sick With Flu by marcolm

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